The new boss will have to use a different strategy to the one he used with Leicester City.


Claudio Ranieri knows better than most how effective a strong, reliable defence can be in football – his title-winning Leicester City side was built on one, after all.

Kasper Schmeichel, Danny Simpson, Wes Morgan, Robert Huth, and Christian Fuchs made up a back five that conceded the second-least goals in the Premier League that season.

One immediately notable attribute of those players is their ages; at 28 years old, Simpson was the youngest member of a defence that played virtually every game.

On top of that, Huth, Fuchs, and Simpson had played consistent top-level football for roughly a decade each, bringing an experience and reliability that Ranieri could rely on.

He will not have that luxury in West London, however.

Fulham’s defence has been the worst in the league this season and if Ranieri is going to rebuild it into something passable, he will have to rely on something more than experience.

Maxime Le Marchand is perhaps the most experienced defender at 29 years old and with two full seasons in Ligue 1 under his belt. Other similar aged players, such as Denis Odoi and Tim Ream, may have the years but haven’t spent them in top-level leagues.


Instead, Ranieri will have players like Calum Chambers, Alfie Mawson, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, and Ryan Sessegnon at his disposal – the oldest of which is Mawson at 24.

This could well prove to be Ranieri’s biggest test while also providing him with an obvious area to target for the January window.

If he can get this defence sorted without being able to rely on his tried-and-tested formula, he’ll have done a very good job indeed.


In other news, David Moyes has really good news for West Ham fans