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    Is the Jamie Vardy Party coming to an end?

    Written by Adam Spencer-Hicken 

    In the most remarkable of Premier League seasons, one team have captured the imagination of all football fans this year. Christmas leaders Leicester City continue to mount a title push that not even the wildest of Foxes fan would have expected. All of which has been pinheaded by the goals of their talismanic striker Jamie Vardy.

    The former non-league man’s unbelievable achievement of scoring in a record breaking 11 consecutive Premier League games, has been an undoubted highlight of the season so far. Vardy has been tearing Premier League defences apart with 13 goals in that stunning 11 game run and a joint highest overall total of 15 goals in the league this season so far.

    However now without a goal in his last six Premier League games, the 29 year old is in the midst of a dry spell and is in need of rediscovering his goal-scoring form.  And questions have been raised from some that maybe his stunning goal run was more reflective of form as opposed to ability and that goals will be much harder to come by in the second half of the season. A view certainly not shared by all and could be seen as a very harsh opinion after a minor blip that every striker goes through, just ask Wayne Rooney! But is there actually any meat on the bone of this argument?

    The rise of Jamie Vardy has been a spectacular one. After being released from Sheffield Wednesday at the of 16, Vardy began his senior playing career at Stockbridge and in 2012 the striker was still playing in non-league football for Fleetwood Town. In May of that year Vardy was purchased by Leicester City for a Non-league record fee of £1 Million. Ever since he has been a key figure for the Foxes as he helped them earn promotion to the Premier League in 2014. If this rise wasn't big enough, the improvement he has made to this seasons level is still unprecedented.

    Vardy scored 5 goals in 34 appearances in his first season in the Premier League, with the highlight being a man of the match performance in a thrilling 5-3 victory over Manchester United.  He scored one and set up the other four goals in what was a stunning glimpse of what he could do. Now fast forward to this season and Vardy has 15 goals in just 16 appearances this campaign. The corresponding fixture against United has again been the highlight as it saw him clinch the astonishing new record of the 11 game scoring run.

    To go from non-league mediocrity to Premier League top scorer in the space of 4 years, particularly at his age is unheard of and is testament to hard work, persistence and determination.  Whether this meteoric rise in such a short space of time suggests though that this season’s level of performance surely cannot last, is an interesting one. It is true that from playing in non-league at the age of 25, when he supposedly should have been near the peak of his powers to now ripping through England’s top division at the age of 29, when his level would stereotypically start to be lowering, is a bit of a head-scratcher.

    Jamie Vardy would be the first to admit that he doesn't have the same technical ability of a Sergio Aguero or Alexis Sanchez, yet a mix of raw pace with outstanding movement, relentless work rate and clinical finishing has made him the player he has been this year. But not having the same ability to fall back on when things start to not go quite his way may support the idea that the goal scoring run could have been more down to just a spectacular rise in form.  But on the flip-side it could also be argued that he has already proven what he can do with his level of abilities at his disposal and there is no reason why he can’t reach the same performance level again.

    What also must be thrown into the equation is that during this current six game goalless run, he has actually been under the knife as he went under groin surgery earlier this month. Despite it being reported to only be very minor surgery, he would still surely be feeling the effects of this afterwards and who’s to say how long the issue was troubling him before. This could be the explanation for his dip in form we’re all looking for. 
    Of course Vardy could go and score a hatrick at the weekend and shut all the doubters up instantly and nothing would come of a surprise in this Premier League season of all seasons.  But whether the Vardy party will keep rolling on through the rest of the season we will just have to wait and see.
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