Vardy Ban Marks Another Major Hurdle on Leicester's Incredible Quest
However, when Jamie Vardy was charged with improper conduct by the FA after his behaviour towards Jon Moss following his sending off against West Ham United, the pressure was really turned on - especially with Tottenham demolishing Stoke City the following night.
All of a sudden, the tone on the headlines drifted from reminiscing to that of an underdog's mighty and improbable triumph to the choke of all chokes. Claudio Ranieri's men will need to dig deeper than ever into their endless perseverance and character reserves which propelled them into contending for English supremacy.
Had it not been for the Spurs rally which seemingly emerged out of thin air, the Foxes may be like stunned dear in the headlights. Even with so few fixtures remaining, 5 points doesn't seem too plentiful with the North Londoners hot on their tails.
Volatility of a challenge has rarely been greater than what is unfolding between Leicester and Tottenham. The predicaments will make rapid changes, but Jamie Vardy's exclusion may be the most damning of them all.
Even if its just a one game ban, not only will the possibility of that being increased cause for some nerves around the King Power Stadium, but with the margins so fine, one hit to their momentum and Spurs have all the resources they need to complete one of the most incredible Premier League title heists in history.
Whenever their have been doubters, Leicester have muted them in emphatic fashion. But, even though we have come to learn plenty about the Foxes, there remains mysteries - we will find out over the next few telling weeks whether they can keep fighting till the end.
Fighting till the end is exactly what they did in their two goal apiece draw with West Ham United. At the death, it was a crucial point gained. Had they been chased by a side not as seething, relentless and on a roll as Tottenham, then maybe things would be wrapped up. But that scenario was always unlikely, it is the most competitive league on the planet after all.
British media formerly labelled Ranieri the "Tinkerman" - but now he may be the mastermind who pulled off a miracle, or the leader of a side that just wasn't meant to be. His tears in a previous win shows how incredible this story has been, but not every story has a happy ending. This could well be a disastrous one.
The countdown is ticking. Tottenham will chase till the very end, but the Foxes must outrun them. They've proved everyone wrong from the very start, even themselves - after laughing off chances of European success in the early weeks of the campaign.
|Image: Plumb Images|
Perhaps its finally time for the others to get their proven credit. Mahrez, Kante and the rest have been fantastic but at times Vardy's feats have came to gather more attention - Leicester will want to prove that they aren't a one-man team. We all know they aren't, but it means something special to fight on.
Over the next few weeks Leicester can bask in glory or succumb to an almighty choke. The doubters still loom - it will be fitting to silence them with the lifting of a Premier League trophy. They are so close now, but major obstacles still lie in their path. Now it's time to see what they're really capable of.
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