How toothless Leicester Tigers have lost their bite

Leicester are in full crisis mode. The Tigers have lost eight games in a row in all competitions and the scale of the trouble is understood to have prompted an emergency board meeting on Monday.
While the balance of power lies with Saracens at present, Welford Road remains the home of English rugby's biggest club brand. 
Leicester have the largest following in the country and all the expectation that goes with such public profile. They are often referred to as the Manchester United
of the oval-ball game.
But all is not well. Far from it. The East Midlands club have been dragged down towards the relegation tussle in the Premiership this season and they are already out of the running for a place in the Heineken Champions Cup. 
A long golden era of title-hunting is becoming a fading memory. There is unrest among the Tigers' fan-base and a sense that it is high time for an overhaul.
Geordan Murphy is the Irish club stalwart who has been charged with somehow ignited a revival, but here are the problems he must contend with...
Holding on to talent 
This has been an area of concern for some time. A handful of high-profile signings have appeased supporters but what about the ones who got away?
This season, hooker Harry Thacker has been an inspirational figure for Bristol and Fiji wing Vereniki Goneva continues to pose a serious threat to defences. At Gloucester, Ed Slater has galvanised the Cherry-and-White pack. All were allowed to leave Leicester, only to thrive elsewhere.
A pack of problems 
Prior to the start of this season, there was a feeling that if Leicester's forwards could create a platform, there was electric potential in a back line featuring Ben Youngs, George Ford, Matt Toomua, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May and Telusa Veainu.
Sadly, that scenario has not come to pass often enough. The Tigers simply do not have the clout of old up front. Long gone are the days of Rowntree and White, Johnson and Kay, Back, Moody, Corry and Co.
Bloated board 
There is a growing belief among Tigers fans that the upper echelons of the club require a total revamp. The board are under increasing scrutiny for presiding over troubled times without any sign of a decisive response. Leicester's hierarchy is well-known for being cluttered, with a chairman, chief executive, head of recruitment and director of rugby or head coach all having a say in major decisions.
A more streamlined model appears to be in order.
No case for the defence 
The Tigers are conceding tries at a frightening rate. They have the unwelcome distinction of being clear of all rivals in the Premiership's 'tries against' column.
Something must be chronically wrong to allow opponents to carve through them seemingly at will. Murphy has spoken up strongly in support of his defence coach, Brett Deacon, but there is no doubt that Leicester need urgent help in this area. Intensity, organisation, communication and sheer defiant attitude are lacking all too often.
False dawns 
There have been flickers of hope, which make the days of regression harder to fathom. Leicester were fired up and energised against Racing 92 in Paris.
Their performance there suggested that an upturn was on the cards, but the efforts a week later at Welford Road were shockingly feeble. The latest surrender was just the latest example of hope preceding a fall. But early hope under Murphy has given way to too many falls: eight in a row — and counting.
Cracks in the camp? 
The worst thing that can befall a struggling squad is for cracks to appear in the facade of unity. In this ultimate team game, there must be a fierce collective will to stand together and fight through the tough times.
Well, there have been rumours of factions at Leicester and Ellis Genge admitted a few days ago that they have not been as unified as they should be. Perhaps a bonding weekend away is in order, to reboot and refocus.
Revolving door 
There has been seemingly never-ending turbulence at Leicester in recent years. Since Richard Cockerill was removed from his post as director of rugby in January last year, there has been a long period of upheaval.
Aaron Mauger took over but didn't last long. Then Matt O'Connor had a turn before being dismissed a week into this season. Now it is Murphy's turn to try to pull a rabbit out of a hat. He needs pedigree back-up, then he needs time to deliver. 

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