PLENTY has been said and written about Leicester City's remarkable achievement in winning the Barclays Premier League. But how did they actually do it? STEVIE GRIEVE, an expert football analyst with his own show, Mind Game, on Indian TV, looks under the bonnet to explain the various components that made up the greatest football story of this or any other recent season.

MANY will say the story of Leicester City is a fairytale, and to some extent that is true. But when we look deeper into the set-up of the team, we can see this has been the culmination of career-defining seasons for a group of players who sacrificed ego and preferences for the benefit of the team.

Leicester had a solid side that stayed up by winning seven of the last nine Premier League games of last season, hinting at the potential of a squad that could compete in mid-table with the current group of players.

They wanted to build on that, however. The club has an analytics- driven talent department who knew they could bring in solid players who would fit in with Leicester’s style of play by looking at data from high-performing footballers, playing in similar styles for other clubs across Europe.

The signing of Christian Fuchs as a defensive left-back from Schalke was an inspired decision and helped build a side with a clear game-plan to be solid defensively, while bringing balance to a team looking to bring the ball out of defence. Fuchs has an excellent range of passing which was useful in playing balls around the outside of the opposition right centre- back to find Jamie Vardy with his diagonal runs in behind defenders.

N’Golo Kante was brought in as an unknown. A hard-working central midfielder who could provide dynamism and tenacity to the midfield, arrived with the record of the most amount of tackles playing with Caen in Ligue 1 last season. His was a signing initiated by the analytics team and then followed up with regular scouting visits to get to know the personality behind his impressive defensive statistics.

Shinji Okazaki was brought in from Mainz to be a hard-working pressing player from the front who would work well with Vardy. The plan was to look to stretch defences on the break with Okazaki sitting deeper, ready to screen the midfield in the inevitable phase without possession when there are several players ahead of the ball and needing time to recover. He is the epitome of the many hard-working Japanese players plying their trade around Europe successfully without being as glamorous as the likes of former Celtic forward Shunsuke Nakamura technically.

Much has been written about Leicester being in the bottom three for passing statistics. Mis-placed passes around your own box are obviously suicidal but Leicester have tended to be more direct towards the opposition goal with two main reference points.

The first is a mid-length pass to Riyad Mahrez between the lines, the other a longer pass to Vardy running behind the defence. Naturally they won’t be as accurate as regular 10-metre passes when teams try to build circulation (sideways “Barry Ferguson” passes, if you like), but Leicester’s balls are much more calculated than a simple “shell it into the channel” as is the case with many struggling Scottish Premiership sides where a loose ball results in 10 seconds of pressing for the second ball.

Let’s be clear here – this is as much about a fantastic fairytale story as it is about a Leicester management team being able to analyse an opponent, find how to get behind them, and how to enter the final third of the pitch in a manner which suits the abilities of their players.

Leicester play a brand of direct, calculated football which has a level of clever pragmatism about it – if you counter-attack with no more than four players, you leave six back. If they lose the ball from a 40-metre pass over the defence, then they are in shape to be set defensively before restarting their attacking process.

This is a team built to play exactly to their strengths while knowing how to exploit the oppositions’ weaknesses. And it has paid off perfectly for them this season.