Football world shocked as Ranieri goes at Leicester
Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the positions of Arsène Wenger at Arsenal and Claudio Ranieri at Leicester with both seemingly under pressure at their respective clubs.
It seems to have been an ongoing thing with Wenger for a long time now and he was back in the news this week when the FA released details of his behaviour towards fourth official Anthony Taylor when they conceded a penalty against us recently.
But for Ranieri the speculation was such that his chairman Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha came out very strongly worded statement making it absolutely clear the club’s unwavering support for their manager.
Tonight though, just two over two weeks on, and that unwavering support has gone. Leicester have sacked the manager who, less than a year ago, won them the Premier League against all the odds. It was described as a fairytale and, quite honestly, their achievement is not something we are likely to see again for a very long time from a club of Leicester’s ilk.
Winning the Premier League, entertaining us all with his dilly ding dilly dong, is of no value. It’s difficult to believe but vice chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said tonight: “This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since King Power took ownership of Leicester City. But we are duty-bound to put the club’s long term interests above all sense of personal sentiment, no matter how strong that might be.
“Claudio has brought outstanding qualities to his office. His skilful management, powers of motivation and measured approach have been reflective of the rich experience we always knew he would bring to Leicester City. His warmth, charm and charisma have helped transform perceptions of the club and develop its profile on a global scale. We will forever be grateful to him for what he has helped us to achieve.
“It was never our expectation that the extraordinary feats of last season should be replicated this season. Indeed, survival in the Premier League was our first and only target at the start of the campaign. But we are now faced with a fight to reach that objective and feel a change is necessary to maximise the opportunity presented by the final 13 games.”
Leicester have not won a Premier League point in any of their last five games as the slump has continued; they haven’t even scored a goal in their last six games. There have been stories of rifts with players and between the manager and his coaching staff.
Two seasons ago, Leicester, mainly through their manager Nigel Pearson, were upsetting all and sundry with the way they went about things. Against all the odds, with a late run, they survived. Pearson went after defending his disciplined son, and they made what we all thought was a strange decision with the appointment of the former Chelsea tinker man.
We were then all stunned as they went through a Premier League season with only three defeats and won the title by a clear ten points. Most of the football world enjoyed it. We all waited for the collapse but it just didn’t come and they marched on to the end and then had that incredible day of celebration at the King Power at the end of the season.
It’s difficult to imagine that a manager can achieve that and be gone in under a year. I thought there might be a chance it could happen two weeks ago but then suspected his position was secure after that strong statement. But, with the football world all talking about the non-story of Wayne Rooney doing nothing, Leicester sneaked in with this tonight.
I wonder whether any manager can ever consider his position safe when the axe can fall so quickly after such an achievement.
One former Leicester player, Gary Lineker, has had his say on Twitter: “After all Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad,” while Dion Dublin described the decision as shocking.
Who next for Leicester? Incredibly Disrespectful Nigel was quickly installed as the favourite to return yet again, but things have changed now with former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini leading the way.
Time will tell whether the decision is a correct one, but I find it absolutely ridiculous that a manager can be ditched so quickly after taking a club way beyond where it could expect to be.
I don’t think we’ll see Ranieri again in England. He’s certainly been entertaining.
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