Claudio Ranieri – you will be missed
Jamie Vardy’s party has officially ended
Just in case you didn’t hear, Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as the manager of Leicester City football club. That’s right, the man who took a relegation candidate to champions of England and an appearance in the Champions League has been let go. As an Arsenal fan myself, watching Leicester win the league filled me with a feeling I hadn’t felt since the 2003/4 season and the fact that this man has been sacked baffles me.
I think we can all remember where we were when Chelsea managed to beat Tottenham and therefore help Leicester win the league (again, being an arsenal fan it filled me with joy watching Spurs finish third in what was meant to be a two horse race).
I was falling over trying to get ready to go out when Hazard scored the goal to seal it. Yes, I did hit my head kinda hard as I hit the floor but the pain was replaced with joy once I’d gotten a few beers down me and got to the club to celebrate. I’ll never forget making the trip from halls all the way down London road to Victoria Park to see them lift the title to we are the champions. It is an experience that will stay with me forever.
So why was he sacked? Well Leicester’s season has been a shadow of the last. As of writing this, Leicester have just 21 points and 5 wins all season. Being just one place above the relegation zone you could perhaps make the argument that change was needed. Watching the players on the pitch these past couple of months, they looked like they’d given up on Ranieri. With reports coming out of the players voicing their concerns and going behind Ranieri’s back to get him fired, things obviously weren’t as they were last season (did someone say snake?) So on paper at least, Ranieri being sacked sounds like a good idea.
But when you put it in context, this sacking has the footballing world confused. Ranieri turned, lets be honest, mediocre players into superstars. Huth and Morgan looked unstoppable at the back, Drinkwater had turned into the English Pirlo over night and Vardy and Mahrez looked like Ballon d’or contenders.
Now, they are all struggling for form and the team looks like a candidate for relegation. The team are currently in a really good position in their champions league tie also, which is more than we can say for world class clubs like Barcelona and slightly less world class ones like Arsenal (there’s still hope Arsenal fans.)
To top it all off, just in case you had forgotten, they won the Premier league, which is something that clubs like Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton have failed to do!
So, what happens now? Well, currently former Man City manager Roberto Mancini is favourite to take over. Let’s not lie to ourselves: Mancini would be a great replacement considering his experience and talent. Other names linked with the job include Nigel Pearson (WHY?!) and Frank de Boer. Let me also say that I don’t see Leicester getting relegated this season. They have a very good squad when they are clicking and I’m sure they will be fine.
But whoever comes in and whatever happens next, the whole of Leicester will never forget the charismatic, strong willed and often times hilarious Italian who guided Leicester city to the top of the mountain. He will live long in the memories of fans from all clubs and I’m sure he will find a new club soon.
Oh Ranieri, how we love thee.