After the shock news had eventually sunk in that Claudio Ranieri had been sacked by Leicester City just 8 months after clinching the Premier League title and steering them into the last 16 of the Champions League I was left wondering if the game I and millions of others love could sink any lower into the football gutter.
They should have built a statue to him outside the stadium and given him a long extended contract as it is they should hang their heads in shame. Fans normally cannot wait to chant for a manager to be sacked I am surprised they are not chanting in protest at Ranieri’s sacking.
No one and I mean no one predicted that Leicester would win the title who are now the only team outside the so called big glamour clubs to have won it. I would suggest that it was a lot harder to do for Ranieri than it was for Kenny Dalglish when he managed Blackburn Rovers to the title in 1994/5 a season after they had finished runners up.
Now with the financial clout of Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal and to an extent Spurs it was highly unlikely anyone could break into that cartel of elite clubs. But the likeable Italian did with the Foxes becoming everyone’s favourite second team as they battled their way to the title. Now they are the team no one likes and I suspect most hope they get relegated for the embarrassing way they have treated Ranieri. I would hope that most Foxes fans would NOT swap the ecstasy they experienced last season for Premier League survival even if they do get relegated and that is by no means certain. However one thing is certain they were never going to repeat last year’s footballing miracle.
The decision has been made by the Thai owners based purely on financial reasons in other words the 85 million they lose is more important than loyalty, and integrity. I seem to recollect seeing pictures of them dancing with the Premier League trophy at the end of the season.
Even financially speaking Ranieri surely earned himself more time that they gave him? For winning the title Leicester would have received 146 million pounds which is around 40 million more than if they had finished where everyone expected them to. Add on to that the multi millions made from being in the Champions League and the 32 million pounds received from Chelsea for French international midfielder N’Golo Kante’ and perhaps you might agree that Ranieri deserved at least another season relegation or not.
The Thai owners may have swung the axe but it was the players who got him the sack with their below par performances. That drop in form, along with the ageing of some of the team particularly in defence and the sale of midfield Dynamo Cante, who by the way has not been replaced, and you can see why they are 3rd from bottom in the Premier League table.
Only the owners and players know for certain if they did meet the players and discussed their alleged claim that the relationship between them and the manager had broken down!
The players have come out and said they did not stab the manager in the back with the owners but amazingly just a few days after the sacking they beat Liverpool 3-1 which suggests to me that they had downed tools and if that is so, and it is difficult to prove, then it’s a disgrace and to many would just confirm what we already think and that is that the game has few people in it with morals.
What is certain is that it was Ranieri who took a bunch of average Premier League players and turned them into Premier League Champions and it was Ranieri who they have to thank for their big multi million pound new contracts. But as the league table is proving they are still just a bunch of average players albeit ones with a Premier League champions medal. They and the club should hang their heads in shame.
What a race it is in the Premier League to see who finishes the “best of the rest” in 7th place and of course possibly clinching a place in the Europa League. Seventh placed Everton are 4 points ahead of 8th placed West Bromwich Albion but have a real tough game away at Spurs on Sunday while the Baggies are at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday. This is a wonderful opportunity for Tony Pulis’s men to close the gap between them and the toffees to just one point providing of course they do beat the London Eagles and Everton lose at Spurs. Nothing is ever that certain in football but if those results do go according to form and plan then it sets up everything for an absolute belter at Goodison Park between the Baggies and the Toffees on the following Saturday March 11th.
Of course nothing will be decided then but what it will do is make for an exciting final ten games of the season for every Albion fan.