A day has now passed since it was announced Leicester City and Claudio Ranieri have parted ways. Yet there still exists a public fawning over the Tinkerman. Maybe it’s being cynical, but are people genuinely surprised by this sequence of events?…because there really isn’t any reason to be when you look at the cold hard facts. Leicester City haven’t scored a goal in 2017 and currently sit a point above the relegation zone.
What’s that? Leicester won the title last season? Noted, but what is the relevance to this season? That’s right, nothing. Don’t take these words to the bank. Have a look at the statement Leicester made upon going public with the Ranieri news.
“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. “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.” – Vice Chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha
No one asked Leicester to win the EPL title again. Hell, the owners made it clear that all they wanted to do was avoid relegation, and with 13 games left, they shouldn’t be attacked for sacking a man who was clearly going to lead Leicester from Champions to the Championship. Managers who fail to make the basic requirements of those in control get sacked. This isn’t news to anyone; so why all the uproar for a man who clearly is failing to meet the basic requirements of those in control.
Everyone wants their fairy-tale to have a happy ending, but that can’t always be the case ladies and gentlemen. Ranieri’s sacking is not the proof that this the ‘loyalty is dead in football’ situation people want it to be. Is loyalty sticking by a manager leading you to relegation because he won you a title last year? If so, then loyalty isn’t dead, it just never existed.
Ranieri’s sacking will not take away from the magnitude of his achievements last season by any stretch of the imagination. He will be fondly remembered by all associated with Leicester for masterminding their unbelievable triumph last season, but does that mean romance and sentiment should guide ones head? Not a chance. As Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said, those in charge are tasked with looking out for the long-term future of Leicester City and with that being said and the prospect of a return to the Championship looking likely, a difficult choice had to be made.
At the end of the day, Ranieri is simply a victim of his own success. Upon his return to England, Leicester were the bookies favourite to be relegated, an event that if it transpired last season, no one would have batted an eye. Yet he leaves Leicester City having raised the bar to a height where relegation could never be deemed acceptable.