Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as Leicester City manager less than a year after guiding the team to the Premier league title. The decision to axe the Italian has stunned the football world given the teams heroics last season.
Ranieri found out he was losing his job on the flight back from their Champions League match against Sevilla. There the club were outplayed but actually came away with a decent 2-1 defeat and the match was nicely poised for the 2nd leg at King Power Stadium.
But Leicester’s Thai owners who gave Ranieri their backing just two weeks ago have shown how brutal the game can be by sacking a manager that they admitted was Leicester’s greatest manager of all time. So why did they feel the need to sack him?
The most obvious point is that the team are currently in 17th place and if they lose to Liverpool in their next league game it’s possible that they will be in the relegation zone. It’s true that the club have been poor this season and they haven’t scored a Premier league goal in 2017.
But the fight they showed against Sevilla could well have been a turning point for the Foxes ambitions of staying in the top flight. No team since Manchester City’s 1938 league winning side has been relegated as champions. Fear and panic seems to have brought this on, but the decision remains bizarre given how just 9 months ago the club swept to the title.
One is reminded of the case of Blackburn Rovers who in 2010 were taken over by the Indian company VH Group. Within two years and after some controversial choices of management they were relegated and the club have yet to regain Premier league status. Again choices that were made in haste.
Leicester City despite making waves in the league and having a fairly positive debut Champions League campaign are not Real Madrid. They can’t sack a manager of quality and experience and hope to bring on in of equal value, especially so far into the season, and that is what they will need if they hope to stay up.
Keeping Ranieri for this season did have a risk factor and the current situation did have to be reviewed, but removing the man from his position so late in the season is an odd decision.
Roberto Mancini the former Manchester City manager has been tipped to replace Ranieri, how soon he or someone else can come in is anybody’s guess at this point.