The fairytale has officially ended for the champions. 298 after lifting the first Premier League in the club’s history, Claudio Ranieri was sacked.
He knew it was too good to be true, but it did happen. Leicester lifted the title & took the world by storm. A new force to be reckoned with? Ranieri still grounded, “Our aim is 40 points,” he said. 25 games played in the league & hovering just 1 point above relegations isn’t something you associate with a team defending their title. And maybe in the unforgiving world of football, his sacking isn’t a surprise. Obviously, Leicester didn’t want to repeat 1938, when the defending champions, Manchester City were relegated. Leicester managed to win only two games since November & with still some very tough ties to play, the owners didn’t want to take any chances.
After returning to England, having played their champions league RO16 game against Sevilla(let that sink in), Ranieri was informed of the decision. That is the surprising bit, why now? Vardy got a crucial away goal for the Foxes & have a decent chance of progressing. Appointing a new manager amidst a crucial UCL tie looks hasty & after everything Ranieri has done for the club, he deserved to stay at least till the second leg. The owners will get all the blame for not standing by their beloved manager. But the players need to take responsibility as well. In spite of Ranieri’s best attempts, he couldn’t keep them from drifting, their edge blunted by unfathomable glory. A coach whom they admired so much became a background noise in the dressing room. And that showed on the pitch. Kante’s departure didn’t break Leicester, disloyalty did. Their coach stood by them every time they tumbled, sadly that wasn’t reciprocated. Gary Lineker was deeply saddened by the decision & thought the Italian deserved better. And for every dreamer out there, the decision does seem rather harsh.
After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 23, 2017
It’s all speculation at this point but ex-Manchester city boss, Roberto Mancini is tipped to be the frontrunner for Ranieri’s spot. Alan Pardew is also a great option as he has plenty of experience with sides battling with relegation. Only time will tell the tale of the foxes.
Leicester’s fairytale was unique. A team of outcasts, second bests & write-offs triumphed over the elites. Maybe he should’ve walked into the sunset like all heroes do. But he loved Leicester & tried to keep it’s glory intact as much as he could. But as they say, the show must go on & for all Ranieri’s Leicester has done his legacy will be an everlasting one.
Thank you for giving us the best modern day fairytale, Claudio. Dilly-Ding! Dilly-Dong!