Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri was brutally sacked last night, just NINE months after leading them to title triumph. Welcome to football in the sentiment free 21st century.
Claudio, 65, had taken a team who survived relegation the season before and turned them into an enjoyable, breath-taking, counter attacking beast.
Not only that, he pulled off the unthinkable by winning the Premier League. The bookies rarely get these things wrong. They got it wrong when they made City 5,000-1 premiership long shot odds.
The question remains that If Ranieri can do this, at an unfashionable, unfancied yo-yo club like Leicester, then surely he should have guaranteed his job for life.
Arsene Wenger hasn’t won the league since 2004 and yet he gets offered a new contract every two years.
This is what I thought in May last season, as Leicester City made headlines around the world with their unlikeliest title victory.
Although that was then. This is a new season, a new team with new objectives.
If a week is a long time in politics, it’s an eternity in football.
So last night, Claudio Ranieri was sacked.
How did we get from there to here?
Some (Pundits and Fans) may say it went wrong on 16 July, 2016 when arguably the player of the year N’golo Kante left the club for Chelsea.
With the added pressure of Champions League and all the big teams now flexing their financial muscle, Leicester City had now gone from the hunter to the hunted.
Turning average players like Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy into world – beaters, should be marked as an accomplishment in its own right let alone winning a league with them. They made the Ballon’ dor top 20 list, yet to hit the heights of last season was always going to be a struggle.
Maybe, Ranieri put too much trust into his star players, instead of being ruthless like other successful champion managers have in the past.
I understand Leicester City and the owners higher up may have wanted to keep team morale and a sense of identity within the dressing room, but are Ahmed Musa, Islam Slimani and Wilfred Ndidi going to improve the champions significantly?
This has sadly proven my point, which piled the pressure on Ranieri to avoid turning a fairy-tale into a nightmare.
However, this all seems a strange decision from the owners, who just only two weeks ago gave a vote of confidence for the fallen Italian manager.
Why sack a manager, especially after January? Let’s not forget Leicester are still in the champions league last 16, and with a shout of qualifying for the next round.
It just seems to be an outrageous call from the owners, who ought to name the King Power stadium after Claudio in honour of what he has done to the club as well as the Premier League.
Ultimately, Claudio was a victim of his own success.
By winning the league last season, he set a high bar. Its hardly his fault that he couldn’t reach it again this season.