There is no room for sentiment in football

OPINION: By Sam Coleman

Football is a results business.

It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, who you’ve managed, what you’ve won or who you’ve played for. If you don’t deliver what the bosses ask, you’re gone.

claudio-ranieri-leicester_3750737Nine months ago Leicester City achieved the impossible under the guidance of The Tinkerman, Claudio Ranieri.

Yet this year they find themselves one point above the relegation zone after losing five Premier League games in a row.

The footballing world appears to be in uproar after the so called “disgusting treatment” of Ranieri, sacking a manager who did something nobody thought was possible.

But why are people so outraged?

After winning the league the standards you set are different to those scrapping to avoid relegation. It’s harsh, but true. Leicester City have set themselves a high bar.

Because if this was a Chelsea or a Man United, they’d have sacked Ranieri months ago.

But this is Leicester City. This isn’t as black and white as it might be at Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford. Maybe that’s why he has been given until late February, as opposed to being sacked before Christmas.

Do Leicester fans understand they could be facing trips to Preston North End and Rotherham next year if things do not change? It’s hardly the bright lights of Old Trafford.

There’s no room for sentiment in football and I cannot help but feel the people in Ranieri’s corner are only acting outraged to look like the “good guy.”

Where was everybody last week, or the week before that when questions about his job first arose? I didn’t hear many voices then. Yet, suddenly, Ranieri is a gift from God and the greatest thing to ever happen to Leicester, let’s build a statue of him.

To be honest, he might have been.

He gave something to Leicester that, no matter what happens in the future, can never be taken away. He has put Leicester into the bracket of the big boys and that will never change.

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But it does not matter, that was last year and this year they’ve played like a team who are happy sitting with their big money deals, where is the pride playing for the badge we saw last year?

Whatever the case, Ranieri leaves with not only the affection of Leicester fans, but the affection of football lovers worldwide and deservedly so.

I feel it almost right that Ranieri be sacked before the inevitable. He does not deserve to have that relegation badge stamped over his winners’ medal.

He lost the dressing room. The results were poor and like any other manager in that situation he didn’t deserve to keep his job.

But that does not taint what he did for a City that most had not heard of before last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leicester City’s sacking of Ranieri proves the game of football has gone

OPINION: By Luke Hawker

Thursday, February 23. The day when Leicester City sacked the greatest manager in the club’s history.

Claudio Ranieri is the man who masterminded arguably the most remarkable achievement ever seen. Forget Brexit.  Forget Donald Trump winning the US presidency. Ranieri was the 5,000-1 outsider, written off before a ball had even been kicked.

In football, people have short memories. The current FIFA World Coach of the Year has been foolishly shown the door, just 298 days after performing this footballing miracle, in a move that opitimises the torrid state of the game today.

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The players in that foxes dressing room, should be feeling the heavy-weight of guilt on their shoulders.

They are to blame. They downed tools. They haven’t performed. The nicest man in football ‘King Claudio’ didn’t deserve to be treated like this.

It wasn’t Ranieri who put led in Wes Morgan’s boots this season.

It wasn’t Ranieri who told Danny Drinkwater to constantly lose possession.

And it wasn’t Ranieri who turned Jamie Vardy back into a non-league player.

The ‘Tinkerman’s’ success ultimately became his downfall. He is wrongly being judged on the miracle of one season.

There is no doubt he deserved more time. In fact, he deserved a job for life at the club.Whilst many have pointed out the curse of the Premier League winning manager has struck yet again, my word –  this time it is considerably different.

Leicester are no Chelsea with a Russian billionaire.

Leicester are no Manchester City with a Sheik bankrolling them.

Leicester performed the impossible on a shoe-string budget, with a genial Italian at the helm.

Let’s take a step back for a second.

Go back two years. Imagine finding out that Leicester City had sacked their manager after a game. Fairly feasible in modern football.

However, not after a run-of-the-mill game against a Premier League or Championship team – Leicester have sacked their manager after a positive result the UEFA Champions League last 16 –  against three-time back to back European winners Sevilla. Yes, really…

The Italian was an icon of the city but to the board and the players, he became just another manager once the success dried up.

The owners public backing of Ranieri and statement showing
their ‘unwavering support’ lasted as quickly as you can say ‘Dilly-ding dilly-dong’ before the knife was stabbed into the Italians back.

The state of management in this country has now hit rock bottom.

What chance does anyone have of lasting in their job now? When winning the Premier League, the richest and most lauded league in the world, is no longer enough, what does that tell us about loyalty? Decency? Clubs doing the right thing?

The days of loyalty have been surpassed by the hunger for money and greed by owners, and Leicester City Football Club should be ashamed of themselves.

The nation fell in love with the fairytale of last season and Leicester became everyone’s second team.

However, this decision leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of many, and wouldn’t it be ironic to see them go down.

 

The King of the King Power taken to the sword in a reported player revolt – Yesterday’s revelations underline deeper issues within the beautiful game.

OPINION: By Joel Wood

Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as Leicester City’s manager only nine months after his historic Premier League championship winning season with the foxes.

The news highlights several issues – notions of loyalty, greedy owners, player power and what all this means for the state of the beautiful game.

Firstly, we must be clear. The decision to sack Ranieri last night was wrong.

Everyone can see that. There has been a huge tidal wave of support from other managers, pundits, players and fans on social media since the news broke.

These groups are the life’s blood of the game. To say their opinion doesn’t count is nothing short of foolish.

But this is not just as story about an amiable Italian who took an underperforming East Midlands side to the top of English football.

It’s more than that.

There are bigger questions and issues to be dealt with here.

How can a manager who wins FIFA’s Manager of the year, giving this unfancied club the most successful season in their history, be betrayed like this?

It underlines the clear misalignment of priorities between club owners and fans in the modern game. It’s the story of football in the 21st century.

Owners see clubs today as businesses, highly profitable businesses in which they can grow their net worth and buy one more 50-foot yacht off the coast of the Bahamas.

They don’t care that my favourite player scored a brace at the weekend and a young talent was brought on for his club debut.

They ONLY care about prize money. Shirt sales. The next big sponsorship deals.

There’s rarely an emotional connection anymore. That seemed to die out in the days before Super Sunday and bright pink boots.

This marginalisation of fans is truly worrying and shows no sign of stopping.

Leicester fans showed unwavering support for the Italian through the highest of highs and now the lowest of lows.

This was not enough for the Thai owners, who showed no elegance, loyalty or compassion in the decision.

Disturbingly, reports have shown that the players didn’t either.

Stories of players going to the owners demanding Ranieri’s sacking is both disturbing and disheartening to hear.

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This man took the profiles of every single player in that squad to the next level during the 2015/2016 season.

To throw that away less than a year later after not scoring a goal in the league in 2017 and displaying no desire or competitively in their play is laughable. It tells you a lot about Ranieri. It also shows you a lot about the personality of some of the players.

A player’s job is to train hard, be in the best condition they can be and give everything they have on Saturday afternoon.

Nothing more, nothing less.

For them to kick up over the internal running of the club should not be happening on any level. It shouldn’t happen at a League Two team. It certainly shouldn’t happen at the Champions of England.

Ranieri’s sacking is undoubtably a sad time for the club and fans of Leicester City Football Club.

He will always be remembered as the best manager the club has ever seen and has taken them to another level within the footballing world.

But we must accept it and learn from it.

There are areas within the game that need changing. It’s our job, as fans, to make a stand and change the game we love for the better.

Don’t let your club make the same mistakes that Leicester City have made.

Show them there is still heart left in football. That a club can be successful AND do the right thing.

The two things should not be mutually exclusive.

Islamic Society aims to address unfair stereotypes

By Matthew Chandler

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De Montfort University is known for valuing equality and diversity, shown no clearer recently than by the DMU Islamic Society.

This week, the society is holding a variety of events to help address some damning generalisations aimed the religion’s way.

Tuesday’s events saw the society set up a stall outside the Students’ Union building to enable fellow students to immerse themselves further in Muslim culture.

As well as a cake and samosa sale, the society invited people to read from the Qur’an and to try on a thobe, a piece of traditional Arab clothing.

Mohamed Izagaren, leader of the society, hopes this week’s events show their faith in a far more positive light to other students.

“We want to show what we are about. There is a nasty stereotype about Muslims and we are trying to show that is just stapled on to us,” said Mohamed.

“We eat cakes, we eat samosas, we’re just normal guys.

“On Monday we had a talk on Islam and Europe to show how Islam was spread in Europe from the eighth century – the connotation is that it spread through violence; actually, it was through trade.”

On Wednesday, there was a talk on how Muslims contributed positively to world war, and on Friday, the focus is on women in Islam to correct the belief that they are oppressed in Muslim culture and portrayed badly.

To learn more about the Islamic Society, or if you are interested in joining, visit their page at https://www.demontfortsu.com/soc/dmuislamicsociety/ or their Facebook page at https://en-gb.facebook.com/DMUIslamicSociety/.

 

Islamic Society addresses stereotypes

By Alice Warner

The Islamic Society at DMU is hosting a week of talks and events at De Montfort University to address stereotypes and teach people what they are all about.

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From February 20 to 25, all over DMU there will be talks about the history of Islam and interesting facts about the religion.

Mohamed Izagaren, head of the society, said: “We want to get across that we are normal people.”

On Tuesday, there were cakes, sweets and information booklets to get more people interested and learning about Islam.

At the stall, outside the SU, students could also listen to part of the Quran, which was a surprise for those who have not heard it before.

Mohamed added: “There are talks all week to address things that even I didn’t know.

“On Wednesday there was a talk about World War One and how Muslims came from all over to help with a good cause.

“On Friday there is a talk about women in Islam to stop the stereotype that women in the religion are oppressed. Men and women are equal.”

The real message that they want to get across, is that they are normal people.

The society accepts Muslims and non-Muslims, and provides a platform to help all.

If you want to learn more about this please visit https://www.demontfortsu.com/soc/dmuislamicsociety/