Leicester sack Ranieri

It was Leicester winning the title that reminded us why we love football, but it is their sacking of Claudio Ranieri that sums up what we hate about it.

ranieri_getty

Image: BBC Sport

When Claudio Ranieri took over at Leicester they were favourites to get relegated. Ranieri had recently failed to win a single game as Greece manager, even losing to the Faroe Islands, whilst Leicester had narrowly avoided the drop under Nigel Pearson. What followed was the most incredible season in Premier League history.

Fast forward nine months, Leicester are again fighting a relegation battle, but crucially sit outside of the drop zone. They reached the last 16 of the FA Cup, and are still very much in their Champions League last 16 tie. By normal standards, Leicester are having a good season. But Ranieri has become the victim of his own success, being judged against an anomaly of a season.

Ranieri was one of the main reasons behind the wealth of goodwill towards Leicester last season. Everyone that wasn’t a Tottenham or an Arsenal fan was willing them to the title, and you would have thought that it had given him at least enough credit with the owners to give him a chance to keep his side in the division. It is a sign of modern football that the man who gave the Foxes their greatest ever success was unceremoniously dispensed of less than a year later.

If you look at Leicester’s season in isolation, then sacking Ranieri was the right decision. The Foxes sit just one point above the drop zone after 25 games, and have not won a Premier League game in 2017. The champions have won just five games all season and seem to be sinking without a trace. The owners may have seen the impact that Marco Silva and Paul Clement have made at Hull and Swansea respectively, and felt that this is what was needed.

But how much of this slump is Ranieri’s fault? Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have simply not turned up this season. Vardy’s goal against Sevilla was his first in 758 minutes of football, and only his seventh of the season. Mahrez has not been the same player since the summer; he looks lethargic and hasn’t shown the same hunger as last year. Wes Morgan and Robert Huth have reverted back to the players that they have been for their entire careers: relegation candidates, not title winners. Obviously the loss of N’Golo Kante has had a major effect, and his work-rate has been the thing that Leicester have been missing. Whether or not it was Kante that inspired this relentlessness is up for debate, but players like Danny Drinkwater have not showed the same levels of application since the Frenchman’s departure.

Have the Leicester owners made the correct decision in sacking Ranieri, or is it a sign that modern football has lost its way? Have your say in the comments, or tweet me @MoodyMan147.

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Chelsea sack Mourinho

Chelsea have sacked manager Jose Mourinho after the club’s poor start to the season. The Blues won the title and the League Cup last season, but find themselves just a point above the relegation zone after 16 games.

Mourinho sacked

Source: The Guardian

Chelsea have won just four of their opening 16 Premier League matches, beating only Arsenal, and relegation candidates Norwich, Aston Villa and West Brom. The Blues are, however, through to the First Knockout round of the Champions League after topping Group G.

Tensions have been high at the club this season, beginning with the row with club doctors Eva Caneiro and John Fearn after their on-pitch treatment of Eden Hazard during August’s draw with Swansea. Since then he has been punished by the FA for his comments about the referee in the 3-1 loss to Southampton and for confronting the referee at half-time in the defeat by West Ham. His most recent outburst, after Monday’s defeat against Leicester, saw him declare that his work had been “betrayed” by his players.

It is thought that former bosses Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti are potentially in line to replace Mourinho until the end of the season, with Brendan Rogers and former Spurs flop Juande Ramos also in frame.