They needed a positive shock! They needed something to wake them up from their long sleep in which they fell immediately after lifting Premier League title last season. After many unsuccessful tries to get the team clicking again, Ranieri had to be shown the door. It was a sad ending for the old Italian, but the inevitable one. It came down to a simple choice – Leicester or Ranieri? The owners made their choice and after their club ran riot vs. Liverpool they will be happy with it.
Opinions were split on the decision of Leicester Thai owners. Some were extremely critical of their decision accusing them of not being realistic in their expectations. Opinions of those pundits were formulated in a manner that Leicester should embrace their reality – they were never a title-contending club and last-season title should be regarded as anomaly. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha should have simply made his peace with the situation and watch calmly how his club sinks down into Championship.
That was their opinion!
Well, there are several reasons why I disagree with this pretentious statement! First reason is that Leicester is his owner very own project. Pundits somehow forgot to mention that! They were calling upon the loyalty and how it was unacceptable for Italian to be dismissed?! It is ludicrous to even think like this, let alone say it out loud!
Aren’t Leicester allowed to dream big? Can they start creating expectations higher than those they used to have over their entire history? And even if they don’t have Manchester United’s history, that surely doesn’t mean that they can’t start creating one. Well, at least that does not mean they can’t dream of one. Nobody has the right to forbid them doing that!
Second reason is the last season, which comes as the result not only of Ranieri’s great work, but also of a great work from Nigel Pearson. Now, who is this guy? Many forgot that Foxes also sacked their manager 2 seasons ago, when they were even in a worse situation than today. Pearson came in and lead the team to a miraculous survival. Although not as glamorous as winning the title, it was another miracle from Leicester. But this was one miracle that owners should accept because that’s where their club belongs, according to those pundits who criticized their decision to sack Ranieri.
It was a miracle, but the one owners want to avoid happening ever again. They invested money not to see their club struggling and fighting for the Premier League survival. Ranieri had fair amount of chances to improve the position of his team this season, but he failed. He just couldn’t bring back the last season’s chemistry. The magic was gone.
As a mere reminder, Ranieri signed a new contract immediately after he won the title. The owners improved his financial situation for quite a bit. He was rewarded for his success, and now he paid for his failure. It’s as simple as that.
Third reason, and the one that many took against them, was the amount of time they entrusted their club to Ranieri, believing in him, hoping that he can turn around their season. They were criticized for handling bad Ranieri’s sacking, and there is some truth to this statement. They did it awkwardly, saying how Italian manager has their trust just to sack him few days later. But considering how other clubs (Manchester United and van Gaal season-long sacking) handled their own managers, this one wasn’t any worse. They may waited for too long to make a decision, but why should this be taken against them? After all it shows that they didn’t want to make this step – they were simply forced to make it. They waited until the very last moment. But when it became obvious that they their Premier League future hangs by a shrink, they had to react. And they could be glad that they did.
Based on the reaction vs. Liverpool when they simply blew their opponents of, Leicester still have life in them. It’s too late to turn their season around for sure, but it’s not too late to escape the relegation zone and prepare calmly for the next season.
As a conclusion, Leicester are a team with rather poor Premier League history. They know it, but they started a project hoping to see them grow in the future. They want to aim high. It’s going to be difficult considering the amount of power in Premier League, but they are allowed to set their own goals just as much as any other club. And if they don’t set their objectives high, one thing will be certain – they will forever remain in the mud of Premier League survival candidates.