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Don’t kill Mufasa

Claudio Ranieri

 

Leicester City won’t sack Claudio Ranieri this season. That’s my view.

The club’s Thai owners have shown a level of loyalty in the past which is rarely seen in modern day football. I believe the Srivaddhanaprabha family will stick with the Italian for now, and here’s why.

Will they want to be seen to be sacking the greatest manager the club have ever had? Unlikely – if you disagree Claudio is the best, here is exhibit A – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMON56iU4iA (Credit LCFC.com and the incredibly talented Sam Chambers for a classy edit)

Look around you when you’re at the stadium, there’s evidence of the club’s finest hour everywhere. The enormous lettering on the side of the west stand reads ‘Champions’ and the memories of the empty bottles and used clap banners on the morning of May 3rd is one which is rekindled whenever I walk past the club shop. Even a run around Vicky Park still has me wondering; was there anybody in the city who wasn’t there for the Champions Parade?

There are framed pictures everywhere. In the media area, there are newspaper cuttings in 50X30 inch frames of the moment the club were crowned the best in the country. Ironic when Ranieri is rightly put under pressure in that very room given the club’s current plight.

Am I forming a sentimental view of somebody brought up in the city desperate to cling onto the greatest years the next 5 generations of my family will see? Possibly. But killing Mufasa doesn’t make sense.

Leicester City Football Club are into the last 16 of The Champions League, how can you sack a manager who’s delivered that? If they lose 10-0 to Sevilla, they’ve still gotten further than Spurs this season.

The club were bottom of the Premier League table for 140 days whilst Nigel Pearson was in charge and they stuck with him through it all. A good decision, as Pearson steered them to the greatest escape the league has seen – regardless of whether he was indeed given the bad news on the Sunday night of February 8th 2015. The owners and fans stuck with Pearson and his grafters to emotional effect. Why would they change their philosophy now? They won’t.

The Foxes aren’t bottom of the table as yet – although if things continue in this manner it won’t be long – and Claudio has time on his side. I’m not suggesting he’s untouchable, but I think he still has plenty of credit in the bank.

Yes, pulling off the miraculous 5000/1 shot changes the landscape of expectations for the club and it’s billionaire Chairman I’m sure, but the face, and possible honour, which would be lost in relieving Ranieri of his duties would be more damaging – and in Thailand, honour counts for a lot.

Do I see them bringing in another coach who could potentially replace the Italian one day? Maybe. A move upstairs to a lifetime ambassador role or honorary president could ultimately be the long term succession plan but here and now? It’s too messy to end it like this.

So, whilst some journalists are sharpening their knives at the prospect of the ultimate rags to riches to rags story, don’t get too excited as yet guys, there’s plenty of like left in the old man.

Let’s hope the players can get it together and put a few performances in for him, a glance at their mantelpiece should be motivation enough.

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