Claudio Ranieri returns to Leicester City for final goodbyes

Claudio Ranieri returns to Leicester City for final goodbyes

IT

Ranieri apparently believed the players' motivation had severely dropped this season in comparison to last season's title-winning campaign.

Even in the precarious world of football management, Ranieri's fall from favour was extraordinary and managers expressed their solidarity on Friday.

Claudio Ranieri was sacked by the Foxes on Thursday just nine months after leading them to a Premier League title. Sacked. That's the new football, Claudio. "I think Claudio should have been given a little bit more time, a little bit more respect". He's paying for his success.

"They made history two years in a row: one year because they did the most lovely thing in the Premier League, and now with the decision that I think has everyone in football united but it's very, very hard to accept". What I would say is they've trained well over the last few weeks especially.

The Chelsea manager added: "It's not right that the players decide if a manager must be sacked or not".

Mourinho, who sported a giant monogrammed "CR" on his chest as a tribute to Ranieri, didn't shy away from letting his opinion on the matter be known.

Unconfirmed reports emerging in the past couple of days have suggested that senior players pressured the Leicester board into taking the decision to fire Ranieri.

There was a lot of frustration because of the results, but he had not lost the dressing room.

"This is fundamentally a group of players who have failed this season, who have been really dismal this season".

Who are the contenders to become Leicester's new manager? I arrived home and the director of football told me what was happening and asked me to be caretaker for the next game.

"Those players should think about Ranieri for the rest of their lives and be eternally thankful for what he helped them achieve."

He is not the only one - Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, voted player of the year last season, has been nowhere near as effective. They are very diligent and professional.

Leicester have been a shadow of the side that won the title by 10 points a year ago and five league games in a row left them one point above relegation.

Former Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson is the favourite to succeed Ranieri.

"I'm enjoying it immensely", he said. Leicester have taken just 21 points out of 25 games this season with a goal difference of minus 19.

  • Terrell Bush