Leicester City sacked manager Claudio Ranieri/File
BY UPESINEWS SPORTS,NAIROBI,24TH FEB 2017-Leicester’s decision to sack Claudio Ranieri nine months after winning the Premier League made former Foxes striker Gary Lineker “shed a tear”.
Ranieri guided Leicester to the title despite them being rated 5,000-1 shots at the start of the 2015-16 campaign.
The Foxes are 17th this season and lost to League One Millwall in the FA Cup.
“It is very sad,” said Match of the Day presenter Lineker. “It is inexplicable to me. It’s inexplicable to a lot football fans who love the game.”
The 56-year-old added: “I suppose you can explain it in terms of a panic decision and for me a wrong decision.
“I shed a tear last night for Claudio, for football and for my club.”
‘A sign of modern football’
After news of the 65-year-old Italian’s dismissal broke on Thursday, former England captain Lineker, who played for his hometown club for seven seasons, said the “game’s gone” in a post on social media.
“It’s a sign of modern football, what happened last season was truly extraordinary, ” he added on Friday. “The lack of gratitude from the owners of the club and who knows who else involved in such a decision beggars belief.
“That season will remain with us forever, it was truly special and a lot of that was down to the management.
“The same guy cannot be considered incapable of doing the job a few months months later after achieving what, for me, was the biggest miracle in sport.”
‘Leicester will lose their popularity’
Chelsea dismissed Jose Mourinho as manager the season after their 2015 title and Lineker says while that is “expected at big clubs”, the decision to sack Ranieri “takes away from the glory” for the Foxes.
“For a club like Leicester to win the league last season, the magnificence of the story, the likeability of the club under Ranieri – the ultimate gentleman – it kind of demeans the club.
“Leicester were hugely popular right around the world. To do something like this now loses a lot of that popularity.”
‘Kante was a huge loss’
France midfielder N’Golo Kante moved to Chelsea for £30m in the summer and Lineker said losing the 25-year-old was “huge”.
He added: “There were a whole host of things that made the season fairly inevitable in the sense it would never be anything like last season.
“They had a journeyman back four that was protected brilliantly by Kante. They were an ageing back four, who are a year older.
“All of a sudden they were on pre-season tours, playing Barcelona, travelling all over the world. They were not prepared for the new season and then the confidence aspect sneaks in.”