Thursday, 23 February 2017

[SPORT NEWS]Leicester say goodbye to 'miracle man' Ranieri

Just 12 months ago, Claudio Ranieri was the toast of the Premier League after guiding Leicester City to its first top-flight title in 133 years.

A year later the world has turned upside down for the Italian manager, who was sacked last night following dismal results this season. The Thai-owned Foxes have won just five of their 25 league games, and have yet to score a league goal in 2017.

Who could have thought that things would turn around so quickly for the man who was named EPL Manager of the Year last year and handed the Grand Officer of the Italian Order of Merit. Just as unforeseen was his rise after being assigned to supervise the team in the summer of 2016, when he led the 5,000-1 outsiders to the league title.

The whole of Leicester gushed with gratitude to the Italian for the historic achievement with a small team that had barely escaped relegation in the previous 2015-16 season. His down to earth and easy-going personality won respect from fans all over the world.

His catchphrase “dilly ding , dilly dong” spread like a wildfire in England after he used it to express his excitement about the team's tremendous success and qualification for the Champions League. And fans couldn’t get enough of him saying it.

However the pundits as well as many soccer enthusiasts were already raising doubts over whether the team could repeat even half of what they achieved last season. How true those predictions proved. The Foxes haven't won in the league since New Year's Eve, when they beat West Ham, and have now lost their last four matches.

A clip of club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha shaking his head in disappointment while watching a game went viral online recently. It was an indication that change was needed if the reigning EPL champions were to avoid plunging from the greatest heights to the ignominy of the Championship after they slipped to 17th in the EPL standings.

Even fans that once adored Ranieri were demanding a new manager, a solution increasingly viewed as the best one to end this miserable period.

Just a week ago, club vice chairman Aiyawatt, son of Vichai, said in a press conference that he would do everything possible to ensure that his team would remain in the top flight. And finally, that change came with a high price. And Ranieri paid it.

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