Claudio Ranieri and Claude Puel are both history at the club and both should probably have taken things a bit slower and they might have survived, but their search for rapid change and speedy progress might have been fatal.
As a Leicester City fan going far back into the early 70’s, you have seen it happen manager after manager, chariman after chairman, without a long term plan and no real involvement in the way players are treated and as employees you must start to wonder how on earth this is reallyg a copy and paste scenario.
We are not going all the way back to my first years as a fan, but just concentrating on Claudio and Claude, as they are the two that really paved the way for Brendan Rodgers as he has galvanized and developed what he inherited from the two former managers.
We all know that Claudio did sign Wilfred Ndidi and Claude Puel was the man that managed to see the talent of James Maddison and also being able to lure Youri Tielemans out of Monaco to join Leicester City.
The trio is today among the finest midfielders in the Premier League and still very young and with progress they could become a force and help Leicester City land another major trophy as the team is close to perfect under Brendan Rodgers.
But when people tell you many times that everything you achieve is pure luck and just a fairy story that want repeat itself, and you do as Claudio Ranieri did, switched off the magic button and send the message out, “this will not happen again” and at the same time say you are looking to strengthen the team, you are in a battle with words.
To tell N’Golo Kantè, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez that what has happened at Leicester City is just a one off and it want happen again, then they will of course become desperate to get away and land a contract elsewhere. They were all at the same time breaking into the national teams as well and they wouldn’t have done that if they were just “lucky” and “once in a lifetime” players. Luckily Vardy stayed, but he has not won any more trophies, with the two others picking up a few.
As a Leicester City fan I was of course happy to see the team win the title, but the stupid talk of it not happening again when you win the title with 10 points and you are 21 points in front of the genius Jurgen Klopp from Liverpool, you start to wonder what was going on as Leicester City also had a solid and fantastic financial founding.
Claudio wasn’t a fan of his own team, and he didn’t like the way the team played, and some of the players such as Shinji Okazaki and Danny Simpson were not seen as good enough, and new players had to be drawn in to strengthen the team, and the playing style was something they would like to change over time, to survive.
Remind you that in the game v. West Ham at Upton Park in that winning season, Andy King started and Shinji Okazaki scored a hell of a goal setting up a great win and as we all know there were great results under “the great escape” a few months before. Leicester City were on a travel to somewhere.
Instead of building on what had happened and really go again, changes was the answer, overlooking the importance of continuity with those very important players not really valued enough. Key individuals that set a tone and atmosphere that you like to have to be able to win, and it makes it safe and comfortable to be around.
Okazaki, King, Ulloa and Simpson were all very experienced players, and they had key roles, maybe overlooked heavily by those who should know, you will never get that with new signings. You take away “the magic” that Leicester City had that very special season.
We all know that N’Golo Kantè went onto win Premier League with Chelsea and the World Cup with France, and to get a message that you are part of a fairy story would see such a player flee the premises as fast as lightening. Riyad Mahrez had the same feeling as he also had ambitions far above a single season with a “fairy story” and would for the World of it try to copy and paste that happening, and he has done that with Manchester City.
I am a big fan of Andy King and Shinji Okazaki also Leo Ulloa made special impact, he is the player Leicester City miss the most at the moment, a tall player that can score and come on from the bench, he was just fantastic that way
They are still around in football King, Okazaki, Ulloa. Of course as years goes by you need to change personal but players are too easily seen as “over the hill” when they pass 30 years of age and that is totally rubbish.
A few years back AC Milan build their success on players in their late 30’s being ambitious and still hungry and what we see of Ronaldo and Messi, you are far out in space with that type of talk.
The counter attacking style suited this club, it suited the players and some said it would have not been a model to follow, but it was, but would have loved to see Leicester City even more extreme in that sense.
Today the team is playing through the midfield more, and they have changed players but still play with grand penetration and a pacy forward that score goals in the same way as he has always done, and the style of Jamie Vardy hasn’t changed much has it.
Craig Shakespeare came in and saved the club from a big humiliation bringing back Shinji, and his silky signing of Harry Maguire will for always be “the one done” by Craig Shakespeare.
Brendan Rodgers might have more ambitions than being the manager of Leicester City and that is a difficult one to solve if the club can’t decide on how to bring the club back to were they were.
When you are on top, don’t step down and decide, as Leicester City did, not to defend the title as it was seen as impossible, because everyone one said so, but in real it would have been perfectly unproblematic to decide to go again as most football teams does.
To be the best club from England in the Champions League, reaching the quarter finals tells a story of a team that of course could have challenged for another Premier League title with the style brought 100% back by Craig Shakespeare who almost demolished Atletico Madrid with some of the best football ever played at King Power Stadium.
We know that Brendan Rodgers have some type of ambition to get better, but he hasn’t set his goal to go on and win anything, he is just sailing on towards “something” that might end “somewhere”, and at the moment no one ever thought that being number three would be possible, but don’t sink to the bottom again and stop believing that what you achieve is just “luck”.
Leicester City should set their goals high and have ambitions, not dream about yet another “fairy story”. When you are on top, don’t step down, it’s a reason why you are up there, because you deserved it, and because you are the best players here and now, 21 points in front of Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool, start to live and understand that this was not a “fairy story” it was real life of football and hard work.