Were Leicester City right in sacking Craig Shakespeare?
A poor start to the season influenced the Foxes into sacking their manager Craig Shakespeare. Was that the right call?
Flashback to February, as the footballing world was enraged at the Leicester City board's decision to sack Claudio Ranieri, the very man who had lead Leicester to a shock Premier League title the previous season.
I for one, was in agreement with this decision. While what Ranieri had done with Leicester was nothing short of spectacular, he had become stale. Leicester were heading for the drop, which meant a loss of money, players and reputation.
Unfortunately, football is not romantic, it is a business, and Leicester's board made a wise business decision. The man who had been Ranieri's right-hand man during the title-winning season, Craig Shakespeare, took over the reigns of Leicester, and he guided the team to what eventually was a respectable 12th place finish, and a UEFA Champions League quarter-final.
It had become clear that Shakespeare had played an integral role in the title-winning season, despite his role being overshadowed, perhaps, by Ranieri. Jamie Vardy's form had suddenly improved, and there was once again a spark in Leicester's game, as proven by resounding 3-1 victories vs Liverpool and Hull.
Shakespeare had saved the club from going into a very bad state of affairs, something that the board needed to acknowledge. Ranieri was caught in dreamland during his second season, seemingly indifferent to what was happening. That rubbed off on his players, who were also still stuck in party-mode.
A string of bad results brought the team back down to Earth, and Shakespeare led the depressed team out of the slump that they had found themselves in.
For Leicester's board to now go and have the courage to sack Shakespeare is appalling. Perhaps, I am being hypocritical, given my praise of their decision to sack Ranieri, but Leicester are in no slump right now.
They are in no danger of relegation. Yes, they are 18th in the league, but Leicester aren't playing bad football. Jamie Vardy has been in decent goalscoring form, Mahrez has begun to show glimpses of his form of old, and their fixture schedule was no easy task. Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool occupied spots in Leicester's first eight games.
That is an unenviable task. It's not as if Leicester rolled over and accepted brutality from these teams. they did rise and gave themselves a chance, by putting up a battle in most fixtures, and were, perhaps, unlucky not to have come away with some points in at least some of these games.
Makes it seem like the Leicester board didn't watch a single game all season, and just had a glance at the results before making a decision, eh?
It's honestly a disgrace to treat a man who has been involved with the club since 2008, saved the board bucketloads of money and was a pretty decent manager while he was around. There is little doubt over the fact that he should not have been sacked.
The board needs to re-evaluate themselves and realise that competing for the title might not happen again anytime soon, and accept the position that club is in. The beating heart of Leicester City has gone, and with all these impatient changes, the club could very well go into a deeper slump than the board could ever have imagined.