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Five lessons other managers can learn from the Ranieri debacle

Friday 24th February 2017
The football universe was left in shock, outrage and disgust after it emerged that Claudio Ranieri has been ruthlessly axed as Leicester City manager on Thursday evening; a confirmation of how cruel the game of football could be sometimes.

Ranieri could be the greatest manager in the history of Leicester and still the reigning Premier League title-winning coach - but it doesn't change the fact that the Italian manager is jobless at the moment just like many others. This was the same coach who achieved the unimaginable last season - transforming a struggling Foxes team into champions in less than a year. And barely nine months after, he has been booted out of the club and straight to the labour market for apparently winning the league.
Ranieri's dismissal is a bitter end to the fairytale story everyone fell in love with. Even Gary Lineker, a former Leicester and England striker, who opposed the Italian's appointment in 2015 wrote on Twitter: "After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad." Long-suffering Arsenal fan, Piers Morgan, added "Claudio Ranieri sacked???? The most disgraceful decision in the history of football."

The surprise dismissal of the ex-Chelsea coach is a bitter lesson to modern day coaches. Here are five things both prospective and active managers can learn from the sacking of the Italian.

1 - No manager is immune to sack

No one saw this coming, not after a solid display in Spain which culminated in a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday; but eventually, it did happen. Ranieri's shocking dismissal is a clear evidence that in modern day football, no manager is untouchable; not even the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. But it was the manner the 65-year-old was shown off the premises that has prompted questions about basic loyalty and decency in football, and how a worldwide feel good sports story can end in such an appalling manner.

2 - No one cares about last season

Ranieri achieved legendary status for his feat last season - one which the club's board would only have dreamt of or fantasised about. But all that counted for nothing when the same Thai owners decided to fire the Italian - which emphasises the fact that there's short-term memory in football nowadays. Ranieri, consequently, becomes the second successive manager to be axed after winning the league, following the path of Mourinho. The Italian will forever be remembered as that manager who achieved the unthinkable with the Foxes one season and still lost his job midway through the next.

3 - Board's backing guarantees nothing

It is gradually becoming a ritual these days to see managers get fired almost immediately they receive the backing of their board. This exact scenario played out once again in the case of Ranieri, who received overwhelming support from his superiors early in February, only to be axed a couple of weeks after.

"In light of recent speculation, Leicester City Football Club would like to make absolutely clear its unwavering support for its First Team Manager, Claudio Ranieri," said a club statement on February 7.

But shockingly on February 23, Leicester now "reluctantly feel that a change of leadership, while admittedly painful, is necessary for the club's greatest interest".

4 - And you will most definitely be thanked after the chop

That's the most annoying of them all. After being subjected to cut-throat experiences which end in being dismissed, the club still finds a way of applauding your achievements. This exact scenario resurfaced again on Thursday with Ranieri described as the club's "most successful" manager yet was fired because of their "long-term interests".

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, owner of the club added: "Claudio has brought outstanding qualities to his office. His skilful management, powers of motivation and measured approach have been reflective of the rich experience we always knew he would bring to Leicester City. His warmth, charm and charisma have helped transform perceptions of the Club and develop its profile on a global scale. We will forever be grateful to him for what he has helped us to achieve."

5 - Never underestimate your own  players

Ranieri's incredible accomplishment last season was largely due to the unwavering support and commitment he got from his players; who showed great character and strength against all odds. However, it is alleged that these same players turned their backs on him and recommended his sacked to the club's owner. According to the Mirror, his own stars got frustrated over his tinkering considering the Italian has changed everything from the line-up to even the post-match menu.
Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 

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