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Jurgen Klopp: 'Brexit, Donald Trump, and Claudio Ranieri'

Monday 27th February 2017
When speaking ahead of Monday night's game between Leicester City and Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp described the recent dismissal of Claudio Ranieri as strange and mentioned it in the same sentence as both Brexit and Donald Trump. Was Ranieri's departure really all that unexpected?
The build-up and fallout of Brexit have dominated British politics, the news coverage, and to a certain extent, everyday life, ever since the decision to hold a referendum was first announced. On the 23rd of June, the UK voted to leave the European Union, but the debate is ongoing. A long drawn out process is now expected, the future of the UK remains uncertain, and tensions continue to rise between two opposing camps intent on having the last word.

Across the Atlantic, not content with just watching Britain's unpredictable decision making, the United States raised the stakes. Donald Trump, previously best-known as a self-absorbed businessman and television personality, sent shock waves around the world when he was elected president of the most powerful nation on earth. Trump was initially viewed as a clown - and still is by many people, but his controversial campaign gathered momentum until he eventually won the White House.

Reported by Sky Sports: when asked about Ranieri leaving the English champions, Klopp had this to say.

A few strange decisions with Brexit, Trump, and Ranieri. You have to ask Leicester why they have done it.

While the Premier League champions decision to sack their Italian coach has come as a surprise to some, a manager losing his job fails dismally in comparison with two major world events that have deeply divided both nations. Obviously, Klopp meant the three situations could be equated in terms of unpredictability. If the polls are to be believed, the victories for both Brexit and Trump were highly unexpected, but Ranieri's name shouldn't be thrown into the same category.

Leicester's unprecedented success last season, which witnessed them crowned winners of the most competitive league in the world, is unlikely to ever be equalled. However, this campaign, the Foxes have been unrecognisable from the side that produced heroics to win the title. Five consecutive Premier League defeats, combined with averaging less than one goal a game with player confidence diminished and no signs of any recovery, saw the Foxes in danger of dropping out of the top division. Although performances improved when they stepped on to the pitch in European competition, it wasn't enough to save Ranieri, as he exited the club on Thursday night.

Delivering the Premier League trophy doesn't ensure a manager of their job indefinitely; ask Jose Mourinho. The former Chelsea boss won the title two seasons ago, but following a poor start to the next campaign, he was unceremoniously axed from his role at Stamford Bridge. Admittedly, Chelsea have additional resources at their disposal and an enviable recent habit of lifting trophies; however, was Mourinho's sacking any more shocking than that of Ranieri? Possibly, the resentment concerning events at the King Power is because the twinkle-eyed Italian is a better-liked character than his Portuguese counterpart, but that won't keep someone in employment, especially in football management where results are paramount.
Also, the future of the club has to take priority. The men in charge of Leicester, the Srivaddhanaprabhas, must do all they can to ensure they preserve their Premier League status and believe this was the correct decision. Right or wrong, it was their choice to make. Not so long ago, Ranieri's appointment drew criticism; the Italian's managerial ability was ceaselessly questioned and his new side were instantly installed as favourites for relegation. Less than a year later, they famously upset all the odds. Who was it that decided to appoint the miracle worker in spite of the mocking it would undoubtedly produce across the country? The current owners. The same people who are now being condemned for another decision they have made - one with the club's best interests in mind.

So, Klopp's statement that compared this situation with Brexit and Trump is unfounded. Although Ranieri deserves some sympathy for the way things suddenly deteriorated, he merits no more than any other manager deemed surplus to requirements. The 65-year-old possessed a decent managerial record before arriving at the King Power, he delivered beyond anyone's expectations last season, but now he's a Premier League champion and warrants being treated as one. Winners don't just receive praise and admiration, they are also judged to greater standards.

Ranieri failed this season and he's left because of it. But life goes on - the club will continue to exist while fondly remembering the incredible period in their history, the former Foxes boss will find a new role in the game, and decisions made in football will continue to cause outrage; however, in this particular instance, there shouldn't be any regarding Ranieri's 18-month spell at Leicester City.
Danny Glendenning

Passions include reading, sport, and nights out with friends. A football fanatic whose writing career began in May 2016. Now 30 years old, lives in South Yorkshire - local team is Doncaster Rovers, although heart lies with Arsenal. Contributing editor for It's Round And It's White. Current claim to fame is an interview with Ron Atkinson. Always looking for work, either editing or writing. Contact via email: Dannysg1988@outlook.com. Or Twitter: @DannySG1988.



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