The appointment of Claudio Ranieri as the new boss of Leicester City has been given a muted reception by the club?s fans and been criticized by Foxes legend Gary Lineker.
The 63-year-old succeeds Nigel Pearson at the Premiership club who led the side to an unlikely survival from relegation. Pearson?s departure seemed to have more to do with internal politics than his management of the playing staff. For much of the season, Leicester had appeared doomed to a quick return to Championship football but Pearson turned things around with a brilliant run of results. They eventually finished in fourteenth place with a good platform on which to build in 2015/16.
The official club line for his departure is that “fundamental differences in perspective exist between us”. Pearson was involved in controversy on several occasions during last season including public spats with a supporter, a reporter that he called an ostrich and a bizarre incident with a Crystal Palace player. The final straw appears to have been the involvement of his son James in a sexually-explicit video using racist language during the club’s post-season tour of Thailand.
The appointment of Ranieri has been seen as a backward step by former Leicester and England striker turned TV presenter Gary Lineker. He called the sacking of Pearson ?stupid? and believes that Ranieri is past his sell-by date in terms of Premiership management. He referred to Ranieri as one of ?the same old names keep getting a go on the managerial merry-go-round.” It is ten years since he led Chelsea to the semi-finals of the Champions League and runners-up spot in the Premier League.
During his time at Stamford Bridge, Ranieri was given the nickname ?The Tinkerman? due to his habit of continually changing the first team line-up. He has been out of work since leaving the Greek national side last year but has now signed a three-year contract at the King Power Stadium.
Former Coach Martin O’Neill had been among the names linked with the post but negotiations are believed to have broken down over terms regarding his possible departure from the Republic of Ireland national side. Ranieri does have an impressive CV that includes Inter Milan, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Roma.
Ranieri failed to win a match in charge of Greece during a brief four-game stint ending in humiliation with a 1-0 defeat by the Faroe Islands. Leicester are at home to Sunderland on the opening day of the new Premier League season on 8th August. There is unlikely to be lengthy ?honeymoon period? for the new boss with doubts already voiced about the wisdom of his appointment.