The success story of Leicester City this season has the majority of football fans beaming with pride and willing the Foxes to see off the impossible dream. However, there are still a few self righteous dicks out there.
Tottenham Hotspur are the only other team that can really stop Claudio Ranieri’s side lifting the Premier League trophy despite Manchester City and Arsenal fans indulging in massive delusions of grandeur. Cute
If that previous sentence didn’t rile up the Citizen fans, the comments of former gaffer Roberto Mancini certainly will:
“If I could only choose one it would be Leicester,”
“Ranieri is a good man,” said Mancini. “He knows football very well. I hope he will be the third Italian to do it. For a team like Leicester to win the Premier League against the biggest teams like Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, it would be incredible.”
Mancini’s ‘allegiance’ to Leicester isn’t some totally random hipster movement, though. Just like in one of those magical stories that sounds like it would only be possible in a Football Manager save, Mancini actually played for the Foxes in the twilight of his career.
Mancini, however, failed to manage a full 90 minutes in his five appearances at Filbert Street before realising that the city of Leicester offers nothing more than Walkers cheese and onion crisps, a Michelin star cafe run by Matt Elliott and a Muzzy Izzet shrine in the middle of the city (so hope that is true).
Moving on from whether Mancini is more of a prawn cocktail or salt and vinegar man, his high praise of Ranieri is interesting. During his time with Chelsea, the Italian was deemed too much of ‘Tinkerman’ and, although many felt for him when the Blues brought down the axe, it wasn’t hard to see why.
When Leicester moved to appoint Ranieri following the sacking of Nigel Pearson, the odds on them being relegated in this campaign increased – even though they were amongst the favourites in the first place. Ranieri had hardly enjoyed a successful managerial career post-Chelsea, with his last game as a manager pre-Leicester being a defeat to the Faroe Islands whilst he was gaffer of Greece.
How much credit does Ranieri really deserve? Does this whole Leicester playing with lots of freedom and little direction really have a long-term place at the King Power Stadium? Probably not.
They’ll be picked and pulled apart this summer, Ranieri’s flaws as a manager will be exposed and the Foxes could very well be looking at that Premier League trapdoor next season.
But, my word, bloody enjoy this season, chaps!