The Daily Mail has an uncanny ability to wind-up readers on a daily basis, and recent victims of the media publisher are Leicester City superstars; however, rather than through the publishers judgment on a breaking story, the Leicester players were left furious when hearing their manager, Craig Shakespeare, had been discarded off his duties; they had no idea their boss had been handed his P45 just minutes after watching a training session.
A Mid-Autumn nightmare for Craig Shakespeare as he is given the boot by Leicester City.
What are your thoughts on the sacking? pic.twitter.com/o2VVXeHKDM
— Euro Soccer Company (@EuroSoccer2) October 17, 2017
The sacking has been met with animosity at the King Power Stadium by senior players; Shakespeare was a well-known figure around Leicester having served as assistant manager for eight years over two spells, only for the Englishman to get the full-time job in June after keeping the Foxes up in their title-defending season.
It’s not even as if Shakespeare had a bad record at the helm – 11 wins, six draws and nine losses from 26 games is a very good return for a club who were considered nothing more than a ‘yo-yo’ side before the miracle title-winning season; a season where everyone realised the heartbeat behind the club was Shakespeare himself following Claudio Ranieri’s sacking.
The brutal environment of the football world has been at its most ruthless at the King Power Stadium, with the Leceister City owners taking any form of romance out of the game following Ranieri’s sacking; the Shakespeare tragedy is now just further evidence of this non-forgiving board.
— Sky Sports PL ? (@SkySportsPL) October 18, 2017
The expression that football is a results business could not be more apparent here. Leicester lie in 18th, with just one win from eight Premier League games this season; at face value, Shakespeare’s removal seems fair enough. However, the Foxes were dealt a horrible start and could have been as high as 13th had Shakespeare won his final game in charge against West Brom.
Adding to this, Leicester’s poor start included narrow losses to Arsenal and Liverpool, as well as a difficult trip to Old Trafford. Staring up the table rather than down it was always going to be a realistic start for the Foxes after eight games.
Craig Shakespeare sacked by Leicester City just four months after becoming permanent manager pic.twitter.com/Bj7MN1HUqG
— Front Page TV (@FrontPage_TV) October 17, 2017
Much of Leicester’s capitulation last season was due to the parting of Steve Walsh to Everton. The loss of the scout saw Leicester fail to replace N’Golo Kante, as well as over-spend on Islam Slimani. However, with Shakespeare in the summer they recruited well and were starting to build a very sold Premier League squad; Harry Maguire has already been a hit, and the arrival of Kelechi Iheanacho – although off to a slow start – the Premier League has seen his quality, and it’s just a matter of time for the former Manchester City man.
Shakespeare was at the heart of this building process, the man to make the big calls without Ranieri or Walsh – the Englishman was building a free-flowing side who could go to stadiums such as the Emirates and go toe-to-toe with the ‘big guns’.
It’s another reminder of the brutal reality of football, and that the title-winning season has created a trigger-happy board at the King Power Stadium who will not hesitate to give a loyal servant his marching orders unless the Foxes are punching above their weight.
RIP romance in the Midlands.