Leicester beware – The grass isn’t always greener

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The Robson and Ranieri similarities

Thursday saw the sacking of Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri with board citing the future of the club being the main reason behind the decision. This decision has been a controversial issue in the football world. Although the sacking is justified when looking at the long-term future of the club. However, sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

At Newcastle, we know this better than most. Back in 2004, then chairman Freddy Shepherd took the decision to axe much-loved boss Sir Bobby Robson. Shepherd gave similar reasons to the current Leicester board despite the extreme success he had brought in previous years to United. As with Ranieri at Leicester, poor league performances led to his demise. Furthermore, in further similarities, Robson was let down by his players who failed to perform. One such example is Welsh striker Craig Bellamy who had caused drama for Robson when his position was changed. This definitely draws comparisons with Ranieri’s Class of ’17 who reportedly conspired with the board to get the Italian sacked.

we don’t yet know the future for Leicester City but we do know that after Sir Bobby left St. James’, United could never quite replicate the success Robson brought to Newcastle. In the 13 years since he departed, United have never been in the Champions League, never been in the title race and perhaps the only thing we can shout about his getting into the Europa League twice in 2005/06 and 2011/12. A Europa League quarter-final in 2013 perhaps being the best moment since his departure. Quite simply the grass wasn’t greener.

However, you could argue that Robson at Newcastle had nowhere near the success of Ranieri and you’d be right. But consider this, Newcastle are a far bigger club than Leicester are even with their title win. If United couldn’t recover what chance does Leicester City have? They are currently languishing in 18th place and will require a big effort to even remain in the Premier League. You easily say that the sacking of Robson led to a chain reaction to the situation Newcastle find themselves in now.

What can Leicester do?

Simply put Leicester need to get on with it. It is vital they make the correct appointment. Newcastle did not, they went for Graeme Souness who wasn’t great and started the downward trajectory of the Magpies. If Leicester make an appointment akin to this, they will find themselves tumbling into the Championship. If Leicester find themselves relegated, it will be as if they never won the league. Furthermore, any progress made will be lost and getting out of the Championship is very difficult, larger teams than Leicester have struggled to find their way back just ask Leeds and Aston Villa fans. Quite simply, they most survive. A boss must come in who can reawaken the aspects of their side which won them the league. A poor appointment and the road could be long hard for Leicester as it was for Newcastle.

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