Shearer Says: “Ranieri should have been given the rest of the season to turn things around”
Coral Ambassador Alan Shearer gives his thoughts on Harry Kane, Claudio Ranieri’s sacking and what’s next for Leicester…
I was amazed when the news broke last week that Leicester had parted company with Claudio Ranieri. The timing seemed very odd to me as it came straight after their 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Champions League, where not only did they get a valuable away goal, but the second half was arguably one of their best 45 minutes of the season. They were full of energy again and Jamie Vardy got a much needed goal. That result has left them with a very good chance of advancing through to the quarter-final of the Champions League with their home fixture still to come.
“Ranieri should have been given the rest of this campaign to turn it around”
What Leicester achieved last season should have given Ranieri the right to have the rest of this campaign to turn around their league form. Even if they get relegated under him it should have been enough for them to stick by him and allow him the opportunity to take them back up, like Burnley did with Sean Dyche. If the club is run as well as everyone tells me it is, they would come right back up.
I have been in a dressing room at Newcastle where the manager did not have the respect of all the players. When Ruud Gullit joined the club he immediately distanced himself from senior squad members. I did not like him and he was not a fan of me either and that was very much in the public domain. He left me out of the team and I told him what I thought. That was not a healthy dressing room to be in but despite that, you could never accuse any of us of not trying our best to get positive results.
“Those players put in a shift for the first time in a long time.”
I didn’t need the sacking of Ranieri to confirm that this group of Leicester players were not working for him. It was as clear as it could possibly be. Their performance against Liverpool just went to prove that. There has clearly been a fall-out with several players in that Leicester dressing room, if not all of them. The tactics in that game had nothing to do with the result. When you look at the stats against Liverpool, the players ran more than at any time this season. Those players went out and put in a shift for the first time in a long time. Claudio must have been sat at home and been amazed at what he was seeing.
In a situation like this, the problem the owners have is that they cannot sack 20 players. The manager therefore is the only thing they can change. That is the harsh reality of it. There is no doubt it will happen again. Not that Claudio has moaned about, because managers in the current game know how things work now.
Whoever goes into that job will be wary of what has happened. They’ll be thinking that first and foremost they have to keep these players onside, otherwise they’ll be out of the door. The owners may look at the performance the other night and think it is worth giving the reins to Craig Shakespeare until the end of the season. That will certainly be the case if they continue to play like they did against Liverpool in their next two games.
“They are back where you expect them to be.”
They still have all to play for in the Champions League, so it is an attractive job for someone right now. They have shown they have enough to avoid relegation and we all knew they could never achieve what they did last season. Historically Leicester are a yo-yo club and they are back where you expect them to be.
It hasn’t soured what Leicester achieved last season – nothing can do that. They deserved the title because you can’t fluke something over 38 games. But they became everybody’s favourite second club but that has gone out of the window after what has happened to Claudio. Plenty of fans would probably like to see them relegated now, the goodwill has gone.
“I see a little bit of myself in him and a bit of Teddy Sherringham, too.”
Harry Kane has been in great form recently for Spurs with three hat-tricks in his last nine games. He is a player I really like and I would want him in my team for sure. I do see a little of myself in him and a bit of Teddy Sheringham, too. His goal-ratio is different class. He has now scored more than 20 goals in each of the last three seasons which suggests he is here to stay at the top level. He is very good at most things. If there is one thing he can improve on it is his hold up play, but that is me being picky
If he stays at Spurs for the next 10 years and remains fit, he is one of the players who could break my Premier League goalscoring record. It will be broken one day I am very sure of that. I’ve met Harry and he is a good guy so I would be very happy for him if he did go on to break it. But I hope it takes a while as I’d like to enjoy it for a few more years yet!