Leicester City heads into the new campaign still in the Premier League because of a remarkable run of results towards the end of last season.
The Foxes won seven out of their last 11 games to save themselves from relegation to the Championship.
Even the great Steve McQueen would have been proud of the Foxes great escape, but a lot has changed since last season’s feat.
The Foxes were written-off, dead and buried and every other cliché that could be used for finish. However they beat the drop and survived.
One major thing that has changed at the King Power Stadium is that boss Nigel Pearson is no longer in charge. Despite being involved in a number of controversial incidents the prickly Pearson lead the Midlands side to safety against all odds.
Pearson was dismissed with reports suggesting the sacking of his son James by the Foxes was the main reason for his dismissal.
The former-Middlesbrough boss has been replaced by experienced Italian boss Claudio Ranieri, who has been round the block more times than a taxi driver.
The Tinkerman was the man in charge of Chelsea when the Roman Abramovich revolution kicked in to gear, but did not last long before being replaced by Jose Mourinho at the helm.
Since his time in south west London the Italian boss has experienced mixed fortunes with the likes of Inter, Juventus, Valencia and Monaco. I think it is fair to say his appointment has divided opinion amongst Foxes fans.
The experienced boss is likely to be drinking in the last chance saloon of top-level football after a poor spell in charge of the Greece national team. If he fails in the Midlands he is unlikely to get another chance in a big European league.
The Foxes have not been that active in the transfer market so far this summer. German defensive duo Christian Fuchs and Robert Huth have joined Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki as new recruits for the season.
However, it seems that the Midlanders are about to make a big splash in the transfer market by signing two international midfielders. According to Sky Sports, the Foxes have agreed fees for Chilean international star Charles Aranguiz and Swiss international schemer Gokhan Inler.
Aranguiz currently plies his trade in the Brazilian top-flight with Internacional, but his current employers are now reported to have accepted a club-record bid of around £10.5million for the playmaker.
The 26-year-old is reasonably experienced on the international scene having collected 40 appearances and scored six goals in the process. He was a key member of La Roja’s team as they claimed a famous Copa America victory on home soil this summer.
Inler is highly-experienced and his Italian club Napoli have accepted a bid of around £3million for the Switzerland international, who has 83 caps for his international team. His club level experience is just as extensive, as he has made 243 appearances in Serie A for Udinese and his current team.
Inler will be regarded as a direct replacement for Argentinian defensive midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, who left the club earlier this month when his one year deal expired.
Ranieri will no doubt hope to further strengthen his squad ahead of the Premier League kick-off next weekend. Inler and Aranguiz look like they could be very good additions to the Foxes squad.
The Foxes needed to make further additions to their squad as most of the teams that finished around them in the table have been bringing in new recruits. The Midlanders will have to sign players just to stay on level pegging with their rivals.
Premier League survival has to be the order of the day again in the new season. For me Nigel Pearson leaving the club puts their top-flight status in more jeopardy than if he was still there.
Ranieri has a reputation for being a Tinkerman and the key to Leicester’s survival last season was having a relative settled team. The veteran Italian does not seem to do settled team, just much-changed.
The Foxes are currently odds of 11/4 to be relegated this season and in fact their odds have changed very little since the departure of Pearson.
Leicester’s survival will very much depend on whether Claudio Ranieri can keep the players performance levels up, because Pearson got the best out of his players and arguably the team overachieved in the end.
This season promises to be an interesting one for Leicester City fans, who will be hoping that the dismissal of Pearson will not be the deciding factor in whether they are in a relegation dogfight or not this season.
Can Leicester avoid another relegation dogfight?
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