Former-Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri is the surprise choice for the hot seat at Leicester.
The Italian has signed a three-year contract with the Foxes. The appointment has been met with a mixed reaction by fans and media alike.
Ranieri revealed his delight at his appointment by saying: “I’m so glad to be here in a club with such a great tradition as Leicester City.
“I’ve worked at many great clubs in many top leagues but since I left Chelsea I have dreamt of another chance to work in the best league in the world again.
“I wish to thank the owner, his son and all the executives of the club for the opportunity they are giving me. Now I’ve only one way for returning their trust: squeeze all my energies to getting the best results for the team.”
Ranieri certainly should have enough experience to be successful at Leicester and his previous stint in the Premier League should hold him in good stead at the King Power Stadium, albeit he is now in completely different circumstances than the ones he encounter at Chelsea.
Ranieri was a relative success in south west London and it could be argued that he played a big part in where the Blues are today, after helping the club to runners-up spot, which was their highest finish in over 40 years.
The Italian was in charge when Roman Abramovich’s money came flooding into the club. However, despite building a team that challenged for the English top-flight title Ranieri was replaced by a certain Jose Mourinho.
The decision proved to be an inspired one, as Chelsea went from strength to strength under the Portuguese boss. However many thought that the decision was harsh on the Italian.
His stay at Chelsea was his longest stay at one club in his career. The Foxes will be Ranieri’s fifteenth job in his managerial career.
Ranieri earned the Monika of ‘The Tinkerman’ at Chelsea for his constant changing of tactics and resistance to naming the same starting line-up for two consecutive games. Ranieri lost his job when his tactics were questioned by the Chelsea fans, media and owner Roman Abramovich.
The Tinkerman is his nickname, but it could quite easily be ‘the nearly man’, because he builds teams that nearly win league titles, well top-flight titles anyway. Ranieri has won lower league titles with Palermo, Cagliari, Fiorentina and Monaco, but never a top-flight title having managed in Italy, England, France and Spain.
The Leicester job is a big task for Ranieri, who was sacked as the Greece national team boss in November after his team suffered a humiliating defeat against the Faroe Islands. It is fair to say he seems like a strange choice.
A number of high-profile figures were linked with the job among them former West Ham boss Sam Allardyce and former Manchester United ‘keeper Peter Schmeichel. Allardyce has great experience and probably would have guaranteed survival in the new campaign.
Schmeichel, who is the dad of current Foxes number one Kasper, is believed to have applied for the vacant managerial position at the King Power Stadium. The Manchester United legend has no managerial experience, so would also have been an outsider to fill the vacancy.
Ranieri faces a challenge in keeping the Foxes in the Premier League in the new season. Former boss Nigel Pearson did a very good job in the Midlands, despite being involved in a number of controversial incidents.
Pearson managed to drag every last bit of talent out of his squad and the Foxes completed a great escape from relegation. A measure of the job that Pearson did with the Foxes was that they were not considered as one of three favourites to be relegated in the new campaign.
Since Pearson left the bookmakers are now not so convinced that they will survive the drop and the Midlanders are currently odds of 11/4, with a lot of people now backing the Foxes for the drop.
The appointment of Claudio Ranieri is a major gamble for the Foxes. The 63-year-old has been through the good, the bad and the ugly that football has had to offer.
He will have a lot of work to do to convince Foxes fans that he is the right man for the job. If the club can progress under the experienced Italian then I am sure the fans will feel the clubs hierarchy made the right decision.
However, if Ranieri lives up to his reputation as a Tinkerman, then the Foxes could find themselves in trouble next season.
Is Claudio Ranieri a good appointment for Leicester?