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Is the current EPL campaign a game of Football Manager?

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has done the unthinkable by helping his team challenge for the Premier League table

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has done the unthinkable by helping his team challenge for the Premier League table

In my position as a football writer (I use that term in the loosest sense!) I tend to read a lot of football forums and comments on other people’s article.

One I recently read on the comments sections of a big British newspapers website caught my attention and it got me thinking, dangerous I know.

The commenter stated that this season is slightly like a game of popular PC stalwart Football Manager, which I am absolutely addicted to and always have been since the days of Championship Manager.

If it is then it is definitely Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri’s game and he has saved his game every time his team has got a good result and reloaded when they have lost. I bet the Italian had to reload his game a few times to get that 3-1 win at City.

Comparisons to FM

This has been a truly bizarre campaign, with little Leicester and perennial underachievers Tottenham both in the race for the Premier League title. Just as bizarre reigning Premier League champions Chelsea struggling in midtable.

It’s like Ranieri has added another manager and has sabotaged Chelsea’s campaign, so that his side could win the league title. Even on Football Manager it would be difficult to win the league with Leicester, unless you have a killer tactic.

This year’s FM is regarded as one of the hardest in years to crack. I have not yet taken the challenge of guiding Leicester to the Premier League title. That may be my next game. I am currently too busy winning the Premier League title with Everton. Bill Kenwright’s getting my CV very soon.

Succeeding in real life

Anyway Ranieri is succeeding in real life where many have failed in the popular game by guiding a low-cost team with a low-profile to challenge for the Premier League title. It is unheard of in these days of so called ‘big clubs’ lashing out hundreds of millions on players each transfer window.

By comparison Ranieri and to a certain extent predecessor Nigel Pearson have built a team of players who simply play well as a unit.

There are the star players Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, who were both plying their trade in lower leagues of England and France respective, but there are players who do not get the plaudits like centre-backs Robert Huth and Wes Morgan, or central midfielder Danny Drinkwater.

Leicester is not a team of superstars. They are team of players that work hard for each other, the fans and their club. Their hard work may just be enough to give the Foxes the ultimate prize in the game, the league title.

The Foxes have been that well this season that some bookmakers are now making them favourites to win the Premier League title at odds of 2/1. The Foxes face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday in the early kick-off, in a game that could define their season.

Ranieri’s cracked the Football Manager code

Claudio Ranieri’s may well just have cracked the Football Manager code. Usually there is a no distinct manager on the front of the Football Manager case, but next year’s addition should have a picture of the Italian.

Quite simply Ranieri has helped his team achieve results that would even have been unrealistic on the popular PC game. If this season was my game on Football Manager I probably would have restarted it as it is so unrealistic.

Leicester have illustrated beautifully what can be achieved with hard work and shrewd management. I am still going with the theory that this season somehow Ranieri has turned the Premier League into his very own game of Football Manager and he will be on one of the big forums talking about finding a winning formula.

Just a little apology to non-Football Manager fans out there. This article will mean very little to you, but hopefully it was a decent read anyway!

Can Claudio Ranieri guide the Foxes to the Premier League title this season?

Sat 13 Feb, 2016
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