Leicester’s downward spiral this season has certainly been one of the most intriguing storylines in the Premier League, and that story came to a head when manager Claudio Ranieri was sacked by the club.
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After leading his side to an improbable PL title during the 2015/16 season, the Foxes are now in the midst of a difficult relegation battle as the season hits its most crucial juncture.
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Still, the Foxes must turn their attention towards survival despite losing a manager that was amongst the most well liked in England and really all throughout European football.
“Claudio [Ranieri] leaving is obviously very, very sad. We achieved the impossible together and I have nothing but the upmost respect for him for everything that he achieved at this club,” said Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
“Everybody knows he’s a classy guy. He came in and said his piece to the players, thanked us for our efforts and for last season and said goodbye. It’s a shame it has come to this.”
Schmeichel reiterated that he didn’t believe Ranieri was the issue and that the players are at fault for not taking care of the results on the pitch.
“You can look at our performances on the pitch,” Schmeichel said. “We haven’t been quite good enough this season. It’s quite clear. The league doesn’t lie. We’re in the position we are in because we haven’t been good enough.”
The keeper stated that he especially is taking Ranieri’s sacking to heart and that he wishes the club could have strung together some better performances in order to save his former manager’s job.
“I don’t think anyone has had more sleepless nights over our form than I have,” Schmeichel said. “Our form affects me deeply. Every person can clearly see that we haven’t performed on the pitch and we deserve the criticism that we get and that we are getting because of our performances. But anything above that is out of our hands. On the pitch, we definitely deserve the criticism that we are getting.”
In the interim, Craig Shakespeare will be tasked with replacing Ranieri and hoping to keep his club afloat next season in the PL.
While Shakespeare does have caretaker experience back in 2006 with West Bromwich Albion, the 53-year-old is in a much more difficult position this time around given the magnitude of Leicester’s fall from grace.
“Craig is someone I’ve known for a very long time,” Schmeichel said. “He’s a very bright character. he’s a very serious football man, what you’d call a real football man. he’s very enthusiastic about training. I have absolutely no doubt that he’s capable of becoming a manager whether it’s now or at some point. I think that he does have ambitions of that but he’s been a magnificent manager in his time here.”