Leicester City have pulled the trigger much early than many expected.
Official confirmation arrived on Tuesday that Craig Shakespeare, who only took charge permanently of the Foxes over the summer, had been fired after just eight games of the 2017-18 Premier League season.
He becomes the second PL boss to lose his job this season after Crystal Palace fired Frank De Boer after just four PL games in charge.
To many it will come as no surprise that Shakespeare, Claudio Ranieri‘s former assistant coach, has been fired by the ruthless Leicester owners with the Foxes winning just one of their opening eight Premier League games of the season.
In an official statement on the club website, here’s what Leicester had to say as Michael Appleton has been placed in caretaker charge for their trip to Swansea this Saturday.
Leicester City Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “Craig has been a great servant to Leicester City – during his spells as an Assistant Manager and since taking over as Manager in challenging circumstances in February. His dedication to the Club and to his work has been absolute and the contribution he made to the most successful period in Leicester City history is considerable.
“However, our early promise under Craig’s management has not been consistently evident in the months since and the Board feels that, regrettably, a change is necessary to keep the Club moving forward – consistent with the long-term expectations of our supporters, Board and owners.
“Craig is and will remain a very popular, respected figure at Leicester City and will be welcome back at King Power Stadium in future, both professionally and as a friend of the Club.”
The Foxes sit third from bottom and on six points and on each of the last three occasions Leicester have gained six points or less in their opening eight games of a PL season they have been relegated.
Stats like that would have surely alarmed their Thai owners.
The last time Leicester went six PL games without a win Ranieri was fired but this is still a shock considering Shakespeare, 53, had been in charge for only four months.
Shakespeare was in interim charge at the end of last season after Ranieri was fired in February and led Leicester to seven wins from their final 13 games which saved the then reigning champs from relegation.
However, he never seemed like the long-term man to lead the shock 2015-16 PL champions back to the upper echelons of the Premier League and he is now on his way out of the King Power Stadium.
New signings have failed to deliver early in the season and Shakespeare’s inability to make the Foxes tough to break down is what ultimately cost him his job.