Claudio Ranieri told reporters in his opening press conference that he was “mad but not stupid” to take the Fulham job. Now we know he wanted it from the start.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, Claudio Ranieri didn’t need any convincing to take over the managerial position for the team at the bottom of the Premier League table – in fact it was quite the opposite.
The report states that Ranieri was by far the most prepared for his Fulham job interview, and that he blew away those across the table with a detailed report of the Fulham squad and his plan to turn things around. “Some of the others who were interviewed were unprepared but Ranieri was very impressive,” the report quoted a club source as saying.
“When I went to Parma, all my friends said you are mad to go there,” Ranieri said in his opening press conference. “When I was at Cagliari, they were bottom and everyone said we were out – I love this kind of battle. It’s my character.”
Fulham has the leakiest defense in all the European top five leagues, having conceded 31 goals through the opening 12 matches. The Whites spent a record amount of money this offseason for a newly-promoted side after Championship playoff glory, but recently fired manager Slavisa Jokanovic failed to integrate the new signings with those who had just come off success in the lower league.
Ranieri also made a promise to the Fulham squad based off one he became famous for at Leicester City – he vowed to buy the players fast food on him for clean sheets. “Pizza is not enough now,” Ranieri said, referencing a promise he became famous for while at the Foxes. “I have to promise something more. It’s better everybody to McDonald’s. I look always forward. I’m an ambitious man. I believe I have good players. Now I have to choose players who show me fighting spirit. With quality, fighting spirit and unity, the players help each other.”