Story By Victor Olugbemiro
The sacking of Claudio Ranieri by the Leicester City Football Club management gives credence to the saying that “success has killed more men than bullets.” Reading all the back stories, it becomes clear that no one in the hierarchy could manage the pressures of success. Players wanting better contracts, egos becoming inflated, management beginning to micro manage (some board members started attended training sessions on some occasions) and the manager feeling the need to change a winning formula, possibly because of the departure of Kante.
Winning the league came with new and unanticipated expectations, not limited to competing in the revered Champions League. Now they became title contenders from the start of the season, now they became the team to beat. Now they’re players had started getting national call ups (e.g Danny Drinkwater). Everybody was now under pressure to do far more than avoid relegation which had been their only objective since their promotion to the EPL a few seasons ago.
Blackburn Rovers who won the league in ’95 were relegated two seasons later; got promoted and were relegated again and have since been wallowing in the Championship. I don’t know their back story, but Leicester seems headed in the same direction and sacking Ranieri appears to be the most rational decision under the circumstances.
Liverpool and Arsenal are clubs that haven’t won anything tangible in recent times, but I don’t see them crumbling when they eventually do. So what will be the difference?
Chelsea and Man City metamorphosed from mediocrity to winning and challenging for titles overnight and have remained serious contenders so far. So what is the difference? I think they anticipated success and were ready for it when it came. It therefore becomes dangerous for one to happen upon greatness.
For Leicester, the way forward is inward. They shouldn’t have sacked the manager, but that milk has been spilt already. They need to eat the humble pie once more and dispose of the debilitating trappings of overnight success. They need to listen to reason and become a team once more. They need to fight as one man and stop pointing accusing fingers. They need to take responsibility. Till then, down the hill they shall continue to tumble till they reach rock bottom.