What Caused Leicester To Fire Manager Claudio Ranieri

What Caused Leicester To Fire Manager Claudio Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri: From Fairy Tale to Nightmare 
Where it all started:
2016 was a year like no other for Leicester City, who won the Premier League for the first time ever in the club’s history. The man behind the success? Claudio Ranieri. The man who captured attention with his ‘Dilly Ding, Dilly Dong’. The man who surprised everyone, winning the league when Leicester City had a 5000/1 probability of winning. We can describe that year for them as magical, with the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy scoring wonder goals almost every week. They were heading into Europe for the first time ever, so they had no worries going into the next season, 2016-2017.

Where it began to go wrong:
Many  knew that is was impossible for Leicester City to win the Premier League once again. Claudio Ranieri also assured that, saying that their goal was to maintain their spot in the Premier League. It didn’t start too bad for them, with a win away at Hull City and then a draw at home against the Gunners. However, they started scoring less and losing more games. Noticeable losses against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea were the beginning of the nightmare. Then, losses against West Brom, Watford, Sunderland, Bournemouth,and Everton showed the poor state that the Foxes were in. Despite making some decent signings with the likes of Islam Slimani, that wasn’t good enough to strengthen the squad. It was quite noticeable that they were missing their key player: N’Golo Kante.

Crash and Burn for Ranieri:
In late January into February, there were reports of discontent with Claudio Ranieri, with some fans already asking for his head. Amid these reports, the club came out with a statement declaring their full support for Ranieri. Little did they know they’d lose it soon. With another run of poor results, Leicester City are now just 1 point from the relegation zone in 17th position. Losses against Chelsea and Manchester United again, against Southampton, Burnley, and Swansea put the Italian manager under more pressure, with his position at the club becoming more unlikely. In yesterday’s match against Sevilla in the Champions League, Leicester City lost 2-1 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Spain. However, many saw it as a good result. City had the away goal, and it really can go either way in the second leg at the King Power Stadium in March. The Owners weren’t pleased with the result, and after much speculation, Leicester City finally confirmed they had parted ways with the Italian. Why was he sacked? For his poor luck I would say. The club has not had a good season, but we can’t say it is Ranieri’s fault. This was a once in a lifetime occurrence, and we have to admit they were riding their luck a little bit. We assumed they would have been mid table this season, but never imagined they’d be fighting for their lives. What does this show us? The lack of loyalty. Sure, the club want better results, but they had already stated their support for him, so in the view of many, this was quite a disgrace, for them to act this way on the man who had provided with their first major silverware in a long time. I don’t think we will ever see anything as magnificent as what Claudio Ranieri achieved with this Leicester team. We will only live now with what was his greatest season ever, and for us the fans of football, the most exciting leave we may have ever witnessed. For this, we say ‘Grazie, Claudio.’

Leicester’s Unreal Win

178989_44ssI know this site focuses mostly on the World Cup, but how about Leicester City winning the Premier League in England?  The 5,000-to-1 odds is the biggest miracle winner I’ve ever seen.

This got me thinking.  What is similar to that?  I went over to BoydsBets.com and I looked around at different sports leagues to try and find the biggest underdogs in major sports.  Hopefully that puts things into a little better perspective.

Nashville Predators 15/1

Nashville has made it to a Game 7 tonight against the San Jose Sharks.  They are not the favorite to win, but even if they do they have no easy task ahead of them for the Stanley Cup.  They have never made it past this round of the playoffs will have the face the St. Louis Blues.  Then in the finals there is the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Without a doubt this team has a tough path, but 15/1 is doable.

Miami Heat 100/1

The Heat trail the Toronto Raptors 3-2 in their best of 7 series.  The winner gets the Cleveland Cavaliers who have not lost a playoff game yet.  Beat them and you get either the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, or the Golden State Warriors.  We are getting closer to terrible odds here because this doesn’t seem likely at all.

Cleveland Browns 230/1

Nobody is giving Cleveland much of a shot to win the Super Bowl and for good reason.  They last made the playoffs back in 2002 and won a league title in 1964.  Last year they were just 3-13 and they didn’t do much in the offseason to give fans hope this is their year.

Atlanta Braves 1000/1

So, Atlanta is terrible.  Like really, really bad.  They were projected for the lowest win total in the league to start the year and then got off to a 8-24 start.  They are the worst team in baseball and are getting outscored by nearly a 2-1 margin.  This team has little to no chance.

Northern Ireland 2000/1

Only 13 European teams make the World Cup in 2018.  Northern Ireland does have a chance since they made the 24-team Euro tournament, but it’s highly unlikely.  Not only is that unlikely, but if they do advance then they stand little to no shot of actually advancing, let alone winning it all.

Mexico or Puerto Rico 3000/1

Can either of these team’s win the Men’s basketball Olympics?  The answer is no.  How many NBA players do these countries have?  Have you heard of a single player from either team?  Do they stand a chance playing against a United States team that is chalked full of professional stars?  No they don’t.  Size matters in basketball, and these teams don’t have it.  They also don’t have shooters.  Don’t waste your money.

Who Will Win Bid for 2026 FIFA World Cup?


Recently the FIFA Council met in Mexico City.  One of the topics of discussion was the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup.  This will be an important bidding process since it’s the first since the sports major bribery scandal rocked soccer last year.

So how is this one going to work?  I’m glad you asked.  There will be a new strategy and consultation phase that runs from now until May of 2017.  The enhanced phases of bid preparation will run from June 2017 to December 2018.  Then bids will be evaluated from January 2019 to February 2020 before a decision is finally made in May of 2020.

What goes into the consultation phase?  There are human rights requirements.  You have to have sustainable event management.  And, the environment has to be protected.  This will exclude several bidders who do not meet the technical requirements.  The committee will also review the stance on joint bids and consider the number of teams that need to be required.

The number of teams, formats, and eligibility requirements will be determined some time this fall.

Which nations are interested in bidding?  So far there has been confirmed interest from several nations.

Canada expressed interest.  They have hosted a few 1987 world championship and the Women’s World Cup in 2015.

Mexico has hosted in both 1970 and 1986.  They might want to co-host with the United States.

Colombia has hosted the 2011 under 20 World Cup and a World Games in 2013, but so far has been left out of the World Cup.  They did get the 1986 bid but due to financial problems Mexico was the final choice.

The United States is considered a favorite, but there are some hurt feelings over the scandal that saw them lose to Qatar in 2022.  This is a huge audience and soccer is growing.  If they can tap into the television markets and American money FIFA stands to benefit tremendously from growth of the sport in the United States.

Some other news is that both Kosovo and Gibraltar have been admitted as FIFA members.  That brings the total up to 211.  Both nations should be eligible to compete in the 2018 FIFA World Cup if they are able to qualify.

More good news.  The committee donated $500,000 to Ecuador for the severe earthquake they sustained in April.  This money will be used to renovate the football stadiums and facilities in the region.  A big plus for the moral of the citizens affected.

Uruguay has been given the bid to host the Women’s Under 17 World Cup in 2018.


Russia and the 2018 World Cup


The 2018 World Cup will be played in Russia.  Moscow will be considered the host city and we couldn’t ask for a much better place.  It has some of the best shopping, nightlife, restaurants, and culture of anywhere in the world.

There are 11 million people who call Moscow home.  It has three international airports and the world’s second busiest subway system.

Luzhniki Stadium is at the center of the Olympic complex.  It will be the main venue and the heart and soul of the 2018 games.  The Opening Match, semi finals, and finals will all be played here.  Built back in 1956 and has played host to the 1980 Summer Olympics, ice hockey championships, concerts, and more than 3,000 soccer matches.  It’s been the home stadium for Spartak, CSKA, and Torpedo.

The other stadiums that will be used are:

Kaliningrad Stadium – an island that has only recently been developed.  FC Baltic Kaliningrad will use this stadium as their home base starting in 2019.

Volgograd Stadium – This stadium is going up at the site of the previous Central stadium.  It will be home to FC Rotor.

Ekaterinburg Arena – FC Ural’s home stadium.  It was built in 1953 but has been refurbished several times since then.

Fisht Stadium – located in the Olympic Park in Sochi, it was built for the 2014 Winter Olympics.  This is where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies were.

Kazan Arena – This stadium was built in 2013 for the Summer World University Games.  It hosted the opening and closing ceremonies with the first match being played in August 2013.

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium – One of the best locations for the tournament. Very cool setting next to the Volga and Oka rivers and offers a wonderful view of the Kremlin and the local Cathedral.

Samara Arena – will be built in the Radiotsentr district.  Construction has started and this place should be surrounded by a residential district and quality infrastructure.  FC Krylya Sovetov will use this as their home location starting in 2019.

Rostov Arena – located on the left bank of the Don River.  This is a tourist hot spot that has been expanding rapidly in recent years.  The most recent winner of the Russian Cup, FC Rostov, will call this their home.

Spartak Stadium – the recently opened home of Spartak Moscow.  It holds 45,000 people and once the World Cup is finished the surrounding area will be developed for residential use.

Saint Petersburg Stadium – a very new modern stadium built on Krestovsky Island.  It replaced Kirov Stadium, which was the country’s largest holding 110,000 people.  In 2020, this arena will host three matches in the group stage of Euro 2020.

Moldavia Arena – located in Saransk, this stadium will be built in the center of the city on the bank of the Insar River.  FC Moldavia will call this stadium home after the World Cup.

Those are the locations the games will be played in.  Now we just need to learn who qualifies, who will be playing who, and what locations they will be sent to.  It’s getting close to time, and I can hardly wait!