Harsh On Shakespeare? Maybe Not.
The owners at Leicester wasted no time in getting rid of Claudio Ranieri so it’s no surprise they’ve done the same with Craig Shakespeare.
I thought the Ranieri sacking was bizarre at the time and I couldn’t get my head around it when it happened. They had pulled off a sporting miracle by winning the league and four months later they were getting rid of the manager.
Look at Leicester’s results this season and plenty will say that Shakespeare’s sacking is another harsh decision. The games that they have lost this season in the league were against Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool and they are games they wouldn’t have been expected to win anyway. Even against Liverpool, they were in a really good position and had a penalty which Jamie Vardy missed. Had he scored it they would’ve went on to win the game but he didn’t and another three points were gone.
So yes, on the face of it, it seems like a harsh decision to sack Craig Shakespeare. But I just don’t know how we’re measuring harshness anymore and it doesn’t surprise me one bit. They’ve had no wins in their last six in the Premier League, they find themselves in the bottom three and nowadays you pay for poor runs like that.
It’s all about revenue with clubs now and they can’t afford to be anywhere near the relegation zone.
You also have to factor in the current climate at Leicester where there has been a healthy investment in player recruitment and a wage bill that has increased significantly since their Premier League title win. So there are a number of issues the club are addressing alongside what’s going on on the pitch.
There had been talk over the last few weeks that Shakespeare’s job wasn’t necessarily safe and you always had the feeling he was a ‘short term fit’ type of appointment anyway having worked with Nigel Pearson and Claudio Ranieri. The only way to go now for Leicester is to get in a bigger name and a manager on a more stable footing. They can sweep the backroom and allow a manager to come in with his own staff who can build towards the future.
Against that long term vision of course there is a real onus on the new appointment to get instant results because they need the points and they need them quickly. When Frank de Boer came in at Crystal Palace he arrived with his own principals and wanted the team to play his way.
Crystal Palace were going on about changing the philosophy of the club but almost instantly the pressure came on De Boer…
…and after only four games they reverted to type by turning to Roy Hodgson.
It’s a difficult thing for a manager to do but they really have to ask themselves a question when they take on a job now – am I prepared to sacrifice my beliefs in pursuit of instant points? It is a vital appointment for Leicester because if the new manager is going to change the culture and philosophy at the club, he is also going to have get wins on the board right away whilst doing the ground work for the future behind the scenes. That, of course, is difficult.
One thing for sure is, he’ll have the players to get results and there’s enough talent at the club to get them out of the position they find themselves in that earned Craig Shakespeare the sack.