Claudio Ranieri is the next subject of Manager Files as we take a look at the tactics, mannerisms, demeanour and touchline antics of the game’s top bosses.
Ranieri’s round specs remain a high point in dug-out chic. Despite strolling to the league title by 10 points last season the ‘Tinkerman’ hasn’t changed his circular lens look when there may have been a temptation over the summer to ‘do an Elton John’ and jazz things up a bit. You have to respect that kind of humility.
Leicester famously won the Premier League playing 4-4-2 on the counter and went back to basics at the weekend following that shocker they threw in against Hull City on the opening day. Two wide players, Jamie Vardy playing off Shinji Okazaki and big Wes Morgan and Robert Huth re-united in the heart of defence. Both of those defenders were consistency personified last season and were bang at it once again on Saturday, keeping a lively Gunners side relatively subdued. Indeed Huth was arguably Leicester’s best player on the day.
Truth be told Leicester were rather unlucky to claim only a share of the spoils and had two big penalty appeals waved away. Last season – when they were on a roll – I am certain at least one of those would have been given.
Wise old owl Ranieri has a reputation as one of the game’s more sedate bosses and at the grand old age of 64 don’t expect him to start throwing water bottles around or moshing in the technical area anytime soon. The second penalty shout on 88 minutes looked a stone-waller and while the Italian was clearly not happy with the officials he kept his cool and was gracious at the end as he shook hands with under-fire counterpart Arsene Wenger.
What they said
The Leicester boss refused to rip into referee Mark Clattenberg, who was unmoved when Danny Drinkwater went over in the first half after clashing with Laurent Koscielny and then refused to point to the spot late on when Hector Bellerin bundled the lively Ahmed Musa over in the area.
“I am not a manager who says ‘That was a penalty,’ that is crying,” the Italian cheerily declared afterwards. “For me it is OK. The referee made a very good performance and for me a penalty is when the referee whistles. He didn’t whistle, so it wasn’t.”
Nothing to see here. Ranieri played this one with a straight bat both before and after. He predicted Arsenal target Riyad Mahrez would be staying at the King Power and was as good as his word as the Algerian schemer signed a contract extension until 2020 just days before the clash.
And after this stalemate he was magnanimous when stating “The manager makes mistakes, the referee makes mistakes, the players make mistakes. It was a good match: that’s it for me.”
After last season’s breathtaking heroics when his own mother even labelled him the ‘King of England’ Ranieri probably has a job for life at Leicester if he wants it. The Foxes may have only taken one point from a possible six so far but the ‘Tinkerman’ looks very relaxed about it all and is a whopping 66/1 at time of writing to the next Premier League boss to leave his post.