Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, one of the biggest talking points of the 2016/17 campaign will undoubtedly be Leicester’s decision to sack Claudio Ranieri.
Just mere months after leading the Foxes to an unlikely Premier League title last term, the popular Italian coach found himself flung on the scrapheap following a spectacularly poor defence of their prize.
Looking at the form Leicester had displayed up until his dismissal, you can see that something badly needed changing, but the circumstances in which Ranieri was relieved of his duties left a sour taste in the mouths of fans everywhere.
Certainly, since Craig Shakespeare took over, their fortunes have improved greatly, and it now looks as though the side will have enough about them to banish their relegation fears completely, as well as having a plum tie against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League to look forward to.
Following his sacking, there was a slew of reports claiming that it was the players’ fault for him being ousted from his position, but a number of them have spoken publicly to deny those rumours.
Ranieri himself doesn’t believe this version of events, but does seem to think that there was somebody behind the scenes who had it in for him.
Speaking as a guest on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football coverage of Arsenal’s trip to Crystal Palace, the 65-year-old was quizzed by the panel as to what went down at the King Power stadium earlier in the year.
It seems that he believes that ‘somebody behind’ him pushed for his dismissal, but he was saved by leading the club to glory, and only once they had fallen on hard times did this person push a little harder.
“I listen to a lot of stories about this [somebody behind the scenes pushing me out], it maybe could be somebody behind me.
“I had a little problem the year before and we won the title. Maybe this year when we lost, they pushed a little more.”
When asked on who he suspected, he replied: “I’m a serious man, a loyal man, what I have to say, I say face to face.”
“I don’t believe it [could be the players]. I can’t believe that the players can’t give the maximum.
“Maybe when you were safe the last match, and you start the season you are so concentrated to be solid and strong.
“But when you come back after winning the title, the situation is totally different. I can’t believe that my players killed me. No, no, no.”
And while he clearly has his theories as to what happened, he did add a classy touch by stating that Leicester would remain in his heart for a long time to come.
“I said the biggest mistake was me believing in my players before I was sacked, but after I was sacked I realised I was right to maintain these players. I was right.
“It wasn’t easy (being sacked). Of course, Leicester will be in my heart all my life. I won things all around Europe but never the title. This time I won the title.”