On Monday, there will be no battle of wills between Claudio Ranieri and Jürgen Klopp on the touchline after Leicester City sacked their Premier League-winning manager yesterday. It seems that a once in a generation title win, a good chance of staying up, and a possible Champions League quarter final count for very little for in the modern era.
For Klopp, a manager who appreciates stability and sustainability in his work, such a decision must have been disappointing to hear. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur winning a league title this decade would be a notable achievement let alone a relegation struggler doing so, but Ranieri did what was considered unthinkable in the Premier League era.
“I heard about it last night of course. Am I surprised that things like this can happen? No,” Klopp said before providing yet another set of headline Klopp quotes. “Not only in football eh? For me there’s a few strange decisions in 16/17. Brexit, Trump, Ranieri. Do I have to understand it all the time? Obviously not, it happens still.
“I have no idea why Leicester would do this. Everybody can see the situation in the league, everyone can see the situation in the Champions League. He’s a really special person in this business, he’s a really nice guy. I met him before when he visited me at Dortmund, we had a nice talk, a wonderful person I have to say.
“But I don’t know enough, maybe you have to go to the press conference at Leicester and ask them why they did it?”
It's a pity that Ranieri wasn't allowed to see out the season and keep Leicester up after what he accomplished with the players last season. The money spent for little in return, the terrible form that turned an acceptable midtable battle into a relegation fight, and the worrying rumours of disgruntled players under Ranieri may have all forced a most unfortunate course of action.
It is for Liverpool to cause further instability in Leicester’s camp with all three points in a quest to finish in the top four this season. The fairytale for Leicester is over, and while last season’s surprise will become legendary, now is the time for the uncompromising nature of reality.