This morning, the world woke up to the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, the man who defied history by leading Leicester City Football Club to a fairy tale Premier League title in the 2015-2016 Premier League season. They had gone from being the premier league leaders to being one point above the relegation zone with 13 games remaining in the 2016–17 Premier League season. What happened? How could it have suddenly fallen apart so quickly? Was the manager to blame? What about the players?
John Maxwell says everything rises and falls on leadership. While Ranieri had paid the price for a poor season, I believe the players were to blame as well. After reading several articles and opinions of different sports jounalists, this is my analysis of the situation;
1. Comfort is an enemy of growth. I believe in some ways, Ranieri and his team got comfortable. They felt they had arrived. They were English champions and had now qualified for the UEFA Champions League. Success is a journey, not a destination. There is always another mountain to climb, another fight to win, another assignment to complete.
2. Never stop growing and getting better. I also think they failed to strengthen their team for the next season. During the transfer window, they bought a couple of below par players that never really had the impact expected of them nor experience in this league. They didn’t seem to realise they had joined the Champion’s League and needed to have a bigger and stronger squad for the journey ahead. Never take knives to a gun fight.
3. Hold on to your best team players. Leicester City F.C. sold one of the best players, Ngolo Kante to Chelsea Football Club, who are now 11 points on top of the Premier league. Kante has had a permanent spot in the Chelsea’s line-ups this season. That says something about the caliber of player they sold. A chain is only as strong as their weakest link.
4. Ignore the Crowd. In some ways, I think they were a victim of their own success. They could have allowed the cheers of the crowd to get to their hearts. Sometimes the crowd that is supposed to inspire you can distract you.
5. Adapt to survive. Claudio Ranieri resorted to the old-fashioned 4-4-2 formation, a style of football that led them to the top of the league. This coupled with counter-attacks proved very effective. Unfortunately for them, their opponents learnt their tactics and developed a strategy to counter it. They became predictable. Change is inevitable. Keep changing and improving your game. Never lose the element of surprise.
I hope these lessons will help you remain on top of your game and help you win in every aspect of your life.