Hmmmm… how do I write an emotional ode to Claudio Ranieri without seeming oblivious to the really bad things that happen in the world?
I understand that Donald Trump is apparently a bad bad man, that the UK is now racist, that there are homeless people everywhere (get out from under my desk, you pest), and yet still I am genuinely sad about an Italian manager losing his job at Leicester City.
About a manager who will probably be in a lovely job in a few months from now. And in a MUCH nicer place than Leicester – never been there, never really want to now. (Yes, the Leicester City Tourist Board should be quaking in their Primark boots)
For goodness sake, go back to the sunshine Ranieri! That’s where people of your calibre belong.
It's wrong isn’t it – Leicester sacking Ranieri is so wrong for so many reasons. Firstly, the season is not over yet and they aren’t even in the relegation zone. Okay let’s count that as two reasons, thirdly the Foxes are still in the Champions League and number four – oh yeah, they won the Premier League last season. LAST SEASON. The season of last.
And didn't we all enjoy it? We liked how football had finally churned out a result nobody was predicting, that there was a full-blown fairy-tale unravelling in front of our eyes, that the ultimate underdog story was here!
And because Leicester had been so little of a threat over the years, nobody had anything against them – we were all supporters really. Cohesion around a football team is a rare thing, and a beautiful thing – let’s face it England ain't giving it to us any time soon. We were all Leicester for a little bit… and it felt refreshing.
And I guess that’s why I, along with many, many other football fans, are hurting right now. Because in Leicester’s triumph and Ranieri’s triumph, we were all transported to a much more interesting place for a little while.
However, I think the public outcry is down to something meatier that that though – justice. There is no justice anywhere here.
We all work hard (sort of) and most of us value others who work hard, who work with passion and who achieve the unthinkable. It gives us the belief that perhaps one day we will too – that we will be appreciated for our talents, praised by friends and family, earn a shit-tonne and be really nice and happy.
But when we see someone who has done all that - and then a few months later is spewed out into the regular old bollocksy world, it feels very unjust. If people can tarnish everything you’ve worked so hard for just because they are absolutely frickin' mental, then that’s... (well. you fill in the gap)
Of course – with his dilly ding dilly dong and lovely nature, and smile, perhaps it’s even harder to take that it’s Ranieri who is the latest casualty of an increasingly cruel Premier League.
I have always been a fan of Ran the Man (which nobody has ever called him ever) – because sometimes all you need to do is see someone and you think yeah I’m on board with this dude. I was really disappointed when Chelsea got rid of him, and at that time felt it was a real injustice. But this is something else entirely. However, even if it was a manager who I didn’t like so much – like, well pretty much every English one to be fair, then I still think I’d have a feeling of outrage in my soul.
Maybe Leicester City would have gone down with Ranieri in charge, but I think that he had done more than enough for that risk to be taken. It’s history he created, something City fans will think about on their death bed, it’s a bit of magic – you don’t just sack a magician. Well unless he did that trick when he was meant to cut someone in half, but he really did cut someone in half...
I so often try to look on the bright side of things, or at least try to find a semblance of positivity from a story. (okay not a child murder - cos that's just 98% awful) But when it comes to this – I, like Ranieri, have no happy ending.
The owners of Leicester City have treated him without respect, trust or hope – but my mummy put it best when she said the decision was ‘disgusting.’Personally, I am in a state of mourning. And saying this doesn't feel trite at all.