Dilly-ding! Dilly-gone! Sacked Ranieri’s best quotes
Claudio Ranieri was shockingly sacked as Leicester manager on Thursday, less than a year after guiding the 5,000-1 outsiders to a remarkable Premier League title.
Here AFP Sport looks at five of the best quotes from the colourful Italian’s memorable reign:
“From the beginning when something was wrong I’ve been saying: ‘Dilly-ding, dilly-dong, wake up, wake up!’ So on Christmas Day I bought for all the players and all the staff a little bell.”
– Ranieri raised eyebrows when he described the eccentric way he keeps his players alert during training sessions.
“I told them, if you keep a clean sheet, I’ll buy pizza for everybody. I think they’re waiting for me to offer a hot dog too.”
– Ranieri revealed his unusual method of motivating his error-prone defenders to keep a clean-sheet in the early stages of their title-winning campaign.
“It’s fantastic when you see before the match, an old lady with a Leicester shirt outside the stadium. I say: ‘Unbelievable. They come from Leicester to support us.’ This is my emotion.”
– Ranieri showed his emotional side when he shed a tear following a victory at Sunderland last April that put Leicester within touching distance of the title.
“I’m so proud. I’m happy for my players, for the chairman, for the staff at Leicester, all our fans and the Leicester community. It’s an amazing feeling. I never expected this when I arrived.”
– Just hours after flying back to England following a lunch in Italy with his 96-year-old mother, Ranieri was joyous as Tottenham’s draw with Chelsea sealed Leicester’s fairytale title.
“I could be (too loyal), could be. It is difficult when you achieve something so good, you want to give them one chance, two chances, three chances. Maybe now, it is too much.”
– Earlier this month, Ranieri questioned himself for keeping faith with his players for too long as he struggled to arrest the slide that would trigger his sacking.
EPL Manager in and outs this season
Here are all the managerial casualties in the English top-flight so far in the 2016-17 season:
October 3 — Swansea sack Italian Francesco Guidolin on his 61st birthday after just over nine months in charge — having saved them from relegation in the 2015/16 campaign — and appoint American Bob Bradley as his replacement.
December 22 — Crystal Palace sack Alan Pardew months after he led them to within minutes of lifting the FA Cup only to lose to Manchester United in extra time.
However, only six wins in 36 matches in the calendar year and one in their last 11 brought to an end the Englishman’s tenure. Palace appointed Sam Allardyce to replace Pardew on December 23.
December 27 — Swansea end Bradley’s 85 day tenure, comprising just two wins in 11 matches, and on January 3 name highly-regarded English coach Paul Clement as his full-time replacement.
January 3 — Hull sack Mike Phelan after 82 days in his full-time role. He had previously been caretaker manager since Steve Bruce resigned a few days before the beginning of the campaign.
Portuguese coach Marco Silva was hired to save lowly Hull from relegation.
February 23 – With champions Leicester hovering precariously above the relegation zone after losing five successive league matches without scoring a goal, Ranieri paid the price.
The Italian was unable to stem the tide and an embarrassing FA Cup loss at third tier Millwall served as the final blow to his reputation amid reports of player unrest at his tactics and team selection.
And less than 24 hours after Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League defeat at Sevilla, Ranieri was gone.
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