Shakespeare has transformed Leicester City

Craig Shakespeare has transformed Leicester City

Leicester City might’ve found a solution to all their problems in the mode of one man – Craig Shakespeare. The 53-year-old English manager Shakespeare has transformed Leicester City and the Foxes now have some real bite in them.

The story of Leicester City is one that has generated a lot of media traction in the last 12 months. The long and short of it is that the team from Leicester went from being the most unlikely winners of the English Premier League title in history to being in dire danger of getting relegated, all within one year!

Due to Leicester City’s overwhelming poor results, heads had to roll and which bigger head other than that of manager, Claudio Ranieri. Leicester City's Thai owners decided to axe the Italian manager after an illustrious spell at the helm that saw him do the unimaginable in his first season.

Ranieri’s unprecedented sack cannot only be attributed to Leicester City’s poor results – the British media also uncovered stories that Ranieri had been usurped by his trusted assistant, Craig Shakespeare, who was accused of holding secret meetings with Leicester City owners alongside four senior players of the Leicester first team. It was reported that Ranieri had refused to take the advice of Craig Shakespeare and was installing confusing tactics that angered players.

The Leicester City owners were looking for a scapegoat for Leicester’s woes. So despite being quoted as saying this, after Ranieri’s sack:

“This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since King Power took ownership of Leicester City.”

We all knew it was a pretty easy decision to take, in a bid to avoid relegation.

In place of Claudio Ranieri, Craig Shakespeare was immediately named manager on a caretaker basis, until Leicester find a new manager.

Who is Craig Shakespeare?

Shakespeare

When Shakespeare was handed the opportunity to steady the ship at Leicester, albeit on a caretaker basis, many did not expect him to last this long. His pedigree as a manager for a Premier League club was brought into question – basically, he had little or no experience in such a role.

Having been the assistant manager at West Brom under Nigel Pearson; Shakespeare took charge of a single game when his boss got fired in 2006 and led West Brom to a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace. In 2008, he followed Nigel Pearson to Leicester City (as his assistant) and then to Hull City in 2010 before returning to Leicester a year later (still under Nigel Pearson).

Craig Shakespeare remained as assistant manager and temporarily as first team coach after Nigel Pearson was fired in 2015. When Claudio Ranieri was employed to replace Nigel Pearson, he chose to retain Craig Shakespeare as his assistant manager, citing Shakespeare’s 8-year experience with the Leicester group.

However, Shakespeare was soon labelled the usurper as he is said to have played a role in getting Ranieri fired. Last week, following two impressive Premier League victories (against Liverpool and Hull) for Leicester City, under the tutelage of Shakespeare; the English manager was given the go-ahead by the club owners to manage the club until at least the end of the season.

How Shakespeare transformed Leicester City

Shakespeare took charge of his first game as caretaker manager against English giants, Liverpool. To the surprise of many, Leicester ran riots in that game and come off 3-1 victors. Craig Shakespeare must’ve done something right.

Shakespeare managed to instil confidence in the Leicester players, reminding them of the fact that they were still the Premier League defending Champions. The Leicester players played like the Foxes whom everyone had come to know last season. They repeated the feat a week later with another 3-1 victory at home to Hull.

Craig Shakespeare also brought back the 4-4-2 formation which worked to perfection for Leicester city last season. It is also said that Shakespeare does not tinker with the tactics which the players understand and that he does a wonderful job of encouraging the boys.

The biggest achievement of Craig Shakespeare’s managerial career yet, is leading Leicester City to the Champions League quarter-final, after knocking out Sevilla 3-2 on aggregate - it ended 2-0 in Leicester's favor last night.

With three consecutive victories, Craig Shakespeare has absolutely transformed and revamped Leicester City – the 53-year-old Englishman deserves a lot of credit.

About the Author Kingsley

I am a football/soccer connoisseur who enjoys crafting interesting articles like the one you just read.

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