The sacking of Claudio Ranieri, the man who brought the Premier League title to Leicester City, has caused shock waves around the footballing world.
City are under fire for dismissing a man who has brought the club the greatest moments in its history and that has led to huge criticism of the club’s hierarchy.
How could the club sack the man who produced the most incredible story in modern English football just nine months before?
Ahmed Musa came off the bench to turn Leicester’s FA Cup third round clash at Everton on its head.
Such a controversial decision has led to recriminations and the finger of blame hasn’t been pointed at the club’s owners, who have made the decision.
Media and the supporters alike are laying the blame at the feet of Ranieri’s players, comprising Suer Eagles forward, Ahmed Musa, Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, with headlines using strong words like ‘betrayal’ and ‘revolt’.
They are extreme accusations and there is no question that the City players will have to take a long look in the mirror, but despite the accusations they are an honest bunch and they will know they have let Ranieri down this season.
Television pundits point to new, fat contracts and other off-field distractions for taking away the players’ hunger and focus.
Awards and nominations have rained on Ranieri and his players ever since their incredible triumph, but some have gone as far as to say City’s players are simply not as good as they may think after last season’s triumph.
There has certainly been a dramatic drop off in performance levels this season and the high intensity, industrious approach of last season had gone.
But while there are accusations that Ranieri suffered because there was inflated egos around the club, Ranieri didn’t help himself by constantly chopping and changing his tactics and personnel this season because it created uncertainty over what the players were being asked to do and there was an element of some of the players losing faith in Ranieri.
Following the departure of N’Golo Kante, City couldn’t play in completely the same high-octane, pressing way as last season, and Ranieri began searching for the solution, but in doing so City began to lose their identity.
As the formations changed and personnel came in and out of the side, City started to lose their way to the extent where confidence began to drain and heads dropped.
It may have been this factor that the owners saw and decided there was only one way to arrest the slide.
But there is no question the City players will know they have let Ranieri down. With him at the helm they have enjoyed the highlight of their careers.
Because of Ranieri, they became champions and have enjoyed the trappings of that success. They have been lauded around the globe.
They owe Ranieri a huge debt of gratitude and, more importantly, they now owe the club a massive reaction for the rest of the season because whoever comes in to replace the Italian, it is only the players that can save City’s Premier League status now.