For teams with ambition, FA Cup weeks are best used for rest and relaxation as opposed to playing football.
Following Leicester's 2-1 loss to Arsenal on Valentine's Day, a match which ironically convinced Ranieri that his team had the stuff for the long haul, he allowed his players a week off.
Jamie Vardy praised the manager's decision as crucial in giving the team the strength for the run-in. It's all reminiscent of that raucous pre-championship get-together the Clare players embarked on in early summer '95. (Dalo informed us that Ger Loughnane closed his eyes and belted out Waltzing Matilda at one point).
I think a good thing that helped us straight after that game was the gaffer had seen exactly how much we’d all fought for each other and put into that game, and because we weren’t in the week after because we’d been knocked out of the FA Cup he gave us a week off to completely forget about everything and recharge the batteries.
We all ventured off, quite a few of us went to Dubai together as a team, and I think that moment, for him to even think about doing that, showed what he’d thought of us as a team and how much work we’d already put in. So to get those batteries recharged for that week and come back fighting stronger was a massive part [in winning the league].
It was a great idea. I went to Dubai and I remember sitting on a sun lounger and in the same hotel Sunderland were there, running up and down the beach doing fitness. For me to be relaxing while they’re doing the training was quite nice. It worked out perfectly, no one was going to go on a seven-day bender. It was a case of being there to relax with family and that’s all we did until we got back to training.
He also dismissed the notion, subtly put about by Mauricio Pocchetino during the chase, that many of Leicester's late season opponents, with little to play for and excessively charmed by the whole Leicester fairytale, essentially rolled over at the King Power.
I can’t see any team doing that, to be honest with you. I don’t think anyone would like to just turn up and be rolled over to let someone else win, I don’t think that is inside anyone, it wouldn’t look good on the club if they were doing that and I’m sure the fans wouldn’t like it. So I can’t see that being true whatsoever.
Even Pochettino would likely forgive Mr. Vardy giving the shortest of shrifts to such analysis this week.