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"Ranieri Is A Very Poor Coach" - John Giles And Liam Brady Disagree Strongly On Leicester City

"Ranieri Is A Very Poor Coach" - John Giles And Liam Brady Disagree Strongly On Leicester City
By Conor Neville

Even those who endorse the Leicester board's decision to sack Claudio Ranieri have done so with more than a hint of wistfulness and regret.

Not so John Giles, who insists that the 2016 FIFA coach of the year is "a very poor coach."

(We've phrased the sentence that way to illustrate the controversial nature of Gilesy's statement but we accept it's highly doubtful that he would be too impressed by that FIFA bauble.)

On Eamon Dunphy's podcast 'The Stand', Giles and Brady had a right old barney about the sacking. Giles laid out his view, essentially crediting Nigel Pearson for laying the foundations for Leicester's astonishing title victory last year.

Going by Giles's account, Claudio Ranieri emerges as the Chauncey Gardner of Premier League winning managers.

My take on Ranieri has always been that he took over a very, very good situation and was wise enough not to interfere in that. I don't particularly think he's a good manager. Having taken over the team and done remarkably well - I think he was very wise not to make changes - now he had to manage this particular season. I don't reckon he's a good manager and I think when he had to manage, the players did become disenchanted to say the least.

Brady's thinking was more in line with Jamie Carragher - that the players should be ashamed of themselves for allegedly phoning it in under Ranieri.

Oddly, their biggest dispute centred around whether Leicester were relegation fodder when Ranieri arrived at the club. Brady insists that they were relegation favourites, pointing, not unreasonably, to the bookmakers' odds at the beginning of the season.

Giles is never intimidated by such things and baldly asserted that you wouldn't want to pay too much attention to the bookies. Things got a touch narky at this point.

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Giles: "They weren't relegation candidates at the start of the season."

Brady: "Well they were John. If you ask anybody, maybe you're wiser than anybody else..."

Giles: "I'm not trying to be wiser than anybody else, Liam. I'm trying to go on the facts. I'm not trying to be wiser than anybody else.

Giles only credits Ranieri for leaving well alone last season. When Kante departed and the laissez faire approach was no longer available, Ranieri was forced to put his own stamp on the club. For Gilesy, this is when things went awry.

While the rest of the punditocracy have made strenuous attempts to big up Ranieri by asserting that the Leicester players are "average", Giles, in stark contrast, argues that Leicester City were already a very good team when Ranieri was appointed. It was just that few people had realised it.

In his Evening Herald column today, Giles is even more forthright.

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Ranieri is not a good manager and I think the players knew this better than anyone. They were able to roll along with him because he adopted a hands-off approach and the imprint Nigel Pearson left on them held firm for nine months...

Put yourself in their (the players) shoes and imagine, for a moment, that Ranieri is as I say, a very poor coach. Imagine if you're a player and you know that too. By some miracle, you win the title and when the wheels come off in the next campaign, you are getting it in the neck for not performing, not doing your best when you know in your heart and soul that the problem is the manager.

Read the rest of Giles's column here.

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Read more: Packie Bonner, Anthony Nash And Others Who Helped Inspire Rule Changes In Their Sport

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