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  • WATCH: "I Think It's Despicable" - Gary Neville Is Troubled By Potential Player Involvement In Ranieri Sacking

WATCH: "I Think It's Despicable" - Gary Neville Is Troubled By Potential Player Involvement In Ranieri Sacking

WATCH: "I Think It's Despicable" - Gary Neville Is Troubled By Potential Player Involvement In Ranieri Sacking
By Conor Neville Updated

As usual, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher used their impressive pulpit on Monday Night Football to deliver a state of the game address.

The subject in question was the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, an epochal event which divided football fans. The majority, the romantics, were horrified. Once again, they wailed that the "game was gone." At what point will the game become so far gone that it can no longer be redeemed? This constituency were very numerous last week. The only wonder was #hopeleicestergetrelegated didn't trend worldwide on Thursday evening.

But there was another constituency, the pragmatists, the roundheads, those bottom line merchants who looked at the Premier League and decided that Claudio was steering them too close to Championship football. He may get his statue in the town square, he may get the Freedom of the city, but for the good of the club, these folk demanded that Ranieri needed to be moved along now. It's no doubt true that many who advanced this argument did so for the contrarian thrill. But presumably there were others who were sincere in their belief.

The two elders of the Monday Night Football studio, increasingly regarded as the repository of all football wisdom, have offered their verdict. They are in the former camp.

While Neville was especially critical of the Leicester players for going around the manager and appealing directly to the chairmen (a critic of 'player power' Neville, a man after Frank Murphy's heart) it was Carragher who sounded the alarm for the health of the game.

He is depressed by the new reality in football. A world in which directors prize a manager who can deliver them mid-table mediocrity or perennial 4th place finishes over a manager who might take a gamble and reach for the stars.

This is bigger than Leicester. The money in the game now is having a massive detrimental effect on the game. The reality of it is that if Claudio Ranieri, when he came in, and everyone thought he came relegated then, finished 14th (last season) and 14th this season, he's still in a job.

It's at the top end of the table as well. You think of Arsenal. The owners of Arsenal would give Arsene Wenger a ten year contract tomorrow. That's what they'd like to do. Because he guarantees top 4. He brings that money in.

Neville, meanwhile, dwelt heavily on the players' angle.

If the players were involved, then that is the most unsavoury part of this sacking... I have to say in the last few days, there are a couple of players who have spoken from Leicester who I'd like to hear less from to be honest. They're stitching themselves up. They've coming across as wholly dishonest. The reality is, if that's happened, I can't get my head around it. I think it's despicable.


Read more: 6 Other Managers Who Got The Bullet Straight After Major Success

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