English Football's Top-10 Managers of the Decade, 2010-2019: 10th - Claudio Ranieri
Claudio Ranieri’s presence in the Premier League dugout between 2010 and 2019 didn’t even stretch to two years, with the Italian only mustering a combined 22 months at two different clubs, each of whom experienced a complete contrast in fortunes.
We fully understand those of you who wouldn’t opt to include Ranieri in your personal list of English football’s Top-10 ‘Managers of the Decade’, afterall his second job in this period was a failed three-and-a-half month stint at Fulham, a club that were subsequently relegated down to the Championship a couple of months after his exit.
However, here at The Sack Race we simply had to make room at No.10 for the man who conjured up THE monumental managerial achievement of the decade.
Yes, we’re talking about Leicester City’s miraculous Premier League title win. The staggering 5,000/1 outsiders, who narrowly avoided relegation the season before under Nigel Pearson, shredded the scripts, stunned opponents, silenced critics, and flabbergasted their own bewildered yet boisterous fans en-route to glory.
The incredible efficiency of the 4-4-2 formation, the team spirit, the seismic 3-1 victory at Man City, Jamie Vardy’s record-breaking goalscoring run, pizza’s for clean sheets, the panache of Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez, the phenomenal engine of N’Golo Kante, and the euphoric celebrations once the title was clinched. It was the fairytale of all fairytales.
Ranieri was charming from the get go, and deep down the veteran boss must have been in absolute dreamland. Afterall, he was a shock appointment - ‘Claudio Ranieri? Really?’ tweeted Gary Lineker - having not managed in the Premier League since 2004,while he’d just come off the back of a woeful four-game winless stint in charge of Greece, which included a humiliating defeat at home to the Faroe Islands.
“What could I do? I am not a magician,” he later revealed to Leicester Mercury when talking about his dismal spell at Greece. As it turned out, Ranieri was lying, he was a magician. He’d just forgotten to take his wand to Greece, instead saving his managerial wizardry for Leicester who under his watch became the first first-time winners of the English top-flight since Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in 1978.
1x Premier League title
1x LMA Manager of the Year
1x Premier League Manager of the Season
1x BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach
1x The Best FIFA Men’s Coach
1x European Coach of the Season
1x Golden Foot
1x Italian Football Hall of Fame