herald

Friday 22 September 2017

Leicester's Euro feats spark mixed feelings

Leicester City's manager Craig Shakespeare
Leicester City's manager Craig Shakespeare

Leicester City fans must be very confused about their football team. I know I am.

I'm sure they are buzzing with excitement about the idea of talking on Atletico Madrid in the first-leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

It will be a fantastic experience for them on Wednesday night, no matter what the circumstances.

But there must be a part of them thinking about the first two thirds of the season and how everything went so badly wrong.

They must wonder about the character of the players and how they let everything they had gained in a remarkable title-winning season slip through their fingers.

Look, everyone thought that they might suffer second album syndrome but nobody expected them to collapse, down tools and walk the manager out the door.

How can a group of players be so much better with Claudio Ranieri gone and Craig Shakespeare (pictured) in temporary control?

The pro in me can't avoid a sense of scorn for what the players did and what they threw away by downing tools. They couldn't work with Ranieri but I don't think that should be an excuse to give up.

They go into this Champions League game as the team nobody wants to play and that applies in the Premier League too where they pop up amongst the Top Four battle in the coming weeks and could have a decisive role to play.

My problem is that they could have been facing into those games chasing a Top Four place themselves and not just performing for nuisance value.

Players shouldn't have that power but in today's game they do and in my opinion, that's wrong.

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