Tuesday 25 September 2018

Ranieri no longer the tinkerman

Leicester boss now stands on brink of truly remarkable feat

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri Photo: PA
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri Photo: PA

Claudio Ranieri this weekend stands on the brink of a remarkable Premier League title success because he has ditc hed his habit of being the 'Tinkerman'.

That's the view of former Chelsea man Graeme Le Saux, who played under the Italian coach at Stamford Bridge.

The Foxes can seal the title on Sunday if they can win away to Manchester United, two more games left for City after that if they fail in Sunday's task.

And Le Saux says a lot of the success is down to his former boss, whose actual character does not match his public persona.

"That's all veneer, don't be fooled, that's part design," said Le Saux, who played under Ranieri for Chelsea from 2000-2003.

"He's a very shrewd operator and he wouldn't shirk a big decision. Behind the smile there's a ruthless football manager, a guy who is happy to make big decisions.

"At Leicester he hasn't had to, the team picks itself. He's not had to deal with dropping big names and moving people on. Once he's established his team and his shape, he's been the polar opposite to what we were calling him, the Tinkerman.

Did he tinker too much? Yes, and it's frustrating as a player when you work on a system all week and on the day of the game he changes it. But that's not a criticism of who he is now," he added.

The Foxes are without leading scorer Jamie Vardy for that title decider in Old Trafford as he serves an additional suspension this weekend.

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