What the pundits said about Leicester in pre-season
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 30/04/16 6:25pm
As Leicester close in on an unprecedented Premier League crown, we look back at what the pundits said at the start of the season.
With Claudio Ranieri arriving at the King Power Stadium to replace Nigel Pearson, the reaction on the whole was of surprise.
Few predicted Leicester would stay up, let alone finish top half and beyond, while many noted the Italian's lack of top flight success in previous jobs.
"Astonished"... "A huge punt"... "Incredible"... that's what they said then, but now the script has been turned on its head, and Leicester will be crowned champions if they win at Manchester United on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports 1HD.
On Sky Sports: "They should really have signed his agent. He got all those jobs for him! I may be quite wrong, but I don't think he's ever won anything.
"He's been there, seen it, not done it, at all those places. Nigel Pearson did ever so well, and for Ranieri to get this job was quite incredible. I hope he does well, because he is a nice guy, but he's fortunate.
Matt Le Tissier
On Sky Sports: "With Leicester I think it could be a massive struggle this season. I think he might struggle with the spirit there."
On Twitter: "Claudio Ranieri? Really?"
On BreatheSport: "Claudio Ranieri is clearly experienced, but this is an uninspired choice by Leicester. It's amazing how the same old names keep getting a go on the managerial merry-go-round."
On Twitter: "Can't believe Leicester appointed Ranieri ... Great club, great fanbase but I'm afraid MK rather than Old Trafford season after next."
On Twitter: "Ranieri is a nice guy, but he's done well to get the Leicester job. After what happened with Greece, I'm surprised he can walk back into the Premier League."
On Sky Sports: "I'm astonished. I just didn't see this one coming. Obviously there have been many people linked to the job but as far as I'm aware, Ranieri wasn't one and for me, it is a strange appointment.
"They made a massive risk getting rid of Nigel Pearson who did such a good job football-wise towards the end of last season. To appoint Ranieri now, bearing in mind where he has been the last 10 years, is a huge gamble."
On BBC: "Ranieri, good manager but for me not Leicester. If you play for the Foxes you need someone you can relate to as a manager. O'Neill, Pearson are managers the players can relate to. I'd have gone back to O'Neill or Lennon. It will be a relegation battle whoever was manager. Big name, bad choice in my opinion. Time will tell. Hopefully I am wrong."
On BBC: "If I was a player at Leicester still I would be excited given the players he has worked with in the past - very excited.
"But for the next manager at Leicester, the job in hand is stabilising the club. I don't think they are looking to win things yet. If they can be a mid-table team then he will be doing a fantastic job."
In the Daily Telegraph: "Replacing Nigel Pearson with Claudio Ranieri can only be described as a huge punt. The risk is that City now lose some of the energy, aggression and spirit that pulled them to safety."
Speaking on Sky Sports in September: "Leicester have started well and they'll be well safe. They can beat teams and I love the Nathan Dyer signing… he could easily get in Tottenham's team."
In the Daily Mirror: "Last season's Great Escape will have instilled incredible belief at the King Power. Having met Nigel Pearson on a number of occasions last season, he was in no doubt that the Foxes would claw themselves to safety.
"Unfortunately, the script has changed. I'm not convinced about 'Tinkerman' Claudio Ranieri. Pearson had the dressing room. The players believed in him. Ranieri has a job on his hands earning the same respect.
"Don't underestimate the loss of Esteban Cambiasso, either. But I think the players believe. That could be enough. It may be just as messy as it was last time, though."
On Twitter: "Right then here we go again #Top6Bottom3: Top 6: Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Spurs.
"Bottom 6: Bournemouth, Leicester, Watford. Let's see yours!"