Claude Puel sacked by Leicester: Why the decision and where do club go from here?

Claude Puel 4:22
Rob Dorsett says Claude Puel's increasingly-strained relationship with some of Leicester's players was one of the key factors in the decision to sack him

Leicester City are looking to appoint their third manager in just over two years after sacking Claude Puel on Sunday.

The Frenchman was sacked in the wake of a 4-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, which leaves Leicester 12th in the Premier League, eight points above the relegation zone.

Here, Sky Sports News Midlands reporter Rob Dorsett examines the reasons behind Leicester's decision and looks at how the club will look to replace him.

Why have Leicester made the decision to sack Puel?

Aiyawatt 'Top' Srivaddhanaprabha
Image: Aiyawatt 'Top' Srivaddhanaprabha made the decision to move on from Claude Puel

This had an air of inevitability about it. It has been coming for some time now.

My understanding is that it was the decision of Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, Leicester City's vice-chairman. He took the decision last night after that 4-1 home defeat. That was a fourth consecutive home defeat for Leicester, which is their worst record at home in 19 years.

I understand that the powers that be at Leicester really did not want to make a change.

They were not considering any changes to the manager until the summer at least. But the mood within King Power Stadium yesterday after that defeat, amongst the fans and amongst, I think crucially, some of the players who'd lost faith in Puel's methods, meant that they decided to accelerate their plans and move quicker.

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That is why Puel was sacked late last night and the process of trying to look for a replacement starts now.

They could not avoid just how poor Leicester's results had been previously. Their last victory in any competition was on New Year's Day. In the meantime, they have lost to Newport in the FA Cup. They have lost at home to Crystal Palace. They have lost at home to Southampton. Those were really poor results but there with flashes of brilliance in there as well.

The 1-1 draw at Anfield against Liverpool - the league leaders - really impressed an awful lot of people. Many pundits thought that they perhaps could have even won that game. They beat Manchester City and Chelsea over Christmas.

So there was a bemusement I think amongst Lester's hierarchy as to how they could get such good results against such good teams and then such poor results against lesser opposition in the Premier League and the FA Cup.

Puel was trying to change Leicester from the counter-attacking style that won them the title so they could do better against the smaller teams, but quite simply Leicester's bosses felt that progress was not happening quickly enough and they just could not ignore those recent results.

Why had Leicester's players lost faith in Claude Puel?

Jamie Vardy didn't feel his game was suited to Claude Puel's system at Leicester
Image: Jamie Vardy didn't feel his game was suited to Claude Puel's system at Leicester

I did an interview with Jamie Vardy back in December, which was a really pertinent one, I think, where he said Puel's style of football does not suit his style of football, which is a pretty staggering admission of what the situation was even back then.

More and more of Leicester's senior players doubted some of the decisions that Puel was making.

When they were chasing the game recently against Manchester United and needed a goal, he took James Madison off in the 62nd minute to a chorus of boos at the King Power Stadium.

We saw Vardy's reaction at the end of that defeat to Manchester United when Puel went and hugged Paul Pogba and had a chat with him after the final whistle. Vardy was furious. The ultimate competitor, he did not want to see his manager chatting in a friendly manner with the opposition when Leicester had just been beaten.

preview image 2:50
Highlights from Crystal Palace's 4-1 win over Leicester in the Premier League.

So there was a growing animosity between some members of the squad and Puel that made it very difficult.

Leicester's players have been accused of getting managers sacked in the past. They were accused of that, incorrectly actually, when Claudio Ranieri was sacked after he won the title.

This is not player power at play here. This was Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha's decision and his decision alone.

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He has a lot of admiration for the job that Puel has done, particularly around the death of his father, when Vichai Shrivaddhanaprabha so tragically lost his life in that helicopter crash.

Puel came out of that with huge respect in the way that he dealt with the players, the way he dealt with the media and the way he dealt with the family.

But despite that kind feeling that Aiyawatt had towards Puel, he had to take a hard business decision and results just were not good enough for a team that expects to be much higher than where they are in the Premier League right now.

Who might Leicester target to replace Puel?

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez gives the thumbs up after the win at Burnley
Image: Could Leicester target Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez?

Leicester have had an awful lot of turmoil this season and in recent times. The last two times they have gone six games without a win were with Craig Shakespeare and Ranieri and both of them lost their jobs immediately.

Puel has gone exactly the same way. No win in six - he has been sacked.

So the next appointment they make is going to be a key one. It has to be one that they hope will be for the long term.

I know that Leicester's bosses are big admirers of Brendan Rodgers and of Rafael Benitez but they are both in jobs.

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Harry Redknapp would be a suitable option as interim Leicester manager until the end of the season, says former player Tony Cottee

I think Leicester's bosses are quite sober about this and they will take their time to try and get that right appointment.

Yes, Rodgers and Benitez will be two names that they consider but you cannot imagine that Celtic or Newcastle letting either of those go easily. They will want to keep their men.

So I do not expect a quick appointment. Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler will be caretaker bosses.

They will certainly be in charge for Leicester's game on Tuesday night against Brighton at the King Power Stadium.

I think Leicester's bosses will try and take a bit of time and look at everybody who is available, but somebody with the pedigree of Benitez and the pedigree of Rodgers will certainly be of interest to them.

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