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What Ranieri's sacking says about Arsenal

What Ranieri's sacking says about Arsenal keeping Wenger

February 27, 2017 By Ali M.
Whilst Leicester quickly turned on their popular manager, the Gunners continue to back their under-fire boss despite calls for his sacking.

It was the biggest news heading into the latest round of the English Premier League. On Thursday, Leicester City announced the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, as the Foxes hover dangerously close to the relegation zone.

There were many speculations as to what the final nail on the Tinkerman’s coffin was: from losing the player’s faith to a rift with his staff and assistant manager. Nonetheless, comparisons were drawn with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The issue at Leicester and Arsenal is a tale of two cities – one club turned on their manager despite his remarkable success to the disappointment of the fans; the other stick by their manager due to his achievements, despite his recent failures, turning a deaf ear to calls for him to be sacked.

Ranieri’s struggles vs. Arsene’s underachievement

Regardless of the reason why Ranieri was sacked, be it by the players or his staff, last season’s Premier League winners are in danger of dropping out of the top-flight. Yet to play their game for this round, Leicester are currently in 18th spot.

However, Arsene Wenger has maintained stability at the Emirates even on relatively small budgets. The Gunners haven’t won the league since 2004, but enjoyed three FA Cup wins and Champions League qualification every season since that triumph.

However, Leicester and Arsenal are not on the same pedigree. It was the Foxes who won the league last term, but Vardy and Co. are nowhere near the north London outfit in status and ambition. Whilst Ranieir maintained that the goal for 2016/17 was to avoid relegation, Wenger promised fans a push for the title.

As a result, not winning the title is not as disappointing for the Foxes as it is for Arsenal and its supporters. Then there is the duration of Wenger’s failures: 13 years without winning the league. Ranieri lost his position after nine months of disappointment.

Finishing fourth comes nowhere close to being relegated, but year after year of failing to meet their target has left Gooners more frustrated than Leicester fans would have been if the King Power Stadium were to host Championship matches next season.

What lost the Tinkerman his job, and why it’s of little worry to Le Prof

At Leicester, the board abandoned the manager who handed them their first ever Premier League title. At Arsenal, Wenger enjoys the full backing of the club, and would only be out of work if the Frenchman decides to leave.

Of course, there is much more to it than that. Jamie Vardy denied playing a part in Ranieri’s sacking, but there must be some truth to claims that the senior players had a role. Having met with the owner shortly after the 2-1 loss to Sevilla, the axe came down on Claudio’s reign.

Le Prof, on the other hand, has the backing of many of his players. Reports claim that Mesut Ozil and Hector Bellerin, two players linked with a move away from the Emirates, might follow Wenger out the door if the Frenchman leaves. Those that are unhappy at Arsenal are linked with moves away, such as Alexis Sanchez, with no talk of a revolt.

Then there is Wenger’s staff. Ranieri reportedly had his issues with his assistant manager, but Arsene has – and for a long time – had yes men sitting next to him in the dugout. Pat Rice was a long-time comrade, and Steve Bruce never looks ready to challenge the 67-year-old.

Thus a comparison between Ranieri’s sacking and Arsenal’s refusal to relieve the Frenchman of his duties is difficult. Until Wenger encounters all the issues that faced the Italian, Arsene is unlikely to be forced out the door. Nonetheless, the Arsenal boss’ support from the board remains intact. 

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