Claudio Ranieri's constant tinkering to find the best line-up during his tenure at Chelsea was the reason “Tinkerman” became his nickname.
He was the manager when Roman Abramovich took over Chelsea in 2003 and started to spend heavily on players. He guided Chelsea to a runners-up position and laid the foundation for the next manager, Jose Mourinho, who later won two League titles for the club.
Ranieri is now back in the Premier League as the manager of Leicester City. As it stands now they are second on the league table with seven points, better goal difference than Manchester United and just two points behind Manchester City.
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Ranieri took over Leicester from Nigel Pearson who guided the team to 14th place in the league last season. Pearson was sacked because the board thought the working relationship with Pearson was “no longer viable”.
A perfect fit
Perhaps the reason Leicester City employed Ranieri is because the man is quiet and humble. They needed someone that will do the job quietly without creating back-page headlines for the wrong reasons. Pearson was a little too much for the club’s Thai owners’ taste.
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After his job in Chelsea, Ranieri went to managed six clubs; Valencia, Parma, Juventus, Roma, Inter Milan and Monaco. He also spent time briefly as the national coach of Greece before arriving at Leicester City.
For some, Ranieri is an underachiever. His trophy cabinet is missing a league title, yet he has been second at Chelsea, Juventus and Roma but he won domestic cup trophies with Fiorentina and Valencia. Nevertheless his experience managing European's top club would be seen as an asset to Leicester City.
After three games Leicester City have recorded a 4-2 win against Sunderland and a 2-1 win at West Ham. They managed a 1-1 draw with Tottenham. Ranieri stayed with the same formation for these games and stick with a classic 4-4-2 formation whereas Pearson was using a 3-5-2 at the end of last season.
He is using width and the pace of his forward, Riyad Mahrez - who is top scorer in the Premier League so far with four goals, and his wingers Marc Albrighton and Jamie Vardy. In the back four, Ranieri is trusting Robert Huth – the player he signed when he was Chelsea’s manager to organise Leicester’s defence.
According to The Independent, Ranieri thinks points matters more than position. “I want to maintain a low profile. We can’t think we are top of the league” that is what he said after victory against West Ham put The Foxes briefly at the top of the table.
Claudio Ranieri would want to keep Leicester City in the Premier League and improve their position from last season. If he manage to accomplish that, the British media should have a new nickname for him.