Paul Merson's rant about Leicester's players getting Ranieri sacked is incredible

Gillette Soccer Saturday Live with Jeff Stelling

In the space of 24 hours, Leicester City have become England's most hated football club.

Now that might be a bit of an exaggeration but judging by the reaction to Claudio Ranieri's sacking, it might just be the case.

Not even a year on from leading Leicester to a historic Premier League title and the Italian has been given the boot following Wednesday's defeat to Sevilla in the Champions League.

A crisis meeting was held between the club's owners and players on Thursday morning to discuss Ranieri, with senior figures revealing a complete breakdown with the coaching staff.

And then it happened. Later that day, Ranieri was sacked and Leicester immediately began their search for a new manager to help them avoid relegation.

Roberto Mancini, who won the Premier League with Manchester City in 2012, is bookies' favourite to land the job, but even he will struggle to keep Leicester afloat.

In the eyes of many, Ranieri at least deserved to see out the remainder of the current season given his unparalleled success last term.

Winning the title as 5000/1 outsiders was a one-off, of course, but the Italian proved he can inspire greatness from a team of average players.

In the aftermath of Ranieri's sacking, former professionals like Gary Lineker, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have all reacted angrily on Twitter.

Millwall v Leicester City - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round

Lineker even admitted to shedding a tear when he heard the news, such was his frustration.

Paul Merson has now become the latest to comment on Ranieri's dismissal and, in stark contrast to most of his interviews, he's absolutely nailed it.

Speaking on Sky Sports earlier today (see below), Merson embarked on a powerful rant about how the decision to sack Ranieri is "disgusting" and that Leicester's players, who conspired against the 65-year-old, ought to be ashamed.

He said: "I think it's an absolute joke. I think it's disgusting I really do. I mean, this man has come into Leicester and won the league. Won the league!

"He's worked with world-class players in his career, been to big football clubs. He goes there, he has the bottle to go and play 4-4-2, which is very unusual in this day and age in the Premier League, and they go and win the league.

"He makes, let's be honest, average footballers world stars being touted around for Ballon d'Or's and all that and then you read they have the audacity to go into the chairman and say it isn't working.

Leicester City Training and Press Conference

"I played the game for 20 years, I wouldn't in my wildest dreams have done that, not in my wildest dreams. Honestly it beats me.

"I feel for him (Ranieri). Average footballers going in and sticking the knife into the back of the manager who made them stars. It leaves such a bad taste in my mouth you wouldn't believe it."

Well said, Paul. Ranieri gave the likes of Jamie Vardy and Wes Morgan the chance to achieve the impossible and their way of repaying him was by getting him sacked.

Ranieri deserves better; Leicester's players, not so much.

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