English champ Leicester fires manager Ranieri
Claudio Ranieri was fired as the manager of English champion Leicester on Thursday, nine months after guiding the soccer club to the most improbable title triumph in Premier League history. Leicester’s Thai owners took the drastic measure with the team just a point above the relegation zone with 13 games remaining in a dreadful title defence. With a team of journeymen, castoffs and previously unheralded players, Leicester won the Premier League last season at odds of 5,000-1, a feat generally viewed as one of the greatest in all of sports. Ranieri was last month voted as Fédération Internationale de Football Association coach of the year. However, the Italian manager has come under heavy pressure in recent weeks as Leicester slipped closer to the bottom three in the Premier League and reportedly fell out with some of his players. Leicester hasn’t scored a goal in six league games in 2017, and could be in the relegation zone by the time the team plays its next match, at home to Liverpool on Monday. Assistant manager Craig Shakespeare and first-team coach Mike Stowell have been placed in temporary charge of the side. Ranieri took charge of Leicester in July 2015.