While Leicester City’s players were enjoying a famous Champions League victory against Sevilla, Graeme Souness was quite keen on bringing them back down to Earth.
The Foxes secured a place in the last eight of the competition with a 2-0 victory over the Spanish side at the King Power Stadium, courtesy of goals from Wes Morgan and Marc Albrighton, to progress 3-2 on aggregate. The win means that a huge tie against the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich could await them in the next round.
Souness, however, was still keen to discuss recently-sacked manager Claudio Ranieri. The outspoken pundit, analysing the match for TV3, warned Ranieri’s successor Craig Shakespeare that these players are not to be trusted, insisting that if they down tools once they will have little hesitation in doing so again.
— Lawrie the Jock (@LawrietheJock) March 15, 2017
“They won the league playing that way.
“When you’re a manager and you’ve won the league, are you going to turn up the next season and change things? If it ain’t broke why try and fix it?
“He would have been doing the same training, talking to them the same way, preparing for the games the same way, travelling to the games the same way – everything the same.
“Some of those players at the start of the season believed all of a sudden: “We’re big players, we’re champions” and took their foot off the accelerator and got in their big comfy armchairs, with their Bentley in the car park and maybe changed their house. They took their foot off the accelerator.
“What does the manager do then? The manager has a go at some of them – and points it out to them.
“And then he falls out with two or three of the influential players in the dressing room and then you’ve got the followers in the dressing room – all of a sudden he’s fallen out with most of the dressing room.
“That’s what I believed happened and those players that are rejoicing out there and thinking they’re back, that they’re big players.
“They’ll fall off their perch again – guaranteed – because they’ve done it once they’ll do it again – they’ll let you down again.”
Ranieri lost his job as Leicester manager less than 24 hours after losing 2-1 to Sevilla in the first leg. Indeed the promotion of Shakespeare to first-team boss has seen a huge (and most would say not all surprising) turnaround in their fortunes, three wins from three moving them out of the relegation zone and seeing them progress to the Champions League quarter-finals.
The Premier League side will learn the identity of their next opponent when the draw is made on Friday.