If the latest reports are to be believed, Paul Heckingbottom’s future at Elland Road seems to be in doubt and he could be replaced by former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri who has currently left French outfit Nantes in Ligue 1. The major reason for his departure was his strenuous relationship with club President Waldemar Kita.
Heckingbottom had taken over from Thomas Christiansen in February and he was expected to provide some much-needed change in the club’s playing style and mentality. However, the former Barnsley manager just managed 4 wins in his 16 games in charge and the pressure has been mounting on him since then. Leeds United finished a dismal 13th after they ignited hopes of a playoff spot owing to their good start to the season where they were unbeaten in their first seven games.
Ranieri is one of the most experienced managers around the world right now and he took his first managerial job in 1986. Since then he has gone on to manage various clubs over the last three decades. He has a good amount of experience in English football as well as he was with Chelsea for four years and spent close to three seasons at Leicester.
He is fondly remembered in the Premier League, as he took an underdog team like Leicester City to a domestic title triumph in the 2015-16 season.
However, he was sacked a season after he guided his team to the domestic title. Many were calling it a ruthless move from their board but it was justified as Leicester City showed significant improvements under their caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare.
Whatever be the Peacocks’ decision, it needs to be taken quickly because a new manager will come in with a new playing style and philosophy and he will have a chance to build his team in the transfer market. If the management decides to sack Heckingbottom then it should probably happen in a week or so as that will give the new manager a chance to work with the team in the preseason.
An experienced man like him will certainly benefit Leeds United but one feels that it will be unfair for Heckingbottom to sack him so soon when he hasn’t even been given a chance to build his own team and buy a few players of his own choice from the transfer market.
Yes, the results which he has delivered in his time are unsatisfactory but one shouldn’t expect miracles in such a short time and the Englishman must be given the time period of at least one more season at the Elland Road club to prove himself.