There’s a very good reason why Claudio Ranieri is on course to win Coach of the Year.
The Italian was hailed as a simplistic but effective tactical genius when he guided Leicester to the Premier League title last season, and for all their woes in the current campaign, nothing is going to dent his reputation now.
Ranieri’s men were back to their best against Manchester City, beating Pep Guardiola’s men 4-2 thanks to three goals from Jamie Vardy and another strike from Riyad Mahrez.
This was Vardy’s first hat-trick in Leicester colours, his last coming for Fleetwood Town in front of fewer than 2000 people.
Vardy will be delighted after his recent goal drought, and he has admitted that Ranieri urging the Foxes to exploit one of City’s key weaknesses helped them to victory.
“We’d been watching videos and they like to use the keeper,” the striker said, per the Telegraph.
“Their keeper is a ball player so once you’ve got them in the corner you have to press the keeper slightly.
“For the hat-trick, luckily the ball came across and he wasn’t ready for it.”
Guardiola will no doubt be frustrated to hear more references to Claudio Bravo’s bizarre goalkeeping, as the City boss should also take his fair share of the blame for insisting his side play out from the back.
What’s even more worrying is that after Vardy’s revelation, surely other teams will now follow suit in targeting the hapless Chilean.
Ranieri’s men took things back to basics, but they were easily able to anticipate exactly what Bravo would do, and the summer signing has got to become less predictable if he’s to fend off Willy Caballero from taking his place.