John Giles says he "would have sacked" Claudio Ranieri

The Leicester City manager was dismissed on Thursday night after defeat to Sevilla and a poor domestic run this season

Claudio Ranieri

Image: Nick Potts / PA Archive/PA Images

John Giles admitted that football is a cruel game, but that he would have sacked former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri based on their performances this season.

In a statement released today, the Italian said that with his sacking, his dream died. He went on to say:"My heartfelt thanks to everybody at the club, all the players, the staff, everybody who was there and was part of what we achieved. But mostly to the supporters.

"You took me into your hearts from day one and loved me. I love you too. No one can ever take away what we together have achieved, and I hope you think about it and smile every day the way I always will."

Speaking on Friday night's Off The Ball, Giles said that despite sentiment that is clearly among the fans, the sacking looked inevitable.

"To be honest, and I don't mean to sound cruel because I think he's a very decent man, but in the situation I would have sacked him," he said.

"The timing was bad... I think the sentiment is there and I've great sympathy towards him for what he did last year. But football is a cruel game, it really is. What you did last week doesn't matter to what you did today. And particularly last year... If they had kept Ranieri on, I think they would have been odds-on to go down."

Leicester sit one point above the relegation zone and have take just 21 points from 25 games so far in the Premier League. They are on track to become the first team since Manchester City in  1938 to be relegated after winning the league.

Claudio Ranieri with his players after what proved to be his final game in charge of the club away to Sevilla. Image: Miguel Morenatti / AP/Press Association Images 

Giles went on: "I never thought Ranieri was a good manager, but I think what happens in football, happens in life generally. A manager goes into a position and he's absolutely right for the situation and I think that's what happened last year with Ranieri.

"I think [Nigel] Pearson did a terrific job between Christmas and the end of the season. They had a good spirit and gave it a good go. They finished the season very well as you'll remember. They were odds on for relegation at Christmas but went on a great run [winning seven of their final nine league games].

"There was a great spirit about them and Ranieri took on that situation which was healthy. When I saw Ranieri go into clubs previously, he never did much management. He was affable, but I think that's what Leicester needed in that situation.

"They had a good spirit and a good group of lads and where he was wise, he didn't try to change it. He didn't try and impose himself on what was there. That was very clever.

"This season with changes in the club, with the likes of Kante leaving, then he had to manage. I think that's where he fell down."

He added: "They got a reasonable result the other night, better than most people expected. But I thought they played very, very poorly. It wouldn't give you hope to say they've turned the corner on that particular result. 

"They were very lucky to get away with the score that it was. I think they would have made their mind up before the match. I don't think it would have been because of that particular game, unless they got a dramatic win. If I was watching it as an owner and I was thinking I want a good display and a good result, I would say the result was good but the performance was poor."