Leicester City have announced the departure of Claude Puel as first team manager. Puel, 57, leaves with Leicester 12th in the Premier League, eight points above the relegation zone.
Claude Puel Sacked By Leicester
Appointed in October 2017, Puel initially guided the Foxes to safety after a poor start to the campaign. However, supporter discontent dogged the Frenchman throughout his tenure. He was tasked with the job of converting Leicester to a possession-controlling side. Whilst he succeeded with keeping the ball, more often than not this was at the expense of entertainment or chances created. This, combined with inconsistent results, left fans divided throughout his time at the club. Failures this season to win games at home against Southampton, Burnley, Cardiff City, and West Ham proved particularly costly. The final straw that saw Puel out of his job was the humiliating 1-4 defeat to Crystal Palace.
Puel also faced criticism for his handling of cup competitions, consistently selecting weakened teams. This caused significant fan unrest, particularly in Carabao Cup quarter-final defeats to Manchester City in consecutive seasons. Furthermore, the FA Cup defeat at Newport City was another low point of Puel’s tenure.
Leicester City Football Club has today (Sunday) parted company with Claude Puel, who leaves his position as First Team Manager with immediate effect.https://t.co/VoZnGBJ8Up
— Leicester City (@LCFC) February 24, 2019
Having also lost his job at Southampton, Puel may struggle to land another Premier League job. He may have to return to France for work, where he has previously found success with Monaco, Lyon, and Nice. Many will argue that Puel deserved longer at Leicester. With an ageing squad and high wage bill on his arrival, these arguments are justified. The club is certainly in better shape than when he arrived, with a host of young talent taking strides forwards under Puel.
All eyes will now be on the director of football, Jon Rudkin. The early favourite for the job is Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers. Whether Rodgers would walk away mid-season with Celtic poised for more silverware is questionable. However, an agreement for a summer switch with temporary management for the season’s remainder could be an option. The Leicester job is certainly an attractive one. With a stadium expansion and new training complex planned, Rodgers may be tempted to return to English football.
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