Claudio Ranieri pulled off one of the great feats of the past 20 years when he led Leicester City to the Premier League title. Five clubs and half a decade on, he begins a new phase in his career when Watford face Liverpool at Vicarage Road today.
This seems an odd marriage. Ranieri turns 70 next week and has a peripatetic history – this is his 22nd job in management. Watford have parted company with eight managers since Leicester sealed their Premier League win. It is not hard to conceive that the Italian will no longer be in control in Hertfordshire in May. At Watford, the beginning of the end starts right at the beginning. Aside from Pep Guardiola, Ranieri and Jurgen Klopp are the only two managers in the top flight who can boast about winning the league in England. Ranieri was sacked by Leicester nine months after the club’s greatest success. One day they will build a statue at Anfield to Klopp. The German’s legacy is secure. Ranieri’s is forever fated to be seen as avuncular but slightly lightweight, an image likely to be endorsed by this spell at Watford.
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