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The Claudio Ranieri Appreciation Society


Zeta
Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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Of course we all (well most of us) love José, Carlo was a gentleman and a winner and who could forget the achievements of RDM last year as well, but one man who tends to get overlooked when we look to the past is Ranieri, so I just wanted to take a minute to make a little "thank you" thread for him.

He took over a decent side who had been consistently top 5/6 for a few years, but had slipped back a bit in the last few, and took us forward again into the CL (without which Roman would never have taken over we can assume).

He assembled a good squad with a mix of experience and youth even before Roman came in.

He took us to 2nd and within touching distance of a CL final in ROman's first year, making signings along the way who were key to our success under Jose and others:

Cech

Makelele

Robben

Cole

Duff

He promoted Terry to captain.

He signed Lampard and put his faith in him.

And if all of that isn't enough for you, he also did this:

Thanks Claudio.

Edited by Zeta Orionis
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Loved Claudio, someone would need to have a heart of stone not to love him after seeing him so emotional after that win against arsenal. But.......I just cant shake that balls up he made in Monaco and for that single game (as harshly as it may be) he will always be one of those "nearly" managers to me.

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Never a fan.

Certainly has his place in CFC history, no-one can argue that but we certainly shouldve won a lot more games under him than we did. His penchant for settling on the 1-0 (removing an attacker for a midfielder) cost us many points. Yes,he took us to second in Romans first season but with that squad that was more than to be expected especially up against the worst Utd team in memory. Even then we still shoudlve picked up more poionts that season.

And, as DKW says, then there was Monaco. His defining match. Still a complete headf**k i cant accept 8 years on.The site of Scott Parker at rightback, Jimmy on the wing, Veron hopping on the left and Huth in the midfield borders on amusement and it would be funny if it wasnt so tragic.

Claudio was a nice guy but not a winner. That team needed a winner to lead them to the next level.

And the club called it perfectly and got the right man at the right time.

Edited by bjd
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I agree with you on the timing, he took us as far as he could. I would love to sit down with him and ask him just what the hell happened in Monaco, what exactly was his thinking on those batsh*t mental player positions.

Edited by dkw
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I was never a fan. I found his team selections and substitutions baffling. One game we were losing at home to Charlton 1-0 and he took Hasselbaink AND Zola off and played Stanic up front on his own (I'm sure this happened.....unless I dreamt it....it sounds preposterous but with Claudio it most probably did happen). We lost the game 1-0. The way I look at it is that we were winning trophies before he came.....in 97 (FA Cup), 98 (League Cup and Cup Winners Cup), 99 (only European Super Cup but finished 3rd in the league only 4 points behind United's greatest ever side), 00 FA Cup. He came in 00/01 (right?) and left after 03/04.....in that time we won nothing and we never pushed for the title (2nd in 04 but some way behind Arsenal with a much bigger, more expensive squad). The following season, Mourinho took over and we started winning things again - quite comprehensively too. I don't think it is a coincidence. Look at Claudio's career. I think he has only won a couple of domestic cups (which are less prestigious in Italy and Spain) in a career spanning more-or-less 25 years. Pretty poor considering the clubs he has managed.....Napoli, Fiorentina, Athletico Madrid, Chelsea, Valencia, Juve, Roma, Inter, Parma. Jose would have won plenty with those sides.

What I will say is that he is good at building teams and signing good young players. He did it at Valencia and Calgary and took over during a difficult time at Juve. That said, if you want someone to win you trophies, then Claudio clearly isn't your man. I think with the players he had at his disposal at Chelsea, he should have at least won one trophy.

Edited by BernardLambourde
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Nice guy but not a great manager - actually I thought the team regressed a bit when he came on board - the CL qualification was in his third year. I accept this is mitigated by having to ease out some of the fading stars. Also, I don't believe he signed Cole - I could be wrong.

To finish on a high(bury) note - one of my all time favourite Chelsea matches -absolute electric.

Good luck Claudio.

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Ranieri did great during his time here so I appreciate him, although I think he took us as far as he could and we sacked him at the right time. I think at least once every couple of months me and my Dad get into a discussion about how it was the right time for him to go and Mourinho installed a winning mentality within the team.

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Ranieri did a lot of good work for the club and I will always be very grateful to him for the part he played in the rise of CFC. However, he had clearly taken the club as far as he could and was not the man to lead us in the CL and in the Premiership title race; to this day I still scratch my head at his illogical 'tinkering', displayed so vividly in the Monaco horror show. I can't believe we didn't win the Champions League that season. Nevertheless, I'm still fond of the Tinkerman and was sad to see him leave, even though it was for the best.

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It's sad to see Claudio being under-appreciated on here by certain fans, without the stunning season we had in beating Liverpool to 4th place, and that elusive Champions League spot it's possible that Roman never would have taken over, we would have been stuck with Bates and a financial mess.

No Mourinho.

No Premier league titles.

No Champions League.

Of course we don't know exactly how it would've played out, but for me Claudio did a great job of taking over the good work done before him (Hoddle in particular) and kick started the amazing times we've had as a club over the last decade.

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It's sad to see Claudio being under-appreciated on here by certain fans, without the stunning season we had in beating Liverpool to 4th place, and that elusive Champions League spot it's possible that Roman never would have taken over, we would have been stuck with Bates and a financial mess.

No Mourinho.

No Premier league titles.

No Champions League.

Of course we don't know exactly how it would've played out, but for me Claudio did a great job of taking over the good work done before him (Hoddle in particular) and kick started the amazing times we've had as a club over the last decade.

1997 - Gullit - FA Cup

1998 - Vialli - League Cup, Cup Winner's Cup

1999 - Vialli - European Super Cup

2000 - Vialli - FA Cup

2001 - Ranieri - Nothing

2002 - Ranieri - Nothing

2003 - Ranieri - Nothing

2004 - Ranieri - Nothing (despite having the most expensively assembled squad in the history of English football at his disposal)

2005 - Mourinho - Premier League and League Cup

Of course there are always mitigating circumstances with these things.....he inherited an ageing side....but it has been the story of his career. As I said earlier, two tin pot cups in 25 years of management with some of the biggest clubs in Europe tells it's own tale. Sure, he did some good things for Chelsea. Bedding new players who went onto win trophies for the club at a time of transition....but we needed someone like Jose to install the winning mentality. I think the sides prior to the 2003 season were good enough to be challenging for trophies. It's not like he wasn't being backed financially. £11m for Lampard, £6.5m for Gallas, £7.5m for Zenden, £7.5m for Petit, £7.8m for Gronkjaer. A lot of money at the time. And of course he inherited players like Zola, Hasselbaink, Gudjohnsson, Stanic, Cudicini etc. Finishing 6th, 5th, 4th and 2nd (after Roman's huge spending spree) and no trophies with those players doesn't represent anything amazing for me.

And I am surprised you have singled out Hoddle for praise. If you're going to list the good work done before Ranieri, then Gullit and Vialli would be a good place to start. The Hoddle sides were pretty dismal. 14th, 11th and 11th. We were at that stage under Ian Porterfield and Dave Webb before him. Finished 5th under Bobby Campbell in 1990 yet Hoddle seems to get all the praise. He did get us to the cup final but the draw was more than favourable. Barnet, Wednesday, Oxford, Wolves and Luton. The best thing he did was attract Gullit, Hughes and Petrescu.....I think that was mainly due to his star name status.....and of course Harding's money which was being thrown at it. Then we took it on from there. His tactics of trying to play a sophisticated style of football with average players saw us in danger of being dragged into the relegation dogfight in seasons 93/94 and 94/95.

Edited by BernardLambourde
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