After Claudio Ranieri’s shock sacking in February, the appointment of former assistant manager Craig Shakespeare as interim manager felt like an obvious stopgap move until the club could find someone else. With each passing game it became clear that Shakey would stay in charge at least until the end of the season and today, after he lead them to a comfortable finish that had looked unlikely before his appointment, Leicester City have confirmed that Shakespeare will stay on as the permanent manager.
Craig Shakespeare has agreed new 3yr contract as #lcfc manager. Contract should be signed and an official statement within next 24 hours.— Rob Dorsett (@RobDorsettSky) June 8, 2017
Considering the upswing in form and, equally importantly, quality of performance after Shakespeare took over, there’s no doubt that this was fully deserved. Despite the pressure of the situation and the popularity of his predecessor he always seemed calm and in control. He never felt like a first time manager.
54% - Leicester won 54% of their PL games under Craig Shakespeare last season (7/13), compared to just 20% under Ranieri (5/25). Elected. pic.twitter.com/CDP2GIDaXr— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 8, 2017
While his managerial experience is very short (just one game as caretaker manager of West Brom before this year) he has a wealth of coaching experience and of Leicester City experience. He was there for the Championship, the Greatest Escape and the unlikely league title.
Through all of that he remained a very popular figure within the club, so the announcement will be no doubt met with delight by the majority of his players.
Craig Shakespeare deserves the chance to be #lcfc manager. Brought calm and focus back to the dressing room, popular with players and fans.— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) June 8, 2017
Hopefully this will allow the team to get on with their summer recruitment without interruption and will help Shakespeare build his team for next year. While the manager never has full control over transfers these days, this will be his first window in charge, so it will be interesting to see his strategy unfold.
Well done Craig, fully deserved!