LONDON: Leicester are looking for a new manager for the second time in eight months after sacking Craig Shakespeare, the former assistant who had stepped up last February in place of Premier title winner Claudio Ranieri.
A 1-1 home draw against West Bromwich on Monday left Leicester in the relegation zone, already two points from safety, with all the early promise of Shakespeare’s reign fading.
Leicester reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season and lost only 2:1 on aggregate to Atletico de Madrid. They staggered through to the end of the season, finishing 12th after winning only two of their last six games which included a 6-1 home defeat by Tottenham.
The Foxes are without a win in six league games but after a tough start which included fixtures against Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Shakespeare, 53, has ended the six years of what was his second spell at Leicester with a £1m pay-off and his loyalty was acknowledged by the club as he walked out of the door.
Vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “Craig has been a great servant to Leicester City during his spells as an assistant manager and since taking over as [caretaker] manager in challenging circumstances in February.
“His dedication to the club and to his work has been absolute and the contribution he made to the most successful period in Leicester City history is considerable. However, our early promise under Craig’s management has not been consistently evident in the months since and the board feels that, regrettably, a change is necessary to keep the club moving forward.”
Michael Appleton, who resigned as Oxford United manager in the summer to become Shakespeare’s assistant, takes charge of Saturday’s game at Swansea but is unlikely to stay once the club have found the ‘high-profile’ manager they want.
Ex-England manager Sam Allardyce is one possibility as is David Moyes, though the former Everton and Manchester United boss is also being touted for the Scotland job.