The weak title pun is in reference to Ranieri’s promise to buy all his players pizza, but only if they had kept a clean sheet against Stoke City earlier this season.
Unfortunately for the Foxes the game ended 2-2, although a pizza was the least the player’s deserved after another amazing fight back.
Their early season fighting spirit has epitmoised Leicester’s return to the Premier League, and they look as hungry as ever to grab a piece of the top 10 action. Not many would have anticipated this six months ago, and Nigel Pearson should be credited for the position Leicester City currently find themselves in.
Parallels can be drawn with Southampton from a few years ago. After sacking Nigel Adkins many Saints fans were outraged at the disloyalty shown to the man who had guided them to the Premier League. However, few would disagree with that decision now. Southampton replaced Adkins with Pochettino and the rest is history. Southampton are now a team who consistently finish in the top 8, a target not beyond the realm of possibility for Leicester City this season. The question is can they sustain it?
If the Foxes do continue their extraordinary form and finish in the top 8 at the end of season then changes will likely occur. Much like Southampton, many of Leicester’s stars will move on to bigger teams. A lot will depend on how well they replace the likes of Vardy and Mahrez, perhaps Ranieri will look to Serie A for his replacements in the same way Koeman has used the Eredivisie to strengthen his Southampton side.
Of course these permutations may not occur, although it is surely in the long-term interest of Leicester City to follow the example set by Southampton.
The Foxes have good financial backing, so there is no reason why they can’t kick on and compete in the Premier League. They need to make the most of the season they are having, and assess the changes after that. The most consistent teams in the Premier League are the most adaptable. It may even transpire that Ranieri will leave after one or two successful seasons with Leicester City, which will be another real test of Leicester’s Premier League resilience.
Most Leicester fans have fond memories of Martin O’Neill’s reign. Under the Northern Irishman the Foxes enjoyed two league cup successes and played European football. These are the last glory days in the club’s recent memory, and Leicester find themselves in a wonderful position to create a legacy to compete with that one.
To support Leicester at the moment must be an incredible feeling. Most fans will still be drunk from the Foxes’ unexpected Premier League status this season, whilst the rest will be plastered with the delight of things to come.