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Peter Schmeichel thinks Leicester City's famous Premier League title win in 2015-16 was a "players' triumph" instead of a management one - and former boss Claudio Ranieri was "against" the way they played.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that Ranieri had been relieved of his duties by Watford after just four months in charge.
The Italian could only pick up seven points from a possible 39 and last Friday's embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Norwich appeared to be the final straw after The Hornets dropped into the bottom three.
Watford Football Club confirms the departure of Head Coach Claudio Ranieri.— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) January 24, 2022
The Hornets' Board recognises Claudio as a man of great integrity and honour, who will always be respected here at Vicarage Road for his efforts in leading the team with dignity.
Despite departing Vicarage Road after a disappointing spell in charge, Ranieri, 70, can look back on his managerial career with pride, although Peter Schmeichel has taken a swipe at his contribution to Leicester's title winning season.
The former Manchester United shot-stopper believes the players should take all the credit for that achievement instead of the Italian manager.
“All over the pitch, they had winners who could change the course of a game,” Schmeichel wrote in his autobiography 'One'.
“They got to the point where they could even win the league with Claudio Ranieri in charge. My intention is not to be cruel to Claudio but 2015/16 was a players’ triumph, not one of management.
“Initially, Ranieri was against the way Leicester played; that game of long, fast counter-attacks based around Jamie Vardy’s strengths. Nor did he fancy N’Golo Kante.
“He inherited a battle-hardened team, one with competitive knowledge built on the experiences of two play-off defeats, a dominant Championship season, then the ‘Great Escape’ of 2014/15.
“During that season, though they fought relegation, they were close in every single game; nobody beat them lightly.
“I would watch Kasper and see a team that was going to start winning. I thought ‘the only thing holding you back is that you don’t know how good you are.'”
Schmeichel also believes that former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson deserves credit for his contribution to that team. In fact, he claims Pearson would have won the league as well if he had stayed at the King Power.
“Nigel Pearson created an environment in which the bond between players was unbreakable and their idea of how they should play was 100% clear," he said.
"On the pitch, the players took control. They played the way they felt. They took control of the tactics.
“I feel sorry for Nigel because he left the club before he could finish the job. I am convinced, had he stayed, he would have won the league too."
Claudio Ranieri left The Foxes in February 2017, just months after lifting the Premier League title.
Shortly after his dismissal, Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was asked if there was any truth in some players turning on Ranieri and going to the board.
"There's absolutely no truth in that whatsoever," he told the BBC. "We are players and we can only affect on the pitch - and we haven't done that.
"What happens above our heads at boardroom level is completely out of our control."