Craig Shakespeare Starring As Leicester City’s Macbeth

Here’s a very short summary of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth:

Macbeth was a foot-soldier and general to the king of Scotland. Then he hears from a few witches that he’s destined to become Scotland’s next king. The prophecy basically turns Macbeth into a crazed lunatic burning with ambition and with the encouragement of his wife the general kills the Scottish ruler, and Macbeth takes the Scottish throne.

More shit happens; murders, madness and guilt all rear their ugly heads. I won’t spoil the end for you but it’s not great for Macbeth and his lady.

The deceit and ambition that run through one of the bard’s greatest tales, reminds me of Leicester City and all that’s happened recently at the King Power stadium.

Claudio Ranieri seems perfect to play the King Duncan part.

Claudio like Duncan was a generous, successful and sensitive leader. Both were probably slightly naive of those around them and their motives. They both get stabbed in the back for their troubles, obviously metaphorically speaking in the Italian’s case.

Then enters my ‘Macbeth’ character, this will be played by current interim boss Craig Shakespeare.

Now I should point out, for legal reasons, that I’m not accusing Craig of murdering anyone, or being a bit crazy or indeed being evil in anyway.

I’m just questioning his role in all that has gone on at Leicester this term. It’s as if he’s been happy to throw Ranieri under the bus and then let his own burning ambition take hold.

Last season, Shakespeare (Craig not William) along with Steve Walsh, enjoyed all the plaudits with Claudio in guiding the team to their historic Premier League title triumph.

This season as the Foxes struggled, Shakespeare wasn’t really seen as much. All the attention went to the players and the manager. He seemed immune from the criticism from the press or from the the fans and ultimately he was excused of any blame by the board.

Reports suggested that Craig had fallen out with Ranieri, which the interim boss has since denied.

But my main problem with the whole saga has been Shakespeare’s lack of guilt or at least admitting to his own failings.

If things were fundamentally wrong with the management of the football club, then as the assistant manager Shakespeare has to be blamed as well. Surely he’s the man who functions as the go-between with the boss and his players. If a disconnect happened between Ranieri and his squad then surely Craig hasn’t done his job properly?

The players available to Shakespeare are the same as those that Ranieri had kept faith in and the coach has kept with the same tactics that were deployed by the Italian. Yet the Shakespeare has managed to get positive results, whereas Ranieri couldn’t.

So did the players simply down tools under Ranieri?

Possibly but surely they also downed tools for Shakespeare and didn’t play for the fans.

Yet Craig Shakespeare has mentioned in every press conference that he’s capable of taking things forward on a permanent basis:

 “Do I think I can do the job? Yes. Does it faze me? No. I have been a caretaker before. I’ve never been in a press conference quite as big as this! But I’m ready for the challenge.”

Was followed up with:

“I’m clear in my mind the way I want to go with the team and the selection. I won’t be frightened if ever I have to change it.”

There’s no doubting that Shakespeare has done a good job thus far, with the Foxes winning their last two games and moving in the right direction.

The threat of relegation hasn’t disappeared but things are looking brighter. The players have also backed Craig to get the role on a full-time basis.

Again this doesn’t sit well with me.

At no time has Shakespeare or any of his squad apologised to their former boss for the poor results this term. They thanked him for standing by them and for helping them realise the biggest dream of their lives. But again no one at the club has accepted any blame for what happened this season and apologised to the manager.

When pressed about the speculation that senior players helped get Ranieri removed from his position, keeper Kasper Schmeichel went full politician and dodged the question. Instead the Dane would tell the world that the players don’t make business decisions at the football club but at no time did he deny meeting with the club’s hierarchy to discuss Ranieri’s management of the side.

Be in no doubt that the player’s won the league title last season but they also cost their manager his job this term.

Craig Shakespeare also failed in his role as Claudio’s number two. He has simplified training and the tactics but with Ranieri struggling to find any answers this season, I’m sure the Italian would’ve tried anything to rediscover the club’s form. So why didn’t his assistant simplify things before now?

If Claudio Ranieri’s management failed this season, then Craig Shakespeare has to accept he also failed in his duties.

He can have the burning ambition to be the club’s number one and he can be happy with the last two results but for me I just see blood on his and the player’s hands.

Macbeth was just a story, there’s no room in modern day football for guilt. Those currently playing and managing the Foxes have shown the world that.

It’s just a shame that they’ve also managed to turn a fine fairytale into a Shakespearian tragedy!

Leave a Reply