What critics said about Claudio Ranieri at the start of the season seems hilarious now 3 years ago

What critics said about Claudio Ranieri at the start of the season seems hilarious now

Nobody predicted Leicester City to win the league this season.

Even the most experienced, highly respected pundit would have received a torrent of abuse if they'd predicted Leicester to win the Premier League before the 2015/16 season started.

But it's easy to forget now just how much doubt there was over the arrival of Claudio Ranieri at the King Power stadium last summer.

Cast your mind back to the summer of 2015... Nigel Pearson had just masterminded the greatest of great escapes from the foot of the Premier League table – securing Leicester's status as a Premier League club for another year.

But it wasn't enough to save his job, it seemed there were a few too many high-profile controversies along the way. Pearson was out, and Ranieri was in.

Here's how Gary Lineker reacted to the news.

The Italian boss had famously never won a top flight league title with ANY club, a record that didn't really seem too much of a problem at the time – Leicester didn't want to win the league, they just wanted to stay up.

But how could the charismatic "Tinkerman", famous for his charm and humour, slum it with the relegation battlers when he was used to big budgets at big clubs?

Didi Hamann literally couldn't have been further from getting it right. But who could have blamed him at this point?

Nobody was giving them a chance.

Michael Owen predicted Leicester to go down... in fact, it looks like all three of his relegation predictions were wide of the mark, but at least he got Arsenal and Man City's positions correct.

Ranieri silenced his critics just a few weeks into the season. He had no intention of slumming it, and the turnaround has been one of the single most magnificent stories in the history of football.

Let's not forget just what Claudio Ranieri has done at Leicester City this season. Films will be made and books will be written about this, no matter what happens from now until the end of the season.