Guess Who’s Back

There is another French revolution brewing in Nantes.

The Italian tinkerer Claudio Ranieri has joined FC Nantes, according to the BBC. Since Leicester City questionably gave Ranieri his marching orders in February, there haven’t been any updates on his future and whether he would keep managing clubs, or even leave the game, as he is 65.

Now that one of the game’s favorite managers has found a new home, you have to wonder if there is about to be another revolution similar to the one forged by Ranieri in the Premier League two campaigns ago.

Ranieri takes over for Sergio Conceicao (yeah, I have trouble pronouncing it too) after the latter departed for Portugal, specifically the coastal club Porto. Oddly enough, Sergio was rumored to take over at Leicester back in February. Small world, huh?

Ranieri brings experience to Nantes, and has a few years of Ligue 1 under his belt already, having taken Monaco from Ligue 2 and even finishing second in the league behind PSG in his final season at the club, so it’s not like he’s unaccustomed to the league. Claudio is no longer surprised.

Sporting some of the best kits in Ligue 1, Nantes should look good and play well under Claudio, although his tendency to alter his lineup too often can prove to be a bad thing. Nantes finished in seventh this year, but are keeping their eyes fixated ahead, and Ranieri is an appropriate appointment. If I may say so, it could be the signing of the summer, no joke.

Inspired to take on another challenge or looking for a softer, respectful way to leave the game for good, Claudio can bring something special to a club lodged in seventh. He is a player’s manager, someone everyone in the club loves, as we saw with his time in Leicester, but is that the approach Nantes need? Whether he can propel them to European competition or not remains to be seen, but you can’t help but believe anything is possible when that friendly Italian flashes a smile behind his glasses.

Whether you believe in him or not, it’s a guarantee his players will. Sometimes, that’s all that is required to inspire a great run from a club that play together, a quality that’s never missing from a Ranieri lineup. He keeps fighting, and we are no longer surprised.


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