Claudio Ranieri has a warning for Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez after Ballon d’Or nominations

Published by on October 28, 2016

It’s fair to say Leicester’s title defence is not exactly going to plan.

Claudio Ranieri was always insistent that the Foxes knew they wouldn’t be able to replicate last season’s incredible achievement, but he’d surely like them to be flying a little higher than 12th place.

His side’s away form has been nothing short of ridiculous, and they face another trip from the King Power this weekend when they head to White Hart Lane to face Spurs, their biggest rivals last season for the title.

Their collapse has come about partly as other teams seem to have sussed them out, but also because their biggest stars haven’t been performing in the league.

Of course, Leicester have looked a very different outfit in the Champions League, where they have won every game, but that’s another story entirely.

Ranieri appears to be a little concerned that success has gone to the heads of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, who have both been nominated for the Ballon d’Or.

The Tinkerman has therefore warned the duo that they will be dropped if they get complacent, with Shinji Okazaki and Leonardo Ulloa waiting in the wings.

When asked by reporters how he would ensure Vardy and Mahrez kept their feet on the ground, he said, quoted via the Sun:

“Easy, I take them out of the squad and that helps to keep their feet on the ground.

“Every day they must show me they are strong, they want to improve and are still ambitious. That is my philosophy.

 

“What we did last season is the past. Every day is new. If you don’t run there is no future. Every day they must prove themselves hungry.”

The stakes will be particularly high against Tottenham, who are without Vardy’s rival Harry Kane, who continues to nurse an ankle injury picked up in September.

Ranieri will notice that Spurs are once again in the title race, even if his side are not – but the legacy of Leicester’s triumph is still being felt.