International Soccer
Ranieri takes the easy way out at Roma

By Tim Keeble, Soccer Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The job of a football manager brings with it certain perks, but there are also a few negatives that come with it as well.

You have to work weekends, you do your job with thousands of people scrutinizing your every move and then telling you about how you should have done this or that for the next few days.

And besides the fact that the position has about as long of a shelf life as a bologna sandwich, you will be working under extremely pressurized conditions.

But on the bright side, the pay is pretty good.

If you decide to take on this job you will need to do so with the understanding that there will be incredible highs and unbearable lows, the latter of which former Roma manager Claudio Ranieri endured this past week.

Ranieri's Roma side had just lost its second successive match in Serie A to Napoli last Saturday, dropping the club further down the table.

Next up was a disappointing 3-2 defeat at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in a round of 16 first-leg contest in the Champions League, which prompted a throng of Roma supporters to toss fireworks and flares into the club's training facility in an attempt to force Ranieri to resign.

Roma accepted Claudio Ranieri's resignation on Monday.
But the Rome native said prior to this past weekend that he was determined to stick with his hometown club, and that he would not "abandon ship."

However, the boss had a sudden change of heart after Sunday's dramatic 4-3 defeat at Genoa that saw Roma surrender a 3-0 lead in the final 40 minutes.

Following the match, Ranieri grabbed the nearest lifeboat and paddled for safety as he offered up his resignation, which was accepted by the club on Monday.

Surely it is only human to react in the heat of the moment the way Ranieri did, but it just feels wrong considering his comments a few days earlier.

Ranieri is essentially taking his ball and going home because the competition on the playground has gotten to be too tough.

And the weird part is, he is receiving praise for doing so.

Roma president Rosella Sensi said that "his decision to leave in order to give the team a spark can only honor the man."

Italy national team coach Cesare Prandelli called Ranieri's resignation "an act of great responsibility and dignity."

But since when is quitting in the middle of something viewed as honorable or dignified?

It was just last season that Ranieri took over the club in midseason and helped spark a revival that took them to within two points of the league title, but things have not gone as smoothly this season.

Roma began the year without a win in its first four league games, but a run of five wins in six matches appeared to have the capital club back on track at the beginning of 2011.

However, with just one point from its last four matches, Roma has fallen out of the title picture and is unlikely to land in the top four by the end of the season.

The club is in the midst of being sold and the team has suddenly forgotten how to defend, with 14 goals given up in the last four games, but at least it isn't Ranieri's problem any more.

He is walking away in an honorable and dignified fashion according to some, while new boss Vincenzo Montella will take on the task of going down with the ship.

Comments? Criticism? Applause?
Contact Tim Keeble at tkeeble@sportsnetwork.com.

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