I am delighted to see Leicester win the league as I am sure most of us are. They are worthy champions having had a strong spine, a creative spark and a lethal goalscorer. Fair play. I would say that this title race has lacked real exerted pressure. It feels more like Leicester have won at a canter and it is fitting that they win with Spurs capitulating after being 2-0 up on Chelsea. Some might cynically say have they won it or have others fallen away?
All in all it’s the managers who will come into the spot light as is our cut throat pantomime culture. Ranieri is sacked as manager of Greece last year only 4 months after losing to the Faroe Islands and then leads a 5,000-1 team to win the Premier League. He inherited a strong core from Nigel Pearson’s side, which won the Championship in 2013-14 and who deceptively won 7 of their last 9 games last season. But he has applied the finishing touches and deserves the credit.
Whilst we exalt Ranieri, Pochetino and Klopp with a fit of aspiration, we crush and boo LVG, Martinez and Wenger. Hero and villain. Is this right? How does God wants us to live? How does God want us to treat our leaders? Who is our example of leadership? How did he handle rejection? Can he empathise with these managers? Would we have treated him in the same way as crowds did?
Jesus, our ultimate example of leadership, led with humility. As we see from Philippians 2 – although He was God, he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped – something I dare say we all often personally struggle to resolve in our own lives each day. Jesus lived out a life of faithfulness to his followers, in humility to his enemies and provided direction to his disciples. The ultimate manager. Imagine being in his presence – what would the team talks have been like or the press conferences – probably more questions given than answers to help develop those he led.
Jesus was the premier teacher and the supreme manager in his field. Yet, he too was crucified, rejected and despised – do any of those words sound familiar in the tabloid press in relation to these football managers. The reality was worse for Jesus and unlike bad results Jesus did no wrong. He was without sin.
Great to toast Claudio and his team for their performance. A story of redemption but even better to worship, sing and praise our Lord Jesus for his feat of achievement in redeeming a fallen world with his own blood for the good of all who chose to follow him.
Joe Lowther – CEO, Kick London