Craig’s Bucket and Spade

Leicester City

Craig Shakespeare was undeterred at the prospect of being reinterred now that Saint Claudio’s Leicester City side have been knocked out of the Champions League.

After the 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid at the King Power Stadium, the Foxes left the hunt for European success with their heads held quite high, but not quite high enough to see the view over the fence, even though Craig told them that it was, indeed, there as he had once bought a postcard when on holiday in Spain.

Showing an understanding of European football way beyond his experience or expertise Craig gushed, “In the first half, we played really well.” In the second half, Leicester had 17 shots to just two from the Spaniards but, obviously, the officials couldn’t count or Craig didn’t realise that letting Atletico having an early goal – just to make a game of it, really – meant that Leicester had to score three to go through to the semi-finals.

Craig was perhaps under the misapprehension that the Away Goals rule only counted against your team if you were playing away from home. To be fair, it’s a simple mistake to make and Craig is a simple man.

The other problem on the night was Jamie Vardy who, though he equalised for Leicester, was unable to equalise any of Madrid’s players or at least get one of them sent off. At least a ‘we got further than you losers #samir’ tweet would have been appropriate from players of both sides this morning, so that has all been squared up nicely.

“As a group, we were tremendous,” boomed Craig, clearly referring to his days on the road as a bass player with West Midlands combo, ‘Fosse in your teeth.’

Fondly recalling tremendous results in the back of the van, Craig went even further by revealing exclusively to everyone who was still hanging around that. “I’ve just said to the players that they should want more of this and they’ve agreed that that’s what they want.”

It’s good to know that the players and pretend manager have agreed, after much discussion, that this would be good for them (and the club, of course). Holidays are already being planned to Spain to see what success really does look like, and how the offside rule can be ignored throughout Madrid because of what success really does look like.

There has even been some talk of coinciding June’s holiday plans with the General Election in a valiant bid by the players to avoid losing their places next season.

As for Craig, well, Danny Mills – one-time man with hair – concluded succinctly that “no-one is going to want to employ him as a number two. Does he get a big job as a number one?”

Maybe if Craig were to lay off the pies (even though they do make the squad look bigger) and keep taking the pee out of football management, this could be resolved?

For his part, Shakespeare has no fear of being buried. “I’ve enjoyed it, pitting your wits against one of the best managers in the world …” suggesting that the special Xbox bedroom at his desirable semi in Market Harborough will continue to see a lot of FIFA action.

“I’ve said we’d sit down at the end of the season. I’m more than happy to do that,” he reassured everyone, providing he could find the right sofa. Sadly, there was a bargain on Argos the other day but he missed out because he had to go to training.

One of the best managers in the world and part-time pirate, Diego Simeone, was heard to mutter through his translator, Osvaldo Ardilles, “We always come up with a solution.”

Craig’s typically forthright response was that “It’s not in my hands.” However, in the past, he has used whatever solution he could find to wash his hands of any hint of failure.

About the Author

Mark Rasdall
I am a writer and football historian. My background is in information architecture and online search and all of this has come together in The Football Ground at