Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare: How I stopped Jamie Vardy from quitting football
LEICESTER boss Craig Shakespeare has revealed how he helped stop Jamie Vardy quitting football for a life in Ibiza by promising to make him an England striker.
Vardy revealed In his autobiography that he was close to walking away from the game during a his first season with the Foxes in which he scored just five goals in 29 games.
It took a meeting with former boss Nigel Pearson and assistants Shakespeare and Steve Walsh to change his mind in what the forward labelled a ‘career-defining moment’.
“I remember the situation really well,” said Shakespeare of the meeting in the 2012-13 season. “Our job is to support players. Sometimes they do have self-doubt and Jamie would be the first to admit he was going through a rough patch.
“Myself, Nigel and Steve were here to support him. All we did was told him about his attributes and that we thought he could go on.
“We even mentioned then about not only playing in the Premier League but also he had the attributes to play for the national team. We told him we wanted him and believed in him.
Craig Shakespeare stopped Jamie Vardy from quitting in 2012/13
“Thankfully he didn’t go to Ibiza. I think he has made the right decision!”
Vardy will line up against Sunderland tonight with the Foxes aiming to move a step closer to safety.
But they will again be without captain Wes Morgan, who is now a major doubt for the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Atletico Madrid a week on Wednesday.
He has yet to resume training after a back injury and Shakespeare is unsure when he will be fit. “You can never quite tell with a back problem and especially a nerve problem,” said Shakespeare.
Sunderland manager David Moyes has bigger problems, however, after Football Association chiefs revealed they will contact him over his threat to “slap” a female reporter.
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The governing body will seek clarification following an exchange between the 53-year-old Scot and BBC Newcastle and Radio Five Live reporter Vicki Sparks, which has been widely condemned since details emerged.
An FA spokesman said: “We are seeking observations from the club.”
Moyes took offence to Sparks’ question in a post-match interview following his side’s goalless Premier League draw with Burnley at the Stadium of Light on March 18.
Sparks had asked Moyes whether the presence of Black Cats owner Ellis Short at the game meant his job was under threat.
After the interview was over, Moyes said: “It was getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself.
Vardy scored just five goals in his first season at Leicester
“You still might get a slap even though you’re a woman. Careful the next time you come in.”
The BBC and Sunderland confirmed that Moyes and Sparks had spoken since and that the matter was resolved and yesterday Moyes said: “I’ve never considered resigning. It was the heat of the moment. The business we’re in, sometimes you only have seconds to think and answer. So it was the wrong thing to do.
“I don’t see it as being something which is in my character. It is something which is out of character. I’ve apologised to the girl. She was fine, she accepted it. I phoned her on the Monday morning.
“I spoke to [chief executive] Martin Bain immediately after it happened. I spoke to Ellis about it on the Monday morning as well. They were aware of it two weeks ago. Do I think it will cost me my job? No.”