Is Claudio Ranieri Doing Anything to Help His Cause?

Danny PenzaSenior Writer IOctober 18, 2008

Claudio Ranieri hasn't done anything to cool off his already steaming hot seat with some of the decisions he has made. Juventus' 2-1 loss to Napoli in Naples has to sum up the way things have gone for Ranieri and his men.

Yet he doesn't think things are all that bad, which is odd to hear.

"I feel secure and we are going through a tough time, but this is not a crisis," said Ranieri after the 2-1 defeat. "I don't know what the club will say. I do know we are a compact unit and will discuss the situation calmly."

Ranieri has always had to reputation of changing things up a bit, which has garnered him the nickname of "The Tinkerman".

But now those tinkering ways, which have never been that popular with the Juventus faithful, might have come back to bite him right where the sun doesn't shine with his team's loss in Naples.

With the score level at 1-1 and just about 20 minutes left in Saturday's game, Ranieri took off captain Alessandro Del Piero, who is rumored to currently not having the best of relationships with Ranieri, for Paolo De Ceglie. There's just one problem, De Ceglie is a defender, not a forward.

Does that make much sense? Not to many.

"I was already thinking ahead to Real Madrid," the coach stated after the game. "De Ceglie is a full-back, but an attacking one, and moving Pavel Nedved to the center improved that line-up to protect the defense. I wanted to tell the team that we should hang on tight and take home the point."

In a game you are trying to win to possibly keep your job, it would be smart to leave on one the team's greatest forwards ever instead of playing for a tie...again. Ask any Juve fan about how they feel about Ranieri playing for ties in the past and they will not share kind words regarding the situation.

And as Napoli went ahead on Ezequiel Lavezzi's eventual game-winner, Ranieri stood with what he had on the field. Down a goal, having one striker on the field usually doesn't get it done, it's simple odds.

Then Sebastian Giovinco appeared, with seven minutes to go as a substitute for Cristian Molinaro. Many will feel that Giovinco should have been brought on much earlier in the game, especially with right winger Hasan Salihamidzic failing to make any real impression on the game aside from getting his name put in the book.

"When you know there are players in the midfielder under pressure, you need to help them," said Ranieri. "You cannot think of what the positive or negative message is from a substitution."

So with nothing but lighter fluid being added to his hot seat, Ranieri will need a convincing performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League Wednesday to relieve some of the pressure.

However, in the eyes of many, his fate my already be sealed.