Aston Villa will be playing in the Championship next season.
After a dire Premier League campaign that’s seen the Villans go through as many managers as they have wins against a backdrop of protests against the way the club is run, a new manager to give the fans some hope and bring the players together is needed.
There are plenty of names in the discussion, some of whom would relish the chance to take over at such a big club with the goal of restoring their top flight status.
Steve Bruce and David Moyes are two of the leading candidates according to the bookmakers, but one of the current favourites is Nigel Pearson.
Pearson has been out of work since leaving Leicester before the start of this season, but now it seems he is the man that Villa want.
Yet what are the possible drawbacks of this? FootballFanCast takes a look…
Part of the reason Pearson lost his job at the Foxes was that he brought some negative attention to the side, especially when they were already trying to fight relegation.
There was the touchline scuffle with James McArthur that ended with the Palace midfielder being pinned by the former Leicester boss. Also, of course, the famous “ostrich” rant at a press conference didn’t do Pearson any favours with the Foxes owners.
Pearson seems like a nice guy, but sometimes he lets emotion get the better of him, and can Villa risk that and any more bad press given the amount of scrutiny already on every decision they are making?
Pearson has managed Leicester and Hull City, as well as some short spells, including caretaker roles at Carlisle, West Brom, England Under 21s, Newcastle and Southampton.
With all due respect to Leicester and Hull, despite Leicester now being the Premier League champions, Pearson hasn’t managed a club as big as Villa for a long period of time. Will he be able to step up to the expectation of the Villa fans of not just returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking, but gradually getting back to challenging for European spots.
That is where the Villans fans want to be.
In his first stint at Leicester Pearson had a win percentage of 50.5% before moving to Hull.
At the Tigers his win percentage went down to 36.5% before having the opportunity to move back to the Foxes, which of course saw him earn promotion. Pearson’s win percentage in his second stint was 46.7% before his dismissal. He had an acceptable record with Leicester, but with Hull he wasn’t as successful.
If he does join Villa the fans will be hoping his records at Hull and Southampton do not repeat themselves.
Leicester just about stayed up in the 2014/15 Premier League season.
They looked consigned to relegation before winning seven of their final nine games. There’s no doubt they did incredibly well to get out of that situation, but should they have been down there in the first place?
Leicester won a lot of plaudits earlier that season for the way they played, they just couldn’t find the net. Was it something Pearson changed for the final nine games, or something else finally going right?
Equally, why didn’t they do so well earlier in that season? Then you look at what’s happened this year, pretty much the same side with similar tactics have gone on to win the Premier League and a lot of that has been credited to Claudio Ranieri, should Pearson have been able to achieve much more with the now apparent talent that was at his disposal?
Eventually Leicester’s Thai owners and Pearson’s relationship had become strained for a number of reasons.
The problem this could cause at Villa is that Randy Lerner and the rest of the boardroom are in disarray. At least at Leicester Pearson was working under a board that knew where they wanted to take the club, were all pulling in the same direction and were happy to spend money on the club.
This is in complete contrast with the set up at Villa Park, which quite frankly borders on shambolic on a regular basis. Is Pearson going to be able to work with such disorganisation at Villa when it became difficult for him at a well run club like Leicester?