Nigel Pearson is a name that has certainly been doing the rounds within the footballing community in recent weeks. Whether it be for his side’s inability to turn hard work into Premier League results, the mad touchline incident involving Crystal Palace’s James McArthur, or his apparent sacking, then reported reinstallation as Foxes boss, the former Southampton and Hull City manager has had a lot to contend with this season.
Whilst recent events have hardly shone the 51-year-old in the best of lights, Pearson will seemingly remain in charge of Leicester City for now. He has managed to split opinion down at the King Power stadium, but as the Foxes continue to prop up the Premier League with as little as 17 points at this stage of the campaign, calls for Pearson’s head are becoming more and more frequent.
In light of Leicester’s struggling season, should the Foxes chairmen finally put their manager out of his misery and quickly begin sourcing a replacement, or does Nigel Pearson remain the man most likely to lead Leicester City out of the Premier League’s dreaded relegation zone in 2014/15?
Wherever your opinion on the former Middlesbrough man currently stands, Pearson is undoubtedly an experienced coach on the touchline. He has been in the management profession, in some form or another, since the late nineties, and as the 2013/14 Championship campaign with Leicester City successfully proved, he certainly has it in him to get the job done.
That said, Pearson himself has had very little experience in managing a solid Premier League outfit who are well versed at remaining in the top-flight of English football. As this kind of mentality is exactly what the Foxes require right now, it becomes increasingly worrying for Nigel Pearson as he drifts further and further away from justifying his current position at the helm of the King Power stadium.
The madness of last weekend’s touch-line dispute with Crystal Palace’s James McArthur, a player who incidentally has since been touted as a failed summer transfer target for Leicester, must have sent an alarming distress call among some of the King Power faithful. Pearson’s lack of control in the dug-out, as well as his bizarre ‘I can look after myself’ post-match interview, has left many unsure as to whether or not the incident was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, or a serious warning to the Crystal Palace player.
Despite remaining a minor and quickly forgettable affair, Nigel Pearson seems to have done only more damage to his managerial credentials throughout it all, which were hardly in the safest place to begin with.
Whilst the future doesn’t exactly look bright for the Foxes boss, Pearson’s potential sacking could still go down as a potentially unwise move. He is the man who successfully got Leicester promoted last season, finishing with a greatly impressive 102 points, and a decent +40 goal difference in the process. To some extent, the Leicester fans are somewhat indebted to Pearson for last campaign’s achievements, and as he knows the players better than anyone else at the moment, giving the boot to such a man might just be a backward step for the plucky Foxes.
There are also very few remaining managerial candidates who could suitably replace the Leicester boss at the King Power stadium. The relegation avoiding Tony Pulis has already been snapped up by West Brom, former boss Martin O’Neill seemingly has his hands tied with Republic of Ireland international duties, so unless the Foxes chairman want to gamble on a Paolo Di Canio style manager, Pearson seemingly remains the best option available.
All in all then, despite the lack of guarantee surrounding the current Foxes boss at this stage in the season, as well as all the external touchline madness that has influenced his reputation, Leicester City would be shooting themselves in the foot by sacking Nigel Pearson.
If nothing else, he has shown the passion and the commitment necessary to avoid relegation, and because he knows the club better than any other candidate right now, it could simply be even more of a disaster for Leicester if they decide to part ways with their increasingly under-pressure boss.