Nigel Pearson remains as Leicester City boss despite reports on Sunday evening surfaced of the 51-year-olds sacking from the club. It what was dubbed a “night of confusion” by The Guardian, it was reported that Pearson was told he was relieved of his duties but a club statement later that evening stated that these claims were “inaccurate”. Whatever really took place, the fact is Pearson is still in charge at Leicester for now at least. But is he really the right man that can lead them to safety in the Premier League?
Tuesday night saw another defeat, albeit away to Champions League chasing Arsenal. Leicester showed fight to get back into the game but the 2-1 loss was the club’s fourth in a row. They have won only twice in 20 matches since the famous 5-3 victory over Manchester United in September and are currently rock bottom, five points from safety. An FA Cup trip to fellow strugglers Aston Villa presents a timely distraction and a chance to progress in the cup but with tough fixtures coming up, Leicester look all but doomed under Nigel Pearson.
His lack of experience at managing at this level is evident on the pitch. The team aren’t putting in consistent performances week in week out, and Pearson doesn’t look like he is getting the best out of them. With good players at their disposal such as Esteban Cambiasso and club record signing Andrej Kramaric among the best, there is also plenty of other talent that could be capable of survival under new leadership.
Despite this, it is hard to dispute the fact that Nigel Pearson has performed fantastically in his two spells as manager at Leicester. He took over in June 2008 shortly after the club were relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history. However, they swiftly returned to the Championship under Pearson, amassing 96 points with just four defeats in his first season in charge.
The following season saw Leicester finish an impressive fifth before losing to penalties to Cardiff in the play-off semi-finals. Pearson then spent a season at Hull City before moving back to Leicester in November 2011. The 2012/13 season saw the club succumb in the play-offs once again in the infamous match against Watford, where Troy Deeney scored a last gasp winner after Antony Knockaert missed the penalty that would have taken the Foxes through to the final. Last season saw Leicester ease to promotion, winning the league and returning to the Premier League for the first time since 2004.
But after spending around £20million overall in the two transfer windows, Leicester are struggling in the Premier League and looked destined to return back down a division. Pearson’s antics at the weekend where he had a controversial confrontation with Crystal Palace’s James MacArthur could not have helped his cause to stay on as manager.
With the bookmakers tipping the likes of Neil Lennon, Martin O’Neill and Tim Sherwood to be amongst the favourites to takeover should Pearson be dismissed, it wouldn’t be a bad option for the club to look elsewhere. As we’ve seen before when Southampton sacked Nigel Adkins after successive promotions to bring in Mauricio Pochettino in 2012, sentiment has no place in football and sometimes tough decisions have to be made for the betterment of the club.