Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson was in surprisingly good form in his post-match press conference following a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal, revealing among other things that he spoke to Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur after an exchange of text messages last night.
Pearson has been at the centre of intense media scrutiny after putting his hands on the Eagles player last weekend but his Leicester players showed no ill effects off that negative publicity at the Emirates, pushing Arsenal until the last and coming close to taking a point back to the East Midlands in a spirited display.
During a series of considered answers Pearson insisted that he continues to share a healthy working relationship with Foxes owners and had talks over lunch with them in London earlier today, but more interestingly the subject of a discussion with McArthur on Monday night cropped up.
Text led to apology
When asked yet again if he’d do choose to do anything differently last weekend Pearson told GiveMeSport: “McArthur? It was jovial, these things happen in games. He text me last night actually. I was composing a text back but I thought no, I'll just ring him."
"It was a friendly chat and I think the lad comes out of it with an awful lot of credit in terms of diffusing the situation. But I suppose what it does do is further illustrate the amount of scrutiny and camera shots and angles.”
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Curious press conference in stark contrast to 24 hours ago
Despite the furore surrounding last Saturday’s incident Pearson clearly hasn’t lost his sense of humour or sense of perspective.
When asked to pass comment on Arsene Wenger’s surprise that Leicester wanted to “get rid of their manager” by Associated Press reporter Rob Harris, his response was amusing. His short answer of "no they’re not" was followed by a long pause, which led to Pearson asking Harris if he was “trying to stare him out”.
By the standard of modern press conferences involving Premier League managers it was certainly an exchange of note, although a fairly warm exchange with the media will be of scant consolation to Pearson given their position in the Premier League table.
Kind words from Wenger and more positive column inches won’t lift Leicester off the foot of the table, with the Foxes now four points adrift and five from safety with 13 matches left to play.
Pearson will hope the circus dies down ahead of a fifth round FA Cup tie with fellow strugglers Aston Villa this weekend, but without a dramatic turnaround in fortunes last weekend’s silly touchline antics could well prove to rather harshly be the moment his first crack at the top flight is best remembered for.