After insults, mock strangling and the most inventive rant of the season (Ostrich-gate), Nigel Pearson has been sacked by Leicester City.
Plenty have since taken to social media to express their shock that Leicester had unceremoniously dumped the man that had led, quite possibly, the most impressive Premier League relegation escape in history.
Leicester won seven of their last ten games to avoid the trap door straight back to the Championship and they looked impressive in doing so. So why dismiss the man that orchestrated that great escape?
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Leicester’s reasons for relieving Pearson of his duties lie in the fact that they believe the working relationship between him and the board is no longer viable. I can’t say I’m surprised.
They acknowledge the success he achieved last season, and rightly so, but throughout the campaign Pearson created the wrong sort of headlines. You’d have to have your head in the sand not to see that (No more ostrich references, I promise).
A wave of bad press
Let's go back to February time. In one of the most bizarre incidents seen in a football game Pearson put his hands round the throat of Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur after being upended by the player.
Unsurprisingly the McArthur event generated a host of negative headlines but fuel was added to the fire that evening when a series of reports suggested the Leicester had sacked Pearson.
That is the first indication that not all was well between Pearson and the board. Leicester did release a statement denying the speculation but reports like that don’t surface without significant murmurings from within.
Then in April we were treated to the infamous ostrich press conference. Unhappy with the line of questioning from journalist Ian Baker, he likened the reporter to the African bird before brandishing him ‘daft’ and adding: "You are either being very, very silly or you are being absolutely stupid."
The silver bullet
Then, at the end of May, came the real issue. Leicester City were shamed after a video emerged showing three of their players engaging in a ‘racist orgy’. The players in question were Adam Smith, Tom Hopper, and Pearson’s son, James.
To Leicester’s credit they sacked the three players in mid-June. However, I suspect Pearson’s son’s involvement in this could well have proved to be the final nail in the coffin with regards to the relationship between him and the board. It would have been a testing time for him as his loyalties lay in all directions.
Personally I feel Pearson’s relationship was damaged beyond repair in February and it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that he has been sacked despite their phenomenal escape.
Leicester may come to regret their judgment next season and I do feel they’ve made a mistake sacking him. He would have continued to be the man most likely to get them out of trouble again and they will struggle next year without him. This decision, however, has definitely been coming.
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