The man that led Leicester City to their astonishing great escape out of the bottom 3 has been sacked, causing much shock around the Premier League and particularly amongst the Foxes fans.
As the season entered its final stretch, the side promoted from the Championship the previous season were propping the table up and looked certain to face the drop. A stunning change in form transformed their season however, seeing them finish as the most in-form team having won more points (22 of 30) than any other side since April. This includes 4 wins on the trot, defeating Southampton, and finishing the season in style with a 5-1 thumping of relegated QPR to see them rise to 14th in the table.
Nigel Pearson was hailed for this incredible change in form, but the club’s Thai owners have now decided to show Pearson the door due to a deteriorating relationship, as well as the involvement of Pearson’s son in the racist sex tape filmed in Thailand. During an end-of-season tour in the owner’s home country, Pearson’s son and 2 other Leicester players took part in a racist sex tape and were consequently sacked from the club. An internal investigation later found Pearson’s son not guilty of any racist behaviour.
This controversy appears to have been the final straw, as Pearson had a somewhat dramatic and controversial season that no doubt contributed to his sacking. This includes holding Crystal Palace’s James McArthur by the throat and calling a journalist “an Ostrich”. It is evident that Pearson’s sacking is not for football reasons therefore, and instead due to a strained relationship and a concern of the reputation of the club.
Pearson should not lose his job for his son’s actions, nor for a few controversial incidents over the course of the season. Some of the biggest and most successful managers of all-time have been rude to journalists and acted inappropriately without apologising (which Pearson later did to the journalist).
Leicester were nothing short of spectacular in the last 10 games, and he importantly helped them to reach the Premier League the previous season. Not many newly promoted sides stay up, so to dismiss a manager when this is achieved shows lack of respect and is incredibly harsh, even if the relationship is strained with the board.
Although the majority of the football world disagree with the owners decision and sympathise with Pearson, his 4 years at the helm will not be forgotten and he will remain a club hero and particularly for a famous transformation in form that saw the Foxes miraculously escape the drop.
The Leicester vacancy will intrigue a number of managers as it is a historic club and 1 with potential. The likes of Sam Allardyce, Sean Dyche, Neil Lennon, Michael Laudrup and Harry Redknapp are all possible suitors for the club going forwards. Pearson has demonstrated his abilities in the Championship and Premier League level, and aside from a few moments of madness he would be a good manager at a number of clubs in both these divisions.