There’s something of a Marmite reaction to Nigel Pearson, the leading contender for the vacant Villa’s manager job. Some believe him to be the wild and thuggish caricature that has been built up in the media; a persona perhaps not helped by Pearson’s strangling of a Palace player, his Ostrich comments or telling a supporter to “f**k off and die”. But if that’s all your basing your views on him with, you’re perhaps missing the essence of what the ex-Leicester boss brings to the table.
Currently the ex-Leicester City boss is the bookies favourite for the vacant Aston Villa manager’s position, after David Moyes has slipped back in the running to 5/1. With second and third favourites Mick McCarthy and Steve Bruce currently in employment (and both journey men in MOMS’ book), Pearson is the clear favourite, especially after Villa director David Bernstein said in a live BT Sport TV interview before last week’s Chelsea game, the club would be selecting an English manager. For latest odds check Football betting news at BetHut.com
There’s no doubt the club won’t rush into making an official announcement about the new Villa manager, as the new boss won’t want to be associated with this relegation season or have it on their CV. Thus, they’ll be working away and preparing for next season in the background, while Eric Black leads what is left of this sorry season.
If Pearson gets the job, it is to some extent a case of the Aston Villa’s players and squad reaping what they have sown. If you had to choose one potential manager to sort out this sorry bunch with their poor attitudes and lack of effort, then Pearson would be the man for the job.
At Leicester City, Pearson was noted for banding together a group of players with a real team spirit; he had an eye for players that on top of their ability had a real work ethic. Players that were willing to scrap. It made the Foxes Championship winners and then prompted a great relegation escape, not to mention providing the foundations for this season’s potential title win.
In a football world of overpaid prima donnas who are more concerned with #lifestyle and what new car they have than playing football, a team rallied by the likes of Pearson will always have a chance of punching above the merits of the squad list on paper.
After all, if Pearson can deal with a pack of wild dogs then he should be able to sort out the likes of Gabby & co.
Regarding Pearson’s supposed strange behaviour of last season, I’ve personally spent over a decade interviewing pretty much every known actress and actor. Of course, there were ones that in the press were regarded as ‘mavericks’, ‘wild’, ‘crazy’, ‘mad’ or ‘a character’, but those same people if you spoke to them straight-up and got their respect, were the most genuine and interesting. Often they were victims to headline hunters who care very little for the reality of the person (or the story).
Going back to Pearson’s supposed misdemeanors, look at the video of the strangulation incident during Leicester vs Palace, it doesn’t seem to be a sinister clash. The Ostrich comment to the journalist came after Pearson was constantly defending his players to the press (part of the togetherness Pearson puts at the core of his team-building) and his reaction to that Foxes supporter was no doubt provoked and deserved.
We live in increasingly political correct times where an every increasingly rabid football media will exaggerate a story to take advantage of the social media age. And that’s before even mentioning the social justice warriors that populate it.
Pearson took the bullet for his son’s transgressions in Thailand and probably rightly so, considering the situation he’d have to work in going forward, after the insult to the owners (although no one knows the full story, were the girls in the incident with Pearson’s son, laid on for him during their ‘goodwill’ post-season tour Thailand?).
Football is football and largely populated by and played by men that you wouldn’t exactly class as renaissance men. Villa ‘legends’ Ron Atkinson and Andy Gray have been involved in well-publicised cases of social transgression and MOMS has been privy to several examples of Villa players making fools of themselves chasing girls on social media.
Speaking pragmatically, it is what it is. This is the world that football exists in. For better or for worse.
With Pearson, when you break it down, he’s not really responsible for anything negative that should influence the consideration of him for the Villa job. Another time and situation, he might not have even been a candidate for the job, but for what is about to come next season, he might just be the right man for the job.
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