Cooney and Black

Nigel Pearson is anything but media friendly. The day he captained Middlesbrough in the FA Cup final, he trudged disconsolately onto the rostrum and said plaintively into the microphone: “Do I have to do this?”


Steve Bott byline

I AWOKE this morning to a welter of controversy surrounding Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson, after his latest outburst against a media person.

On this occasion, he accused his imagined tormentor of being an “ostrich”.
Let me tell you, from my own experience, Nigel is definitely NOT media friendly.

Put aside all the outbursts over the last year or so and let’s go way back in the mid 90s he was captain of Middlesbrough. I was the football correspondent for the Sunday Sun in the North East.

Nigel was asked to come out and talk to the Press on a rostrum at the top of the Wembley tunnel after a defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup final. His opposite number complied as did the two managers.

Now, bear in mind that season Middlesbrough had been relegated from the Premier League, despite investing heavily in Messrs Ravanelli, Juninho and Emerson, to name but three.

They had lost out in the League Cup final after another Wembley trip and a replay defeat at Hillsborough to, believe it or not, Leicester City.

But captains are supposed to be made of strong material. Pearson trooped disconsolately onto the rostrum and, before a question could be asked, leant into the microphone and said plaintively: “Do I have to do this?”

To which Bob Cass, a veteran from the Mail on Sunday, leant over the barrier and informed him that “Yes, you f****** well have to!”

Now, the incidents Pearson has been involved in more recently have had a bit more bite to them and involved language and actions of a far more questionable nature, but the bottom line is Pearson has great difficulty in handling this aspect of football management.

Therefore, the question has to be asked: Is he suitable for the job?

In the past, I have defended him, in fact going so far as to say I didn’t really think he was very arrogant. Now, I must agree he does have a rather large streak of that, much more than is often required in anyone who is successful.

It would be better, perhaps, if he sent his assistant to deal with the media, but unfortunately it’s not the assistants of this world that the media and the public want to hear – it’s the manager.

That tactic doesn’t work, anyway, as the accusation that he is hiding is then levelled at the manager, further questioning his credentials for the job.

Football management these days, especially at Premier League level, is about far more than just picking the team. It involves liaising and working alongside all sorts of people from media through agents to your coaches, directors and owners and finally, yes, the players.

Nigel patently doesn’t possess that every thread of that ability although I guess he handles himself a whole lot better in front of the Leicester board, otherwise he would surely have been sacked long ago. And I say that, even though he was the man who guided them into the Premier League in the first place.

It’s time to take a chill pill, Nigel, or go on an anger management or maybe a communications course.

PICTURE BY: By Whassuo via Wikimedia Commons

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Personally think he has a screw loose. Hence his disrespect to Kieran Tripper when the player lay injured in Burnley’s game at the King Prawn Stadium. And his swearing at a fan. The man is a knobhead

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