Was Nigel Pearson unwisely and unfairly sacked by Leicester City, or did he receive his just deserts?
There are two sharply contrasted points of view. Gary Lineker, a Leicester man himself whose notable career began at Filbert Street, brushed aside previous disagreement with Pearson to say that this was a ludicrous decision.
In very sharp contrast, a daily columnist devoted a whole page to denunciation of Pearson, with much damaging chapter and verse insisting, in the vernacular, that Pearson had belatedly got his.
You pays your money and you takes your choice.
In defence of Pearson, it has to be pointed out that he revived Leicester City, dug them out of what seemed an inevitable grave, in astonishing fashion. Unbeaten in their last nine Premiership games, they ended comfortably far away from relegation.
It could also be pointed out that he was sacked, not after his bizarre assault, with hands round the throat, of a former Leicester player McArthur (one of the younger Thai directors came to his rescue) but after a torrid affair in Thailand in which he played no part though his son, a Leicester player, with two others had been involved in a sordid encounter with humiliated young Thai girls.
On the other hand, Pearson “had form.” There was the McArthur offence, there was the time when he told an aggressive supporter to eff off and die, there were his various stand offs with the press. Thus there may well have been cause to jettison him in the past, but he had played no part in the sordid behaviour of the three young players, even if one was his own son – all three of course having been banished from the club.
While not condoning elements of Pearson’s previous behaviour, I am inclined to line up with Lineker. In the last essentially pragmatic analysis, Leicester have lost a manager who has reinvigorated and rescued them. A rough diamond can still be a diamond.
Rangers’ appointment of Nigel Warburton as their new manager seems inspired to me. Just as Brentford’s decision to let him go, long before the season in the Championship ended, seemed incomprehensible.
Warburton is, so to speak, a one off, a man who made money in the City, took his coaching courses and revitalised a Brentford team which has been out of the top division since 1947. Heaven knows he has a task ahead of him at Ibrox.
How are the mighty fallen! From such absolute Scottish dominance with rivals Celtic to defeat, home and away, in the recent play offs by modest Motherwell.
Mike Ashley, now deeply involved with a club horribly and culpably diminished, could be their saviour. Whatever the dog’s dinner he seems to be making at Newcastle United.