Nigel Pearson has brought stability to Leicester. It’s that simple, and it’s why they’re in the mix at the top of the Championship.
Consistency is something they have craved for since relegation from the Premier League in 2002. Despite their quick return a year later, they didn’t last long and in 2004 they began their exile from the top. Since then, nine managers have come and gone, and it’s this inconsistency that has kept Leicester from ever mounting a serious promotion challenge. Step forward Nigel Pearson.
He actually stepped forward five years ago, when he guided the club back to the Championship after relegation, and in their first season back they finished fifth but lost out in the play-offs. Inexplicably he then left the club citing that he felt the club wanted rid of him. You can’t blame him though considering his successor, Paulo Sousa, was at both play-off games. It was an incredible amount of disrespect shown by Milan Mandaric. The Serb-American sold up to AFI in August 2010, and he finally left the club in February 2011. Following unsuccessful stints for Sousa and Sven-Goran Eriksson, Nigel Pearson was re-appointed and the club, two years later, look set for a promotion bid once again.
Their squad shows the perfect model every Championship club should follow. It has the right mix of Championship experience in David Nugent, Andy King etc, combined with exciting youth prospects talents such as Manchester United graduates Matty James and Danny Drinkwater.
In David Nugent they have a goal-scorer, proven at this level. He’s not the only one though; the squad has plenty of goals in their side, which is why they are second top scorers in the league. Lloyd Dyer and Jamie Vardy are excellent at this level and all three will need to be on form to keep the chase up.
With Pearson’s recruitment focused on player drive, everyone in the squad gives their all to the cause, and it’s this mentality that will get them out of this league. Pearson has built a side that is textbook for promotion, and after nine long years, I expect they’ll be back amongst the big boys soon enough. Many might argue if the manager hadn’t left in the first place, Leicester would already be back in the Premier League, back where they belong.