Nigel Pearson is more entertaining than Leicester, we should all enjoy this comic genius while we
Top stuff, Nigel. “Bravo”, applaud the frazzled hacks in the front row. Cometh the hour, cometh the madcap manager. Nigel Pearson's bizarre verbal joust with a journalist after his Leicester City side's 3-1 defeat to Chelsea is how all press conferences should be conducted moving forward.
Take a bow Nigel, a gloriously verbose coach, innovator and inventor. Instead of answering questions, from here on in managers should following Nige's lead by asking them. And not bothering with ones, according to Nige in a recent interview with the Guardian, that you deem to be “crap”.
Rather than just give bland answers about taking and making chances, a game of two halves and how the boys are battling for each other, managers should be able to set the agenda.
Ask journalists if they are ostriches, call them pr*cks, pick on reporters because you are a moody sod, exercise the right to tell unhappy fans to “f**k off and die” before departing the scene looking about as happy (according to the loquacious and loveable Nige) as Filbert Street folk hero Gary Lineker confronting his financial affairs.
Former Leicester forward Lineker is just one in the long list of figures to feel the considerable wrath of pantomime villain 'Nasty Nigel' in this gloriously rampaging season of twists and turns that threatens to see Leicester topple back into the Championship. And our Nige searching for a fresh calling in life. Perhaps as a stunt man for your standard Russell Crowe interview.
When Pearson was criticised by Lineker, Jermaine Jenas and Danny Murphy on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme for manhandling the Crystal Palace midfield James McArthur in February - how dare they, I hear you say - the combative Nige went on the offensive with more relish than his playing days doing a turn for Wednesday and Boro as a ball-winning stopper.
Carry On Up the King Power. Lineker's alleged tax bill was raised by a Foxes manager who prides himself in outfoxing his detractors. Even when it is ill-advised.
" “I thought they (Lineker and pundits)were slightly disruptive,’’ said Pearson. “I don’t care what they think of me. I pay my tax bill. It (the McArthur incident) is a non-event as far as I’m concerned. It’s not helpful when the three fountains of knowledge on Match of the Day make a mountain out of a molehill" "
Nigel’s behaviour is magical to media sorts searching for an angle, but is becoming increasingly eccentric and embarrassing to the club’s Thai owners who are apparently quite unwavering in their requirements for respect and dignity that reflects large parts of their own culture. As a PR man for Leicester, Nige is disastrously brilliant.
His latest attack on a journalist on Wednesday for asking a tepid question about the nature of unfair criticism Pearson claimed Leicester had sampled over the past six months was wholly unnecessary, but unwittingly funny because it was so preposterous.
" "If you don't know the answer to that question then I think you are an ostrich. Your head must be in the sand. Is your head in the sand? Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no." "
His apology today is well timed and well meaning, but a little late. The damage to the image of the club has already been done.
There was apparently a King Power Stadium putsch in process to prevent Pearson from being king around about the time he was grabbing McArthur's throat. Apparently in jest. According to reports, he was sacked then resinstated by the club, a rumour which also came from a certain MOTD host.
".@PaulMcCarthy66 if I was I'd tell you that he was sacked by one of the owners' family and reinstated by another, but then I'm not.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 9, 2015"
With Leicester only one point ahead of third-bottom Sunderland, who have one game in hand and time running out, Nige may be sacked even if Leicester avoid the drop.
Not that the hacks should wish for anything other than him to stay in his post longer than Martin O’Neill. To quote Alan Shearer describing Nelson Mandela during the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, the man is a legend, a wonderful comic companion to have near at hand.
Like David Brent, the best thing about all this is that he probably does not even realise his own value.
He has created a sort of reverse siege mentality where the local hacks have the mentality that Nigel is out to get us. Rather than watching the Foxes in action, you’d be better buying a ticket for Nigel’s utterly bizarre pressers. He doesn't need to fraternise with such childish verbal tête-à-têtes. Yet he can't help himself.
The King Power Stadium is the Premier League’s version of Fawtly Towers with Nigel Pearson standing in for John Cleese as Basil. “Don’t mention the relegation battle.”
But there is more than a touch of Crowe about Pearson too. Exchanges with him look uncomfortable. Like you don’t really know how to take him. Even when he tries to make a joke, it feels awkward. "A good bloke in private" is the standard refrain, but that is not really acceptable when you should be working harder to project the right public image for your club.
WATCH RUSSELL CROWE DOING A NIGEL PEARSON
Who would have thought Nigel would manage to upstage Jose Mourinho in the publicity stakes? He should feel very proud of himself today.
Whether he stay or goes, he should at least earn a largish crate of Singha beer and a crunchy bag of Walker’s crisps for his belief that he can stick his head in the sand.
Long live Nige wherever he may roam. Just don’t mention the relegation battle.