Nigel Pearson: From East Riding to East Midlands?

Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
Nigel Pearson: From East Riding to East Midlands?
Image available under Creative Commons © mattbeighton
Phil Ascough has contributed a number of excellent pieces to The Two Unfortunates over recent months. Here, the author of Kissing the Badge attempts to get his head round the worst kept secret in this week’s football league:I guess we’ll find out some time today – possibly by the time you read this – whether Hull City need a new manager.Nigel Pearson is reported to be interested in talking to Leicester City. He seems to have the idea that a few Hull fans don’t like his style and he’s probably right. There were a few grunts and groans when the Tigers lost their last two matches from people who didn’t notice that Chelsea lost two consecutive league games recently but kept their manager. The same critics also bemoan Pearson’s guarded approach with the media. They’re probably requesting CVs from Chris Evans and Jonathan Ross right now.For my money Pearson is the best manager Hull City have had since Brian Horton in the 1980s. If he goes he’ll be the first to walk out on the club since – from memory rather than research – Colin Appleton, who preceded Horton.In common with most teams we’re a sacking club. Even the good ones – Phil Brown, Brian Little – got the bullet. Peter Taylor was heading the same way until he was tempted back to Crystal Palace. The real disasters – yes, you Mark Hateley – only manage to hang around because we didn’t have the cash to enable us to get rid. Oh – and because he was appointed by David Lloyd who wasn’t even very good at his own sport of tennis. So if Pearson stays he does so in the knowledge that he’ll probably be fired one day, as will almost all managers everywhere.If he’s in the game for sentimental reasons he’ll be the next manager of Sheffield Wednesday, although probably not while Milan Mandarić is around. If he’s in it for football reasons he’ll stay at Hull and continue the transformation of a cracking team from relegation certainties just over a year ago to promotion contenders now.

If he’s in it for the money he’ll go to Leicester, where he can expect to be sacked later this season if they don’t win promotion or some time next season if they do go up and suddenly find out the hard way how many millions you need to be as competitive as Wigan Athletic. But he’ll get a decent pay-off.

Right-thinking Hull fans want Pearson to stay but inevitably thoughts turn to a possible successor. The brigade who have been badgering Pearson will want Sven, Mark Hughes, Alan Curbishley, Roy Keane or some other big name who wouldn’t come here and who we shouldn’t want. Might as well throw in George Graham and Graeme Souness as well. These are the same fans who thought we were going to sign Ruud van Nistelrooy because he occasionally used to catch the ferry from Hull for trips back to Holland.

I’d take a punt on Shaun O’Driscoll. A year ago Doncaster Rovers were pushing for the top six and playing some of the best football in the division. Then injuries set in and the slide began, resulting in O’Driscoll getting the boot in bizarre circumstances which have effectively left a once-proud football club being run by an agent.

I had a long chat with O’Driscoll a month ago at Leaders In Football and it became clear that he paid the price for the club’s limited resources. Most of the injuries were suffered during matches, home games on a pitch that is used regularly by Rovers, the women’s team, a rugby league team, seemingly anyone who happens to be passing and fancies a kick-about. This season the local council held a pop concert on the pitch five days before the first game.

I was fascinated by the amount of research O’Driscoll and his backroom staff conducted into occurrence of injuries, and I shared his sadness that most of them seemed to result from circumstances about which he could do nothing.

We discussed his next move and it became clear he couldn’t go for the jobs at Nottingham Forest or Bristol City even if he wanted to because he was still tied to Donny even though they didn’t want him any more. Whether the situation has changed I would doubt, simply because he hasn’t been linked to jobs elsewhere. But if O’Driscoll is available I’d take him, although not before moving heaven and earth to try and keep Nigel Pearson.

Phil Ascough


  1. thoughtfulphil
    November 9, 2011

    I find Nigel Pearson's decision to return to (or even consider returning to) Leicester City an odd one, and one that fills me with disappointment.

    From an outsider, it appeared that Pearson was doing a pretty steady job at the KC Stadium and I was beginning to feel as though they may have a reasonable chance of grabbing a play-off position.

    By opting for the more high profile role offered by Leicester's Thai backers will, in my opinion, result in Pearson's name being linked with other managerial roles within the next 18 months.

  2. Lloyd
    November 13, 2011

    Wouldn't be surprised at all if Joyce returns from Man Utd to replace Pearson.

    Now that would be interesting…


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