Empathetic Nextpectations



So it’s been awhile since I last wrote and developments with LCFC have been both painful, and drawn out. Nigel Pearson is in the frame, and we all wait for the negotiations to come to a conclusion – a conclusion that favours the interests of Leicester City.

It seems that the longer it draws out the more worried collectively fans are becoming.

There’s a growing consensus that our owners should pay the ransom and be done with. Pearson apparently has a release clause. We pay this up and it’s all done and dusted. Pearson joins up with the team during the international break, unity forms, the team is changed over night and we rise to the top of the league as though Sven never happened.

And whilst this dream is a minute possibility, I don’t think it’s that straight forward, or going to happen that quickly. Expectation has once again got it’s icy grip around our club’s fans, and it’s squeezing out the last drop of realism and logic.

For me, and as I don’t deal with contracts, so this is just an opinion. This is no different for me than the Maynard situation. The only difference is that Pearson has publically stated that he will enter talks. Nothing has been discussed publically that Pearson is ready to sign for us, and Hull’s negotiations are holding things up. That’s another reason this is eating everyone up. The not knowing.

As with Maynard, we are after an asset of theirs. Bristol no doubt thought that no amount of money that you can give us will pry our money maker away from us. His goals will be immensely valuable to keep us in the CCC.

With Pearson, I feel sorry for the Hull fans, as rightly so Hull’s owners are holding out for the best deal possible. If we are taking away their prize asset, the man steering them to potentially the playoffs and return for all the money invested in the club, and over the summer. The fans will lose hope of promotion.

Like a transfer for a player, it wouldn’t surprise me that there’s a serious number of pound coins to be exchanged if the promotion of Leicester City is to occur. How else would you reclaim your lost investment? Write off this season? Why not have a fat wedge back and this would soften the blow? Just a thought.


Where we were

I have already stated that I was disappointed by Sven’s departure and gone through the reasons why in previous posts. I won’t bore you by going over old ground.

What I didn’t see was our owners turning back to Nigel Pearson. Surprise, shock, and a pause. I paused because it made me think. About the consequences not only to our own team but that of Hull.

If I was the Hull owners I’d certainly be protecting by assets. No, not Pearson, but the investment in the team. They’ve spent a considerable amount not only buying the club and pouring their money into it this summer, and to have another playoff rival wreck your investment, and put you back an entire year within your long-term ambitions of promotion then you will hold that rival to ransom.

There’s been the thought that it was player power that had words in the ears of Top & Co, and they made the decision to go back to Pearson. With that they have a manager that most fans will put their support behind with history already be made.

I think Martin O’Neill was approached, but was rebuffed for whatever Martin’s reasons are. It did whet my appetite to imagine Martin back at the helm, but I always had a feeling for no matter what he might do at some stage we would be saying goodbye again, and this time it would be acrimoniously.

So I now wonder when we do get through the agreements, disagreements, and protracted dealings do we have the man to get us back up to the Premiership?

Well, I’ve already said that Pearson built a good team with the money he had available to him in League One, that we had such momentum that we crashed the playoffs, and with the luck we had didn’t make it.

When the change happened, and Pearson travelled to Hull, I welcomed Sousa, and did believe that we were trying to bring a style of football to the club, that would long-term be better for the club. I think we didn’t have the personnel to achieve this.

So then Sven is brought in with great acclaim and to my many people’s astonishment. Supported in every regard financially with which he tried to plug the holes in the team with talented loanees. This evidentally was not enough, as we didn’t have the strength in depth to cope beyond Christmas.

Sven embarked on a search to improve and strengthen the team in the summer. Considerable amounts of money was necessary to pry key players away from other playoff rivals. Sven also used the free market to bring the cream of the crop to us where we were short. He however failed to find a winger willing to come to us, and a worthy addition to the team that would indeed give us the cutting edge we need into the box. For me the market is to blame, but perhaps Sven might have brought in someone who wasn’t necessarily pacey, but could deliver the ball accurately. We are in dear need of this width and delivery.

So that brings us to Pearson. Is he the right man for the job?

Well we all know that he number one and foremost a defensive minded manager. Yes there were instances when we hit a vein of form we were putting goals beyond leaky and crumbling oppositional defences. We do have the firepower currently, and given a boost of confidence any sane person would know that Beckford will score goals. Can Pearson work with him to find that inner fuse and get it lit? Well that’s total conjecture, as it’ll depend if they get on, and Pearson has a lighter.

There’s team of players who are not Nigel’s guard. How will they take to Pearson? To his style, to his direction? They may well flourish and our season can continue with aplomb. But there’s always the chance that come January that we will see exits from all over the pitch, with a new batch coming in who will need to time to gel, and to fire us over the last hurdles.

He may keep everyone and just send a couple out on loan with a few coming to join us. But it’s one of the reasons people are anxious to get on with things. The favorites, will they play, and more importantly will they stay?

We can all guess, and hope our team holds together, and maybe the player who we like least heads out the door.

Strange thing is there isn’t a player I dislike. Sven has built a team. Yes I personally don’t feel confident with Weale when on the pitch, but I’d put money that he is liked around the team, and unless he asks for 1st team elsewhere, is doing fine sitting on the bench, then I’m happy with it.

Some people believe that we are not a functioning unit yet, that Sven brought in individuals on a lot of money who can’t be accused of gelling, as they were always never going to be part of a team. I disagree. There have been enough times this season that I’ve seen with my own eyes that we are capable of tearing some teams apart with another turn of the dial and a couple of players.


Where we are

If Nigel can build on what Sven has already put down, without dismantling, and destroying it, then we may well have a chance for promotion.

I am trying to hold judgement and reserve my opinion about whether Pearson can or can’t achieve results in what’s going to be a very difficult few months for him and for us.

I’m not over the moon with Pearson joining us, but I hope his appointment can focus the team and we get better as a result.

We have his backteam joining us too, and I’m certain with them our first team and youth team will improve further, as the investment and attraction grows with each year. A progressive long-term ambition, which believe it or not, I believe was occurring under Sven.


Nigel’s making plans


So agonisingly whether Pearson joins us on Monday or sometime following this, we still have another week to wait for the next game to see what plan Nigel has for us.

It going to be difficult until I see the first few games and start to get excited again. I want to remain positive, and maybe if we all do the team can generate a bit of momentum again.

Oh and though I’ve not said, I do wish Hull all the best for the season, and if the shoe was on the other foot, I’d be annoyed as you might well be.


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1 Response to Empathetic Nextpectations

  1. Pingback: Fix up – Look Sharp | sphericalfox

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