Nigel Pearson

Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

VIDEO, PHOTOS: Unforgettable tributes to Leicester owner Srivaddhanaprabha

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Leicester City’s emotional fortnight continued Saturday, as the Foxes staged their first Premier League home match since the helicopter crash that killed five people including club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

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Former Leicester bosses Claudio Ranieri, Martin O’Neill and Nigel Pearson were in the crowd, as the King Power Stadium saluted the Foxes’ fallen boss with a video tribute, music, flowers, and a minute’s silence.

Adding a second minute’s silence for Remembrance Day, the absence of noise combined with the crowd’s raising of white “Forever In Our Hearts” scarves perfectly served the occasion.

Fans on a memorial walk for those who lost their lives in the Leicester City helicopter crash (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)
(Joe Giddens/PA via AP)
(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Ex-Leicester boss Pearson hired by Derby County

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Nigel Pearson lives.

The combustible former manager of Southampton, Hull City and Leicester City will now lead Derby County in the hopes of Premier League promotion.

Derby has been on the edge of promotion to the Premier League for several seasons, but neither Steve McClaren and Darren Wassall could do the trick.

[ MORE: Mourinho confirmed | Speaks more ]

Enter Pearson, 52, who has been hired on a three-year deal. It’s his first stop since a roller coaster ride saw him guide Leicester into the Premier League, only to be fired in the aftermath of some players being involved in a racist sex tape incident on a tour of Thailand.

This was after a bizarre season that saw him put his hands on an opposing player’s throat, call a journalist an ostrich, and ultimately save Leicester from the drop.

From Derby County’s site:

“I am honoured to be named as the Manager of Derby County, which is one of the biggest clubs in the country, a club in excellent shape and one with strong ambitions. It is firmly focused on achieving Premier League football.

“I will give absolutely everything I have to this role and do all I can to bring exciting, entertaining and winning football which our supporters can be proud of.”

At the very least, the Rams will be interesting to watch next season.

Report: Aston Villa won’t rush managerial decision, likely wait for summer

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Aston Villa is very likely to be relegated from the Barclays Premier League this season, and after the recent firing of manager Remi Garde, the club doesn’t want to take any chances in misfiring when it comes to hiring their next coach.

[ MORE: Gary Neville sacked at Valencia after four months in-charge ]

According to the Guardian, Villa may wait until the summer to make a permanent coaching change.

[ MORE: Mathieu in jeopardy of missing Euros following meniscus tear ]

While David Moyes and Nigel Pearson currently top the club’s list of potential managers, names like Steve Bruce, Garry Monk and Brendan Rodgers have also been tossed around.

Moyes and Pearson could be the most realistic candidates for the job, given that Villa are reportedly in the market for a British manager. While Moyes was quickly let go at Manchester United, his days at Everton were certainly admirable, making him a legitimate frontrunner.

Pearson most recently managed with Leicester City, prior to Claudio Ranieri taking the side over, but likely doesn’t hold as much traction as a candidate because of his poor record.

Whomever the successor for Garde is at Villa Park, they will have their work cut out for themselves. Villa currently sits dead last on the PL table, 12 points out of the final safety spot, which is held by Norwich City at the moment.

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Pearson backs Leicester to win title; admits to mixed feelings if they do

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Nigel Pearson took Leicester City from League One to the Premier League, and kept the Foxes up last season in one of the greatest escapes in history.

However, after winning seven of their final nine matches to stay up last spring, Pearson was sacked as his tumultuous relationship with the club’s ownership could not be fixed.

Now with Claudio Ranieri in charge, the Foxes have enjoyed a dream season, sitting top of the table with 12 matches the play after starting the year as relegation favorites.

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In a recent interview with The TimesPearson said he is pulling for Leicester to win the Premier League title, but admitted there would be “a mixture of feelings” after his unceremonious departure.

It would be a mixture of feelings, let’s be honest.

I would be delighted for a lot of people there – players, staff and fans – but I would be dishonest if I said I would be happy for everyone there. Of course, I wouldn’t be.

Leicester are where they are because they’ve had a fantastic season and because their manager has managed skillfully and sensibly, but also because they previously had someone in charge who was able to front it up and make tough decisions when they needed to be made.

I know how pivotal the work I did for them to be in the situation they’re in now.

With Ranieri drawing such great praise for his work at Leicester, many are forgetting the role that Pearson played in getting the club to this point. The Foxes’ never-say-die attitude began with Pearson keeping the team alive after sitting bottom of the table from November through April last season.

Pardew’s Adebayor comments paint himself as Pearson’s ostrich

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Remember Nigel Pearson‘s now-famous “ostrich” rant, in which the former Leicester City manager dressed down a journalist during a postgame press conference, nine short months ago?

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Pearson accused the journalist of having his “head in the sand,” buried so deep that he was completely unaware what had been going on at the football club which he’d been covering all season.

How is this relevant to the here and now, you’re wondering? In short, and with all due respect, Alan Pardew has painted himself Pearson’s figurative ostrich with a series of comments vehemently backing Crystal Palace’s brand new January signing, striker Emmanuel Adebayorquotes from the Guardian:

“You can see in the training ground there’s a lift already. He’s done the first part of his job because everybody is really pleased he’s here. The only risk is if he doesn’t play well. I can’t see any other risk. I think we discard players quite quickly, and sometimes too early.”

This is the same Adebayor who, at just about every stop along the way, has eventually been banished to that respective club’s U-21 team as the manager and executives exhausted every possible avenue to facilitate his exit. It always begins so well for the 31-year-old Togolese striker, but after the initial honeymoon period has concluded, Adebayor is a locker room distraction at his best, and a cancerous, divisive figure at his very worst.

Just ask the fans of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur what they think of Adebayor’s conduct before jettisoning off for his next payday.

[ MORE: Top 10 bargain signings made in January ]

Managers must back their players publicly — Adebayor famously became Tim Sherwood‘s “he just needs an arm around him and a kind word or two” muse for half a season at Tottenham — but it’s that blind faith that could well bite Palace in the behind once the inevitable injection of goals and thrills is over and the reality of employing Adebayor sets in. That is to say, Pardew, is your head in the sand here?

Palace fans have little reason to fear, though, for the last time “Pardiola” was put in charge of a notoriously combustible character, Hatem Ben Arfa, during their time at Newcastle United, it went so swimmingly well and there were no clashes of personalities whatsoever. Pardew, all on his own, is a volatile figure; Adebayor, all on his own, is a volatile figure; Pardew and Adebayor, together, could produce enough fireworks to light up the London sky.