Sam Allardyce could be back in the Premier League when the new season starts, after Leicester City announced they have sacked Nigel Pearson.
The Foxes looked certain for relegation for much of last term, until a remarkable sequence of results at the business end of the campaign saw them finish 14th in the top-flight. This run of form included seven wins from their final nine fixtures, which left them six points clear of the drop zone and 11 above a bottom place they had previously occupied for over 100 days.
Pearson was rightly lauded for his part in leading City’s survival bid, but his relationship with the club had been stormy throughout the season including rumours of his dismissal after arguing with a fan following a defeat to Liverpool in December. Although this was soon cleared up, there is no doubt he has now been shown the door after the club confirmed his departure.
A statement on the club’s official website read: “It has become clear to the club that fundamental differences in perspective exist between us. Regrettably, the club believes that the working relationship between Nigel Pearson and the board is no longer viable. Leicester City’s owners and the board of directors would like to place on record their thanks to Nigel for the considerable contribution he has made during his time with the club and wish him well in the future.”
Craig Shakespeare and Steve Walsh have been placed in caretaker charge whilst a replacement is sought, and Sky Bet currently have former Foxes boss Martin O’Neill – currently leading Republic of Ireland’s bid for Euro 2016 qualification – and Sean Dyche, the Burnley head coach, as joint favourites to be installed at the King Power Stadium before the new season begins.
However, whilst neither of these are currently available, third-favourite Sam Allardyce is. The 60-year-old has an excellent record of keeping clubs in the Premier League and establishing their position there, which is exactly what Leicester aim to do over the coming couple of seasons at least. And he is free to take charge of another club having left West Ham United last month.