By 90Min
April 10, 2018

West Bromwich Albion parted company with manager Alan Pardew earlier this month, in what was probably the least surprising managerial departure of the season. 

The 56-year-old won just 3 of his 21 matches in charge of the Baggies after taking over from Tony Pulis in November. He got his marching orders after a 2-1 loss to Burnley on March 31st. 

With the club destined for the Championship next season, the Hawthorns hierarchy are now on the look out for someone to take over the reigns at the start of next season, with the hope that they can help the Baggies bounce back to the Premier League again. 

Names being linked to the job include Leicester City assistant manager Michael Appleton, former Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare, and Everton manager Sam Allardyce, with former Chelsea and Portugal boss Luis Felipe Scolari even throwing his hat into the ring. 

Another name that has been linked with the vacancy is the former Baggies caretaker manager, Nigel Pearson, with West Brom legend Carlton Palmer suggesting that he would be the right man for the job. 

The 54-year-old is currently managing in the Belgian second division with OH Leuven, the sister club of Leicester City, but would be a great option for West Brom to turn to in their managerial search. 

Pearson is best known for his time at Leicester City between the years 2008 and 2015, with a trip to Hull and back sandwiched in between. The former Middlesbrough captain led the club from their lowest ever ebb (relegation to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history), to winning both the League one and Championship titles. 

He then overseen a miraculous escape from relegation as Leicester won seven of their last nine games to secure Premier League safety at the end of the 2014/15 season. 

Pearson was dismissed as Leicester manager at the end of the 2014/15 seasons because of off the field issues, but had built a team that were capable of competing in the Premier League the next season. 

That team went on to shock everyone by beating odds of 5000/1 to be crowned Premier League champions under the guidance of Claudio Ranieri, who had taken the reigns from Pearson. 

While Ranieri's achievements shouldn't be diminished in any way, ten of the eleven players who started the majority of games during that season were managed or bought by Nigel Pearson, including PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez and star striker Jamie Vardy.

Tony Marshall/GettyImages

Jamie Vardy has since credited both Pearson and his former assistant Craig Shakespeare for convincing him to stay in the game after a tough first season with the Foxes. 

"To be honest with you when I first moved from Fleetwood to Leicester I doubted myself a bit in the first year as well," the striker revealed to the Leicester Mercury back in September 2017.

“It wasn’t for a good chat I had with our manager at the time Nigel Pearson and our [then] current manager Craig Shakespeare, telling me I was good enough to be there and that I could be even better, then I might have fallen out of the game as well.


“With them telling me that and me knuckling down to concentrate on football it all paid off.”

Nigel Pearson is a builder when it comes to management, the two times he took over as Leicester manager he stripped everything back before building both the team and club back up, ensuring that the fundamentals of hard work and a never say die attitude were instilled into all of the players and staff. Those fundamentals rubbed off onto the supporters and created an atmosphere that was conducive to success.  

With West Brom in a current state of disarray, and expecting a summer exodus when relegation is confirmed, they need someone who is going to build them back up and instil the fundamentals, which will be crucial if they are going to be successful in the Championship. 

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The former Derby County manager also has built up significant experience in the Championship, during spells with Hull City, Derby and, of course, Leicester, and has proved with the former and latter that he knows what it takes to be successful in the league.

His latest stint in the league with Derby was ill-fated, and he was eventually sacked due to a poor relationship with the board. However, this will leave him determined to prove his credentials in the English game, and leading West Brom back to the Premier League would be a great way of doing that. 

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

Pearson has also had a previous spell at the Hawthorns, having been both a coach and interim manager there between the years 2004 and 2007, and is actually unbeaten in the hot seat at the Hawthorns. Having taken temporary charge in September and October 2006, West Brom won four and drew one of his five games in charge. 

Therefore, he already knows his way around the ground and training facilities, reducing the 'settling in period' that coaches, especially those not from England, may have in getting to know their surroundings. 

If West Brom are looking for a reliable manager, who will ensure that the club is built in the right way for future success and who has experience in the English game, then they could certainly do a lot worse than Nigel Pearson. 

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