After a recent spat with a journalist, Leicester team manager Nigel Pearson stressed that he was “no bully” as he brushed aside criticisms regarding his attitude.
“That is a word that is very easy to use but there you are. I am not,” Pearson said during an interview when asked if he was bothered by the media referring to him as a bully.
“Fundamentally I am what I am. Again, the model which is sometimes thrown at me as being dour and arrogant, people can have their views on that but the people who work very closely with me know me a damn sight better because I allow them to get to know me.”
The criticisms came in after an incident after Leicester’s 3-1 defeat against Chelsea on Wednesday, where Pearson is said to have called journalist Ian Baker an “ostrich” and “stupid” after the manager was irritated with being asked as to what particular criticisms of his players this season had upset him.
While the Foxes’ boss has already made a public apology to Baker on Thursday, the incident has since caught the attention of people on social media, where it was mockingly referred to as “#OstrichGate”.
Premier League managers have also reacted to the incident. Former Sunderland head Peter Reid questioned Pearson’s move to do a public apology. “I’ve given it to plenty of reporters face to face and they’ve given me it back — and I think that’s healthy,” Reid related. “But I like to do it personally. When it’s personal, face to face, you get your point across much better.”
On the other hand, West ham’s Sam Allardyce came to Pearson’s defense. “When you are down there dealing with the pressures that come upon in terms of staying in the Premier League, I think it is a huge pressure for everybody to continue to work under that situation and come through it,” Allardyce pointed out.
This isn’t the first time that Pearson has been embroiled in a public controversy over his actions. In February, he tussled with Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur during the two teams; match.