Nigel Pearson
HEVERLEE, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 04: Manager Nigel Pearson of OH Leuven ahead of the Proximus League match between OH Leuven and Lommel at King Power at Den Dreef Stadion on December 4th, 2018 in Heverlee, Belgium. (Photo by Plumb Images/Getty Images)

Nigel Pearson is the new Watford manager on a contract that initially runs until the end of the season.

Nigel Pearson Appointed Watford Manager

Hornets Appoint Former Fox

The Englishman is succeeding Quique Sanchez Flores who lasted less than 90 days in the job. The Spaniard had a dismal record during his second stint at the club; winning only 2 games in all competitions.

The Hornets have mightily struggled in 2019/2020 and find themselves bottom of the Premier League with a third of the season gone.

After making the FA cup final last season, Watford is yet to recapture those heights. Hornets fans will be hoping that Pearson will be the man to save them from relegation.

Craig Shakespeare will join as his number two.

Experience With Beating The Drop

Watford will be hoping that Pearson recaptures the magic that saved Leicester City in 2014/2015. After looking destined for relegation, Pearson’s Foxes won six of their last eight matches to beat the drop. During that run, they scored 14 goals and conceded just six.

But there was plenty of controversy along the way. Most memorably, he compared a journalist to an ostrich during a press conference. He was eventually sacked after a post-season tour when his relationship with Leicester’s board broke down. His dismal was also linked to his son’s role in an alleged racist sex tape that came out after that tour.

Leicester fans soon forgot his sacking when his replacement Claudio Ranieri guided them to the league title the following year.

Since his sacking at Leicester, Pearson has managed Derby County and OH Leuven. Both clubs sacked him after he failed to make an impact.

Deeney’s Back

If Watford is to beat the drop, then the fitness of Troy Deeney will be key. The captain has missed the majority of the season with injury and recently returned to action.

Deeney is the lifeblood of Watford. He scored nine goals last season, but he provides so much more than just scoring.

His passion was on full display after a victory against Arsenal in 2017.

“Whenever I play Arsenal, I’ll go up and think, ‘Let me whack the first one and see who wants it’. “I came on today (Saturday) and jumped with (Per) Mertesacker. I didn’t even have to jump, actually – I nodded it down,” said Deeney to reporters after that game.” The crowd gets up – ‘Yeah, we’ve got somebody who can win it’ – and they all just backed off.”

“For me as a player, I just think, ‘Happy days’. That’s my strength. I know I’m not technically gifted like they are, not as quick, but if you want to fight with me, I’m gonna beat you all day.”

And that’s the type of attitude that Hornets fans will be hoping for from their captain. They need it now more than ever if they want to beat the drop.

Reasons to be Optimistic

Watford may be stuck in dead last in the Premier League, but there are reasons to be optimistic. Pearson has proven to be able to dig teams out of a similar situation and their passionate captain is returning to the fold.

Appointing Pearson is a gamble that may just pay off for the Hornets. If not, the Championship awaits.

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