IMPORTANT TALK TACTICS: Nigel Pearson has the formula to become Harry Houdini of Watford – just look at Leicester & # 39; s Great Escape of 2015
- Nigel Pearson is the perfect man to lead Watford away from the bottom three
- The Hornets must be at their best if they want to defeat Tottenham on Saturday
- Pearson has produced the new manager bounce expected from Jose Mourinho
- Pearson & Leicester's side won seven of their last nine games to survive in 2015
It's March 21, 2015. Leicester has just lost 4-3 to Tottenham and sit at the bottom of the Premier League seven points out of safety. Harry Kane helped himself with a hat trick and it looks bleak for Nigel Pearson.
But unbelievably, seven wins, one draw and one defeat of nine games later, Leicester are safe. This great escape was Harry Houdini-like. The players suddenly knew what that winning feeling was and they introduced it the following season when they became English champions.
Without Pearson, who lost his job due to off-field issues, Leicester would probably have been relegated and the 5,000-1 title win would never have happened.
On Saturday, he faces Tottenham again in the midst of another revival, this time as Watford's manager.
A Premier League table since Pearson was in charge of the Hornets places them third, after four wins from six games.
They enjoy the jump we expected from Tottenham under Jose Mourinho, who won only five of his 10 games, with one draw and four defeats. At this rate, Watford shoo-ins seem to survive, and I see similarities between them and the Leicester side of 2014-15.
Pearson likes nuisance during attacks. He had Jamie Vardy and now he has Troy Deeney. He had two high-quality wingers in Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton and now he has Ismaila Sarr and Gerard Deulofeu, both of whom appear in shape. Christian Kabasele and Craig Cathcart – both 6ft 2in – offer a solid base at the back, just like Wes Morgan would do alongside Robert Huth or Marcin Wasilewski.
Under Watford's previous management, you saw their entire backs fly forward to fill the gaps in their 4-2-2-2 formation.
Pearson has limited that – he uses 4-2-3-1 and has told them to focus on protecting their purpose, in the first place. Adrian Mariappa and Kiko Femenia, right and left behind, do that now. Midfield duo Etienne Capoue and Nathaniel Chalobah also cover their defense, while Abdoulaye Doucoure goes from subject to subject.
With Craig Shakespeare back by his side, Pearson lets these players fight for him. He looks them in the eyes and doesn't mess.
As Deeney recently said: & # 39; For the first time in eight years I have been treated like a real man. & # 39;
Having someone like the captain of Watford is great when it comes to dressing room politics.
Pearson also forced a lot of trust from Vardy, and he started leading Leicester in their title triumph.
N & Golo Kante was signed in the summer of 2015 – and what an addition he was found by Pearson's trusted lieutenant Steve Walsh – but the winners of Leicester were already largely there.
This is a manager who knows how to handle rough diamonds. Despite their previous struggles, Watford has had enough. They reached the FA Cup final, but were defeated by Manchester City 6-0, while Tottenham lost in the Champions League final.
Neither party seemed to recover from defeats on their big days, but Pearson is now bringing Watford back together.