Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has spoken about working with Watford head coach Nigel Pearson and his remaining legacy at his former club. Speaking on the BBC’s That Peter Crouch Podcast, presented by Hornets’ fan and Radio One presenter Chris Stark, Schmeichel said the Foxes’ recent successes owes a lot to the work put in by Pearson during his time with the club. Schmeichel also focused on Pearson’s man-management and said the 56-year-old was particularly adept at keeping his players happy.
Kasper Schmeichel said “I’ve always said that we owe Nigel a great deal because even today, so much of the infrastructure of the club is what Nigel put in place and the staff, basically everyone from Nigel’s staff is still there. He was so good at looking at the big picture, he was so good at planning and implementing ways of getting the structure of the club in the right place and without doubt he deserves so much credit. I’ve always thought that the most underrated quality, and for some reason it doesn’t really exist that much in football anymore, is man-management. Treating people as people and not just a player or a number and Nigel just doesn’t do that, he gets invested in people. You see a massive difference in us when players feel appreciated, feel valued, you’ve got 11 players that are playing, but the rest aren’t playing, that’s such a hard situation to manage and Nigel’s brilliant at managing that. He treats every single player like his own kids.”
One of Schmeichel’s more surprising revelations was that Pearson is also a very skilled dancer and is even capable of performing the splits, if the mood takes him.
Kasper Schmeichel said “He’s got a really soft, gentle side to him that you probably don’t see. I think what’s unfortunate for him is he adores and loves football, just pure football. It’s all the circus around football that gets to him, that he doesn’t like. All the media talk that as a manager, you have to do, like your press conference, you have to sit there and listen to all these questions. I think he just wants to be a coach, I think he just wants to be out there on the pitch doing that, what he loves. He’s a complex guy. He’s an unbelievable ballroom dancer. I’ve seen this in person and you think ‘Woah, where did that come from, that was incredible’. We’d won the league everyone was dancing and he was happy and he just did the splits. You could see that it wasn’t his first rodeo.”
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