2014/2015 English Premier League
Previous clubs: Carlisle United, Southampton, Leicester, Hull City
Honours: English League One: 2008-09; English Championship: 2013-14;
Leicester fans have watched with great pleasure and admiration as the club has reaped the rewards of Pearson's strict and professional approach during his second spell at the King Power Stadium. Having gathered experience across all four divisions of English football, Pearson is now embarking on his first managerial job in the Premier League.
He has adopted a more observational approach as his management career has evolved, which neatly complements his motivational ability and the defensive stability he instils in his teams.
Pearson's playing career saw the Nottingham-born defender make more than 100 appearances for each of his three clubs -- Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough. Despite injury problems in the early stages of his career at Shrewsbury, Pearson performed sufficiently enough to entice Howard Wilkinson to pay 250,000 pounds for him in 1987.
The centre-back's seven-year stint at Sheffield Wednesday saw him captain the side to the League Cup trophy in 1991 and secure promotion to the top-flight and a third-placed finish the very next season. He went on to turn out for the Owls in the Premier League before Bryan Robson splashed 750,000 pounds on bringing Pearson to Middlesbrough. On Teesside, Pearson played in a colourful Middlesbrough side that included Gianluca Festa, Emerson, Juninho and Fabrizio Ravenelli, playing in League Cup and FA Cup final defeats and suffering relegation at the end of an eventful 1996-97 season. He hung up his boots a year later after before skippering the side to an immediate return to the Premier League.
Pearson's first managerial job came at Carlisle United and was shortly followed by a spell as first-team coach at Stoke City before Bryan Robson again recruited Pearson -- this time appointing him assistant manager at West Bromwich Albion. After temporarily taking the caretaker manager position after Robson's departure, Pearson spent time as assistant manager at Newcastle United and the England U21 team where he worked with the likes of Sam Allardyce, Stuart Pearce and Kevin Keegan.
After a miserable three-month period as Southampton manager, Pearson was appointed Leicester City boss in what was to be his first spell at the club. It was in the East Midlands that Pearson's career as a manager took off as his Leicester side were crowned League One champions -- setting a club-record low of four league defeats in the process. The following season, Pearson's Leicester came close to back-to-back promotions, although it would prove to be a step too far as the Foxes came up short in the playoffs, despite achieving a calendar year unbeaten at home.
A strained relationship with Leicester owner Milan Mandaric meant Pearson's first stint as Leicester manager came to an end after two seasons and in June 2010 Hull City wasted no time in appointing Pearson as manager following their relegation from the Premier League. Pearson will be remembered by Hull City supporters for breaking a 66-year-old record; going 14 consecutive away games without defeat before Leicester City again came calling for Pearson's services the following November.
After an inconsistent first campaign back at the King Power Stadium, Leicester mounted a push for promotion to the Premier League in the 2012-13 season and were a spot-kick away from reaching the playoff final at Wembley; only for Anthony Knockaert to spurn the opportunity and condemn the club to another season of Championship football.
In typically bullish Pearson style however, Leicester recovered from their playoff heartbreak and romped to the 2013-14 Championship title, finishing nine points clear of nearest challengers Burnley.
Strengths: With a very calm and collected manner, Pearson is a fantastic leader with a penchant for developing young players and utilising the transfer market to unearth talents. The Leicester manager has also demonstrated an unsurprising ability, given his history as a no-nonsense centre-back, to mould together a solid defence.
Weaknesses: Although Pearson has previously been caretaker manager at Newcastle United, the current Leicester boss is yet to manage a full Premier League campaign and may have to rely on all his composure and ability with a tough fixture list awaiting the Foxes.
Career High: Winning the Championship with Leicester in 2013-14 and taking the club back to the Premier League for the first time in a decade, amassing 102 points in the process; Pearson was named LMA Championship Manager of the Year for his efforts.
Career Low: An unsuccessful spell in charge of Southampton in 2008 came to an early end as Pearson was replaced after only three months by Dutchman Jan Poortvliet, although the departing manager did help Saints avoid relegation to League One.
Tactics: Throughout his career, Pearson has kept a close eye on tactical detail; often choosing to watch a game in the stands rather than the pitch side. Pearson's preference is to alter formations rather than play individuals out of position and thus does not have a preferred system, rather a few to alternate between.
Quotes: "I would like football clubs to be more aware of what their philosophy is, then recruit managers who fit the profile that suits them. Swansea have done it pretty well in recent years, and Wigan, but I can't really think of many others. It is very easy when results don't go well to point the finger at the manager and say 'let's get rid of him.' Football clubs need to have a better understanding of what the club stands for and how they go about their business." Nigel Pearson in December 2013.
Trivia: Nigel Pearson was once attacked by dogs on a walking holiday in Romania and was forced to dive into a bush of stinging nettles to escape the pack.
Words: Hal Boxhall-Dockree