In football you tend to have a couple of groups of football managers as to how they come across to the press. You have those that have some class about them and answer the questions posed in a professional manner and then you have those who answer questions in a way that suggests they wonder why the question has been asked in the first place.
All media are capable of asking questions that are just plain stupid (I am sur Gareth Southgate has probably been asked this week if he hopes England will win the final) but it is the way that you answer them that generally gives the impression as to which kind of managerial group you fall into.
Nigel Pearson has always struck me as one of those “angry” managers. In the same way as Sean Dyche comes across. One of those managers who views his time with the press as a hinderance to doing his job rather than an essential requirement to support the work that he does.
Because of this it should come across as no surprise that he sent Liam Walsh on his way with a couple of (not so) subtle digs as to the reason why he is leaving “He’s a player who we decided to allow to go as, as I’ve talked about with Nathan already, some players we felt for the wages they were earning, we couldn’t offer that,” explained Nigel Pearson to the local Bristol press.
“Because of the rules, if you don’t offer at least the same, then you become a free transfer.
“It was not straightforward with Liam because he’s a player who is technically a good player. But I also felt it was important to strengthen in that area and the players that I brought in, I’m very happy with.
“That’s not to say that I wouldn’t have been happy to keep Liam but as I’ve already alluded to, we have to be mindful of the financial implications and my job is to make decisions on players and whether they stay or they go.
“So it’s really my decision because I wanted to strengthen in a way which I had players that play the way I think we need to play, moving forward.
“It’s never an easy decision. When you let players like Liam go – I suppose [Jamie] Paterson would be in a similar category being popular… But I think sometimes either player, their shelf life has come to an end but also Liam had had some problems, injury-wise, and I just decided to move in a different direction.
“Hopefully that clarifies that I’m Public Enemy number one.”
Pearson’s comments will no doubt be a spur to Walsh especially as the two sides are due to meet so early on in the season (August 20) and clearly the decision has not gone down well with his own supporters which, as a manager, will only add to any pressure to get results on the pitch as well. And also, ironically, more questions from the media that will have the same tone in response.
I still think their loss is our gain.