LONDON: Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson accused a journalist of being “an ostrich” during a peculiar tirade following his side’s 3-1 Premier League loss at home to Chelsea.
Ian Baker, who was covering Wednesday’s match at the King Power Stadium for AFP, asked Pearson to elaborate after he told his post-match press conference that his players had had to deal with “criticism and negativity”.
“Have you been on holiday for six months? Have you been away for six months?” responded Pearson, whose side are a point above the relegation zone with four matches of the season remaining.
“I think you must have either your head in the clouds, or been away on holiday, or reporting on a different team, because if you don’t know the answer to that question…
“Your question is absolutely unbelievable, the fact you do not understand where I am coming from. If you don’t know the answer to that question then I think you are an ostrich.
“Your head must be in the sand. Is your head in the sand? Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no. I can, you can’t.”
Pearson, 51, also mockingly mimicked Baker’s voice and described him as “daft” and “very stupid” before cutting the press conference short and leaving the room.
The incident created a stir on social media, while a YouTube video of Pearson’s outburst had been watched 56,000 times by Thursday morning.
It is not the first time that Pearson, who steered Leicester to promotion from the Championship in 2014, has found himself in the headlines this season.
He was fined £10,000 ($15,470, 13,780 euros) and given a one-match touchline ban by the Football Association for swearing at a Leicester fan during a loss to Liverpool in December and also swore at a journalist last month.
In February he was involved in a curious touchline tussle with Crystal Palace’s James McArthur that saw him playfully grab the midfielder by the neck and then prevent him from returning to the pitch by holding his shirt.
Baker maintained a sense of humour over the press conference incident, writing on Twitter: “If getting called an ostrich by Nigel Pearson is not a career highlight I don’t know what is.” -AFP