During the week this email arrived in my inbox;
Have regularly checked your site since my son pointed it out to me and have enjoyed the comments and detail.
I do have a couple of questions that you may be able to answer.
The first you have already come close to answering recently. I would be interested in our red cards since the glorious M O’N left. We have not had any yet this season. I wonder how many we had in previous seasons and how they cost us in points. Despite Paul Dickov and sometimes Max going close I wonder if Nigel has been quite forceful about this.
I am also curious about Nigel’s playing record against us. Did he play in the League Cup Final for Middlesboro and have I read that he played way back in the 3 goalkeepers match for Shrewsbury?
up the city
Thanks for the email Tony. I’ll deal with these points in reverse.
Nigel Pearson was on the books at Shrewsbury when that incredible FA Cup Quarter Final was played in the 1981/82 season, but he didn’t make his debut for the club until the start of the 1982/83 campaign. However, Pearson did play for Middlesborough in both the 1997 Coca-Cola Cup Final and the replay alongside the long forgotten Gianluca Festa.
Moving on to discipline, I’m glad you’ve raised the historical question which was something I’ve been meaning to investigate for a while. As noted in the Midseason Fact Check, Nigel Pearson clearly seems to have clamped down on indiscipline in the Foxes. Leicester are committing fewer fouls per game, receiving fewer yellow cards and have yet to have a player dismissed or concede a penalty this season.
When you look back over the last nine seasons, most of them see City with an average disciplinary record. The tenures that really stick our are those of Micky Adams and Craig Levein. Under Adams and Levein, City claimed the following unwanted records;
2002/03 – Most yellow cards (96), Most red cards* (7)
2004/05 – Most fouls (744), Most red cards* (8)
2005/06 – Most fouls (697)
Compare those numbers with this season and Leicester’s 274 infringements mean they are on course to commit some 250 less fouls than in 2004/05. Now its not really fair to calculate what that means in points game by game, football just doesn’t work like that. But what these numbers do show is that City are no longer a nasty side.
During the Yeovil match count the number of times unnecessary free kicks are given away. It simply isn’t a common feature of City’s play any more and Nigel Pearson deserves enormous credit for that.