EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Stelling fears Leicester's Nigel Pearson leads sack race

Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling fears Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson could become the first Premier League managerial casualty of the season.

Carlsberg Jeff Stelling Christmas Speech

We have reached the middle of December, with Christmas now within touching distance, and we are yet to see the first Premier League managerial departure of the season.

Tony Pulis walked away from Crystal Palace before a ball was kicked, so he doesn’t count.

Remarkably, since his resignation in August, top-flight chairmen across the country have refrained from making snap judgements and putting necks on the chopping block.

There may, however, be a few axes being sharpened as we approach the halfway stage of the 2014/15 campaign.

Acting too quickly can often do more harm than good, but so can keeping faith with those on a fast-sinking ship.

If the man at the helm is no longer able to inspire those under his wing and generate positive results, there is only so long he can expect to keep hold of his job.

That is the harsh reality of sport at the highest level, with comings and goings very much part of the fabric.

Who, then, will become the first Premier League boss to get the chop, with festive cheer in short supply as they sweat on the arrival of a P45 in the post?

Jeff Stelling took a break from filming his alternative Christmas speech for the Carlsberg Fan Squad, released on Boxing Day, to discuss that issue with HITC Sport, and here is what he had to say: “The obvious one is (Leicester’s) Nigel Pearson. When you’re bottom of the league, people do run out of patience.

“The owners backed him last season and they were rewarded. He’s a good, honest, straight-talking guy and I’m really hoping that they continue to back him, but he would be the one at the moment, for me, under the most threat.”

Leicester City returned to the top-tier as winners of the Championship in 2013/14, but have found the going tough back among the elite.

There have been highs among the lows, but a thrilling 5-3 victory over Manchester United in September could now be viewed as something of a curse.

The Foxes have failed to win since, with an alarming 11-game slump delivering just two points.

A tumble to the foot of the division, which has left them five points from safety, is likely to have seen some uncomfortable questions raised within the walls of the King Power Stadium and Pearson will be fully aware that he needs to turn things around quickly if he is to avoid becoming a coaching casualty.

If Carlsberg did Christmas speeches…. Head to CarlsbergFanSquad.co.uk at midday on Boxing Day to see Jeff Stelling's ultimate review of the year. Click here for a sneak peek behind the scenes. Follow @CarlsbergFooty for Barclays Premier League ticket giveaways and more from the Carlsberg Fan Squad.

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