The Megson factor..

It’s been quite interesting perusing the debate on message boards from both Forest and Leicester fans following the confirmation that Gary Megson is indeed now the manager of the Foxes.  I’ve had numerous conversations over the course of the day, and I can’t quite make my mind about the wisdom – or lackthereof – of the appointment.

I suppose my general lack of knowledge of the situation at Leicester either in terms of their squad or board rather clouds the issue, as of course does the rather looming cloud of Megson’s rather shambolic time in charge at Forest – and of course, football is anything but predictable even when you are in possession of all the facts.

The appointment surprised me greatly, as did the supposed other frontrunner – Neil Warnock – who it has been claimed was offered a role and turned it down, subsequently denied by the Leicester chairman.  You see, my understanding of Mandaric was he is a chairman who likes to be ‘involved’ – you can almost read that as tinkering. 

Allen reportedly didn’t choose the majority of his summer signings, and had a spat with the owner about the latter’s desire to sign Jimmy Floyd Haisselbank.  Now, of course stuff you read from fans has to be taken with a truckload of salt, but I can’t imagine if there’s any truth in this type of story that quite dictatorial managers like Warnock or Megson would be high on Milan’s list of targets – and vice versa.

Megson, of course, has been out of work since he lost his job with us, and he’s even intimated to the press that there are people out to sabotage his chances of employment elsewhere in football.  He was reported to be ‘helping out’ at Stoke on a voluntary basis to keep his hand in with the game, perhaps you could see the appointment as desperation from both camps?

One thing it’s fair to say is if you take away the Forest job from his CV, he has credentials – he took Stockport to 8th in the Championship, he got West Brom promoted twice to the top flight, and whilst we certainly saw little positive during his tenure – he must have some ability that for whatever reason was never meant to flourish here – and that bears some thinking about too.

Megson inherited Joe Kinnear’s Forest.  Joe Kinnear’s reign provided unscaled lacks of professionalism in training, responsiblity and all manner of other things – the players were unfit, uncaring, overpaid and generally a bunch of workshy backstabbers (perhaps not all, but enough of them).  Megson’s appointment was never welcomed by big chunks of the fans, and in losing the dressing room so quickly he was never going to win the fans around.

Now, Leicester’s supporters seem generally unhappy with the appointment, which is always a bad start to get off to.  Of course, if he delivers that elusive win at the City Ground in his second game – I think that he will quickly overcome some of the supporter-backing hurdles that I think were never to be overcome at Forest – indeed, Smoulds is finding the same problem now.

Forest fans are notoriously fussy about style of football – and I’m one of ’em.  I would rather us play a passing and moving game, the ‘beautiful’ game – I don’t mind direct in the form of counter-attacking, but I cannot stand hoof-ball, even if it grinds out results.  And I think other fans are perhaps more tolerant of it than we are.  Martin O’Neill, revered amongst the Leicester fans, largely employed rather direct football – but it worked for him.

I reckon if Megson gets results for Leicester he’ll certainly stay in the chairman’s good books, but he’ll also quite quickly win around the fans too.  Assuming he doesn’t face an all-but-open-rebellion that he did in the Forest dressing room there, I can see him motivating the side, and I fear he will actually prove to be a much more competent manager than he ever managed to be for us.

Of course, for all this slight gloom-mongering from our perspective (because despite acknowledging some of the difficulties he had, I still hold him in very low regard), there is the potential silver-lining that now Gary is back in football, there may finally be a manager prepared to take Scott Dobie off our hands! 😆