It’s going to be a long lonely summer..

Billy Davies: tactician on and off the pitch..

It’s hard to ignore the rumours doing the rounds, and indeed, the deafening silence from the City Ground.  Not that I think the powers-that-be should address every bit of internet-generated tittle tattle that inevitably gushes forth come the end of the season (and that I’m now adding to), but well, it would be nice to hear something.

Whilst other clubs announce their retained and released lists at Forest fans turn to Twitter to hear of Nathan Tyson’s mysterious movements up and down the M1, to intuit all manner of things in Earnie’s decision to change his profile picture from him in a Forest shirt (whenever I’ve checked his profile before he’s generally not in a Forest shirt then, either!).

One cheeky tweet seems to have spiralled into an impressive rumour based on nothing around Billy Davies being in the frame for the West Ham job.  Whilst Wee Billy might well not be heading to the Hammers, the persistent speculation surrounding the manager and his relationship with the board does perhaps stem from something rather than pure muck-raking.

Whilst I like Billy as a manager, it’s clear the man is a self-server, and that’s not always a bad thing – he wants to achieve things.  He doesn’t necessarily burn with desire to achieve things for Forest, but if he happens to be able to reach those ambitions whilst in charge here then everyone’s a winner.  For whatever reason, there does seem to be an obstacle to that happening.

Bear in mind this is my own pondering, based on a mixture of conversations I’ve had, observations I’ve made and something approximating a scenario I’ve – well – intuited I suppose.  A theory.  I suppose I’m pouring fuel to the speculation fire, but to be honest, as much as I’ve resisted and enjoyed a bit of down time since the play-off disappointment, I can’t help but write something.

I do think that the Forest board would like to part company with Davies.  I don’t think Davies would be too sorry to part company with them, but not without his contract being paid up.  The Forest board won’t want to do that, I imagine if a club like West Ham did want to take him on and pay us compensation it would delight the board immeasurably!  I wonder if they fell for ‘the rumour’?

When Billy arrived the remit was to initially save us from relegation, and then to develop a credible Championship club with a reasonable amount of investment, but definitely built upon youth and developing players – not continuing to throw bucket-loads of cash at the squad repeatedly.  As we’ve undergone two seasons where we’ve fallen short of truly challenging for promotion, you can see a source of frustration.

It’s pretty easy to understand why Billy must want more cash to sign players, indeed, it’s even easy to see why some supporters might decree that our rich owner should get his hand in his pocket and back the manager.  It’s easy to spend other people’s money in fantasy land, isn’t it?  In my natural guise of fence-sitter I can also see the wisdom in not entrusting a pick pot of cash with the manager to do as he will with.

So if my pontificating is true, and we have a board and manager at loggerheads, then we are potentially in for a summer of discontent – and, indeed, a season of such too should there not be a parting of the ways.  With the likes of Tyson, Moussi, Adebola and Earnshaw out of contract, with Wilson already gone, with the likes of Lee Camp being linked with Premier League moves (again, seems outlandish to me), it’s difficult not to get a bit downhearted.

With the only communication coming from the club post-Swansea being positive future messages from manager and chairman alike, and of course the prices we are expected to pay for our season tickets next season (I’m quite happy with a VAT-only rise in truth), it leaves the floodgates for internet gobshites (and I include myself in that definition!) to speculate.

Hopefully we’re all going a bit stir-crazy post season and our hysterical theorising is wide of the mark – however, if the above hypothesis turns out to be near to the mark then we could be in for a frustrating time.  All the more so if my headline managed to embed the Jason Donovan song in your head as it did mine when I wrote it…

Come on Forest, speak to the fans.  How many of you have renewed your season tickets yet…?

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26 Responses

  1. Two announcements form the club since the Play-Offs; season ticket prices and a sale on at the shop. They still want us to spend our cash!

    I seem to remember the same sort of thing happening last summer too, the memory is selective so I can’t recall if it was as bad as it’s been this year in the week-and-a-bit following Play-Off defeat but later on there was definitely concern over the lack of players coming in (Bertrand being the only one and that was a late late deal) and also various reports about Billy hinting about wanting other jobs, most notably both the Old Firm clubs, at least he’s not picky!

    The other day I said to some fellow Forest fans on Facebook that the only places I was going to read from that point was the official site and BBC because they were the ones you can rely on. However it’s just so addictive (and perversely fun) looking for any bit of information on the club. Today alone I have read or been told the following:

    1. Billy Davies is going to West Ham
    2. Martin O’Neill is going to have talks with Forest.
    3. As is Roy Keane
    4. Camp is off to Villa
    5. Moussi is off to Stoke

    Are fans of other teams going through this? We’re not the only club who seem to be quiet yet we seem to be more obsessed at finding out than most. Others just appear to be enjoying a bit of a post-season holiday!

    As for season ticket renewal, I won’t be. Nothing to do with what’s (not) going on but purely because I now live in Birmingham and work funny shifts. I’ll only be able to make Saturday games so I’ll buy a membership and then on a match by match basis.

  2. It is frustrating as hell. I actually dont think we need too much adjusting to be fair. For example….

    laschelles to cover wilson.
    findley to replace tyson.
    adebola wasnt even involved latter parts of the season and i hope we offer earnie and moussi a new deal.

    we need a left back though. but moussi and earnshaw are the crucial decisions. if we offer them new contracts then id like the following things to happen….

    1. sign bertrand
    2. sign boyd ( boro want rid so cant be too much surely)
    3. give the lower bridgford stand to forest supporters!

    remember dexters back xmas time too.

    All this talk of Martin O’Neill does my head in! NEVER. although id love to be proved wrong 🙂

  3. David, Your comments are spot on !!

  4. i’ll be renewing, though i’ve not had the usual renewal pack through the post yet, featuring such memorable slogans as “we’re serious about promotion” but maybe thats a good thing!!
    I cant see Billy leaving, i think he still feels hurt by what happened to him at prideless park and there would be no better way to prove them wrong than to do well with us.
    as for the squad i realy hope that the mousse and earnie will stay, the others have been useful but are limited, though bennet hasn;t really been given a chance to shine.
    there are some decent players already out there on frees who we should look at, people like J lloyd samuel can do well in this division.
    My main worry over signings though is that Billy’s always been reluctant to sign “squad” players, which could leave us with an even thinner squad next season!
    i think there’ll be comings and goings but we should be able to keep our best players and add to them and go again come august. (i really hope so anyway!)

  5. In reality if Billy were to go then you’d have to say that he’s not the man for the job.

    The main (if only) thing that Billy appears to have an issue with is transfers. He wants more players and to spend more money.

    In my opinion he has been backed and any shortfall can be made up by the fact that his targets are, seemingly, unrealistic.

    He’s been at Forest 2 and a half years, in that time he could’ve had a dedicated leftback instead of all the chopping and changing. Instead we’ve been left chasing players who play for direct rivals.

    I don’t know how he and other people can say he’s not been backed when the price we’ve paid for our players over the years to make up the squad we’ve had is so high!

    Earnie – £2.65m
    Gunter – £2m
    Raddi – £1.5m
    McGoldrick – £1m
    Garner – £1m
    Tyson = 750k
    Mckenna = 750k
    Anderson – 500k

    And then passed those you’ve got people like Camp who’s been brilliant and didn’t cost much but is worth a lot now, the same goes for Chambers and Cohen.

    For the prices we’ve paid Forest have assembled an expensive squad. If you were Doughty would you be there saying “sure i’ll spend even more even though you’re telling me that these players we’ve spent a lot on aren’t actually worth it”… no, that’d be crazy. People need to realise that you can’t just buy your way out of this league.

    Blackpool spent 500k on Charlie Adam, him coupled with a little luck and team spirit saw them play top flight football.

    Swansea haven’t spent very much and they are 90 minutes away from the Premiership! In fact I’m sure on Radio Nottm they said that when we played them in the league that Swanseas starting 11 cost less than Earnie!!

    At the start of the season Billy was citing M’boro as “another team” who were “showing intent” buy signing all and sundry… what happened? They spent all season in the bottom half inbetween trying to work out how to play players like Boyd his 30k a week!!!

    Cardiff… another team “showing intent” spent a fortune on loans and wages by resigning people like Whittingham and low and behold they bottled it again!!

    In summary you’ve more cases of teams “showing intent” and getting it wrong and teams who’s spent a lot less and got into the top six and then into the Premiership.

    Look at Norwich!! Jesus! How have they done what they did this season?!

    With some of the players we have its hard not to wonder what other managers would’ve gotten out of them had they been in charge. The strikers have been shocking in terms of getting us goals this season but put some of them in other teams and you’d probably see that they are good enough and maybe we’re just not playing the way we need to in order to get the best out of them.

    Earnie scored a brilliant goal last night against Ireland, he’s the best finisher we’ve got… Raddi’s through-ball highlighted that! BUT its no good if we’re don’t get the ball to him where he wants it.

    Maybe we need more creative midfielders not strikers.

    Billy needs to give us another season, the last of his contract and be fully committed and stop his bickering and swipes at the board. If we get up then he gets another contract but only for 2yrs… he’s unproven in the Prem and we all know how much he thinks you need to spend in the Prem to stay up…40mill or something he was quoted as saying once. Then if we did come down he’d have a year to get us up!

    As for what to do in the summer…

    Re-sign Earnie and Moussi. Tyson’s goal return just isn’t good enough and at 29 you just can’t see him becoming a goal machine anytime soon. Plus reports of Findley being very quick it’d seem like the replacement is already in place. Wilson’s gone already, Adebola – what need be said, Bennett – he’s be better off elsewhere too.

    In goal
    ——————————
    I’m happy to have Camp and Paul Smith as backup – I always thought that Smith was pretty decent, he just seemed to lack the ability to help his defence by organising them a little better.

    Defense
    ——————————
    Gunts and Moloney leave that rightback position covered in spades!
    Centre back – Wes, Chambers with Lynch and laschelles as backup

    Leftback – arghhh…. please sign a proper leftback and a backup if we’ve not got a youth team player to promote!! Pleaseeeee!!

    Midfield
    ——————————
    Left-wing… we need an out and out left winger, we’ve got Ando, McGugan, McCleary who and play both wings and switch etc but it’d be nice just to have a left footed pure left winger!

    Moussi, Cohen, McKenna give us ONE defensive midfielder per game.

    So we need a creative box-to-box midfielder to help Raddi (who i’m hoping has a better season next year, or he just gets run in the side).

    Up front I think we’re covered:
    ——————————
    Earnie, Findley, McGoldrick, Garner, Blackstock

    Maybe we could get Boyd and move Garner on but at 4-5 strikers that is enough. I’m interested to see what McGoldrick can do after Billy’s praise of him last pre-season before his injury.

    Meanwhile it would be nice to hear more from the club… it’s just as likely that Billy and his team have gone on their holidays for a couple of weeks and the club are trying to do their bit with the players – re-sign, and making new signings.

    Anyone remember when it was last season that Doughty did he end of season review/interview…??

  6. CraigNFFC’s post above is sound reasoning based.
    The idea of another round of ‘find a new manager’ fills me with dread. Our track record in that is abysmal since Frank Clark – until that it is – BD arrived.
    I hope he stays, not because he’s the best manager around but ‘cos Forest’s ability to replace him gives me nightmares.

    Criticism of our owner (ND) is unjustified IMHO.
    He’s evidently a good business man and Forest are not – like many clubs – on the verge of bankruptcy. Just remember Scholar & his bandits and how he left the club !

    Last season after consistently good performance, and attaining 2nd spot, the wheels came off the bus coincident with Moussi’s injury. The ensuing black period MAY have reflected BD’s shortcomings in motivation & management but I and 99% of the posters here just don’t know. It’s reasonable to reflect that other clubs have purple & black patches and their managers don’t have the answers to variable team perfomances either.

    After enduring manegers like Calderwood, Kinnear, Saunders, Platt et al, I’d hope BD stays for a while longer.

  7. Interesting post by Craig but he of all people should know we hardly ever sell on for any decent amount of money.

    When was the last we got a decent sum for? Perchy?

    I bet Camp goes for less than £1m – if he does make a move.

    And let’s face it, we’ve had fun under Billy. How can anyone deny it?

    Roll on 2011-12. With King Billy??

  8. Similar view to craig and David re the squad needs, altho I’d make Boyd a priority because it isn’t just the number of strikers, it is what type of role they play. With dele moving on we don’t have a strong physical target man who can hold the ball up and also draw other players in. Boyd was brilliant at that for us, and even though not fit his goal haul per game is far better than all the rest of our front line.

    Earnie seems on fire his last 3 games. But he does that every season, a short flourish. He doesn’t score enough and he squanders more chances than most. I’d be happy to see mcgoldrick move on. He scores rarely and contributes little. Boyd-Findlay would be the dream partnership.

    What I can’t understand is why ND can’t see that their reactive PR causes problems of their own making. All the press speculation is entirely predictable so they could have had a plan to deal with it weeks ago.

    Finally – we may have bought some pricey players on the last 3 years, but the back of the programme doesn’t lie. Swans named TWELVE more first team squad players than us. Reading openly have a strategy of 2 strong players for every position. We’ve done remarkably given the numbers but it is time to strengthen, without doubt

  9. Not sure why you think Camp going to the premier league sounds outlandish NFFC? He has the talent, a very strong & confident personality and is also British. I think he’d be a great buy for a Premiership team.

    I would not be surprised if some of the Premier league strugglers come in for Chambo either, for all the same reasons as Camp. I seem to remember Mick McCarthy sniffing round him during one transfer window.

    Of course, I hope both of these stay, along with Lewis.

  10. I have to agree with the last comment about criticising doughty. its all too easy to have a go at him, hes backed other managers and theyve failed to deliver for him.

    im sure hes scared of getting his fingers burnt again.As much as davies is the right man, he signed claude davis for 3million at derby, 3million!

    However we need to replace what we lose (ie/out of contract players and a left back).

    So lets not moan too much about the board, it gets boring and trust me I know as I have mates who are Newcastle fans. Moan a minute that lot!.

    U REDS!

  11. p.s his money is tied up into different businesses and investments so its not as easy as saying hes worth £150 pump money into the team.

  12. Good article fella and good comments above.The reality is none of us actually know any real truth do we ? its all speculation.

    The comments regarding other clubs getting the best out of players on more limited means is the thing that bothers me the most.

    I believe we Forest suffer from the big time charlie syndrome and other hungrier clubs exploit this i.e Yeovil ,Blackpool,Swansea the evidence is there.

    My personal feeling is that we will not get promoted under billy but he has done a good job at turning our club around.I think he has taken us as far as he can go with the situation of the AP and board.

    Could it be time for Robbo and Martin ? my earnest desire is that happens and they come.

    U reds

  13. Claude Davis is a free agent… Sign him up Billy, I hear the boot boy needs someone to clean his shoes…

  14. Sorry to be cracked record on this , but every close season and transfer window there is one person who ##### it up , BIG STYLE . Mathur .
    His handling of the PR is shambolic , but above all I think he is #### poor in the transfer market . he seems to want to be a canny negotiator – playing the waiting game n all , but all the other clubs/agents see him coming. can anyone see why he is still at the club ? Doughty needs a more charismatic and capable exec more than another new manager .

  15. So Doughty wants Billy to stay and Pleat and Arthur want to look for another manager….I wonder why!! Pleat won’t get another cushy well paid job like the one he has at Forest and certainly neither would Arthur !!
    !For these clowns to be involved in buying players is a joke!!
    Imagine Neil Warnock having to deal with them !
    No way !.
    No good experienced manager would deal with them. That means looking for a young tracksuit manager who has brought a team up from another division … Lets see….

  16. If the rumours are right then id love to andy reid back at forest. yes he needs a good pre season behind him but his crossing and ability on the ball is premiership class, as sheff utd and sunderland fans still say.

    id have 5 in midfield of …

    moussi/mckenna
    anderson reid
    majewski mcgugan

    that midfield to me is the best in that league, that may be a bias view but im pretty sure if we got boyd too he would thrive on reids quality.

  17. Will Doughty pay Boyd’s wages? I expect we have to see who our manager is going to be before anyone, Reid included is signed.

  18. I dont believe a word of this Davies leaving rumour. its bullshit in my view

  19. Wow ! Mark Arthur has made a comment regarding Tysons father ,obviously smelling money ,getting rid of Nathan’s agent,and turning down the Forest offer despite not being a qualified agent himself !
    Mark Arther has shown he CAN communicate, so lets have more information on a regular basis !!

  20. According to the daily mail Billy is staying !
    It seems he is arranging a meeting with his staff to discuss which players we want !!
    I thought the list was already drawn up !!

    One for if we go up and one if we stay down….
    I hope we can have an official announcement from the club and soon see some much needed transfer activity,at least to bring in revenue from ticket sales !!

  21. I’ve heard that Billy has been told he has to shop in League 1 and below during the transfer window. The meeting with the staff and scouts was to brief them and get them to work.

    Apparently there’s another meeting tomorrow with ND, MA and BD to determine if Billy is willing to work within the new budget and transfer policy. So tomorrow could either see Billy kick on or leave. Strong rumours that Mark Robbins has already been spoken to about taking over!

    Unbelieveable IMHO!

  22. Kenny Burns seems to have the right idea. Let Earnie go and sign Billy Sharp….I[ll be glad when things start moving !!11

  23. We aren’t the only club in this situation and we won’t be the last. It seems that every end of season and every transfer window the speculation and verbal garbage utters forth.

    I like WMD but I am honestly tired of his outbursts. If you believe some sources he’s turned down players (Brown Pompey)and the club have made a cock-up of signing others(Pratley & Whittingham). He has also applied for the WBA, WHU & Cardiff jobs! What WMD HASN’T shown to me is that he can get the best out of players and manage them and change things tactically in a game. For example, Swansea first leg, Rogers changed his line up immediately after the sending off. WMD waited and waited, it was a match crying out for Raddi and his skills, second leg he brought him on almost his first touch theough ball to Earnie and back in the tie? We stuggled up front all season WAS it rotation? Look at the amount of goals the strikers scored?

    Last season overall we were POOR! Without Lewis’s goals where would we have been? Seems to me we had a tighter defence but lacked skill in midfield and created not enough for our strikers.

    So where are we now? Is this 2003 all over again? I seriously think next season will be very tough for us with perhaps a relegation battle!!!

    I haven’t renewed my season ticket and still haven’t made up my mind if I will. It’s not because I think we’ll struggle it’s because I’m not sure I BELIEVE in the club anymore.

  24. So…. Billy’s staying and is expected to get us promoted !!!
    So what’s new ??
    After all the suspence we are back to square one…
    . p.s. We need a left back !!!!!!

  25. Harry Kewell is available – sign him to help Raddi! And please get us a left back, it’s been 2 seasons now! Billy Sharp would be good but why did we let Holt go – oh well. We need to keep Billy Davies – too many changes too often just does not work.

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