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Is McClaren the right man for the job? What do YOU think?

A simple question – it’s interesting hearing people who are prepared to post comments, many in favour of Schteve, many against.

Without reading into my own thoughts, without taking influence from other commenters – what do you think?  It will be interesting to see the differences in opinion.  I’ve chosen the question carefully, because surely promotion has to be our aim – and anything below that is no better than what Billy achieved.

You have 24 hours to answer… go!  Thank you to whoever it was who suggested I do this, I’ve had so many contacts and conversation streams via different forms of social media I’ve lost track of you!  My apologies!

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Billy’s gone, Steve McClaren to take over?

Well that was a surprise.  I was quite enjoying a sabbatical from blog posting, and resisting the urge to respond to the myriad of varying and wild-sounding speculation.  Of course, you’d have found me doing just that on Twitter or Facebook occasionally, but little else.  It was nice.

Of course, only picking up my season ticket renewal details yesterday (just two weeks before I’m expected to stump up my cash for another year), no news on players out of contract, and constant speculation surrounding meetings and more meetings between manager and board, it’s not easy to completely switch off and have a ‘vacation’.

But today’s announcement that Billy Davies has had his contract terminated (so Billy can say he’s never walked away from a contract, the club can say it was a mutual decision, yada yada) demands some kind of immediate update.  The fact they’ve named Steve McClaren as likely successor in the same announcement would indicate a degree of confidence in his future appointment.

Then again, we all thought that when our Chief Executive once boldly stated that Peter Whittingham and Darren Pratley were just absolutely desperate to sign for Forest, didn’t we?  And look how that turned out!

As for Billy – the romanticists and fans of his will point to his turning around our almost certain relegation under Smoulderwood, of two credible challenges on the promotion places subsequently.  The more critical will note the failure to maintain a push on automatic promotion and subsequent collapses in the play-offs (although this season we didn’t embarrass ourselves!).

Underpinning most of Billy’s stay was the rumours of a fractious relationship with the board – a reputation that has followed him around his previous jobs too, and ultimately – whilst I’m not in the critical camp – if he can’t find a way of working within the Forest structure that works for us, then perhaps he has to be the one to go.  There isn’t really much other choice.

That is not to say I’m happy about it, nor the way the club has handled it in particular.  I can only assume that the intentions and/or movements of their intended replacement for Billy have dictated this protracted period of uncertainty and fuelled the fire of the rumours the press have been – it turns out – probably been getting right.

However – Steve McClaren would be a coup for Forest.  There, I said it.  It’s all to easy to remember him as the wally with the brolly, or with the comedic pseudo-Dutch accent during his time at FC Twente – but he’s a bloody good coach, and one who I think would work more collaboratively within the structure at Forest to hopefully deliver a more mutually beneficial end product.

I would hope that in making the announcement that Forest at least intend to get him tied up quickly – and then do the same with the out of contract players which clearly needs input from the manager.  Tyson appears to already be gone and does Adebola – neither of which, fond of both though I am, am I too sorry to say goodbye to as Forest players.

Having just got together my season ticket renewal money I had intended on popping down to do the deed tomorrow.  I might just give it a few days now before I decide.

Huge thanks to Billy – despite his flaws I liked the guy.  However, let’s not be blind to those flaws, he was openly at odds with the board a number of times, he did spend a lot of time away from the club (whether working or not is irrelevant) and whilst he undoubtedly stepped us on from where we were, he didn’t seem to be able to build upon that – for whatever reason.

On a similar note, whilst we must resist canonising Billy it would be all too easy to remember the media-generated clown figure of Steve McClaren and forget the excellent work he did before and indeed since his England days.  The England job perhaps came too soon for him (indeed, is any England manager ever seen as good these days?).

These are very much stream-of-consciousness first impressions – I shall endeavour to get my thoughts in order more once there is more actual news forthcoming from the club.  So probably some time in July.

So, to renew or not to renew, that is the question… there’s only really one answer though isn’t there?  Forest is bigger than Billy Davies, it’s bigger than Steve McClaren.. and we are all Forest ’til we die.

On a lighter note – I wonder if Steve can do a Nottingham accent?