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?

24 Responses

  1. Good response NFFC, and bloody quick too!

    • #notomclarenatforestschtop we can’t allow forest to become a laughing stock. Schtop McLaren RT everyone u know

  2. Excellent report.

    I was shocked as I was one who believed alot of the “Davies falling out with the board” was a load of rubbish. so im wrong there.

    Mixed reaction from me and my mates about the imminent app of McClaren.

    I think it would be an excellent appointment as hes done very well as a club manager in my opinion.

    Would like to thank Billy Davies for transforming the club though and will always get a warm reaction whenever hes in the opposing dugout in the future.

    Like you said Forest are bigger than any player or manager so we have to back them. Please not Dave Jones though, otherwise the above statement is eradicated.

  3. Personally I’m ****kin disgusted + gutted. Why the **** do the top brass back ****s such as Platt and give them all the time in the world, then when we’ve a manager overperforming with a thin squad such as Billy or Hart they don’t back em and instead get rid at the first opportunity.

    Yes football is a business, but its also more than that. We’re ****ed now, McClarens a yes man who’s a good coach but shite manager. C u all in League 1 a season from now.

    • I disagree Dan, not really a shite manager that gets an average middlesboro’ side to UEFA cup final losing to Roma and turning a young promising dutch side that finished around mid table to win the league the next year. I’m sceptical but I was with billy and he turned out alright so let’s see who he brings in, what type of football we play and if we’re shit by Christmas then judge him

      • Hope ur right mate, but I just can’t see it. I don’t think McClaren’s right for the Championship and I think he’ll need time to bring young players through – in which we’ll lose players such as Camp, Cohen, McGugan etc.

        The big issue which riles me is the fact that Davies just highlighted problems which were hindering our progress (such as the LB position), whereas McClaren will just nod like a Churchill dog.

        The reason I’m soooo gutted is because I know that even if we are bottom and 10pts off safety at Xmas the board will stick with McClaren (and prob appoint Platt as Assistant Manager).

        Fingers crossed I’m wrong, but if we see some 39 year old Italians sign then we know which way we’re headed 🙂

  4. […] our blogging colleague has said, it would be easy to canonise Billy (and the messages that we are already receiving speak […]

  5. Mcclaren is competent for sure although didn’t he get the bullet at Wolfsburg ?

    I have to say my initial feeling is here we go again – yet another managerial change and Mark Arthur continues to survive! . Billy would have done the job this year had he been backed with a couple of key signings when needed !

    I think Doughty has for the first time shown a somewhat unusually callous side So he better be sure Mathur has tied up the Mclaren contract , and isnt ****ing that up as well as we speak , like all the other negotiations he seems to do .

    if Mcclaren or whoever else still has this clown in charge of the transfers god help them – we’ve got loads to sign up before mid july , so I fear his normal glacial pace will mean a rough pre season set up .

    Billy will pop up in the champo next year for sure ! and I forsee a fiesty encounter with who ever he’s leading and I for one will feel my loyalty sorely tested when the wee man emerges onto the cg..
    sentimental I know !

  6. I hope he gets the job. Yes i liked Billy and I think the club still had room to advance with him in charge, but SM is a good manager.
    He had a bad time as England manager, but who the fook didn’t, since then he has taken control at FC Twenty and smashed the Dutch league.
    Give the guy a go I say.

  7. Amazingly quick response! Will never forget the contentious little scot: The double over the sheep botherers, watching him giving off stink to his wife in the airport after the first game of the season against Leeds, always responding to chants of “Billy Davies is a wanker, is a wanker” by cupping his hand to the crowd. He was always quality viewing.

    Yes he has left us an awful lot better than when he found us, yes it will cost money to get rid of him, yes he was annoying flirting with various jobs, and yes he thought higher of himself than what he ever produced on the pitch.

    Steve McClaren: 1 Uefa cup final, 1 Dutch league title, 1 England manager. Enough said, who else could we get with that kind of cv. Hopefully welcome on board Steve, though there are a couple of good managers out there with championship experience.

  8. Well, what a mess our Chairman and CEO seem to make of things! Why not do this two weeks ago eh? No, let’s sit around doing nothing until David Pleat wispers in Nigel’s ear and says “Steve McClaren is out of work you know, and Aston Villa have turned him down. He’d be good…”.

    I have previously stood by Mr Doughty when I decided to appointment David Platt (gzuz), Joe Kinnear (OMG) and Gary Megson (OMFG), but this time I feel that I can’t bring myself to back McClaren. Nigel seems to be wowed by ‘past experience’ and ‘good reputation’ and I’m sure he will site the work Steve did at ‘Boro and FC Twente, as well as his record as a coach with Man Utd and Derby. On paper this all sounds great until you factor in his spell as England Manager and his last job with Wolfsburg – the man struggles when faced with bug tasks! Also, remember how ‘Boro did in the Uefa Cup final! What experience has this guy got in the Championship?

    I’d been wavering on renewing my season ticket and I said to my mate yesterday that if Billy was sacked I wouldn’t renew… Looks like I may have to be good to my word on this occasion!

  9. Gutted! I liked every thing that Billy did! Always kept us guessing and pushed the Forest squad to the outer limits of the premier league twice. Least we forget, before this he saved us from certain relegation!
    I for 1 will miss the wee Scot!
    Now Steve McLaren???? I was there at Wembley that night when the Brolly was donned ! What a plonker!
    Then after reading this article I thought about what he had achieved as a club manager? There are few that have done as much as SM that would drop to the Championship. Forest fans need to give him the chance he deserves! Many fans have had to eat their words with Billy!?!?!?
    Great blog always on the pulse! Keep it up

  10. I think that there are so many differences between international management and club management that the McLaren’s England stint is pretty much completely irrelevant. (I’ve never really understood where the advantage in having a manager who is soaking wet was, either.) Would have been perfectly happy to see Davies stay, but I don’t think that it will be a bad move (and when we’re about 17th in October following half a dozen 1-1 draws, remember that it was ever thus…)

    So, best of luck Billy…

  11. i guess he will be well backed and i think he is a top coach,Billy was not.
    Welcome on board Steve,me old duck,take us up and restore your reputation.

  12. Not dissimilar to Davies situation when he joined, something to prove not overtly popular with the fans. and I feel about the same, not too excited by the prospect but wait and see.

    Probably why we’ve had minimal talk of in-comings and why players have been allowed to let the squad get a bit thin, let the new guy bring in his own players, get his stamp on the team etc.

    Do we think he’ll be strongly backed financially or told to buy from lower leagues?

    NFFC can you do a poll to see who’s happy/livid at his appointment? would be interesting to see.

  13. Not a great surprise really. Probably bestdone now because if we didnt have a good start next year, the sack would’ve been inevitible. All the best Billy.

    So now what have we got? Yet another Forest manager a sheep sh*gging past!

    He failed with England, but so have many other reputedly good managers. More concerning is that as easily Boro’s most successful manager of all time, he was accused by their fans of employing negative tactics and being a dull side to watch!

    Lets try to be optimistic though and prepare ourselves for all the brolly songs from the away end!

  14. Not been a rush from any other clubs to get Mclaren on board,so what does our chairman think he can bring to the table that Billy cant,so the guy won the dutch leauge then walked out on them,then he was sacked by the jerrys,he had the pick of the best talent in England and did not have a f@@kin clue,i think ND wants a yes man and Mclaren fits the bill,……………….

  15. So there you have it, our board managed to stun us all again.

    I have great respect for Billy. Unlike some other Forest fans, I will never forget that he took a club in the brink of relegation and turned it into a promotion contender, without forking out absurd amounts of money in my opinion. I will also never forget the double against the Sheep this season. He was great in loan signings, got the best out of McGugan despite an odd relationship between them, made Chambers and Wilson (last year) better players, unearthed the Majewski gem, built a squad full of youth and talent, and so on, and so forth. The fact that we blew it in the play-offs, I don’t think it’s only his fault. Whoever gets appointed will have a mountain to climb in fighting the bad psychology that has been inflicted to both team and fans through the years. It is a pity Billy won’t be around to get the “nearly man” monkey off his back, but then, it was proven again that you can’t afford a duel with your chairman unless your name is Brian Clough (and sometimes, not even then). So farewell to the little Scot, undoubtedly our best manager since Paul Hart and arguably our best since Frank Clark, he will undoubtedly crave to beat us next year so I hope he gets some vacant Premiership job!

    About Steve McClaren now. Puzzled about this guy. A hell of a job at Middlesbrough (UEFA Cup final with Boro! You gotta respect that!), then a below-average tenure with England (although as a Greek I shouldn’t say that since in his debut the Lions hammered us 4-0!), then the resurgence of Twente out of deep, deep shadows to the Dutch title after thirty-something years if I’m not wrong (I had not practically heard of them since the late 70s, when Panionios, of all Greek clubs, beat them 4-0 in the Cup Winners Cup!), then failure at Wolfsburg. I certainly wouldn’t qualify him as a bad manager, the fact that the board are considering him shows ambition from their part in my humble opinion, plus (remember, this is Mr Optimistic speaking! 🙂 ) if Steve’s career is a question of ups and downs (Boro UP, England DOWN, Twente UP, Wolfsburg DOWN), next is UP’s turn!!! (My only reservations are about his salary, which will undoubtedly be high, plus compensation to Billy, means less money for transfers, doesn’t it?)

    Of course, as nffc also stated, I’m a Red through and through, and whoever gets the job has my backing. Even Dave Jones (God forbid! lol)

    Roll on next season! But before that, squad strengthening please! This may be our year at last!
    U REDS!

  16. Sad to see Billy go, if you read these blogs Billy a big thank you for what you did, you deserve credit and respect for working in the same club as Arthur and Pleat for 2 years.
    I wish you all the best for the future.

    No longer sure Doughty is good for Forest, the communication from the club is abysmal, we will probably get the same old excuse(if any) that due to legal reasons nothing could be said
    I hope I am proved wrong but Mclaren is a disaster waiting to happen, Doughtys track record is not good, Platt, Megson,Kinnear.
    Mclaren will be a yes man and that’s what Doughty wants,

    oh by the way if it isn’t Mclaren then never never never let Jones come anywhere near our club

  17. Methinks Nigel best be careful. McClaren got to the point of an offer from Twente then turned them down as something better came along. It was only when that fell through that he went back and took the Twente job.

    I expect if Nigel is romancing someone new in, it will mean yet more loans to Forest to pay for a decent transfer kitty. Good news in the short term maybe, but when the UEFA fair play rule kicks in the season after next we are STUFFED.

    Only hope is that Macka is good at spotting European hot prospects from his old stomping ground. However, that starts to sound decidedly like Mr Platt!!! (Please God Noooooooo!)

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