… and so ends the reign of William McIntosh Davies

Billy Davies left us in a far better state than he found us on the pitch, that’s undeniable – and that’s why lots of Forest fans are still struggling to come to terms with the idea that he has been sacked.  He took over an ailing Championship side, struggling to adjust to a new league under beleaguered Smoulderwood, and delivered survival.

A season later and a target of consolidation saw periods of challenging for the top two spots, ultimately ending in a disappointing play-off performance over two legs against Blackpool.  Last season was less emphatic, but again a play-off finish was delivered but a spirited (and unlucky) two-legged affair with Swansea again saw us fail to progress to the final.

From relegation battler to twice-play-off contender is a success story.  If you follow the Davies doctrine then a lack of backing from the board caused Forest to fail to stagger over the finish line in both seasons, if you listen elsewhere you’ll hear tell of a stubborn manager who froze out players and rejected players who would have improved our impoverished-looking squad.

The truth?  I have no idea.  I choose instead to remember Billy for the positives – the dismantling of West Brom away in the year they went up, doing similar to Newcastle at the City Ground.  Doing the double over Derby including a first ever win at Pride Park, and some genuinely exciting football after years of – let’s face it – abject shit.

As the speculation mounted in the news though it had become abundantly clear that he wasn’t able to find a way to work within the confines he’d agreed to when taking on the post of Forest manager.  Certainly his relationship with the board appeared fractious from the outside, and whilst many will call for the board to step down, that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

That left only one option – and I guess that once it became apparent that a manager of the calibre of Steve McClaren was available and willing to come it might have accelerated the decision.  Billy had to go in order for him and the club to progress, although I can’t help but wonder if he might have damaged his reputation in the process.

A huge thank you to Billy – we had rare moments of light under Smoulderwood, which you delivered much more consistently.  Certainly he can claim to have left us in a considerably better state than when he arrived – at least on the pitch – and I for one would be happy to applaud him should he grace the opposition dugout at the City Ground in the future.

Despite feeling a little sad though, I do think it’s the best move for all concerned – and am struggling to understand the vitriol some fans seem to have for our new manager.  Sure, have reservations – but it sounds like some people actually want him to fail.  Which reminds me of when we appointed Billy Davies, ironically!

On a related-but-unrelated-note, but not really warranting his own piece, but Nathan Tyson was unveiled as a Derby County player.  I can’t find it in myself to dislike Tys – he was a highlight over some years of dross in League One, but has never really set the Championship alight (aside from when waving a corner flag).  Certainly had Forest offered him a three year deal I’d have been surprised.

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To have had the opportunity to secure himself a long term deal, probably on better wages, without uprooting his family is an understandable move.  Whilst obviously I don’t wish him too much luck given his destination I don’t really bear him any malice either.  He’s often spoken of wanting to be a striker rather than a winger – now he has a chance to justify that assertion.

Thanks for your efforts, Nathan.

37 Responses

  1. here, here. I wish Tys well.
    Schteve is a manager of proven pedigree, those who are against him, really, don’t know what they are on about IMO. He is the best manager who would have actually come to the CG and i wish him all the best…. obviously.

  2. I wonder how much of the ‘money available’ has already been syphoned off a payoff for WMD (they don’t exist you know).

  3. I think its a very sad day fror Nottingham Forest F.C. I am embarrased about the way this was done. Billy put his heart and soul into creating a team that nearly made it . Good luck Billy for the future and thanks for some fantastic football over the last couple of years. Steve McClaren ? I have plenty of doughts I think Forest have got the ‘yes’ man they wanted just as they had with Calderwood and look where that took us!!

    • How can you be embarassed about the way the club has done its business and how Billy was sacked when Billy Davies used to take every opportunity to belittle his employers and cause upset amongst the terraces?

      It makes me laugh that people think Billy has been treated badly by way of not being backed and not being given more of a say in how the club is run. Only about three weeks ago David Sullivan gave the quintissential example of how difficult being an owner and chairman is in modern football. He basically said that Zola came to him and said “get me Benni McCarthy and I’ll keep you up!!”… without wanting to be seen to not be backing their manager they signed him…it turned out that he was overweight, uninterested, and past it… the upshot was that he cost them £6-7 million with the fee, his wages, and settling his contract and West Ham continued to do nothing and ultimately dropped through the trapdoor!

      Its easy to spend someone else’s money and thats just what Billy would’ve done, at all costs.

      Billy’s priority was to keep his job whilst trying to do well for himself…. he’s not a Forest fan, nor that interested in having 15 odd years at Forest with steady progression and the building of a dynasty. He wants to manage in the Prem at all costs,

      Nigel Doughty however, just like you or me, want to see Forest go from strength to strength year after year… invariably this means that one day we might be a top 10 Prem side who flirts with the UEFA cup spot now and then…. i’m obviously talking about much further down the line but you get the idea. The point is that you’ve gotta have faith that the person with the most similar desires for Forest is the one ultimately having the final say… not some manager who’s preocupied with the average tenture of a manager being only 18mth.

      I liked Billy and he could’ve had another crack at it if he hadn’t have publically tried to cover up his faults by pulling the owner and board under the bus!! Its a shame…. i’d hoped that he’d have grown into the job given that we were just as good for him as he was for us.

      • …some fair points, although I winder if we would have had findley and tudgay but for Billy’s constant lobbying? There are 2 schools of thought – one says, respect the owner, and do your best within the constraints he sets. The other view is to stand up for the interests of the club and challenge the owner if his cutting financial corners is a false economy. How much did the 2 goals conceded to Blackpool by an out of position Perch cost us? At least 2 years prem income, maybe more. Over £100 million, and at least £12m in loans this year according to MArthur.

        But ulitmately, having failed to heed the advice, ND saw that Billy would not let him forget… So here we are. Schteve has all my best wishes, but unless he gets us promotion this year, I like many others will forever wonder at what might have been if Nigel had stuck with the 3 1/2 year plan

  4. Sad to see Billy go but agree its probably best for all concerned. I to have my doubts about Schteve but will judge him on results; in the meantime he has my support. Still think “Wally with a brolly and his Red and White Army” has to be the anthem! That’ll deflect any away fan abuse. As for Tyson, good luck to him and I understand why he did it but that is as far as I can go.

  5. Absolutely Deeping Red. I like that: “Wally with the brolly and his Red and White Army!” Scans well.

  6. I am strangely ambivalent after today’s going on – which probably is a signal as to how far the ordinary fans feel from the club these days , but also there is a strange smell of injustice in the air ….?

    Any way Billy certainly shook em up – but in the end no matter how well you do on the pitch – its Doughty’s club and he has made a tough call which I’m sure wasn’t easy .

    In the meantime , we need Marhtur to turn over a new leaf as well , and to get his ~~~~ing finger out when McClaren draws up his list ( first up a left back !).
    lets expect a raid in the dutch league ?

    Anyway , lets not get too carried away. If we suffer any of the usual keystone kop’s routines, then we now its to no avail – we will see McClaren left in the lurch as Billy was .

    I hope a leopard can change his schpots !

  7. Yes, thanks for everything Billy. Good luck in your next job (until you play the Reds, of course). I hope we play your side in the Premiership, some day.

    I understand the doubters, but please don’t swallow the media bullshit and think McLaren is a poor manager. It’s just our British way with England Managers – Graham Turner did not deserve the “Turnip Head” treatment, even if he made some pants decisions under pressure (from the same media) in his last days. Glenn Hoddle is no loony, Sven did as well with a bunch of overpaid Prima Donnas as any other top manager would have done, and Steve (sorry, Schteve) McLaren was not great as England manager, but hardly a wally for deciding not to get piss-wet through for no good reason.

    As a club manager he is much better – just ask FC Twente (who wanted him back) and Middlesborough who got silverwear out of him. Wolfsburg didn’t work out – but in my opinion they are an Ipswich, or a Norwich side – one great season in Europe then fade away.

    Let’s face it – we are an OK second tier side with a decent squad and potential, but we were second best to Swansea (who weren’t good enough for automatic promotion) over two legs, and I for one was nervous of that 11 point record held by the sheep-botherers, if we had managed to fluke our way into the prem. That being the case, we have to be happy with a silverwear-winning top tier manager with European and International experience.

    Let’s judge him by where we are this time next year, shall we?

  8. fantastic report as always.

    A huge thankyou to Billy Davies. The 5-2 defeat of Derby was my individual highlight as well as the football your team produced.

    Also tyson probably played his best game for forest against derby at home.

    All the best to them both

  9. Sad in some ways to see Wee Billy go but on reflection, you are right NFFC, probably the best move for all concerned.

    Its been fun with Billy in charge. Yes, hes turned our fortunes round and sometimes we played some amazing stuff. I vividly remember “the Red Arrows” games as I like to call them, at the CG, a couple of seasons back. For me at least, the best footy we played since Mr Clough walked the earth. Billy was always fun when stuck in front of a microphone too. He liked to court controversy but maybe he did it once too often as far as the Chairman was concerned.

    Anyway good luck Billy. Thanks for all your efforts and I REALLY hope he gets a good welcome by the fans, if and when he returns to the CG (as he surely will?)

    Anyway, the king is dead so long live the king! Onwards and hopefully upwards. Like many I was appalled at the decision to appoint McClaren. But now having had time to reflect, I’ve decided I’ve got to be fair to the bloke and give him time. He’s got the nucleus of a good squad but its needs more depth and I’m hoping his experience and nous can move us forward from where we are now. Maybe he can persuade one or two good Dutch players to come on board?

    Interesting times ahead for sure. Bring it on!

  10. Great commentary as always nffc.

    WMD did indeed leave us in a much better position than when he joined, but as any Preston or Derby fan will tell you; it was always going to end in tears. Unfortunately, his handling of the media and the constant griping was eventually going to stretch ND’s patience and so it proved. However much our generous patron has put into our club to support us during Billy’s 2 1/2 years must be both recognised and applauded and perhaps if he had been more respectful of that position, he might still be there and might even be looking forward to managing us in the Premiership?!?

    I’m still not sure about Schteve’s appointment and I’m just not sure why – probably because he just doesn’t inspire me? Perhaps for those of us who have been supporting for a good number of years, Billy reminded us a bit of Forest’s ‘Cloughie’ days – outward passion, doing it ‘my way’, etc … – I don’t think I am going to get excited by Schteve’s version, but I look forward to being proved wrong.

    One question that I haven’t seen answered anywhere is what is the ‘plan’ for Billy’s back room staff? Will ‘Ned’ stay? What about the fitness/performance and goalkeeping coaches? If they go, who is likely to come in?

    Perhaps Earnie and Moussi will now stay – I don’t think there has been any Twitter activity from any of the players since the end of the season?

    Part of McClaren’s reputation is his sucess in developing the ‘younger’ players – Chambers to become captain? Maloney at RB, Lascelles given games, Gunter being taught how to stay on his feet for a whole game? Young players being given confidence to ‘play’ without being reminded every week that “they are only youngsters and that young players make mistakes ….”?

    Certainly McClaren’s premiership experience is strong and if (when) we get there, he will know how to work at that level, so let’s hope that the players we attract in the next 2 months cannot only get us out of the Championship, but also prepare us for a decent chance of more than surviving in the Premiership.

    Re; Tys – I wish him well at Derby where he will no doubt be a star in an average side. With games and belief, he has to do better than he did for us in the last 3 years, which disappointingly was pretty poor. He was a great League 1 player, but would never have survived in the Premiership and so signing him would not have been a positive or forward-looking move.

    It’s going to be an interesting summer – I wonder what the players think?

  11. We need a new coach for the strikers, thats for sure….

  12. Wouldn’t it be nice if Schteve turned up on thursday and told us all he is about to sign a quality left back, a midfield dynamo and a 20 goal a season striker!

  13. Judging by the press we have done well getting our new manager !
    Thanks of course to Billy.
    It is going to be an exciting time now seeing which players he will bring in!
    I expect a couple of good Dutch players to join our squad and even arthur mentioned a left back !!
    Exciting times !!!

  14. Some great memories under billy davis I will miss him if honest but he is a fiery customer and rocks the boat.Mcclaren is the stand out manager if you look at experience and working at where Forest want to be at in the future .

    I think he will shock most of us and have us playing good exciting football and be a real challenge for winning the leage.All the best to him .

  15. First two signings by SML

    Dwight Tiendalli LB yes a LB out of contract with Twente on 300611 under 19 & U21 player

    Colin Cooper!!!!!

  16. No-one wants McClaren to fail, but we are VERY wary of him inducing a Platt-esq spending spree which will take the club back several years.

  17. Was happy when Billy tookover & I’m equally happy with McClaren being given the role. Billy provided us with some great memories & all Red’s fans would I hope provide him with the same kind of ovation we gave Harty!!
    Unfortunately, there comes a time when ALL at the club have to pull in the same direction & Billy didn’t appear to be prepared to do this. Welcome on-board Steve and I hope you shove that brolly up the collective-media’s arse’s!!!!

    • Well said! Might go down the bookies – one has him 12-1 to getting 3 or more manager of the month awards and another has him 20-1 to be out of a job by January. Would love to take some money off the smug barstewards!

  18. I’m quietly confident about the era under McClaren ahead of us. If ND does give him the backing, I can see McClaren going on and getting some gems from abroad, and I wouldn’t bet against him maybe taking a gamble on Owen Hargreaves, or someone of that calibre.

    As for Tyson, I don’t mind. Comes across as a good, honest lad, who’s doing this for his family, but lets face it, he’s not going to say in the interviews, “I’m here because it’s easier for my family, because we’re settled, and we didn’t want to move”, is he?

    So best of luck to him, and I will certainly clap him when he returns to the CG, unless he does something stupid.

  19. Can we please call him STEVE !! I’m not interested in his past..Just his future !!! Thanks !

  20. There are a couple of cracking free agents on the market if you look at this list (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/jun/16/list-players-released-premier-league-clubs)

    A few youngsters that seem to have not progressed as expected but might hbe worth a punt. Notably, Michael Woods (who was one of the youngsters Chelsea took from Leeds) and Giles Banes (the ex-sheep prospect).

    I wonder what the chances are of bringing Hargreaves in on the cheap on a pay as you play deal, even just for a year for him to get his legs back?

  21. I prefer Steve because the gutter press used his other name after he spoke with a dutch accent.
    I don’t think Forest supporters should be taking the piss.
    I just want respect for our manager !
    Just my opinion after being a Forest supporter for more than 50 years…
    Incidentaly I have 4 Dutch half brothers …
    This is still the best Forest blog,NFFC whichever way you spell it !
    I’m looking forward to an exciting season !! Come on Steve !!!

  22. i agree change it to STEVE. its the future…

  23. Just read Maclarens first interview on the OS. Very much about pulling together as a club. It’s what we need after Billy’s griping. I’m very disappointed that Chris Fairclough has been released, I thought he would be a future manager in the making. Maybe him & the rest of the backroom are already following Billy to his next club?

  24. 4 3 3 system
    gunter chambers morgan bennett
    moussi mcgugen cohen
    findlay earnshaw anderson

    there are somer obvious deputies and some gaps need filling but possibilities don’t you think

  25. I cannot blieve that people are positive about Colin Calderwood coming back to Forest as a coach. Has everybody forgotten how tactically inept he was?! Grant Holt on the right wing?! Chambers as a right back?! He made horribly hard work of getting us out of league 1 with far more resources than other managers at his disposal and until Billy Davies got things organised, we were certain to be going down again under him in the Championship. The fact that the majority of the players Calderwood had were part of the team that Billy got to 3rd, shows what a hash he was making of it all! Remember how shaky our defence was in the Champonship under him? For a former defender you really would expect better. By the end of his tenure, I had completely lost faith in his ability as a manager. He was a nice guy, he helped to steady the ship after years of decline and in-fighting, but he was not a very good manager and we should definitely not be looking to him again in any capacity. Please don’t bring him back Forest!!!

    • He did have his limitations as a manager (which are where the responsibilities lie for the things you listed), but perhaps as a coach or assistant he has virtues we don’t fully appreciate.

      Who knows? Certainly not me. I naively place my trust in those that know better (which is hopefully McClaren rather than Messrs Arthur and Doughty – both of whom I support wholeheartedly,but not necessarily in their intricate understanding of coaching matters!!)

  26. Why not bring Pemberton back ? That is one appointment I would be happy with !! Ask his players at Forest !!!

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