Forest under the law of SO’D..

Sean O’Driscoll returns to Forest, and this time he’s in charge..

After all the gossiping, rumour mongering and endless list of names and swinging bookmakers odds, Forest have turned to Sean O’Driscoll to fill the managerial hot seat.  And do you know what?  I am absolutely bloody delighted about it.  I’ve been sitting on my hands somewhat resisting the urge to get drawn into the stories doing the rounds, although have been remiss in not marking the departure of Chris Gunter.

Whilst we’ll never know the full story, you can’t but help have noticed that the upturn in our fortunes last season, when we stopped going games on end without scoring, when Raddy and Reidy were reintroduced to the side and we started to experiment with playing the ball on the floor – it was when Sean arrived on the scene as assistant to Steve Cotterill.  Before that we were humping aimless long balls to Marlon Harewood and Marcus Tudgay.

He is an exponent of playing football in the way we like, he knows the squad and by all accounts is well liked by them – and whilst many people seem to have latched on to the one time when Abdulaziz Al-Hasawi pondered for a moment and foolishly chose the word ‘iconic’ when talking about a manager (whilst ignoring the many times both he and Fawaz have stressed a desire to have a boss with Championship experience).

All in all, this pre-season so far has proven a bit of a case of bad timing.  Perhaps the likes of Garath McCleary, Chris Gunter and Luke Chambers might have reconsidered turning down contract offers had the takeover occurred more smoothly and had a manager been appointed more readily.  Indeed, we could have avoided paying Crawley Town compensation for Sean had we simply retained him on the staff in the summer.

Part of that compensation agreement is to player Crawley in a friendly before next season starts – which seems fair enough!

So a big welcome, Sean.  Certainly this is a different challenge to those he’s faced before – but I would hope that with us and the squad behind him, and the Al-Hasawi family backing him in the transfer market, then he can make a success of the role.  I for one am genuinely pleased to see him back – anyone that can help turn things around with the massive drag factor of Cotterill in charge has to be a talented chap.

Gunts moves on for a shot at the big time

And now on to the other news – Chris Gunter departed to Reading to be reunited with Garath McCleary for a reported £2.3-2.5m.  This is really disappointing, not least because he was our only remaining senior defender – and a thoroughly decent chap and excellent right back.  That said, with Brendan Moloney and Kieron Freeman both experienced through loan moves in the past it’s oddly a position we do, unusually, have cover for.

I can’t really blame him for wanting to take his shot at the Premier League amidst uncertainty of ownership and management at Forest, and if he’d had his head turned then it makes sense – given our recent experiences with such things – to not have a player who wants out run their contract down and leave for nothing.

I wish him all the best in his future career – certainly not one who ever shirked in a red shirt, and I’ll miss his strange compulsion to go and slap the corner flag before each half starts.  Definitely I’d hope that he’d get a decent reception from Reds fans should we encounter him again – a consistently good performer, a great appearance record and moved on for a profit.  All highly unusual things to attribute to a recent Forest player.

Hopefully from now the news will be positive – we have some rebuilding to do, and in a hurry.

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28 Responses

  1. Delighted at SO’D’s appointment and also much relieved that the ‘new’ persn coming in will be very well aware of what needs doing, so if able to, can ‘hit the ground running’ and start his work immediately.

    I also believe that he comes across as exactly the sort of person which the Al-Hasawi family will enjoy working with; respectful, committed, passionate about the cause with an understanding of the history, pride and emotion that is associated with NFFC.

    May this be the start of perhaps an ‘Iconic’ period?

  2. Well done Al-Hasawis, I’m ecstatic!!! Surely any doubt about our new owners can be left behind with such an excellent acquisition. Good luck to Mr O’Driscoll and the team. I hope some talented, committed new players start rolling in soon and just as importantly that there is hope and inspiration for the (few) existing players.

  3. as always – a considered, intellectual analysis of the situation: cheers (you can tell I’m in agreement! dangoodley at twitter) – though I often do agree with the sentiments of this thoughtful blog

  4. We’ll never know how things might have played out if McCarthy, Ferguson, Hoddle or Keane had got the job but I’m delighted it’s been given to O’Driscoll. I’m not sure why but the fact that he is an exponent of playing the ball on the ground in the ‘Forest way’ just makes me think that we might be on the verge of bringing the good times back to the city ground at least in the way we play. I’m still not convinced by the Al Hasawi’s but I’ll be very happy to be proven wrong.

  5. In one word “YES!”. Fantastic appointment from our sensible owners, unlike at the king prawn. Hopefully frank and maybe mark had a say in this. I believe with better resources than he has ever had before, we will see success with Sean in charge. Though I believe this will take a minimum of 3 years which he must be given. Great football teams do not occur overnight, especially with our very late start this year.

  6. Low profile manager – just whats needed at this time. He’s not going to be distracted by the media circus and will allow football to do the talking.

  7. Got to say, very unhappy, I think
    They just want a yes man. If he is that good
    then why has he ended up at Crawley?
    Percentage win rate at Bournemouth and Doncaster not that impressive either, 36% in fact at both clubs.
    You seriously telling me that this is the best man for the job?
    Once again we have been let down, the man has a lot to prove, there are other, better options the club could have opted for, yet once again we have to settle for second best.

    • You have to take into account that he had minimal resources to work with at both clubs but still stuck his footballing philosophy which meant his teams tried to play the right way but struggled as they didn’t have a big squad. SOD will now deservedly get the chance to ally those footballing philosophies with some decent backing from the AH. I therefore think he will make his name with Forest and the AH’s decision will be vindiated.

  8. Great news a great coach who wont be scrutinised by the media like mclaren or hoddle ,now give him a few bob like he never had and watch this grow ,really this is it fans!

  9. why so despondant somerset red I think from what I’ve seen of the improvements he made on his arrival he will be a good choice and will play football on grass instaed of in the sky.
    Lets wish him all the best and lets get on with the season.He is going to be busy.

    Ureds

  10. Having been regularly checking t’internet whilst on holiday (much to the missus’ chaigrin, I might add), I was pleasantly surprised to read the announcement this afternoon. No coincidence that the quality of play and results improved during his previous short stint last season.

    I have to admit to have been somewhat concerned at the use of the word “iconic” by the new owners to describe potential new managers during the recent fans gathering – after the disaster that was Schteve, the prospect of an appointment of someone of that ilk sent shivers down my spine. Particularly when I read of rumours linking us with Sven earlier today….

    The new owners clearly have an infectious enthusiasm for the club, so I think we can allow them some slack for falling into the trap of using what is becoming a vastly over-used term by the media.

    Disappointed to see Gunts go, always gave plenty of effort and performed consistently in a red shirt – for club and country – but I cannot see how anyone could begrudge him such a move, particularly when for once we have actually made some money from the deal.

    As you say nffc, I am sure that Moloney and Freeman will prove perfectly decent replacements (and would probably be a tad more composed in front of the opposition goal, than Gunts, should they find themselves in that situation!), whilst SoD will hopefully be the man to get the best out of them. If Dex’s tweet was anything to go by, the remaining players should be happy with the new manager too.

  11. Fantastic news.Hopefully he can get some of last seasons loan players back now the club has more stability.

  12. Well done Forest…. I think we are much better off with S O’D than a manager who attracts a lot of publicity for their previous history…

    Remember how there was a sudden shift in Forest’s style of play last season when O’Driscoll joined the coaching staff???
    He is a respected tactician who doesn’t need media attention to air his thoughts.
    The last thing we needed was a manager coming in and thrashing money around in a desperate attempt to succeed….. a la Leicester!!!
    U Reds!

    • If we go up as another Swansea,being difficult to beat while playing attractive attacking football I’m sure we shall all be happy.
      It will be interesting to see the 4 or 5 Kuwait players standards..remembering Platts inclusion of Italians in the side.
      Still I’m happy with the appointment !

      • All good points well made on here & I’m also happy that Sean is back. I’m interested also to see whether he really does have the final say on selections given the interest shown for Kuwaiti players. But this also could be extremely positive as we didn’t have access to them before now & IF Sean really does have the final say, we’ll have more player-“choice” than we’ve had for some time, for minimal outlay. Don’t think SteveC did a bad job overall & unlucky to leave: that’s football & loyalty isn’t a big factor in today’s game. Let’s move on & make a difference this year….

  13. Time to update the header on your blog nffc?

  14. A very good appointment. Another very straight, honest manager in the Mick mould, but with a very enjoyable footballing philosophy (I can remember vividly the style of Doncaster contrasting with ours when they were winding their way up through the leagues). It was no coincidence that the results picked up with him on board last season and I think with his knowledge of the existing team it’ll save us time in the squad rejuvenation. It might help in getting Adlene back too..

    I think it shows an understanding of the short-term history of the club and a shrewdness of the new owners that is a little unexpected, but very welcome. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one worried by the ‘high profile’ names being wafted around, that would carry little more that a PR boost (Sven…. *shudders*).

  15. I felt very positive last night with the appointment of S`OD but this morning I am really buzzing. Like others have said, I was really dreading the BIG name appointment S`OD is a breath of fresh air as far as “The Forsest Way” of playing..

    I read an article on another blog and it is well worth a read. It is titled……The Two Unfortunates’ primer. (An insight into S`OD footballing philosophy)

  16. Good news for sure. I think we will all need to be patient though this season, and the CG is not always the most patient of places. Our pre-season will be inadequate and the new players we presumably bring in will need bedding in, and no doubt Sean’s way of playing will also take time to get established. But it’s hard not be optimistic about the future, especially compared to the Hoddle, Eriksson, Ferguson, Keane or McCarthy etc alternatives.

    As for “iconic”, I read this as recruiting someone who in future years will come to be seen as Forest icon. Fingers crossed for that one.

  17. Sean O’Driscoll is not iconic – and if he was any good he wouldn’t be managing Crawley Town – but at least he isn’t Svennis, and for that the Kuwaitis should be cautiously applauded. It seems unlikely that we will now sign Michael Owen, but hey ho, you can’t win ’em all.

  18. As an Irishman, I’m very happy that it’s him and not Keano, Although I’m a great fan of Roy, he can’t man manage. Fair play to Sean for making a u-turn, not easy. He must really want this job and must believe he can make Forest work.
    Lets hope he can make as good a success for us as his namesake Brian has done for the Irish Rugby team, and can raise our bar as high…no more false dawns!!!

  19. PS What’s Sammy Clingan doing these days? Forest’s worst midfielder ever? (apart from Gary Jones?)

  20. This is exactly the appointment needed at this time. It makes perfect sense. He knows the players, they like him so there won’t be any uncomfortable adjustments to be made so close to the season starting and just as importantly, long term, he is a modern progressive manager that can instil a proper footballing ethos within the club.

    For me this is the best appointment since Frank Clark. I didn’t want BD but he did well and I was sorry to see him go but SOD brings more of a sense of permanence and a feeling that it isn’t just about promotion. Of course that is the target but hopefully he’ll deliver it in way that Swansea have done which gives Forest a much better footing to compete in the premier league when they get there.

    There are a few excellent articles about his approach which make good reading. I like his style and I’m really glad this has happened instead of appointing MM, Hoddle, Sven or whatever other bullshit out of work manager is on the merry-go-round right now.

    http://thetwounfortunates.com/sean-odriscoll-a-primer/
    http://www.goalfood.com/fanzine/interviews/june-2009-sean-odriscoll-interview.html

    I can’t wait to see what happens next in terms of players coming in but I feel really confident that the club is in good hands now, more so than I have done over the last 10-15 years.

  21. For me the appointment of SOD is a good move by the Al-Hasawi’s.  Some of the names being touted were giving me serious cause for concern even though I accept that much of it was down to  ‘media mischief’ or ‘agent angling’.  The thought of Sven or Keane gave me the shivers and I really could not see a way back for BD even though I would have taken him after McBrolly was sacked last year.  Mick McCarthy would have been good for us and I was disappointed that the likes of Curbishley never came onto the radar.  The thought of Hoddle confused me but overall I felt he was a little too ‘iconic’ like McClaren for me and wasn’t looking forward to the media hype his appointment would have created.

    I was sorry to see SOD go to Crawley at the end of last season as I firmly believe he was the main reason behind the upturn in our style of play and results when he arrived on the scene.  The reaction to his appointment from the players is very telling given the circumstances.  Reidy infers that the owners sought player views before his appointment and it was a unanimous ‘yes please’. In contrast, I wonder if this opinion was sought prior to Cotterill’s departure as there seemed to be little angst displayed upon his removal! Was this indeed a reflection of the impact of SOD last season or have we heaped too much praise on him instead of Cotterill? Who knows but I guess we are about to find out!  

    That he knows the players, the set-up and his coaching staff are big positives for me as the club/squad turmoil and lack of preparation,which is worse than last years appalling close season, was causing me serious cause for concern. Had all this been resolved early I am sure it would have persuaded Lynch to stay as he was the big loss of the summer as I fear we were always going to lose Gunts and GMcC.  Hopefully it may attract Higgy, Elokobi and AG back to the City Ground but whatever happens we need to move fast to strengthen albeit spend wisely.  

    My only ‘minor’ concern with SOD is that he was quick to ditch Crawley to return.  I accept that maybe he shouldn’t have gone in the first place and that he wanted to be No1 at a club or didn’t see eye to eye with SC or was unhappy with the uncertainty at Forest, but the loyalty factor has a question mark against it at the moment.  In saying this I recognise that is/was a 2-way street and maybe Forest showed little of it to him with his contract and so he had to act.  Overall, I am pleased he is here and it has swayed my hand on renewing my ST as I was waiting resolution of the ownership & manager post before committing.  SOD has my support but we have to be realistic this year, especially after the disruption and poor prep of the summer, and recognise that a top half position would suffice and show improvement.  COYR!

  22. […] Through the Seasons Before Us blogger was quick to say he was ‘absolutely bloody delighted about it’, highlighting the contrast between Steve Cotterill’s ‘aimless long balls to Marlon Harewood and […]

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