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Forest Terminate Davies Contract,What Next?

Sunday 12th June 2011
As the 2010/11 npower Championship season drew to a close, Nottingham Forest fans celebrated the fact they had reached the playoffs for the 2nd successive season. Manager Billy Davies continued his outstanding record in the division, this top 6 finish meant he had nevr failed to get a team to the playoffs in a full season. Post-season interviews were conducted with the manager and chairman, and the whole club seemed in an optimistic mood given they had failed in every Playoff Semi-Final they had ever competed in. However, with four wins in a row racked up, Forest were n fine form. They would have to be, given they would face third place Swansea managed by Brendan Rodgers.

Once more, Forest failed in their Playoff campaign, losing 3-1 to the South Wales outfit. Billy Davies grabbed some headlines for greeting Forest fans in Nottingham on their arrival back from the game. Forest fans were in fact, far more satisfied than they had been 12 months ago after losing both playoff games to Blackpool. With that, the season for Forest was over, and players and fans were happy and welcomed the break.

Not long after the end of the season, rumours began to fly about the future of Davies. Relationships with the Forest board were said to be at an all time low and the club hierarchy had supposedly grown tired of the managers constant digs at the lack of investment. Davies met with the Chairman to discuss the future, and the supporters were well aware of the meeting. They then expected an update from the club, which never arrived. For 2 weeks, the silence coming out of the City Ground was deafening. Fans began to fear the worst. The media claimed Davies was a goner. Rumours surfaced about another meeting between the two in London. After this meeting, the news was far more positive. With a year left to run on his contract, Davies was being given another run at Promotion, with Funding from the board. Or so it seemed

Then, at 4 O'Clock on Sunday, the news broke. Billy Davies had been relieved of his duties. The Forest board also revealed that they were in talks with Steve McClaren, who was out of a job following his sacking from Wolfsburg. This meant to more or less everyone, that the deal was done. The former England gaffer would be in the home dugout on Trentside for the upcoming season.

Now, 5 hours or so after the sacking, the dust has settled somewhat and Forest fans are looking upwards. Yes, it is true that Davies has an extraordinary record in the Championship, for 46 games in a season. However, only once in 5 cracks at the Playoffs has the Scot been able to mastermind promotion. Steve McClaren on the other hand, got Middlesborough into Europe, and led FC Twente to a Dutch title ahead of powerhouses Ajax, aswell as Feyenoord and PSV.

Now, Forest fans look to the future. It has been clear over the past two seasons, that, while 3rd and 6th place finishes have been fantastic returns given Forest seemed doomed to relegation when Davies arrived, that there was something missing. Forest seemed devoid of inspiration out wide, while Davies was alledged to have passed up the chance to sign Scott Sinclair from Chelsea. Sinclair, went on to lead Swansea to promotion with a Wembley hat trick in the Playoffs. The previous summer, Davies stressed the need for, as he put it "stellar" signings, when many felt players were only needed to add depth to the young squad. Others criticised him for not using enough of the clubs young players

Forest fans can be sure of a different approach when their new manager arrives. McClaren is well known for his use of youth, and, with Forest said to have some very talented youngsters in their academy, he might well be the best man to develop the clubs young players. The pressure is on mcClaren to deliver, as despite some fantastic achievements as a manager and assistant, he is remembered mostly for his dismal run as England manager. The pressure too, is on Forest chairman Nigel Doughty, to prove that the sacking of Davies was correct. One thing is certain, their is a massive summer, and a massive season, ahead of Nottingham Forest, where failure is not an option.
Colm Kavanagh

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