It didn’t take long for the new Nottingham Forest owners to stamp their authority on proceedings, making the early ruthless decision to sack Steve Cotterill.
A popular decision, it was then their job to pursue managers to replace the outgoing manager, which didn’t seem to go too smoothly.
A day didn’t pass without every Forest fan forcing themselves to imagine many different managers in a Forest tracksuit, attempting to work out whether they’re right for the role, having to get used to the possiblity of having to put up with them. Positive arguments would have to be put forward, for managers that nobody really wanted. Gordon Strachan, Paul Ince and Sven-Goran Eriksson were just a few of the unbearable names put forward.
Finally though, after much deliberation (or managers rejecting them) the new Forest owners went with Sean O’Driscoll. Only Forest would have to pay compensation for someone that was their employee only a matter of weeks ago.
Make no mistake, the new owners wouldn’t have heard of Sean O’Driscoll until only a week or so ago. That is no negative though. Following reports of rejections from higher profile managers, it would have been easy for the Three Wise Men in charge of Forest to panic, and appoint Sven-Goran Erikkson, who undoubtedly was on his hands and knees outside the gates of the club car park.
That wasn’t the direction they went in, though. They took advice from someone with knowledge of the game, and they listened. Not only that, but they queried the players on whether it would be a good move. The encouraging response received led them to approaching ‘SOD’, and it went from there.
The panic button was being pressed when numerous tabloid newspapers were linking Gianni Paladini with the new owners, but this was certainly not the work of the unstable Italian.
This shrewd move proved the Al-Hasawi’s knew they were probably out of their depth, and an admittance the managerial search was going to be harder than they had anticipated. The hope they could click their fingers, and high profile managers would come running, was kept firmly in their imagination.
As they adapt to English football, they will find they require more advice, to ensure they are able to keep on top of things. If they continue to do so, and not let their Kuwaiti pride get in the way, results will come.
In their introductory press conference, they demonstrated the ability to talk the talk. Mentioning investment in the newly and fittingly named ‘Nigel Doughty Youth Academy’ was warmly welcomed, as was stressing they are here for the long haul. The acute, calculated move of capturing Sean O’Driscoll showed they have begun to walk the walk.
Sean O’Driscoll is no laughing stock. Fans of other clubs may snigger at his arrival, but they may just find themselves hiding in a corner, as O’Driscoll’s stylish football starts to take effect. Not only is his football a pleasure to watch, but also, he’s the man for long term projects, with patience required.
Paul Lambert, Brian McDermott, Nigel Adkins and Brendan Rodgers were all relatively unrecognised until they were thrust into the Premier League media limelight, seeing them hailed from all corners. O’Driscoll’s been called the “Wenger of the Championship” previously, so there’s a higher possibility of making the step up with better quality players at his disposal.
Fans queued for a long time as the day for seasons tickets to go out on general sale was finally upon us.
Jumping on the bandwagon? Or just feel like going to watch their football team?
They will feel they don’t have to justify their reasons to anyone. One message has to be sent out to everyone that plans to attend Forest during 2012-13 season.
For Sean O’Driscoll’s Nottingham Forest team to play attractive football, he’ll need patience. If the ball finds its way back to the keeper, to retain possession, do not boo. The gradual acceptance of O’Driscoll’s style will lead to success, but it needs time. For too long, a simple pass back to the keeper has brought groans of frustration from all four sides of the City Ground, but quite frankly, it can for no longer.
Instant success is a dream, but it may not be a reality.
The new owners have shown that through times of frustration, they can grit their teeth and come out the other side with a positive result, by appointing Sean O’Driscoll.
Forest fans should follow in their footsteps, and believe in O’Driscoll’s principles. Watch the confidence of our players grow, and the end result will be worth the wait.
The players may make mistakes along the way, which of course, wouldn’t be following in the footsteps of the Al-Hasawi’s, who have yet to put a foot wrong…
Well, apart from using the ‘i’ word.
@will_forest to get in touch via Twitter.