Nott’m Forest Appoint Steve McClaren, Three-Year Deal Agreed – ‘Mehs’ Across The Board?

Chris Wright

13th, June 2011


By Chris Wright

You leave the Parish for one day and look what happens. As soon as my back was turned, Nottingham Forest sacked Billy Davies (presumably for being such an argumentative little git) and have, as of this morning, officially appointed Steve McClaren as his successor on a three-year deal.

It feels like it should be a ‘coup’ (former England boss, won titles in Holland, lasted longer than a month at Wolfsburg for Christ’s sake) but for some reason I can’t quite move past the ‘meh’ stage at the moment.

McClaren is definitely an improvement on the Scottish Napoleon, but it won’t matter when we start the season with 10 senior players.

The Forest squad is threadbare (and about to get ‘threadbarer’ if several new contracts aren’t handed out smartish), naive and they have, in all honesty, been massively over-achieving in terms of final league positions for the past two years – not a good mix.

Regarding Davies – In reality, with two successive play-off finishes, L’il Bill had probably reached a ceiling at Forest, though that says more about the relatively paucity of the squad than it does about his managerial attributes.

Let’s just say it’ll be interesting to see if McClaren will be able to infuse Forest’s current dwindling flock with the same defiant mentality as he stirred up at Twente (who knows, now that he’s all continental and la-di-da, he may even play the same two strikers for two games running!) and make that fateful push into the Premier League stick.

Like a footballing jobber, we may well get savagely tonked every week in the top flight, but at least we’d be getting paid handsomely for it. That’s something, right?

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  1. youreds says:

    as a forest fan i’m also in a general state of meh. On the one hand he did very well at Twente, but on the other he inherited a good squad there and his time at Boro was nothing short of rubbish, they haven’t got a pot to piss in since he left them.

    As well as that he is probably the only manager in the country hated more than Billy Davies, which I wasn’t sure was posssible.

  2. marajonna says:

    @youreds come on, lighten up. Boro are gash to the core and he got them to a European final, he left and they got relegated. Twente finished second in his first season, the best position they had ever achieved and he topped it the year after. As for England, well we’re terrible, he didn’t do great but even one of the best managers in the world can’t do much with them. All he did was use an umbrella, give him a break. Forest should be excited.

  3. Nixk says:

    As a Forest fan I’m actually pretty pleased with the appointment. Billy was on his last legs through no fault other than his own through his constant undermining of the board. His managerial credentials are excellent, and I would be the first to thank him for what he brought to us, but if you pull the tiger’s tail enough times, one day it’s going to take your head off.
    McClaren brings with him a very good club CV. Objectively speaking, he took a very average middlesborough side and with a bit of cash, turned them into a top 8 team that qualified for Europe, won the league cup, and then got to a major european final. That’s arguably the best CV any English manager can offer, and that’s before he wins a European League title with an unfancied team, the first British manager to do that since Bobby Robson. So he brings a lot to the table, and will have matured on his European adventures.
    There are downsides, but it’s tough to type out on the phone, so I’ll address them later…

  4. youreds says:

    @marajonna/ Boro’s European run was probably the luckiest cup run of all time and if I remember correctly, Hasselbaink heavily criticised how McLaren behaved towards the team when they were losing saying hard luck. He also spent a shiteload of money on poor players which is a key reason for Boro’s downfall. You would hope he has improved his management style since those days but I just think he’s a bit of a wet fish, can’t get excited at all. Obviously I’ll support him but I won’t fake excitement at the appointment, he took an umbrella to a football match ffs.

  5. Nick says:

    Youreds – one man’s lucky cup run, is another man’s grit and determination. Sure they didn’t blow away the competition with a surgical Catalan precision, but when the chips were down they found a way back into games, in a large part down to tactical changes.
    When I hear most people’s problems with McClaren, it seems to be that he once put up an umbrella, and that he has spoken with a funny accent. I’ll take that any day, as would the two West Ham fans that I sit with, who are cursing that they hired Allardyce instead.

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