Who will be the next Nottingham Forest manager?

Steve Cotterill has been sacked as manager of Nottingham Forest after less than a year in charge of the club.

Forest have won the European Cup twice in their history

New owner, Kuwaiti businessman Fawaz Al-Hasawi obviously felt that Cotterill was not the man to take the club forward and wanted to bring in someone that he believed could challenge for promotion to the Premier League in the coming season. The former Portsmouth manager did a good job for Forest in my opinion winning 12 of his 37 games in charge after a terrible start to the season under Steve McClaren and kept them up comfortably in the end. They finished 19th in the table, 10 points clear of the relegation zone. It wasn’t easy for Cotterill as a lot of Forest fans did not enjoy his style of football and wanted success like they had been getting under previous manager Billy Davies but I believe Cotterill did as well as he could and achieved everything that was needed of him so maybe he could have done the same next season. I can see why he has been sacked though as a bigger name will attract better players and it seems as though Al-Hawasi will be willing to pump a lot of money into the club.

So who are the main candidates? Darren Ferguson has been linked with the job and is the early favourite to get the job, he has done a fantastic job with Peterborough United and this could be his chance to join his dad Sir Alex in the Premier League. He is currently in his second spell at the club and this time he has managed to keep them in the Championship so he may be looking to continue his good work there but Forest may be a difficult job to turn down with the extra benefits. The only thing that may put off the new owners is the fact that he failed at Preston North End so he has never challenged for promotion from the Championship.

Harry Redknapp, surprisingly is also heavily linked with the job and he ticks all the boxes. He is a big enough name in the game to attract players to the club and he has just guided Tottenham Hotspur to fourth in the Premier League so he clearly has a lot of ability. The big question is, would Redknapp drop down to the Championship? You would think not however, Sam Allardyce took the the risk instead of waiting for a new job and is back in the Premier League after one year and if he does manage to get Forest promoted, he will surely have a lot of money to spend to make sure they stay up. There is a lot of potential at the club and he could be the one to take Forest back where they belong.

Possibly a more realistic option and probably less favourable would be another former Premier League manager in Mick McCarthy who has been out of work since leaving Wolves. He may not play an attractive style of football but it is clearly effective as he got Wolves promoted and kept them in the Premier League year after year. The former Republic of Ireland manager will have a lot of contacts in the game so he could make some good high profile signings for the Championship and he is quite reliable so they could definitely do a lot worse.

Portsmouth suffer relegation from the Championship but that is the least of their worries

Portsmouth will be playing their football in League 1 next season if they are able to sort out their financial problems which have dogged the club for years now.

Portsmouth have 40 points from 45 games

It is difficult to talk about Portsmouth without referring to the finances these days and I think that it is very harsh and the media should talk more about their loyal fans and committed staff who continually work through all their problems even when their job is constantly in danger. But let’s just focus on the actual football rather than anything else. Michael Appleton first of all deserves great praise because he has had been very dignified throughout the whole time and without the 10 point deduction they probably would have stayed up comfortably. Although he has only won eight games in charge of Pompey at least he has stayed the course and this is not having a go at Steve Cotterill who was in charge for 61 games. But maybe he should have tried to keep some stability at the club but when a more secure offer comes along, you can’t blame him for taking it.

There is an expected exodus from the club in the summer and some of the players will be missed as they have been great servants for the club. Jason Pearce looks as though he will leave and Leeds United are heavily linked with him at the moment. Even though he has only been at the club for one season he has put his in some brave performances and deserves a lot of praise from the fans and I’m sure they will wish him well in the future. Joel Ward is another that has been linked away from the club, Ipswich Town are chasing him and he will most likely leave. In the last two seasons he has played over 40 games for the club and he has actually benefitted from all their problems and lack of players because it has allowed him to show off his potential and possibly get a move back to the Premier League in the future.

Other players that have been at the club for years have not been as helpful to the club in my opinion because they have huge wages and not really performed when they have had the opportunity. Tal Ben Haim is one of these players because he must still be on a Premier League wage and has played 33 games this season but has he really helped the cause by staying?

One player that has impressed me this season is David Norris who should be a hero to the Pompey fans now after scoring that dramatic equaliser against Southampton which will be one of the high points from this season. He is the top scorer of all the players still at the club and would be a good addition to any team in the Championship next season so they will do well to keep hold of him.

Up front they have not performed that well with Benjani only scoring one goal in his 18 games. Although 12 of his appearances have came from the bench. Kanu also only has one goal in 11 games but yet again most of his appearances have been as a substitute. These players need to leave the club and they have in the past done a very good job for the team but they have should have been let go when all of their problems started and resigning them may have pleased the fans to begin with but they must realise that it is time to move on and start again.

I personally hope that Portsmouth recover because they have such fantastic fans who are very loyal and do not deserve any of this that has happened to them. Some people need to realise that the fans are the most important part of any club and the Portsmouth fans deserve a lot of praise because it would have been easy for them to become disenchanted but they haven’t and still go to Fratton Park optimistic every week that their club will finally turn the corner.

Nottingham Forest fans get the lift they need against Leeds United

When Leeds took the lead against Nottingham Forest the fans must have thought they were about to see Neil Warnock’s first home win as manager but the Forest team proved they are not just going to lie down and will be up for the relegation battle they are involved in.

Garath McCleary scored four goals on a fantastic night for the player personally and for the club as they had to show all of their grit and determination which manager Steve Cotterill will be very proud of. Now, Cotterill wants to give a new contract to McCleary and believes it is a top priority if the club want to progress in the future. The 24 year old has already played over 100 games for the club but this season he has finally stepped up and is now performing to the best of his abilities with nine goals in his 17 league appearances and is currently the clubs top scorer.

Garath McCleary scoring one of his four goals against Leeds United

With the club currently in 20th place and six points out of relegation they really needed a lift and may have been in more trouble had Portsmouth not been handed a points deduction. Added to the fact that a lot of the fans haven’t exactly taken to their manager Cotterill, there could have been more problems in the very near future. Especially when they just lost 1-0 in the biggest game of the season against Derby County they really needed a lift and this is exactly the way to do it.

They didn’t only humiliate Leeds, they also put a smile on every single one of their players and fans faces which could just make everyone at the club relax and play their normal game rather than feel the tension of a relegation battle. Nottingham Forest have had a horrendous season and anyone that had slated Billy Davies in the past must now be wishing he had never left and just stayed with the club. Steve McClaren only lasted 13 games and won just three of these while losing seven of them. This put the club in a terrible position and must have made the supporters angry at the board as they were a team that were pushing for the playoffs year after year and now seem to have taken steps backwards instead of forward.

Cotterill, in my opinion has done a decent job and is doing exactly what was expected of him which was to keep the team in the league. I am unsure whether he will be able to take the team to the next level but at least it looks more likely that they will be playing in the second tier of English football next season.

Nottingham Forest are too big of a club to be playing in a lower division and with their support they should be in the Premier League. They have some talented players like McCleary and Dexter Blackstock who may not be having the best of seasons but proved against Leeds that he can he find the back of the net when given the opportunities. I also really like Marcus Tudgay who always puts in a shift whenever he plays and is always good for a goal. I really hope Forest stay up and push on next season as the fans deserve some joy as they have suffered quite a lot in recent years.