The welcomed takeover bid for Nottingham Forest could possibly have implications for Reds manager Philippe Montanier.
American tycoon John Jay Moores is expected to see his £50 million deal accepted next month, but rumours are afoot regarding his take on the playing side of things. I’ve heard that he may insist on a new manager for the team, possibly spelling the end for Montanier.
Although I am still not completely sure about the Frenchman, I feel that it would be a mistake to get rid of him at this time. There will no doubt be a transitional period when the takeover is finalised, but it must not interfere with playing side of things. Admittedly, Montanier hasn’t set the world alight, but it would make sense to give him a fair crack of the whip, just as we did with Stuart Pearce.
If Fawaz Al Hasawi does intend to stay on, it may actually help Montanier’s cause. He was appointed by the Kuwaiti after all. Al Hasawi will have to leave in the long run, but should he remain, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for now.
Don’t get me wrong. He has to go because there would be a serious conflict of interests and, more importantly, egos! Maybe the new year would be the right time to slip away quietly (without a share in the club either). If I’m completely honest, though, Fawaz will most likely dig in his heels and stick it out until the bitter end.
Having read up on John Jay Moores, the Texan is portrayed to be very level-headed in his approach to the sporting arena. US journalist Josh Chetwynd described him as “reserved and responsible” during his eight-year affiliation with the San Diego Padres baseball side. Which leads me to believe that he would err on the side of caution and stand by the current Nottingham Forest manager.
The Padres baseball teams during the reign of Moores were described as “good but not great” by Chetwynd, which sounds like a perfect fit for NFFC.
Let me explain exactly what I mean by that last comment before I’m accused of lacking ambition. If I asked you to describe the form of Nottingham Forest Football Club over the last 20 years, would you use the word ‘good’ or ‘great’? Neither. We have been consistently poor with the exception of the odd play-off campaign here and there.
If Moores decided that a change of manager was required, personally I’d set my sights on Nigel Pearson. Yes, even after the Derby disaster, I could definitely see him being a hit at the City Ground.
I’ve said this many times before and been greeted with the same response -- why would he come and work for Fawaz? Well he wouldn’t be now. It would also be the perfect opportunity for the Nottingham-born Pearson to get one over on his former employers. But let me be clear about this. I’m very much in favour of keeping Montanier for now!
One new appointment that Moores will definitely be making is the position of director of football, which has been vacant since the resignation of Pedro Pereira. There is talk of Brad Freidel filling this post and, to be honest, we could do a lot worse. With 20 years’ playing experience in England and more than 80 caps for the United States national team, he is certainly well placed for the role.
Friedel comes across very well in his interviews, whether that be on the TV or radio, and, more importantly, he has only just retired from playing the game. The American players and coaches have come a very long way in the last decade or so and that is why they have a better national team than England!
Another compelling reason to retain Montanier as manager is to allow him to pick from a full-strength squad. He has been without Britt Assombalonga and Daniel Pinillos for the best part of his time in charge. Both are back in training, with Assombalonga returning to first-team duties once more. Pinillios will be a huge boost when he returns to the team and will have competition from Armand Traore for the left-back spot, which has been a problematic position in recent times.
Dare I mention Matty Fryatt also? I don’t think any Forest manager within the next five years will see the return of that lad, to be honest!
We all wait in hopeful anticipation for the confirmation of John Jay Moores as the new owner, but don’t expect miracles. As I said earlier, he’s a very cautious person and will not throw money around for the sake of it. So much so that he was actually part of the debt service committee in baseball, which
prevented the borrowing of money to cover operational losses.
Take heed of this before anybody starts to moan at lack of investment, insisting on the waving of a wand. Fawaz put in £100 million and look where it got us!