Lee Clarke’s Nottingham Forest blog: Welcome back Billy Davies
The fiery scot was dismissed after a second attempt at promotion through the play-offs ended in defeat to Swansea City in 2011 – he has not returned to management since this disappointment.
The return of Glaswegian Davies has divided supporters of the club with some praying for his return whilst others were glad to see the back of the outspoken, stubborn former Derby County manager.
It was rumoured that a lot of Davies’ frustrations during his last spell at the club were thanks to Mark Arthur the former Chief Executive who has recently left the City Ground.
We can sit and speculate all day about whether or not the return of Davies would be a positive move, this is something that I myself found myself weighing up recently.
First of all I must say that the main priority for the owners for the remainder of the season has to be stability and this appointment will bring just that to a club which, to an outsider has been seen as a huge laughing stock so far this season.
Billy has joined claiming that he has ‘unfinished business’ at The City Ground and it is easy to clear listening to him for a couple of minutes that he is as determined as ever to deliver the promised land of Premier League football to the trentside faithful.
In all honesty when we look at the positive and negative aspects of the appointment it is hard not to be excited at what may lie ahead – after all he hasn’t exactly inherited a bad squad of players this time around.
Let us not forget just how difficult we were to beat under Davies during his first spell at the club. Some of the football we played during his last tenure was breathtaking and looking back it is quite remarkable that he never did take us to promotion.
Disagreements with the board over certain signings and Davies outspoken manner in which he dealt with this in the press were arguably the main reason for his sacking which ended his last spell at the club. Having listened to the quotes from both chairman and manager this time around it becomes apparent in seconds that Fawaz Al-Hasawi has brought Billy back to let him manage the team his own way without interference from upstairs.
One of the other major positive points over this appointment is the fact that although Davies can come across as an argumentative and somewhat lairy scotsman, he actually has a huge desire to take our great club back in the Premier League as soon as possible. Not only that but he is OUR lairy scotsman and the fact he openly hates Derby further enhances supporters opinions of him.
This sort of passion can only be good for the club and is probably something that the club has missed during the last 20 months whilst Davies has been away from the City Ground.
One of my main issues with Davies last time around was the fact that he had a horrible knack of resting the better players for bigger games.
The fact is however during the two play-off campaigns our squad was often bare due to the infamous ‘transfer acquisition panel’ not signing him the new recruits we desperately craved to have a real stab at automatic promotion.
This time around if Billy does wish to rotate the squad he will be picking much stronger players from the fringes and not players such as David McGoldrick and Dele Adebola.
Time appears to be running out on a late play-off surge this season and a more realistic aim for Davies would be to tighten us up at the back and push for a top 10 finish to offer fans hope for the next campaign.
I fully expect however to see a packed out City Ground this Saturday afternoon offer Billy Davies the warmest of welcomes as he aims to complete the unenviable task of promotion from the Championship.
I for one cannot wait for it to begin. Welcome back Billy!