Stuart Pearce’s appointment as Nottingham Forest boss was always seen as a romantic bond, but as we now reflect on the club legend’s reign it is blatantly obvious that Pearce and Forest were too much like brother and sister to form a robust and everlasting relationship.
Sunday evening saw the end of Pearce’s tenure as manager of the club after just 28 league games in charge.
The Reds have won just three times during the last 21 games and have lost six of the last seven, prompting owner Fawaz Al Hasawi to make a swift change.
The fact that former Bolton Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman was announced as the man to take the Reds forward less than an hour after Pearce’s departure suggests that Al Hasawi had made plans to remove Pearce a while back – possibly before the Derby County game.
Quite simply football is a results based business and unfortunately Pearce has come unstuck in this department.
Being judged as a football manager he was some distance short of succeeding and being brutally honest I personally felt when leaving the stadium after Saturday’s loss that a change was needed.
Sometimes in football when you get a new manager the results might not be great, but there is usually a clear indication of the style which the boss wants his side to play.
With Pearce there never was that identity on the pitch. Bland, direct and often frustrating to watch would sum up the style of football under Pearce quite aptly. Harsh maybe but few could argue, and even when we sat top of the league early doors it still felt that something was maybe missing and that we would have to improve to stay towards the summit of the table.
Another deciding factor for the owner in making this decision must have been the amount of money which had been spent on players in the summer.
No previous manager under the Kuwait era has enjoyed such a luxurious squad yet all left the club in a higher league position than we are at present.
When close to £10M is spent on players it is natural to expect some sort of return and 12th place in the Championship with just 18 games left is way below par for the course.
I hope all of this doesn’t sound too cynical, after all in my eyes Pearce has not in any way, shape or form tarnished his reputation.
When you pull on a Forest shirt 400-odd times you would have to do something pretty drastic to blemish such an association with the club.
Pearce always spoke with honesty and dignity to the press and has certainly put some of the youngsters such as Ben Osborn, Tyler Walker and Oliver Burke on a pedestal for the future.
Not forgetting the likes of Roger Riera, Tim Erlandsson and Louis Laing who were all signed purposely for the Development Squad allowing the club to get them ready for the rigorous demands of the Championship. I certainly can’t remember a previous manager signing players with the intention of them playing for the youngsters before making the step up in say one or two years time.
The only department Pearce has been found lacking is where it matters the most and that is in terms of the results.
I personally would like to thank Psycho for his efforts whilst in the hot seat and I think I speak for most supporters when I say that he will always be welcome back at the City Ground in the future and he will always remain as one of the finest players to ever wear the red of Forest.
He didn’t have to take the challenge of managing what he calls his club and the Forest faithful should be grateful that he chose to put his reputation on the line and give the job a go.
The highlights inevitably include winning away at Derby for only the second time since they moved to the iPro Stadium, topping the league for the first two months of the season and who could forget the reception that greeted Pearce when he walked out as manager for the first time – simply breathtaking, and it will remain a YouTube classic for years to come.
Pearce tried and fundamentally failed but we now have to move on as a club and keep searching for the much needed stability.
I will reserve judgement on Freedman for now. I like that it was sorted so quickly in a strange way, as it doesn’t become a drawn out process and allows the new man to have a full week with his new troops before we travel to Brighton at the weekend.
From what I gather Freedman is a fiery scot who is liked by Crystal Palace fans but despised by Bolton Wanderers followers. Let’s face it though there are lots of managers like that.
Gary Megson would need a police escort to visit Trentside but I know male West Bromwich Albion supporters who would ask Megson to marry them given half the chance!
One bit of advice I will give you Dougie, is to quickly show us what you are all about. Find a style of football and stick to it from the off. The squad is way too good to be languishing in mid-table and if I were you I would go back to basics and attack games from the off.
When Freedman walked through the door at Bolton the club embarked on a period of five straight victories and something similar at the City Ground would go down a treat. No pressure Dougie!