Welcome to brand new writer Matt Waterfield,in what is his first, and depending how this goes maybe last.... I jest... hopefully one of many pieces
Iʼll start by introducing myself, a loyal Forest fan since that fateful day at Hillsborough, a season ticket holder, and one time player at the Academy, or should I say School of Excellence as it was then... showing my age.
I never written anything like this before but recent events at the City Ground have
encouraged me to express my opinions. Firstly Iʼd like to thank Billy Davies for the job he did, yes Iʼm in the half that liked him. Obviously he frustrated me like everyone else and part of me always felt he was trying to be too clever for his own good with the media. But no one can argue whatever happened behind closed doors he galvanised and got the best from the squad.
That leads me to my ﬁrst point. I believe Forest to have a bit better than average squad in the Championship, Iʼd say league table wise a top 6-10 team. I also believe that Billy maximised the squads ability and consistently got them playing above themselves, hence two play-off semi ﬁnals in two years.
And herein lies my concern, I donʼt think anyone can deny Mr McClarens coaching ability, and it concerns me that our current group might not be ready, or have the ability to adapt to a potentially much more tactical approach to the game. Also Mr McClaren needs to adapt to the squad he has and opposition he will face, which Iʼm sure will take time. I think there will be a massive technical shortage with our players compared to his time in Holland and Germany.
If Mr McClaren does identify a potential shortfall in the players to his expectations my next fear leads me to a dark era at Forest, the David Platt era. Signing what are considered players to suit the manager rather than suit the situation. Paying too much for players who struggle to motivate themselves against ʻlower clubsʼ. Successful teams in the division can play football, but theyʼre almost always built on solid (big/strong/decent pace) players.
I hear that one of the things that went against Billy in the end was his decision not to bring Henri Lansbury and Scott Sinclair to the City Ground, two players who excelled at the chosen loan clubs. I can understand the logic, top club reserves with big egoʼs and low work rates, or not as it turned out. I also hear that we struggled to get some players due the manager himself, either the players or the clubs choosing not to send their young prospects to the City Ground.
One thing I think McClaren will bring is a much higher pull factor for potential signings, be it loan or permanent. I just hope we get the right type and donʼt ﬁnd ourself taking backward steps. Itʼs taken a long time to get back challenging for promotion to the promised land and I sincerely hope we can keep moving in the right direction.
Although Iʼve expressed some concerns in this article I want to make it clear that despite being a Billy fan, Mr McClaren will have my full support. There are too many negative voices at the City Ground, itʼs time we accepted our position in the football hierarchy and get behind the team and the manager. You only need to look at Burnley and Blackpool to see what positive support can do, it doesnʼt keep you up but itʼs a start.
So... Steve McLaren, Great PR man, good coach. Lets hope heʼs the manager to get us
up, for me the jury is still out, but Iʼll be happy to be proved wrong come the end of next season.
Follow me on Twitter @matto_w