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Friday, 28 December 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On Supporting Forest

Many of you from Twitter and Facebook and the forums have been like myself, angry and can’t understand the reasons for O’Driscolls dismissal, but then even more angry about appointing a manager that many including myself perceive as negative. Had we replaced O’Driscoll with a big named manager, or someone with excellent pedigree we may have understood.


With an extra day to think about this, and I needed to get down my feelings yesterday as they were raw and fresh, I am not as angry as what I was.

For two main reasons. Firstly the realisation that this has happened and nothing can be done about it by me directly. So essentially it becomes a case of get on with it, accept it. Make the best. I may not be happy, and feel the shabby way Sean was treated makes me feel less happy about my club. But there is nothing I can do to change this. Hence the Carry on supporting Forest section of the headline. What will be key for the players at this stage will be the support of the fans.

In terms of keep clam, well that’s just what I mean. Getting irate and tweeting at Fawaz about this appointment isn’t going to help. On Boxing Day night, me like many replied to Fawaz’s tweet about sacking O’Driscoll unhappily. It is the first time I have ever done such a thing, as usually I cringe at those tweeting Fawaz, but I was moved to make my opinion known.

McLeish is our manager now whether you like it or not, and so we have to move on and get behind them. Carrying on some campaign to undermine him and the team will not help whatsoever. It will hinder the progress of the team.

It is also a clear marker that the goalposts have been moved on expectation. Promotion is wanted this year. Clearly the al-Hasawi family believe O’Driscoll wasn’t going to deliver. I am certain the remit given to McLeish is getting us up. And so they have employed a man who has done exactly that before. So in that essence it’s easy to see why he was chosen.

Other managers who have gotten teams promoted are either employed elsewhere or fell back off the popular bandwagon long ago. Names like Phil Brown, Paul Jewell, and Owen Coyle have all had their stars dimmed by subsequent performance.

And to be honest would we rather be Stoke, or would we rather be a well regarded by perennial also rans in the Championships. Ok they don’t play pretty football, but they are being successful.

What does irk me is that one critique of O’Driscoll was his tendency to be conservative with team set ups, and this is something McLeish has done before. As others has said if it gets results so what? Well true in part, but when we just scored 4 goals at home and looked unstoppable in an attacking context and you bring in a man known for defensive rigidity, its nice going from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Maybe McLeish will temper his usual style. Maybe his time off has changed his mind set. Let’s be honest the defence does need work, so good in that regard. But what it may well reign in is our midfield flowing play.

A lot of people worry it may change Billy Sharps mind about his time here. That might well be, but it’s a lot of the rapport with fans that Billy has as much as anything.

I have probably merely echoed a lot of what I said last night, but I think some of those points need reiterating. We may well be angry and up in arms. But we also need to move on with this sorry debacle, and see if there can be good that comes from it. Money may well be spent in January, and maybe McLeish will build on the foundations laid. There’s a lot of expectation going to come now. We made this change to get promotion. If we don’t go up, then and only then can we really openly question this decision. If it gets us up, then it might have been a right decision.

I called Huddersfield into question when they sacked Clark last year, but Huddersfield gets promoted. They made a right call that too many looked like it was questionable. Sometimes hard and unpopular decisions need to be taken. Perhaps this was one.

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