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Monday, 17 March 2014

Sacking Billy Now Would be a Mistake


To lay my cards on the table immediately I do not for one minute support the number of fans who want Billy sacked. It mostly comes down for me to people's personal preferences on his character. In any other walk of life people would be reviewed and appraised on their working practice and not always on well liked they were. There is an element of people unhappy with tactics and selection (who were quiet when were 16 unbeaten)

There is that growing call from fans for Billy to be sacked in light on the current slump in form.

I also fail to see who else come in now and do any better with what's available in terms of the players available. Ok people question the tactics, and at times they are wrong, but we aren't being dealt a full deck here. You go with what you have.

I agree that Billy has made mistakes. Halford up front on Saturday ahead of Henderson was ridiculous, but I am sure there are good valid reasons why Billy chose to do this. He isn't stupid, he knows that slipping out the playoffs would mean a lot of questions get asked of him, and he can't hide behind media bans forever.
And it's this media ban that is really costing him now. Now with this rod he made for his own back he can't come out and explain his actions. He doesn't have the platform, because he gave himself a self-imposed exile. So now we all mindlessly speculate or grumble and ask why things happen when if he actually just spoke to the media, and therefore the fans he could give his reasons, and maybe appease some fans.

And when the chips are down, the media who you have ostracized and shut out are not going to be very supportive. Of course they will give heed to views that he should go. Maybe not explicitly as they already aren't on speaking terms, but indirectly though comments by fans, the various blogs they publish, or what Paul Taylor says on Twitter.

I think he has to be given to the end of the season and then we evaluate. For me he has to given that at least. Also stability breeds success. The teams that are up there by and large have maintained a stable managership for a while. Derby and Wigan buck that trend admittedly, but there will always be a minority.

For me, I am not a fan of Davies the man; I don't like the media management strategy he has gone on. But I can also see that in the last 15 years he has been the most successful we have had. You can point to failed play off bids all you like, but save for Paul Hart he is the only one to have got us there, and consistently. Under him we have never struggled.

Is it a sense of heightened expectations due to the cash spent? I think that certainly plays a part, but even had we done a Burnley and spent comparatively little, and had nothing to spend I still think fans would be reacting in the same way. And it’s a problem endemic in football now. Fans have less patience. All you have to do is look at fast turn overs of managers, with Pepe Mel under pressure before Saturday, Fulham chopping and changing. It's becoming like Italy, where the moment you seem to fail you're out with little chance to turn it round. And it's because the stakes are higher than ever.

Who really is going to do any better in this time frame? You might as well keep what we have as the coaches know the players. Any regime change will just upset the apple cart, and the players all seem united under the Billy front.

Furthermore what the hell do we look like if we sack managers when in top 6? I remember when Huddersfield did the same in league One to Lee Clark many people including Forest fans were laughing at such a ridiculous idea. When we sacked O'Driscoll the same reactions came along. Say what you like, but many other clubs don't realise what's going on. They don't realise our fans are in disarray. I work in Sheffield, so surrounded by fans of United and Wednesday, plus the usual array of glory hunters. All of them, every single one can't believe when I tell them fans want the manager out. So you worry Billy makes us look daft? Sacking him would make us loo dafter.

And it really is a tricky one. A case of damned if you do and damned if you don't. Maybe we could have got a boost from a change of manager. But it also gives a dangerous message to fans of their power. Fans are the core of a club no doubt, but a consensus of people trying to influence or make decisions won't work, which is why you need a figurehead like Fawaz even if he was the money man or not. They make the decision. If we react to the admittedly growing number of fans calling for his head, then the fans think all they need to do is start moaning. What message does that send? Negativity is rewarded?

It’s a sign of the age. Social media lets ideas like this mutate and increase.

It is funny though. Davies before was seen as the genius, and just need backing. Now he has the backing and is doing roughly exactly the same people have turned on him. His cult of personality seems to have failed.


Give him to the end of the season and then see how Billy feels. How Fawaz feels. See what the mood of the club is, not just fans, but players, and the media. The one thing I would say as Fawaz to Billy, if you want to stay, talk to the media, not through Forest Player. Tell fans in their cars on the way home on the radio why you made decisions you did or how you're feeling. Stop acting aloof, if he says no, and then tell him to do one. I'm pretty certain he'd change his tune.

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