BBC sport this morning writes former club captain Stuart Pearce is set to become the new Nottingham Forest manager on July 1st after he initially turned down the offer from Chairman Fawaz Al-Hasawi in the wake of Billy Davies’s dismissal as Forest boss.
Al-Hasawi would of wanted him in immediately of course but this seems a shrewd move by the former Coventry and Newcastle left back, if he comes in now with 7 games to go of the regular season it gives him limited time to impress any changes in tactics, Forest are seventh in the Championship, two points outside the play-off places following a 10-match winless run that stretches back to February.
If Pearce took over now and Forest finish miles from the playoffs and the winless streak continued until the end of the season Pearce would start next year with a bit of a hangover and no doubt the press would be questioning his appointment.
Starting on July 1st gives him pre-season to re-invigorate the squad, it will give him a chance to move on any unwanted players and bring in his own type of player and staff. This also allows him the very unique circumstance of reviewing his squad at what one would imagine quite close hand, over the next 7 games before he goes on the payroll.
A sceptical person would see Al-Hasawi appointment of Pearce as a fan appeaser due to Pearce’s legend like connection to Forest and the fans love of him, rather than going for a more proven manager at that level like Malky Mackay or the high profile names linked like former Watford boss Gianfranco Zola or ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle.
Stuart Pearce has sat in the dugout at the City ground before in the 96/97 season in his first furore into management after Frank Clark was dismissed but the appointment of the man affectionately dubbed “Psycho” by the Nottingham Forest fans was not a huge success as Forest finished bottom and failed to win 16 of his 23 league games in charge, that said he was stepping up from player to gaffer and was managing a squad of players that were demoralised.
Some clubs that appoint former players rarely find it successful, Hoddle, Ardiles and some would say Sherwood at Spurs, Souness at Anfield, Marco van Basten at Ajax and Leonardo and perhaps Seedorf at Milan but for all of those there is a George Graham at Highbury, a Pep Guardiola at Barca and Frank De Boer at Ajax to counter balance the argument.
With Stuart Pearce out of work up until this morning’s announcement it would suggest this is a win/win for him, if he is a success at Forest he will be even more of a legend there, if he doesn’t he is just another to not get Forest promoted, yet you sense that a man that is that loved in that part of the world would still be loved there even he wasn’t a huge success.