In his autopsy of Martin O’Neill’s short stint at Nottingham Forest, Daniel Taylor of the Guardian revealed that Pele’s loan spell was cut short after he missed an appointment with the club’s doctor. The 27-year-old was absent for Forest’s last two games of the season against Queens Park Rangers (April 27) and Bolton Wanderers (May 5) due to a thigh injury.
After the QPR win, O’Neill said that Pele was unlikely to feature for the Reds again on account of his injury, but it appears the midfielder may have been sent back to AS Monaco early after failing to show for the appointment. He made just nine appearances in all competitions after joining Forest on loan in January and hardly set the place alight.
O’Neill’s five-month reign at the City Ground ended with a divide in the dressing room. The incident with Pele is a microcosm of the problems O’Neill had with certain players in the Forest squad. Pele’s last outing for the Reds was against Middlesbrough on April 22. He played 84 minutes in 3-0 win at home and wasn’t seen again.