I just don’t know what to say. Did anyone see this coming? Even those of you who wanted him out probably didn’t think it was going to happen this soon.
Martin O’Neill has been sacked as manager of Nottingham Forest. In a short statement on the website, the club merely went through the formalities of wishing him well and thanking him for his time. Daniel Taylor of The Guardian is reporting that Martin O’Neill lost his job because a number of the first team players turned against him, although for what reason we are still unclear of at this stage.
Combine this departure with the one of Roy Keane on Monday, and you are left wondering exactly what is going on at the football club, when the two men in charge of the team have been relieved of their duty, either by the club’s volition or their own.
Martin O’Neill had a relatively successful spell in charge of the club he helped win two European Cups with as a player, but will ultimately be judged on his failure to reach the playoffs, a job that was made incredibly hard thanks to a spell in April where the club lost four games in a row, and although they took maximum points in the last three games, it wasn’t enough as they eventually finished 9th in the table.
The recent sacking of O’Neill is just another chapter in what has become an increasingly frustrating time to be a Nottingham Forest supporter. After Brian Clough managed Forest for 18 years. Since July 2001, including caretakers, they’ve had 22 managers, three of whom have had two or more spells. We know that the days of long serving managers like Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal are long gone, but this takes it to a whole new level.
It is somewhat surprising that the sacking should come now, just a day before their first pre-season game against Alfreton Town. If this has been in the works for some time, why wouldn’t the club want to make the change earlier? Did they know that this was likely to take place before they signed off on selling the likes of Soudani and Vellios? Or when they signed Sammy Ameobi? There’s so many questions that need answering, and I feel it will be a while before we find them.
The club have been quick to appoint Frenchman Sabri Lamouchi as Martin O’Neill’s replacement, yet another sign that this could have been done a whole lot sooner and he has got a very tough task ahead of him if he is to right a very unsteady ship in the banks of The Trent.