Martin O’Neill was full of praise for Nottingham Forest’s latest addition to the scouting team – Tommy Johnson – but admitted to Nottinghamshire Live that he doesn’t have an official job title yet. The 48-year-old will be tasked with talent spotting, but his exact role is unknown.
O’Neill said: “We will see what it is precisely (the role). But he is someone whose opinion I value. I had him as a player… He played under me at Celtic and he has an opinion and a view of the game. He has been doing this job for some time with other clubs.
The manager’s comments suggest he’ll may have to answer to Johnson in some capacity in the player-signing process. Otherwise, why wouldn’t he be listed as a new scout? There’s been no official line from Forest saying it’s a Head of Recruitment role, but Johnson must have more responsibilities than a scout.
Forest’s summer signings have been a mixed bag, which may be why the 48-year-old has been appointed. The Reds’ spent a club-record £13.2m to sign Joao Carvalho from Benfica last summer, but he’s struggled for consistency in his debut season.
Michael Hefele (£300k from Huddersfield Town), Panagiotis Tachtsidis (free transfer from Olympiacos), Gil Dias (loan from AS Monaco) and Diogo Goncalves (loan from Benfica) haven’t left much of an impression either. O’Neill says Johnson is adept at identifying character traits in players which may come in handy.
He added: “When I met up with him over the last few years, he would talk to me about certain players – and what he said would mostly come to fruition. He would be a very decent addition for us.”