I didn’t think I’d have to be writing something like this so soon into the season, but here we are.
Martin O’Neill has been sacked as manager of Nottingham Forest, and replaced by the relatively unknown Frenchman Sabri Lamouchi. But just what kind of man are the Forest fans getting in the dugout at the City Ground? Here’s a quick handy breakdown of the new man in charge.
What were his playing days like?
Having started his career in Ales, his most successful time as a player came with Auxerre, where he was part of the team that won the League 1 and Coupe De France double in the 1995-96 season.
That was the last of his success, as he then bounced around Italy and France playing for the likes of Inter Milan, Genoa and Marseille before retiring in the Middle East with Qatari side Al Kharitiyat.
What’s he done so far in the dugout?
His first managerial stint was a manager of the Ivory Coast national team where he guided them through qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where they were eliminated in the group stages, Soudani resigned shortly afterwards.
He did slightly better in his efforts during the 2013 African Cup of Nations, where his side reached the quarter-finals before being knocked out by eventual champions Nigeria.
He then moved to Qatari side El Jaish, where he helped them win the 2016 Qatar Cup, a tournament that involves the top four teams of the preceding years Qatari Stars League where he guided them to second place.
His most notable accomplishment as a manager came when he was the manager of French side Stade Rennais in France. Having taken over the team when they were 10th in Ligue 1, he guided them to 5th place and a subsequent place in the Europa League group stage.
In the following year’s competition, he managed to get them six points in his first five group games but was let go before they won their final group game to progress to the knockout stages.
How does he play?
His formations varied from team to team. Whilst with the Ivory Coast, he predominately used a 4-3-3 formation, whereas with his club side Stade Rennais, he predominantly went with a 4-2-3-1, however he did occasionally drift into a 4-1-4-1 formation on occasions. I believe he’ll stay with the 4-2-3-1 formation in his time at Forest, as it’s what the players were used to from last season.
Will he succeed?
It’s tough to say, the Forest board clearly have very high standards if they were willing to part company with Aitor Karanka when he was 7th in the table, so he’ll have to impress them straight away and show promise early on or he will be under immense pressure, especially as his predecessor Martin O’Neill was also targeting promotion a few months ago.
He clearly comes with a winning attitude off the back of his playing days and that can only bode well for a club that could have snuck into the playoffs last year. We could be in for a bumpy ride, but I think if given the chance, there’s potential for this to be a very good hire.