Let’s not kid ourselves here, Nottingham Forest were far from a free-flowing outfit under the guidance of Stuart Pearce.
There may have been a desire to be pleasing on the eye, but that is difficult when results are not going your way.
Pearce has now paid the price for his inability to get the Reds performing at the desired levels, with a club legend lasting less than a season back in the City Ground dugout.
Dougie Freedman has been appointed in his place, with the Scot another of those with ties to Forest from his playing days – albeit he does not enjoy quite the same standing in the eyes of supporters as the man he is succeeding.
He was, however, relieved of his duties in October 2014, after two years at the helm, with the same questions asked of him that have been fired in the direction of Pearce over recent months.
Freedman is now charged with the task of rebuilding at Forest, but will he look to make his team more direct – with Opta statistics suggesting that he favoured such an approach at Bolton?
|Match||Total Long Balls GAME||Total Launches||Appearances|
|Bolton||Brighton vs Bolton||95||30||1|
|Bolton||Bolton vs Forest||87||53||1|
|Bolton||Wolves vs Bolton||87||34||1|
|Bolton||Watford vs Bolton||84||33||1|
|Bolton||Bolton vs Middlesbrough||83||38||1|
|Bolton||Bolton vs Rotherham||80||34||1|
|Bolton||Bolton vs Sheff Wed||79||29||1|
|Bolton||Leeds vs Bolton||78||27||1|
|Bolton||Bolton vs Derby||78||43||1|
|Bolton||Fulham vs Bolton||78||26||1|
Freedman made it just 10 games into the current campaign before biting the bullet at the Macron Stadium, but in that time he saw his side post club-high figures for the season.
Bolton have taken in 24 fixtures this term, and 10 of the top 17 games in which they attempted the most long balls came under Freedman’s tutelage.
Is that a sign of things to come at the City Ground?
There is nothing wrong with being direct if route one is constructive, rather than destructive. There has to be clear aims and targets, rather than the approach becoming aimless.
Freedman will be under pressure to deliver from the get-go, so it may be that he has to find a way of grinding out results now and worry about pleasing the purists later.