It has been a difficult season for Nottingham Forest and Nigel Pearson. Whilst the Reds have had to forlornly watch one of their fiercest rivals replicate their stunning achievements of ’78, Nigel Pearson has been bedevilled by dreams of ostriches, Thai holidays and what might have been.
But now there has come a pass where both club and manager are looking for fresh starts. And it is imperative that Forest pick Pearson as the man to take the club forward.
Of course, he won’t come easy. He is currently widely tipped to take up the heavy reins of another former European Champion, who are set to also find themselves enchained in the slog that is the most competitive division in the world; the Championship.
Aston Villa have acrimoniously tumbled out of the top flight having never faced the drop in Premier League history. And, with a takeover dragging on into more days and weeks, the Pearson move has somewhat stalled.
This is where Forest must now come in to the frame.
Forest, without question need a strongman at the helm. With the meddling fidget-bottomed owner that is Fawaz Al-Hasawi, the next manager at Forest has to be able to hold his own against a Chairman, who without question, would pick the team himself if he could.
Dougie Freedman opted for the stance of negotiation. With his hands financially tied, his best players crocked, he did an excellent job at the City Ground. But Fawaz was unimpressed and out the door and into the Trent he went.
Forest need a manager who can put Fawaz back in his director’s box. They need a manager with a track record of telling it how it is. This may be the Billy Davies hangover, but for a team with next to nothing in terms of administrative structure, the manager has to be all things for the club.
Pearson knows how to build a football club and not just a team.
Leicester’s success this season is by no means all the work of Claudio Ranieri. The Tinkerman has said it himself, the structure was there, the backroom staff in place, the squad of players, the scouting network, all were established under the stewardship of Pearson. Ranieri has only provided the tactical nous necessary for the top flight.
Pearson’s pedigree is well known to everyone. But it is this structuring, this concentration on developing those behind the scenes, creating a club structure that is effective and can provide a foundation stone for footballing excellence is why Forest must have Pearson as their first choice.
Forest will of course face difficulty and stiff competition for a man who helped Leicester to breeze out of the Championship. But Pearson is the right man for Forest, ostriches or not, and they should aim for him at all costs.
I mean, when was the last time a manager of a rival club was thwarted from achieving access, only to find it at Forest?