Neil Warnock may be a divisive old dinosaur in the modern era but the oldest manager in the Championship continues to get results. Good ones too.
Cardiff City were second from bottom in the Championship when they appointed the 68-year-old in October last year. 13 months on, the South Wales side are second in the table, a point behind big-spending league leaders Wolves, with their veteran gaffer proving once again that age is but a number.
So here’s a question for Nottingham Forest fans; would you have accepted Warnock as your manager at the start of the 2016/17 season?
Warnock told Goals on Sunday last year that he was interested in taking over at the City Ground before the ill-fated appointment of Philippe Montanier. He had even identified two players he wanted to bring with him to the East Midlands – and no, not Paddy Kenny.
"I had a couple of players up my sleeve, I was talking to [Sol] Bamba about Forest and [Junior] Hoilett, then that didn't come off,” Warnock said on Goals on Sunday, broadcast on Sky Sports 1 at 11.30AM (19/02). "I just thought it only needed two or three players there, but it never materialised."
Over a year on, however, Forest fans would surely dream of seeing Bamba in the famous red – and that alone is a testament to how shoddy the club’s backline has been over the last few years.
Only the bottom three of Sunderland, Bolton and Burton have conceded more than Forest’s 26 goals in 15 Championship games in 2017/18. Individual errors and a lack of both quality and organisation continue to undermine a side that is far stronger at the other end.
Cardiff, in contrast, have the best defence in the league with just 11 in the goals against column. And 32-year-old Bamba, statistically the best player in the entire division this season according to WhoScored, has been a major factor.
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