Return of Billy may be shrewd

FanZoner Dan Mounser believes the re-appointment of Billy Davies as Nottingham Forest boss could be a shrewd move by Fawaz Al-Hasawi.

Last Updated: 19/02/13 at 11:54 Post Comment

Billy Davies: Could be a shrewd appointment

Billy Davies: Could be a shrewd appointment

The appointment of Davies as Forest manager for a second spell is likely to divide opinion once more - but I actually think it could work out well.

Since Omar Al-Hasawi stepped down as chairman to be replaced by majority shareholder Fawaz Al-Hasawi in December, the goalposts seem to have been quickly shifted from stability and progression to promotion to the Premier League.

The ship that was being steered by Sean O'Driscoll in calm waters was rocked by an iceberg on Boxing Day and has been steadily sinking ever since. Despite Captain McLeish trying to disperse the water for 41 days, he decided to jump ship and head for the lifeboat.

Davies now has the task of restoring order on deck with an already decent Championship squad and plugging the holes as best he can using the loan window.

The man who managed successive play-off finishes in 2010 and 2011 is seen as a hero to some supporters. The free-flowing attacking football at home, the unbeaten runs, those play-off finishes and the rare ability to get the players fired up and quickly out the traps from the first minute will mean they will be delighted he is back at the City Ground.

To others, he's more of a villain. His outspoken opinions, the ability to start an argument in an empty room and the sometimes negative one-man up front formation away from home may still leave a bitter taste in the mouth. Not to mention the way he engineered his own sacking by making his relationship untenable with the infamous 'Transfer Acquisition Panel' and then chairman Nigel Doughty.

Doughty is sadly no longer with us and key members of that panel in the form of Mark Arthur and Keith Burt are now no longer associated with the club. With those main protagonists still at the helm, his homecoming would certainly have never happened.

But this is a new era, a new chairman and in many ways a new club.

The reason it could work is that Fawaz and Billy share two common traits. They have a wish for Forest to succeed as a football club and both have a burning desire to get into the Premier League.

Whether this will be enough common ground to have a successful and working relationship remains to be seen but let's be honest, no manager seems to have seen eye-to-eye with Fawaz so far.

It's a results-driven business and his management style of acquiring players who are ready now rather than later might just fit into Fawaz's remit.

I'd love nothing more than to invest further in the youth academy and wait three-five years for a fresh batch of youngsters to come through. But patience is not something I've witnessed since Omar stepped down and with the new bumper TV deal coming into the Premier League next season, it seems the carrot that is being dangled is becoming more attractive.

The Premier League dream is being fast-tracked ahead of schedule and although the youth academy is massively important and will be a huge part of sustaining the club's future with Financial Fair Play around the corner, long-term plans seem to have taken a back seat.

Will the latest appointment be another disastrous decision and a car crash waiting to happen? Will it add to the calamitous and downright shambolic January Transfer Window? Or will Davies deliver?

Only time will tell but it's amazing what a few decent results can do. And if this then snowballs and brings back some much-needed positivity to Trentside then I wouldn't rule out King Billy sneaking into the play-offs yet again.

If he does, it might go some way to rebuilding the fans' faith in the Al-Hasawis and their vision for the future.

If he does, let's also hope it is third time lucky.

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