It’s happened again, another manager bites the dust — McClaren, Cotterill, O’Driscoll and now McLeish, to name a few. Michael Shaw can’t believe we’re back here again…


About 10 past 11 my phone went.

“McLeish has gone.”

My first thought was “I can’t believe we’re back here again.”

It’s a surprise, but it’s not.

The writing was on the wall when he refused to confirm that he would remain as manager following Saturday’s defeat against his former club Birmingham City. Had they not been the opposition last weekend, he may well have gone before that. He may even have stayed an extra day so as not to detract from yesterday’s tragic anniversary.

It didn’t used to be like this.

Nigel Doughty was a man that, for all faults, would always look to back his manager. David Platt, Paul Hart, Joe Kinnear and Gary Megson all took their own leave of the City Ground.

Colin Calderwood survived that awful night against Yeovil Town when other chairman would’ve been reaching for the axe. It was only when the Scot saw his side succumb to Doncaster on Boxing Day and the boos reached a crescendo and Calderwood stood alone in his technical area looking like a boxer shipping too many punches, hoping the referee would step in, that Doughty indeed did, replacing the mild-mannered man from north of the border with one altogether more fiery.

Maybe that’s where the worm turned. Few would’ve begrudged dismissing any of the managers that had gone before, but the decision to usher Billy Davies towards the City Ground exit door is one that still divides opinion amongst the Reds faithful.

Four managers later — two Mcs, the much maligned Steve Cotterill and his former assistant turned Crawley boss, turned Forest boss again, Sean O’Driscoll — the Reds haven’t looked like hitting quite the same heights they did under Davies.

So what now?

Every time a manager goes the list of potential replacements seems to get shorter and less promising. Nigel Adkins has had his fingers burned once already by a chairman with an itchy trigger finger, Roy Keane’s name doesn’t inspire confidence in many, Paolo Di Canio has done little to convince anyone he is worth a step up, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was dismissed as a coach on Trentside just over a month ago.

I don’t mind who it is, I just don’t want to be back here again in a few months time, because every time we do, that list gets a little shorter.

Fawaz and family haven’t got it right straight away, it would be good of them to acknowledge that the men that they appoint might not either.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @nowthenyoungman

Image: courtesy of phanlop88/

Related Topics