Nottingham Forest were linked with a move to appoint Chris Wilder as their new manager back in September but what followed proved to be a Dane Murphy masterclass.
The American has been a breath of fresh air at Forest. He’s united every aspect of the club and he thoroughly deserved his nomination for CEO of the year.
Wilder was a free agent when Murphy wielded the axe on Chris Hughton. Many outlets reported that the promotion-winning boss was the favourite and he was the number one choice for a lot of fans.
Murphy had earmarked Steve Cooper though. The sought-after head coach almost joined Crystal Palace in the summer and he was the man the CEO wanted.
A quick glance through some tweets from his appointment makes intriguing reading. Plenty didn’t want him, whilst others cited that it was another ‘negative’ appointment in terms of the style of play.
Wilder was seen as the one to galvanise the club and get the fans back onside after several years of heavy turbulence.
Cooper proved to be everything that some fans thought Wilder would be. He spoke about the ‘we’, rather than the ‘I’ and ultimately, he made the squad believe.
Wilder got the Middlesbrough job. He revived their fortunes and at one point it looked as though they would cruise into the play-offs.
The wheels came off though. Links to the Burnley job emerged and after failing to quash them in the press, Boro’s form become patchy at best.
That saw them tail away, settling for another year in the second tier. As for Forest, well we all know what happened next.
Forest linked with Wilder but Murphy made the right call
The smart CEO is worth his weight in gold. If all is well in the boardroom, it can almost ensure that life runs smoothly on the pitch too.
Wilder has a win ratio of 48% from 33 games at Boro, with Cooper boasting 60% from his 45 games in charge of the team.
Both are clearly good managers and after the Hughton debacle, Wilder would have represented a strong appointment for Forest.
Appointing Cooper merely shows just how thorough Murphy is when it comes to the big decisions.
He went against the grain somewhat to appoint Forest’s miraculous head coach and in doing so he completed an absolute masterstroke.