England under-21 boss Stuart Pearce is set to take over at Championship club Nottingham Forest this summer.
The full-back England international is a hero at the City Ground, having spent 12 years of his playing career with Forest.
Pearce was believed to have already turned the job down last week for family reasons. However, it he is set to take up the role in July.
The 51-year-old has reportedly signed a two-year-deal with the club.
Forest are not in a terrible state at the moment, as the Tricky Trees are seventh in the Championship and just two points outside the play-offs positions. Caretaker-boss Gary Brazil could very well lead Forest to the promised land of the Premier League and Pearce could take over a top-flight club.
It would be a bizarre situation, if Forest were promoted through the play-offs this season and then Pearce took control of the team next season. Then again there is a recent history of clubs promoted to the Premier League sacking their bosses after just a few months in the top-flight.
Stuart Pearce was a fantastic player and he proved that with Forest. He represented England with distinction on 78 occasions and always gave his heart and soul. I have to say though ‘Pyscho’ was a far better player than he is a manager.
His managerial record is mediocre to say the least. His caretaker stint in charge of Forest nearly two decades ago and his record at Manchester City really do not inspire confidence. He has however arguably done a decent job as England under-21 boss.
If Forest had appointed a boss with a similar managerial record then I think their fans would be far more sceptical. Pearce’s hero status should however buy him some extra time with the City Ground faithful.
Some managers just suit certain clubs and struggle with others. Maybe that will be the case with Pearce. The England under-21 boss is still revered by Forest fans and is a true Nottingham Forest legend.
His personality and influence at the club may just be enough to inspire his team. Pearce does have a strong personality and has always been a leader. Hopefully his personality and his motivational skills will make up for any flaws in his managerial abilities.
Nottingham Forest are one of the few English clubs to have claimed the European Cup twice. Forest achieved this feat, in spite of only ever winning the English top-flight title once, which was a big achievement prior to the days of four teams from England being included in Europe’s elite competition.
Legendary boss Brian Clough was the man responsible for Forest’s achievement in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Clough is still regarded as one of the best managers in the history of the English game.
Forest have struggled to replicate Clough’s achievements. Forest have struggled to even stay in the top-flight and more recently failed to gain promotion back to the Premier League.
The Tricky Trees have been in contention for the play-offs on numerous occasions in recent seasons, but have not been in the top-flight since 1999. Forest have even endured three years in the third tier of English football, before winning promotion back to the Championship in 2008.
Like so many English clubs Nottingham Forest are now owed by foreign investors. Forest’s new owners are the Al-Hasawi family from Kuwait, who took control of the club in 2012. The Kuwaiti owners are ambitious, but like a lot of foreign owners have already been through a number of bosses in a short time frame.
Former-boss Billy Davies was relatively well liked by the Forest fans and by all accounts the team were not performing really poorly under the Scot. However, Davies’ performance was obviously seen as not good enough by the clubs ambitious owners.
In many ways the appointment of Pearce would be a safe one. It would be a popular appointment amongst the majority of Forest fans, as he is a club legend. Pearce is also considered a solid boss, rather than a boss that takes major risks. Which I am not sure is good or bad for Forest at their current stage of development.
Hopefully Pearce is given time by the owners to prove himself and create a team. Unfortunately the owner’s track record of hiring and firing bosses in their short tenure at the City Ground is not great.
I sense that even a club hero like Pearce may not be immune if early results do not go Forest’s way. Whether Pearce proves to be a success as Forest boss remains to be seen, but one thing that is for sure he seems to be a popular appointment amongst the majority of Forest fans.
Is Stuart Pearce the right man for Nottingham Forest?