Nottingham Forest took a little over a day to replace outgoing manager Sean O’Driscoll and, although his replacement may not be the most glamorous, the bookies expect Alex McLeish to take the club back into the Premier League.
A price of 6/4 says he’ll get the job done at some stage during his City Ground tenure and, with the club just a point outside the play-off zone courtesy of O’Driscoll’s sterling work, he already has an excellent foundation to work from.
Forest are 7/1 to secure promotion from the Championship this campaign – a feat McLeish has previously achieved in his career whilst in charge of Midlands rivals Birmingham – and they can be backed as extremely unlikely 25/1 shots to go up as champions.
Both of these bets, however, should be avoided.
Blackburn are a shining example to all would-be foreign investors who wish to get involved with English football on how not to run a football club and Forest’s Kuwaiti backers have taken a leaf straight out of the Venky’s textbook with their unanticipated termination of O’Driscoll’s contract.
In one of the most bizarre managerial debacles in football history, Rovers’ Indian owners replaced the unstylish but effective Sam Allardyce with unknown quantity Steve Kean and were subsequently relegated from the Premier League.
Despite months of supporter protest, they persisted with the Scot until late September of this year, when they forced him out of the club. They were third in the Championship at this stage, just two points off the pace, but now find themselves languishing in 17th and are currently in the midst of another managerial crisis.
It’s fair to say that McLeish has a better track record in English football than either of the Venky’s appointments, yet his records at Birmingham and Aston Villa are hardly spectacular and it’s difficult to see how he will improve upon the steady job O’Driscoll was doing at the club.
He takes control of his new team for the first time against out of sorts Crystal Palace and is 5/4 to start with three points, yet his preparation has been far from ideal courtesy of Forest’s severely waterlogged training ground.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date