McLeish’s 40 day tenure ends


Nottingham Forest manager Alex McLeish has left the club by mutual consent, after just 40 days in charge. Forest Chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi told the club website: “I’m bitterly disappointed – as is Alex – it has not worked out.” McLeish was appointed on the 27th December, and won just one game in charge of Forest, he lost four out of the possible seven. The Kuwaiti hierarchy are now hunting for their fourth manager since they took charge in July.

McLeish was believed to be furious at not being allowed to sign anyone during the January transfer window, and if there is one thing Forest fans never wanted to hear from their manager, it would be his refusal to commit to the club after losing to Birmingham City. A deadline deal for Peterborough’s George Boyd worth £500,000 fell through after he failed a last minute eye test. To rub salt in McLeish’s wounds, transfer target Chris Burke scored both goals to sink Forest on Saturday.

Forest made a rather questionable signing during the January transfer window. Kuwait international goalkeeper Khaled Al-Rashidi on a two-and-a-half year contract. Coincidentally, a Kuwaiti goalkeeper, who Al Hasawi had decided to buy, he said: “I recommended Khaled and two other Kuwaiti players and asked the Club to have a look at them and that is exactly what happened.” Al Hasawi insisted that he had discussed the deal with McLeish, and that he had approved. I don’t want to be a cynic, but do you think McLeish spotted a goalkeeper playing for Al-Arabi in the Kuwaiti Premier League?

The Al Hasawi’s are Forest’s worst signing.

The Al Hasawi family are becoming the Venky’s of the East Midlands. A matter of days after they took over Forest, they sacked Steve Cotterill. In similar fashion to the Venky’s they promised a big name, (not to the extent of Ronaldinho) but they claimed their manager would be iconic. After failing to seduce Glenn Hoddle, they settled for former Forest coach Sean O’Driscoll.

He guided the new-look Forest to within one point of the play-offs. After a decisive 4-2 victory over Leeds United, the Al Hasawi’s pulled the managerial trigger and fired him on Boxing Day. Bright idea, considering they now lie 11th in the Championship, six points away from the play-offs and a game in front.

McLeish certainly isn’t smiling now!

McLeish’s side faltered against struggling League One side Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup. (So did Liverpool) Yet, this proved to be the final nail in the coffin for McLeish. Forest midfielder Andy Reid voiced his opinions on McLeish’s reign yesterday: “Everyone is happy with how he is – an honest, straight manager.” The Al Hasawi’s blatantly disregarded his opinion, and will once again be responsible for disrupting the training regime of a squad who have had no chance to settle.

“Alex and I talk every day, at least twice a day.” Not anymore.

Zak Bird