Date:Sunday June 12 2011
When Billy Davies was appointed manager of Nottingham Forest in 2009, he took control of a team that was on the fast track back to League 1. His first game in charge, saw us sitting just two places above the drop zone, but the 3 points picked up in a 2-0 win away at Charlton, began an eventful two and a half year rollercoaster ride that would ultimately end up with him being given the boot today.
Davies managed to drag the club to the relative comfort of a 19th place finish in the table by the time that season came to an end. It was a position that most fans thought impossible, when he took over from his predecessor Colin Calderwood at the turn of the year.
That summer saw some serious investment in the squad and backing from the chairman Nigel Doughty. Unfortunately for Davies, it was to be the first and only time he would receive the backing he desired to take the club forward. The manager rightly said at the start of the 2009/10 campaign, that the club were only playing catchup with the rest of the teams in the division, such was the state of affairs at the club when he arrived.
That season ended with the team playing some of the most attractive and entertaining football witnessed at the City Ground for a generation. Not since the days of Paul Hart did we have a team that played with such flair and panache. Davies managed to secure a place in the end of season Playoffs, which as we all know by now ended in a bitter defeat at the hands of Blackpool.
It was a disappointing end to a season, that saw us at one stage sitting just one place behind eventual champions Newcastle. We finished a more than credible 3rd in the table, with tiredness and a lack of squad depth, blamed for an end of season collapse and slump in form.
A failure to back the manager in the next three transfer windows, was the beginning of the end in the love/hate relationship between Davies and the board. You could drive a bus through the cracks in that relationship, but according to the chairman Nigel Doughty, all was well within the club. The 2010/11 campaign was a stop start affair throughout, but once again Davies managed to drag the team to the playoffs, but it once again ended in heartbreak for the fans and the club, this time at the hands of Swansea.
The season ended with both the manager and board swearing allegiance to each other, but they were only words to paper over the cracks. The fragile peace that had apparently ensued, only lasted a matter of days before the rumours of yet another split appeared in the press. The only question that remained, was whether Davies would walk, or would he be pushed. As it turned out, he was pushed, which probably means that his silence has been bought and that Doughty can carry on running the club as he himself sees fit.
Davies' biggest downfall was the fact that he had a big mouth. The fact he told the truth about how the club was being run, would be of little consequence to him in the end and would of course be the reason for his demise. It was always the case that it would be Doughty who would have the last laugh, when he swung his trusty axe. That axe was swung today, when Billy Davies was booted out the door, approximately half a million pounds richer, providing he keeps schtum. Thanks for everything you've done Billy, you made us almost great again. Without doubt you were the best manager since Paul Hart and possibly even Harry Bassett in my opinion. I'm not sure where you will resurface next, but I for one would like to wish you all the best and thankyou for all you've done.
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Date:Sunday June 12 2011
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