Nottingham Forest are seemingly closing in on the appointment of Steve Cooper as Chris Hughton’s successor – and it didn’t seem like the club’s hierarchy had much thinking to do on the matter.
From the get-go it appeared that the ex-Swansea City head coach was their top target to come in and try to arrest the club’s slide, having picked up just one point in the first seven league games of the season.
Paul Taylor has reported in a live Q & A for The Athletic that negotiations are ongoing in regards to a compensation package for Cooper with Swansea, with the Welshman still under contract at the club until next year despite not managing them anymore.
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One man who was zoned in on by fans and pundits like Ally McCoist as being a good fit for Forest is Eddie Howe, who has been without a job for over a year since departing AFC Bournemouth following their relegation to the Championship.
Whilst Howe would have been seen as quite a coup for Forest, Taylor has outlined why he wouldn’t necessarily be the right fit for the club going forward – it’s because he doesn’t fit as many of the new philosophies that they want to press forward with than Cooper.
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“He did a great job at Bournemouth, particularly in the early years,” Taylor said in his Athletic Q & A.
“He is a good manager – his track record proves as much.
“But don’t be fooled by the ‘little’ Bournemouth myth. They have spent significant money in more recent years.
“I’m not for a moment saying that this makes him a bad manager – not at all.
“But he actually doesn’t tick as many of the required boxes as Cooper would do.”
The Forest hierarchy seemed to have a few desires as to what they want from Hughton’s replacement – namely attacking football and a willingness to utilise and develop youth players.
Whilst Howe certainly has his teams playing on the front foot, perhaps not using enough youth players over the years at the Cherries means he’s not as much of a good fit as Cooper.
Bournemouth’s academy isn’t on the same levels as Forest’s, who run a Category One operation, and with the likes of Brennan Johnson, Ryan Yates and Alex Mighten who have come through there’s an expectation that Cooper can get the best out of them.
It would have been a shock to see Howe drop to a Championship team who are struggling anyway, but now we know that he wouldn’t really have fit Forest’s blueprint.