Nottingham Forest have turned to Martin O’Neill now as they look to finally end their long stay outside the Premier League.
He is the latest manager to take on the challenge at the City Ground after he replaced Aitor Karanka last month.
The Spaniard was controversially sacked by the Reds after just over a year in charge and here in our latest FLW Rewind, we look at the optimism that surrounded his appointment back in January 2018.
This type of appt wouldn’t have been possible 12 months ago. We are moving in the right direction.
— Paul Buttery (@PaulButtery2) January 8, 2018
Dissappointed MW wasnt able to move forward with us for one reason or another but this a fantastic appointment – really looking forward to the rest of the season esp after yesterday’s perf & result. ???? U Reeeds!
— Republic of Forest (@Ireland_2012) January 8, 2018
Very happy with that. All the best @Karanka You Reds!!!!!!
— Andy Hose (@ahosey31) January 8, 2018
Welcome to our club @Karanka and all the very best ????⚪️????
— Ed 034 ???????? (@dingdinghopkin) January 8, 2018
Solid appointment. Will have defence organised and with the attacking talent already at his disposal has all the tools to deliver the dream ticket. Good luck, Karanka. ???? #NFFC
— Dave⭐️⭐️ (@dj_zotov) January 8, 2018
As you can see, it was an extremely popular decision and that was totally understandable.
The former Real Madrid coach had proven himself at this level with Middlesbrough, where he transformed the club and delivered Premier League football.
As well as that, he appeared to have a clear style of play. Boro were very well organised and tactically well set-up, but they importantly had certain individuals who were given freedom to make a difference in the final third.
Obviously, arriving mid-season is never ideal and in truth it was all about planning for the current season for Karanka.
Despite that, the new boss was extremely active in the January window and a lot of new faces arrived.
And, it was a similar story in the summer, with Karanka bringing in a remarkable number of players that left him with a very bloated squad.
That was arguably his downfall, with so many players meaning Forest lacked a consistency and understanding on the pitch – as his successful Boro side had.
Ultimately, Karanka’s sacking was not well-received by fans and you can see why, but it’s also fair to say the optimism from his appointment didn’t come to fruition.