This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Nottingham Forest are facing a crucial decision over the long-term future of manager Chris Hughton following a poor start to the campaign in the Championship.
The Reds managed to pick up their first point of the season at last in their 1-1 draw at rivals Derby County on Saturday. However, the Reds have now picked up just one point from their opening five league games and that is going to put some major pressure on Hughton.
According to the latest report from The Sun on Sunday (29/08/21, p61), former Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is ‘on standby’ to potentially takeover from Hughton should Forest decide to part company with their current boss.
It is believed that Wilder would be very keen to sit down with Nottingham Forest and become their next permanent manager should the vacancy open up.
So with Wilder potentially interested in the Forest job, we asked our FLW writers whether they feel it would be a wise decision to replace Hughton with him…
With his promotion-winning pedigree, this would be an exciting appointment for Nottingham Forest who have already got a very good, experienced manager in Chris Hughton at the City Ground.
One player he will already know from his Sheffield United days is Max Lowe, who would slot in seamlessly at left wing-back with Joe Worrall, Tobias Figueiredo and Scott McKenna in the middle.
It could also be an exciting opportunity for Jordan Gabriel who could have the chance to play on the right.
Joao Carvalho may also get a good chance under a new manager to shine, although it would be unclear what Wilder would do with Brennan Johnson and Philip Zinckernagel if he opts to start with no wingers. Would both be able to fit into his starting lineup if that’s the case?
And if you’re going with two up front, Lyle Taylor and Lewis Grabban will need more competition up top, so that’s an area he would have to address in January if Hughton is unable to purchase a forward before this window ends.
So he would probably be able to fit players into the system he had at Sheffield United, but you would certainly want to give an experienced man like Hughton one more block of games before the next international break after this one to make his mark.
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I’m not quite sure to be honest.
First and foremost, Wilder did a superb job at Sheffield United, guiding them to two promotions in three years and taking them from League One up to the Premier League.
It will be hard for him to top that, to be honest, and the affinity he had with the club is something which he has always had and it will be hard to replicate that elsewhere.
Wilder deployed a 3-5-2 system at United with wing-backs and overlapping centre-backs, and I’m not sure Forest have the players to play that formation.
They don’t have enough time to bring in loads of players, either, and if they made a change, I could see Dane Murphy going down a similar route to the one he took when finding Valerien Ismael.
No-one can doubt Wilder’s managerial acumen after what he did with Sheffield United to get them back to the Premier League – he’s a born winner.
I’m not particularly convinced though that Forest would be the right fit for him as I have doubts that he would have a good relationship with owner Evangelos Marinakis.
We all saw what happened towards the end of Wilder’s time at the Blades and how strained his relationship became with the United hierarchy, and Marinakis has history at Olympiakos in years gone by for dispensing of managers quite quickly.
One thing is for sure though, if Wilder was appointed he would be taking absolutely no prisoners and I believe he’d get a tune out of the current Forest squad very quickly, although they’re still lacking in depth on the pitch in some areas.
Forest do look like they have money to spend though in the final days of the window and if Forest’s poor form continues after the international break then Wilder could come in with some new talents to play with and it would be interesting to see how he could try and turn their fortunes around.