Following the premature departure of Aitor Karanka from Nottingham Forest on Friday, I will reserve my judgment of the whole episode until the end of May.
It’s been blatantly obvious that something wasn’t quite right at the City Ground for several weeks now, but with no clear statement from the football club, overtime a plenty was on offer at the rumour mill.
If I learned anything since I began writing these columns, without factual information you literally have nothing when all’s said and done.
So, you could understand my frustration when I witnessed slowly moving conveyor belt of speculative reports from various media outlets, all of which failed to provide a source for their exclusive.
However, if were honest with ourselves, we have to say that those exclusives vindicated all who reported upon the saga, exposing the fire behind that smoke. Many have alluded to the fact that Aitor karanka was forced out due to a media witch hunt, but I don’t believe that for a second. Why? Evangelos Marinakis didn’t get to where he is today, be it entrepreneurially or in the footballing world, by making executive decisions based on media reports.
As expected, there was a furious reaction to Karanka’s departure on social media, with the majority venting their anger directly at the club.
The ferocity and venom of which I’d not seen since the darkest days of the Fawaz Al-Hasawi regime.
Some even compared the current establishment to that of the Kuwaiti’s.
I fully understand the dejection felt by the Forest fans but the Fawaz shouts were a little misguided in my view, most likely knee jerk, spur of the moment emotions. One thing that was crystal clear was the overwhelming support and empathy for Mr Karanka.
A man who’d improved the team’s fortunes on the field of play and who was just four points behind his old club Middlesbrough in the Championship table.
Was that progress enough given the time and money he’d spent during his 368 days at the helm of Nottingham Forest?
For most Reds supporters it was but for the owner it would seem not. My personal take is that 14 wins in 45 league matches hadn’t filled Marinakis with enough confidence.
However, it’s slightly unfair to include last season’s results given the rhetoric and personnel at the gaffer’s disposal.
Was there a clear directive to have been in the play offs by January 1st, 2019? Once again, we can only speculate, which is a highly dangerous thing to do.
Here’s where it becomes very nebulous, because at this moment in time we simply don’t have all the facts from which to comment upon.
I really hope the club will make a statement within the next couple of days if not just for transparency.
I think the supporters at least deserve to know exactly why Nottingham Forest and their manager parted company.
Most, like myself have read John Percy’s article and perused upon subjects such as Arvin Apppiah’s game time and the issues with Giannis Vrentzos and Kyriakos Dourekas. But I’d prefer to hear that from the club if possible.
So, what is my take on the whole scenario? I will begin by saying that I really wanted Aitor Karanka to see out the season in Nottingham but refuse to comment in depth until the truth is unveiled. The whole situation could have been handled more professionally by Forest, and despite their previous good deeds, they’ve lost a little faith from the supporters.
However, the reality is as follows, Karanka is not coming back and we must deal with it and concentrate on the job in hand, promotion to the Premier League.
We are well placed to make such a dream into reality, especially with the right recruitment in the transfer window. In my humble opinion, the only man for the NFFC vacancy is Slavisa Jokanovic, who’s Fulham side were the most exiting and attractive in the Championship last season.
If the directive for the next manager is promotion by May of this year, Jokanovic is the only man capable of such gambits.
If you’re one of the many that denounced Evangelos Marinakis and Nottingham Forest may I offer you a little alternative?
Keep your powder dry, if his intention was to usher the manager out the door and appoint a successor to achieve promotion by May, then on his head be it.
It’s an almighty call to make and one that will offset even more pressure onto the new manager when appointed.
Step away from your keyboards and take a deep breath. Support the club and its new manager with all your heart. But, if the promise land is not in sight by Monday 27th May 2019, you’ll be well within your rights to vent your frustrations with no complaints from me.