Nottingham Forest opinion: Sabri Lamouchi should become a fan favourite
O’Neill guided Forest to a ninth-place finish in the Championship this past season after taking over the reins from former manager Aitor Karanka back in January but that didn’t stop club owner Evangelos Marinakis from pulling the trigger on the former 2-time European Cup winner.
The Independent claims that there was discontent in the dressing room due to O’Neill’s training methods and the Forest hierarchy, very much aware of the consequences of such issues escalating and hampering their ambitions in the upcoming campaign, decided to bring about a change at the helm of affairs during the pre-season period.
As a matter of fact, the club named Sabri Lamouchi as O’Neill’s successor just 18 minutes after sacking him, which is another reminder of the fact that neither Forest nor their owner Marinakis is particularly known for their patience.
The 47-year-old becomes Forest’s 8th new manager since Dougie Freedman left the club back in March 2016. Despite spending a fortune last summer, Forest weren’t able to challenge for a promotion playoff spot under the likes of Karanka and O’Neill.
However, the hierarchy has once again demonstrated their ambitions ahead of the upcoming campaign by appointing yet another new manager in Lamouchi, who was previously in charge of French Ligue 1 side Rennes.
Who is Sabri Lamouchi?
Born in Lyon, France, to parents of Tunisian heritage, Lamouchi enjoyed a successful playing career with various clubs across Europe.
He rose to prominence with French club Ales before carving out a big reputation for himself at Auxerre, winning the Ligue 1 title and the Coupe de France in the 1995-96 season.
Lamouchi’s success led to his stocks soaring high and the midfielder earned a move to Monaco, where he won his second Ligue 1 title in the 1999-2000 season.
He was snapped up by Parma back in 2000 and after three successful seasons over there, the Frenchman was snapped up by Serie A giants Inter Milan.
His time at the San Siro didn’t prove to be particularly productive, however, with Lamouchi struggling for regular minutes and subsequently spending time on loan at Genoa.
He returned back to his homeland for a single season with Marseille before moving out to the cash-rich Qatar Stars League, featuring for the likes of Al-Rayyan and Umm-Salal before eventually hanging up his boots at Al-Kharitiyath back in 2009-10. Lamouchi also earned 12 caps for France at the senior international level.
Lamouchi’s transition from a player to a manager came on the international front with Ivory Coast. He guided the Les Elephants to qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil but resigned from the post after the team failed to make it past the group stages.
The 47-year-old had a successful stint at El Jaish in the Qatar Stars League before returning to his homeland to manage Ligue 1 outfit Rennes.
It was at Rennes that he earned a lot of plaudits for his managerial acumen, taking charge in November 2017 when the club was struggling at the wrong end of the table and guiding them to European qualification in a matter of just a few months.
Lamouchi was sacked by Rennes back in December 2018 following a series of lacklustre results but Forest have offered him an escape route to resurrect his managerial career.
Lamouchi’s managerial style
A modern-day manager noted for his dynamic and pragmatic approach to the game, Lamouchi excels with his tactical flexibility and man management skills.
During his time at Rennes, the 47-year-old earned rave reviews from fans and pundits alike for his attractive and attacking brand of football, which often involved the use of technically-gifted players to play the ball out from the back.
He is a manager who believes in perseverance and demands a lot from his players, not only in the games but also in the training ground. Lamouchi knows how to extract the best out of the youngsters at the club, whilst also being shrewd and measured in his approach in the transfer market.
What would he bring to Forest?
It remains to be seen what kind of approach Forest adopt in the transfer window this summer following the appointment of Lamouchi, although it is still unclear how the new manager evaluates his current squad.
The 47-year-old is still very much in the early days of his managerial career but his never-say-die attitude and attractive brand of football might as well endear him to the hearts of the fans at the City Ground if things start to click for him next season.
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We all know how unforgiving a league the Championship can be but Lamouchi can surely bring about a lot of excitement amongst the fans at the City Ground next season, although it remains to be seen as to how long he takes to get to grips with his new surroundings.