What next for Billy?
One of the first headlines in the Nottingham Post, following Forest’s hilarious Yeovil-esque play-off debacle, was that Davies was “thinking over his future”. Davies has been saying all season that Forest aren’t ready to go up and what a fantastic season they’ve had regardless. Davies has one of the best squads in the division at one of the bigger clubs and his chairman has promised to bring players in during the summer. So what’s his problem? For saying Davies has two years left on his contract, he is sounding remarkably like a mercenary footballer – the Pascal Chimbonda of management.
One point to note is that since he started his management career in 1998, Billy Davies has always been the underdog: at Motherwell, Preston, Derby who had just survived relegation and then just been promoted; and at Forest who like Derby had narrowly avoided relegation. Unlike Derby, after a late season slide, Forest failed to clinch promotion so will start next season as promotion favourites. No longer the underdog for the first time.
But what are his options? There aren’t any better jobs in the Championship and its unlikely that a Premier League club would gamble on him given his Premier League pedigree. Davies often proudly points to his play-off record; but his record shows that he has ultimately failed on the big occasion every time with one exception (Derby in 2007). Not ideal when every match in the Premier League is a big occasion. The Celtic job has been mentioned (I can just imagine – “Rangers finished six points clear last season, if we can cut that to five it will be a massive achievement”) and seems the only remote possibility. It will be interesting to see the time lag between Celtic announcing a new man and Billy committing to Forest. Other than that, there’s always a job at FC Twente…