Psycho returns: Stuart Pearce takes over at Nottingham Forest
The City Ground legend is to become manager at the end of the season... but is it wise?
EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this article was published Nottingham Forest have confirmed that Stuart Pearce will take over at the end of the season. Club owner Fawaz Al Hasawi tweeted: "I am absolutely thrilled to confirm Stuart Pearce will become our manager on 1 July. Welcome home."
IN HIS playing days he was known as 'Psycho' but is it Nottingham Forest who have taken leave of their senses by appointing Stuart Pearce as their new manager? According to reports in Thursday's papers the 51-year-old former England defender, who played over 400 times for Forest during his career, will take over as City Ground boss at the end of the season.
Pearce used an interview with Talksport on Wednesday to admit it was "very likely" he will accept the position, adding that he was due to sit down with the Forest board with a decision expected some time on Thursday. The Guardian says that Pearce was initially approached last week about the vacant position but declined, "citing family reasons". However, he has now apparently done an about turn and is set to take charge of the Championship club at the end of the 2013-14 campaign.
Forest sacked Billy Davies last month after a slump in form, which culminated in a 5-0 defeat to local rivals Derby, saw the Midlands club's chances of winning promotion to the Premier League take a hit. They currently lie seventh, just outside the play-off places, and trail sixth-place Reading by two points.
The combative Pearce spent the bulk of his playing career with Forest, helping them to successive League Cup triumphs in 1989 and 1990. He is a cult figure at the City ground and his affection for the club also remains, as he told Talksport on Wednesday. "Forest have always been well supported whatever league they've been in, there's a rich history there," explained Pearce. "It's a great club and one that's very close to my heart."
Forest was also the club where Pearce began his managerial career. He was in charge for a short spell after Frank Clark's departure, but his reign ended with relegation in May 1997 after six months. Pearce later admitted that the first XI he chose as a Forest boss did not contain a goalkeeper, something that was pointed out to him by his wife.
Since Pearce's exit, Forest have worked their way through 17 more managers with none lasting longer than two and a half years.
Pearce has hardly covered himself in glory either in that time. Sacked by Manchester City in 2007 after the Sky Blues finished 14th in the Premier League, Pearce was appointed coach of the England Under-21 side the same year. His tenure ended in dismal failure when the junior Three Lions failed to win a group match in the 2013 Under-21 European Championships.
Pearce also coached the Great Britain squad at the 2012 Olympics, where they lost on penalties to South Korea in the quarter-finals, and he also took charge of the senior England side for one international in between the resignation of Fabio Capello and the appointment of Roy Hodgson. England lost.
Good luck, Forest.