'Now then, now then'

by Daniel Widdowson

Whilst at the Forest – Watford match on Saturday a thought crossed my mind. One of sheer brilliance, decisiveness, quality and an element of ‘fantasmability’. Managers, especially ones at Nottingham Forest, should not be allowed to wear track-suits.

Personally, I believe that managers look far better marching around their technical area and leading their team from the supportive and authoritarian force that comes with a suit, preferably black. Whether a tie is worn or the colour of the shirt is not really an issue, however club colours and a white shirt always screams success in my face. Billy Davies, at Forest, became synonymous with the black suit, white shirt and a red tie. Sat at the top of the upper Trent end you would see the wee fellow stride off the bench and across the end of the technical area to the end of the pitch, knowing that when he got there someone was in for the proverbial bollocking. This was emphasised further when he began watching the first half of matches in the directors’ box, only to join his army of assistants and coaches in the technical area for the second half. However, on occasions, when things weren’t going how he wanted or planned, he would come storming out of the tunnel and balance precariously close to the edge of his area hurling directions, or abuse, at the culprits involved. The suit gave him authority.

Okay it is questionable as to how much power the suit actually gives a manager. But contrast it to the clown we have in charge at the current time. Standing there, looking rather clueless, in a track suit that wouldn’t look out of place on a chavy teenager ‘hanging out’ on the swings of the local estate. It’s not a good look for a manager, or the club. When it’s coupled with a manager who seems unable to show any passion or motivation to the club, then it serves to make the situation look even worse. In fact I wonder if I’ve ever seen Cotterill ‘stride’ anywhere at Forest.

As with the idea some managers have for coloured boots, gloves and such like I have no problem with managers wearing their track-suits… if they’ve proved themselves. Tony Pulis, for example, would look rather daft dancing around his technical area in a suit. Brian Clough rarely wore a suit but his results, honours and the respect players had for him shone through. The message here is simple, if you want to be a successful manager then man up and suit up. Save the track-suits for the training grounds and Jimmy Saville tribute acts.