Nottingham sack promotion and retention hero Cooper
Nottingham Forest have parted ways with manager Steve Cooper. Nuno Espirito Santo is expected to be the next head coach.
On Tuesday (July 20), Nottingham announced on their official website, “Cooper has been relieved of his duties as manager of Nottingham after more than two years in charge. He has played an integral part in the club’s return to the English Premier League (EPL), cementing his place in the club’s history.”
Cooper arrived at Nottingham during the 2021-2022 season and worked magic. He took over a team that was one point and six losses from the bottom of the English Championship (Division Two) and led them to a final four finish, beating Huddersfield Town in the promotion playoffs to earn the club’s first promotion to the EPL in 23 years.
Last season, they secured promotion under difficult circumstances. It wasn’t quite the storming takeover of Nottingham by owner Evangelos Marinakis, but it was enough to keep the promoted side in the EPL.
However, he was eventually sacked this season after a prolonged run of poor form. After a decent start with two wins and two defeats in their first four games, they struggled to bounce back with one win, five draws, and seven defeats in their next 13 games. Nottingham slumped to 17th in the league, and the club took the drastic step of sacking the manager.
Nuno Espirito Santo is the favorite to take over. Multiple local media outlets have reported that Nuno is Nottingham’s top priority and that negotiations have been ongoing since Cooper’s dismissal.
His recent performance has been questionable. While he led Wolverhampton Wanderers to a second division title and a UEFA Europa League spot in the EPL, he suffered the humiliation of being sacked after just 10 league games at Tottenham Hotspur.
Last season, he bounced back by winning the Saudi Super Cup and the Saudi Pro League at the Al Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, but this season he was forced to relinquish the reins as the club slipped to sixth place in the league amid a feud with summer signing Karim Benzema.
He’ll be a good fit for Nottingham. Cooper was sacked after failing to transplant a driven style of football to Nottingham. Nuno can play the kind of man-advantageous, counter-attacking football that Nottingham thrive on, sometimes even skipping the midfield.