Sabri Lamouchi: Nottingham Forest appoint Frenchman 18 minutes after sacking Martin O'Neill

Sabri Lamouchi (left) and Martin O'Neill
Nottingham Forest announced Sabri Lamouchi's (left) appointment less than 20 minutes after revealing that Martin O'Neill had left

Nottingham Forest have sacked manager Martin O'Neill, and announced former France international Sabri Lamouchi as his replacement 18 minutes later.

O'Neill, 67, won two European Cups with Forest as a player and returned to the Championship side as boss in January.

The Reds were four points off the play-offs when O'Neill took charge but they finished ninth, eight points adrift.

Lamouchi, 47, has managed Ivory Coast and Rennes and is Forest's 13th full-time boss in just over eight years.

He was capped 12 times by France in a playing career that saw him feature for Monaco, Parma, Inter Milan and Marseille.

Forest have said that their new head coach will be "assisted by six new members of staff".

Forest's managerial merry-go-round timeline
13:21 BST - Forest confirm that O'Neill has left the club
13:39 BST - Lamouchi is confirmed as Forest's new head coach

O'Neill, who made 371 appearances for Nottingham Forest as a player, won eight of his 19 games in charge of the club after replacing Aitor Karanka.

The former Leicester City, Celtic and Aston Villa boss had spent almost six years out of club management prior to taking over at Forest.

Alongside assistant Roy Keane, who left the club last week, he guided Republic of Ireland to the last 16 of Euro 2016 before leaving in November 2018 after a poor Nations League campaign.

In a short two-sentence statement on the club website, Forest said they "would like to thank Martin for all his efforts during his time at the City Ground and wish him well for the future".

The East Midlands side, who have been outside the top flight since being relegated in 1999, start the new season with a home game against West Brom on Saturday, 3 August.

Nottingham Forest bosses since June 2011
Steve McClaren (June 2012 - October 2011)Dougie Freedman (February 2015 - March 2016)
Steve Cotterill (October 2011 - June 2012)Phillippe Montanier (June 2016 - January 2017)
Sean O'Driscoll (June 2012- December 2012)Mark Warburton (March 2017 - December 2017)
Alex McLeish (December 2012 - February 2013)Aitor Karanka (January 2018 - January 2019)
Billy Davies (February 2013 - March 2014)Martin O'Neill (January 2019 - June 2019)
Stuart Pearce (July 2014 - February 2015)Sabri Lamouchi (June 2019 - )

Another club legend departs

A Nottingham Forest legend, O'Neill was seemingly back at his spiritual home when he took over at the start of the year, with his appointment a popular one among many supporters.

However, much like the fate of former Reds skipper Stuart Pearce, another idol of the Trent End who lasted just 32 games in charge, he exits the club prematurely - before any tangible impact can be observed.

He first joined the Reds in 1971 and went on to play 371 games, winning league championship, League Cup and European Cup medals as part of Brian Clough's all-conquering side of the late 1970s.

O'Neill's understanding of the club ensured an immediate rapport with fans - despite mixed results - and this summer was expected to see the squad shaped in his mould. Instead, the departure of assistant Keane came out of the blue last week and has been swiftly followed by O'Neill's exit.

His greatest successes have come with former Forest team-mate John Robertson as assistant, but the old combination has been absent for his past three roles at Sunderland, the Republic of Ireland and now Forest, all of which have ended in disappointment.

'Players brought about O'Neill's departure'

Analysis - BBC Radio Nottingham sports editor and Reds correspondent Colin Fray

While many members of the club's fan base never took to O'Neill as manager, it seems it is influential players in the Forest dressing room who have ultimately brought about his departure, and it's not the first time that's happened at the City Ground.

Some players are understood to have been unhappy with some of O'Neill's methods, and the hierarchy have listened, ending the European Cup winner's tenure after just 19 games.

Sabri Lamouchi is owner Evangelos Marinakis's fourth permanent manager in the two years he's been in charge at the City Ground, and he seems to be a head coach more in the mould of Aitor Karanka, who was in the hotseat prior to O'Neill's appointment.

When Marinakis arrived in the summer of 2017, then manager, Mark Warburton, was promised he'd be given the "precious commodity of time" to help Forest back into the Premier League.

He was sacked on Boxing Day and replaced by Karanka. He lasted a year and was replaced by O'Neill, who's lasted just over five months.

The question Forest fans will now be asking is, will Lamouchi be the man to finally benefit from that precious commodity?

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