Nottingham Forest’s decision to stick with Steve Cooper has been completely vindicated by their ascent up the Premier League table in recent months.
Cooper’s newly-promoted side, back in the top flight for the first time in over 20 years, struggled in the early weeks of 2022-23.
Forest won just one and lost seven of their opening 11 fixtures, while they looked like relegation fodder in heavy defeats inflicted by Man City, Leicester and Arsenal. Home losses to Bournemouth and Fulham, who came up alongside Forest last season, didn’t help.
The poor form back in the autumn prompted many to speculate that Cooper was at risk of being sacked, despite masterminding their miraculous promotion from the Championship last term.
But amid widespread reports that Cooper was on the brink, Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis shocked us all by offering the manager a new deal. The 43-year-old put pen to paper on a contract on 2025 and has since delivered on the faith shown in his abilities.
“It is now important that our focus is solely on football,” read a club statement back in October.
“As a group we are all concentrated and will do everything we can to help the team move up the league table and once again demonstrate our qualities that led us to the Premier League.”
Giving the manager a new deal can be seen as the decisive moment in Forest’s Premier League campaign. They’re not safe just yet, but their record since Cooper signed the contract has been comfortably midtable – and miles off relegation form.
Building a cohesive team after the arrival of a small army worth of summer signings would’ve proved a difficult challenge for any coach, but slowly and surely Cooper has turned Forest into a decent, competitive Premier League outfit.
Since early October, Forest have taken 12 more points than Everton and nine more than Bournemouth and Southampton, all of whom have made the decision to change their manager this season.
In that timeframe, Forest have even picked up more points than Chelsea, who have spent – by a distance – more than any other side this season.
Here’s how the Premier League table stacks up since Cooper signed his new contract on October 7th.
Note: All teams have played 12 games unless otherwise specified.
1. Arsenal – 29 points, GD +17 (Played 11)
2. Newcastle – 28 points, GD +18
3. Man United – 27 points, GD +10 (Played 13)
4. Man City – 25 points, GD +25
5. Fulham – 20 points, GD +4 (Played 13)
6. Brentford – 20 points, GD +1
7. Aston Villa – 20 points, GD 0
8. Tottenham – 19 points, GD 0 (Played 13)
9. Liverpool – 19 points, GD 0
10. Crystal Palace – 18 points, GD -6 (Played 13)
11. Brighton – 17 points, GD +4
12. Nottingham Forest – 17 points, GD -4
13. Chelsea – 16 points, GD +1 (Played 13)
14. Leicester – 14 points, GD +1
15. West Ham – 11 points, GD -4
16. Wolves – 11 points, GD -12
17. Leeds – 9 points, GD -7
18. Bournemouth – 8 points, GD -10
19. Southampton – 8 points, GD -13
20. Everton – 5 points, GD -13
The article The PL table since Steve Cooper signed his new deal with Nottingham Forest appeared first on Planetfootball.com.