Proven Premier League manager rejects Nottingham Forest as Steve Cooper sack fears grow

Ben Stewart
Burnley manager Sean Dyche shakes hands with Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

Steve Cooper is under huge pressure at Nottingham Forest as the club are understood to be actively looking for his replacement.

Forest currently find themselves rooted to the bottom of the Premier League with just four points from their opening eight matches. Cooper’s side made over 20 signings in the summer transfer window, but so far he has struggled to gel them together.

Monday night’s 4-0 loss against Leicester could well have proven to be the final straw for Cooper.

His side have conceded 21 goals already this season and have lost their last five matches. Given how much money was spent in the summer, the pressure has always been on him.

Cooper guided Forest to promotion after he had taken over the club whilst they were in the relegation zone.

The Welsh manager has an exemplary record in the Championship and wouldn’t be short of offers if Forest do decide to sack him. Perhaps the challenge of the Premier League is too much for him at this stage though.

Forest are understood to be actively looking for alternatives to Cooper with the current state of the club.

Rafa Benitez distances himself from job

One name that had been taken into consideration for Nottingham Forest was former Liverpool and Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez.

The Spanish manager has been out of work since he parted company with Everton in January this year.

A report from AS has claimed that the job doesn’t interest Rafa Benitez as things stand.

The report claims that Forest have ‘sounded out’ Benitez, but he has ‘let it pass’.

Given how Forest have started the season, it’s easy to see why they would target a manager like Benitez.

While things did go wrong for him at Everton, his track record in the Premier League cannot be ignored.

Benitez guided Newcastle to 10th and 13th in his final two seasons at the club, despite the small budget he was working with.

The former Liverpool manager has quite the wealth of experience and could have proven to be a sensible appointment.

Sean Dyche has been another name who has been linked with the Forest job.

The former Burnley manager has been patiently waiting for the right opportunity and the job at the City Ground could tempt him. Dyche did a stellar job at Turf Moor and almost definitely will be considered for the job.

Forest are in desperate need of a manager who will sure them up at the back. This season they have faced an average of 17 shots per game, which is the most in the league.

Dean Henderson has faced 49 shots in total, which is more than any other Premier League goalkeeper.

There is talent in this Forest squad

Despite their poor start to the season, their is no doubt an abundance of talent within this Forest side.

The problem that has faced Cooper this year has been finding his best 11 and making everyone gel together.

So far this season Forest have used a total of 25 players, which is the most in the Premier League. Cooper has struggled to find consistency when picking his side and these problems would also face the new manager.

Forest’s biggest and most expensive signing was Morgan Gibbs-White for a club-record transfer fee.

The former Wolves man has one assist to his name in a Forest shirt so far, but has otherwise struggled to get going.

Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis were each signed to add more firepower into the side. Awoniyi was signed off the back of an excellent season with Union Berlin where he scored 15 Bundesliga goals.

The Nigerian forward has been one of Forest’s better players so far and has scored two goals in his first eight appearances.

Dennis was a useful player for Watford last season as he ended the season with 10 goals and six assists. The 24-year-old has had to be patient this season though as all five of his appearances have been as a substitute.

Perhaps their most high-profile signing was Jesse Lingard though and his experience will be vital for the group.

If they manage to sure things up at the back, there is definitely enough attacking talent to beat the drop this season.

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