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Martin O'Neill as Forest manager?

It's highly unlikely but what if Martin O'Neill were to take the manager's job at Forest?

Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Appearing on Notts TV's 'The Boot Room', hosted at The Southbank Bar just a hop, skip and a jump away from the City Ground, John Robertson urged the current owner of Nottingham Forest - Fawaz Al-Hawasi - to give his old mate a call:

(Martin coming to Forest) was spoken about a few times but the timing was never quite right but you know, the owner of the club should ask him to manage them. I'm serious. He should get on the phone to him and try. Like me he loves that club, I know that for a fact.

If he (Al Hasawi) is serious about making Forest great again he should be getting in touch with Martin O'Neill and offering it to him....You never know.

For many, this is the dream team ticket to take the club back to the big time. O'Neill has a proven track record as a manager thanks to his achievements with Wycombe Wanderers, Leicester City, Glasgow Celtic, Aston Villa and - albeit to a lesser degree - Sunderland. He knows the club well and as Robertson points out, loves the club.

So what could possibly go wrong?

Each and every single appointment of a football manager is a risk. There are no sure-fire home runs out there. What might seem to be a perfectly made bed with meticulously crisp ironed lines can so easily turn to a Turner Prize nominated piece of art conceived by Tracey Emin. Besides, the manner in which the club has churned through an alarming manner of managers in recent years leaves little to suggest that it would be able to pick one out from an identity parade consisting of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Eddie Howe and Mauricio Pochettino. Indeed, one fears the club might peer at such a parade suspiciously, poking each candidate and prodding them until finally deciding that the guy who works down the chip shop might be a decent bet since he serves a mean battered fish.

Another hurdle to contend with here is that O'Neill has his hands full at the moment in preparing Ireland for Euro2016. By the time Ireland have somehow squeezed through their group owing to a combination of dogged tenacity, another poor Swedish showing at a major competition and an implosion of another golden generation - this time in the form of the Belgians - before bowing out to Austria in the quarter finals, O'Neill will be looking forward to the task of plotting a way to the 2018 World Cup.

All of which sounds a tad more exciting than slugging it out with Preston and Burton Albion twice a year whilst repeatedly coaching Dexter Blackstock about the offside rule and how to avoid falling foul of it.

So, it's not going to happen really, is it?

But in a world in which Neil Lennon, Billy Davies and Ivan Vukomanovic have all made solid appearances on various bookies' lists and a world in which the current owner gave a job to Alex McLeish, all bets are off. Anything is possible.

Such an appointment would not be without its problems. Martin O'Neill has a history of spending the chairman's money and consequently, falling out with the chairman. Despite leading Norwich City to strong contention for promotion in 1995, O'Neill resigned in December due to a falling out with chairman Robert Chase. This may or may not have been related to a desire to buy Dean Windass to boost the Canaries' promotion chances.

His work at Villa was remarkable, especially given how the Villans have spectacularly fallen from grace since his departure. After an 11th place finish in his first season in charge, O'Neill was warming to his theme and guided Villa to consecutive top 6 finishes in 2007-08 and 2008-09. What the Villa faithful wouldn't give for even a sniff at such a placing now.

At Villa, he brought in Ashley Young and James Milner and even made Stewart Downing look like a player on occasions. But those 6th place finishes weren't without a cost. He signed players like they were going out of fashion and seemed to swiftly change his opinion on them anyway - step forward Steve Sidwell, Curtis Davies and Nicky Shorey. With seemingly free access to the club's coffers before Randy Lerner found the key, the wage bill at Villa climbed to £71m, accounting for 85% of the club's turnover. Little wonder that Villa's recruitment policy since then has been significantly reined in.

But maybe that's the price to pay these days for gatecrashing the top six for a couple of seasons.

It's a worrying thought though. Either Fawaz would allow O'Neill unlimited access to the chequebook in a drunken, late night 'the taxi's on its way so what the hell, all in' gesture or Fawaz would leave an unopened copy of the club's latest accounts on O'Neill's desk with a map to the Nigel Doughty Academy or a list of players Fawaz would very much like to bring in.

The former scenario outlined above is frightening - exciting as heck but deeply frightening. The latter scenario has all the hallmarks of a band breaking up due to 'musical differences'. That's not to say that O'Neill is not capable of building a team from scratch with youth, verve and vim but just that one wonders whether this type of challenge is one that O'Neill fancies at this stage of his career.

Ever since Brian Clough retired in 1993, O'Neill has been linked to the post whenever it has been available (which it has done with disquieting frequency). For one reason or another though, it hasn't happened. It seems that this particular Martin O'Neill boat has sailed, leaving us to wonder what might have been.

In the meantime, we'll sit and scratch our heads in unison at each and every name that is linked to the post, all the while harbouring a suspicion that it doesn't really matter who is given the gig since until the club is run with a coherent structure from top to bottom, the guy in the hot seat is on a hiding to nothing anyway.