By Harry Corish
Cardiff City have appointed former Nottingham Forest manager Sabri Lamouchi as their new head coach.
The deal also means a welcome return for Bluebirds folk hero Sol Bamba who has also been announced as the First team coach, joining up with his former coach and returning to Cardiff just two years after leaving the capital side for Middlesbrough.
Cardiff had been without a permanent appointment since the sacking of Mark Hudsen after just four months in charge, but have announced Lamouchi before they head to Luton Town on Tuesday.
The 51-year-old will take up the reins of the club who currently sit 21st in the Championship, just three points away from the relegation zone and are without a win in eleven games in all competitions.
On the new appointments Vincent Tan said: “I’d like to welcome Sabri to Cardiff City and offer him my full support. His appointment has come about following a period of serious consideration and reflection as to what is the best for our Club.
“I’m confident that Sabri will be able to deliver what we know this squad is capable of achieving and I look forward to the games that we have ahead of us.
“I’d also like to welcome back Sol to Sabri’s coaching staff, a sentiment I know that you will share. I want to thank Dean, Tom and Graham for their commitment and diligence during the interim period and am pleased that they will be part of our plans going forward.”
— Cardiff City FC (@CardiffCityFC) January 27, 2023
Lamouchi has plenty of experience in the hot seat, having started his managerial career with the Ivory Coast national team before gaining experience in Ligue 1 in France and in the Championship.
He led an Ivory Coast team which boasted the likes of Bamba, Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba and former Swansea city striker Wilfried Bony to a quarter final in the Africa Cup of Nations and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Les Elephants won one game from three in the World Cup Group stage but were knocked out of the tournament by Greece, leading to Lamouchi’s resignation.
The Frenchman then took over at Qatari side El Jaish SC before helping Rennes to a 5th place finish in Ligue 1 and an impressive run in the Europa League.
The former French international then took charge of Nottingham Forest in the Championship.
After enjoying a strong start of the season Forest spent much of the season in the Championship Play-Off positions.
But his team missed out on the final day of the season, finishing seventh after a 4-1 loss against Stoke.
This allowed current Forest manager Steve Cooper’s Swansea side to seal the final Play-Off spot, following a six-goal swing.
Speaking to WalesOnline Sarah Clapson, Nottingham Forest correspondent at the NottinghamshireLive said: “Overall, I think (Sabri) Lamouchi did a great job at Nottingham Forest,”
“He really started to get fans falling back in love with the club a bit.
“The way he spoke in press conferences, he was so passionate about the job. You could tell he loved being at the club and working with the players.
“The way he spoke about them, saying things like he loved them like his own children.
“I think fans just loved the way he came across. He was a really good talker. Really good to listen to, and it clearly made a massive difference.
An experienced manager and, in my few dealings with him when at Forest, a straightforward and interesting guy.
Bringing back Sol as assistant is a terrific move.
I assume #CardiffCity #bluebird fans you’re happy campers today? https://t.co/ok3LybZK62
— Laurence Mora (@Mora_sport) January 27, 2023
“He just got what it was like to be at Forest and the stature of the club.”
Clapson added: “The football wasn’t always great to watch, and a lot of the time, Forest were lucky with some of the results they got,”
“Forest were very much a counter-attacking team under him.
“So, it wasn’t easy on the eye, but they knew how to play to their strengths. They found a way to make it work and it ended up taking them up the league.
“It was quite defensive at times, but when they did play it forward they could put together some wonderful moves.