There are accusations flying on the Vital Forest forum that both Ian Breckin and Smoulderwood were involved with at least verbal altercations with supporters during or just after the game against Blackpool last night. Hearing some of the fans around me, I can understand the compulsion – with plenty of ill-informed vitriol flying pitchward from all directions – I can certainly understand the rage, but some people really do need to have a think before they open their mouths.
But even considering the provocation from supporters, if it’s true that fans were told to ‘fuck off’ or were gestured at with the ‘wanker sign’ – even if you or I would think it is warranted – it does seem rather symptomatic of the kind of ‘team spirit’ we exhibited under our last full time manager – and does rather go against the grain of ‘the solidity of the group’ that Smoulderwood often refers to during interviews.
There’s no excuse for it really – I wouldn’t join the clamour of reactionists (including, if you click the link above, the apparent recipient of some of this abuse – who hardly aquits himself when he’s had time to sit and type his thoughts) who want to see Breckin hounded out of his captaincy, or even his contract – to be honest, I’ve felt like calling some of our so-called supporters wankers on more than one occasion – but after putting in a disappointing performance – the players and manager should really be ready to deal with the inevitable abuse that will follow.
Breckin is an interesting character really – because nobody really seems to have taken to him. He’s mostly solid if unspectacular at the back – opting for long clearances or into touch more often than not. Yesterday, and against Northampton, I thought he’d been more ready to look up and play a pass across the back or up the line – but I fear that once again the prejudice of some fans kicks in, so now he’s “shit” and “useless”. Please, some people need a healthy dose of realism.
As for stripping him of his captaincy, who would you give the armband to? Working my way from the back, Curtis is hardly vocal, Wes and Jules are too inexperienced, Prutton isn’t even a Forest player (hopefully he will be), but stands out as a potential future captain. Gary Holt – ha, I bet that would go down well with the boo-boys, Perchy is too young, Tyson, Agogo, Grant Holt? No, not really. Sammy Clingan? Maybe, but he can’t even get on the pitch, Jack Lester? He has a bit of passion, that’s for sure – but his discipline isn’t great. Paul Smith? I don’t think he’s vocal enough just for a goalkeeper yet, let alone a captain.
Whilst Breckin is most certainly not the greatest captain we’ve ever had – is there any alternative?