Down, down.. deeper and down..

Middlesbrough – 2
Nottingham Forest – 1

It’s sad to have to say this – but Steve Cotterill is clearly not capable, even by deploying his hideous brand of percentages football, of turning this around.  I would be delighted, come the end of the season, to have been proven wrong on this assertion, absolutely thrilled.  The final straw was getting to hear his post match comments this morning: “If we’d kept a clean sheet we would have won” – words defy me.

Straight out of the school of “If that had gone in it would’ve been a goal!” – as it is, we lost, other results conspired against us leaving us in a worse position with our next opponents, Coventry, managing to over-take us in the process.  Of course, with a points deduction looming Portsmouth too will be dragged into the mire having made steps to improve their position after – funnily enough – the departure of Steve Cotterill.

Anything less than a win on Saturday and we are staring down the barrel at League One, and we can only hope that the ridiculous length of contract handed to Cotterill was dependent on avoiding relegation – because, and it pains me to say it, it would be difficult to justify renewing a season ticket knowing that he was our manager next season.  Even if we were to buck the recent trend and avoid relegation.

So, perhaps with reasonable justification (aside from continuing to field Chambers and playing Gunts on the wing, of course), the man many are now referring to as ‘the Crucifier’ fielded the same team that did play with some merit against Watford last Saturday:

Camp
Wootton   Chambers    Higginbotham    Elokobi
Gunter    Moussi    Guerdioura   McCleary
Miller    Harewood

The first half an hour or so was, well, a pretty tame encounter.  The home side probably had the lion’s share of possession but were restricted to off-target efforts from range courtesy of Emnes and Jutkiewicz.  Similarly Forest, on a rare forward foray, saw McCleary fire over from the edge of the area having played a one-two with Marlon Harewood.

After this period of cautious exchanges the game did open up somewhat, largely due to the inability of both sides to keep possession.  Miller had an opportunity after carrying the ball forward some distance but missed the target from outside the box.  Miller was again the spurner of chances when he could only head a cross from Elokobi straight at Steele.  On the counter the home side saw Emnes blast well over from 25 yards.

Middlesbrough broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time – a corner wasn’t cleared properly, and the ball ended up with Emnes outside the area, he brought the ball into the area and struck goalwards – a deflection off Moussi making sure the ball went in and send Forest in to the no-doubt inspiring half-time team talk from Cotterill a goal down.  It was reported on Radio Teeside from their pitchside reporter that Steve Cotterill had been yelling at Chambers for passing the ball on the deck and not hoofing it into the corners.  Oh dear.

Injury to Miller forced one change, and he elected to withdraw the other striker too – and replace them with… Joel Lynch and Robbie Findley.  That’s right, the second half commenced with us a goal down, but fielding six defenders, three midfielders and one striker.  The communication of how this groundbreaking formation didn’t apparently make it on to the pitch because the half-empty Riverside Stadium was ‘too noisy’ (again, according to his post-match interview).

So, less than a minute into the second half with Forest all over the place the former Coventry striker Jutkiewicz did his old club Coventry a massive favour – turning Chambers on the edge of the area and putting a low drive past Lee Camp to double the home side’s lead.  It was looking like becoming a drubbing at this point – Rhys Williams ought to have done better when heading over from a corner, and Jutkiewicz putting one over from range.

I’m ashamed to say myself and a few others had considered a few more Boro goals might hasten the departure of Cotterill and be a price worth paying, since we were (and so it came to pass) going to lose anyway.  The Crucifier showed he had observed something from recent games and introduced Andy Reid for Wootton, giving him half an hour to make a difference – he immediately did.  A foul on Gunter gave us a freekick which Reid crossed in for Lynch (another player who I think merits more game time) flicked a header in.

Forest did look livelier – and when Kevin Thomson picked up two bookings in rapid succession it looked like an unlikely lifeline was being handed to us.  Guedioura came closest for us – smashing an excellent effort from 30 yards which struck the bar and didn’t quite cross the line.  The rest of the game saw lots of territory and possession but that old lack of creativity or ruthlessness infront of goal meaning the home side could hold on to their win.

If Mark Arthur or Frank Clark are reading – please rid us of this awful team selector, awful substitute maker, awful tactician and awful motivator.  I will concede some of his signings look useful – but you already have your next manager on the payroll.  Put Cotterill on gardening leave and give Sean O’Driscoll the reigns.  If you are reading Steve, do you honestly think you’re doing a good job?  Have the common decency to walk away.  You’re probably a lovely man, but by heavens you are a terrible football manager – and we’ve seen a few.

If his was really the best CV on offer of the forty or so reported applicants for the job, then surely we can sack him for fraud, or actually submitting his Football Manager 2012 achievements rather than his real life ones?  It is with reluctance, because I don’t like to promote dischord, that I have to agree with those that call for putting Cotterill on gardening leave.

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37 Responses

  1. And we used to call Calderwood clueless. This guy is totally inept.You are a braver man than me nffc I could not bring myself to listen to the buffoon this morning.

  2. I agree Mr Cotterill seems a nice fella, but Mr Doughty was a saint, and nobody would let him pick the team!
    SC will not walk away, he is taking us to his level, div 3, and i have said for months now that the hoofball tactics from campy belong in the dark ages, sadly the game is leaving us behind, and our biggest fan has gone to join Cloughie in football heaven. RIP to the pair of them, at least they are not watching this tripe any more.

  3. Nffc,

    I am a big believer in giving managers 3 years at least (I think Smoulderwood and Billy were both 2 1/2). You cannot turn a business around in any shorter a time frame, and the same applies for football as far as I am concerned. When was the last time we gave a manager a good stint?

    Although there is virtually zero positive signs coming out of the City Ground at present, and unfortunately I have to agree with you. The excuses are absolutely pathetic, the players must laugh when they read this rubbish.

    Although with the gardening leave idea, how would his return be facilated? I do not think he could ever come back, as he would lose so much face in the dressing room. Though the cost of sacking him end of season and staying up vs going down and having no players left. It is worth a punt!

    • Billy Davies had a decent spell in charge – 2 and a half years is sufficient i think. His problem was that he was always looking over his shoulder from day one.

      I think the point is that Cotterill has had what? 22 games in charge including cup games? and we’re not and haven’t been showing enough in the way of improvements – neither performance wise nor result wise.

      Billy Davies kept us up when we were struggling with a squad nowhere as near as good or experienced (on paper) nor as large.

      The annoying thing is that McClaren took so long to walk, if Cotterill had been in sooner then the powers that be might have been able to sack him. Now it just all seems too late in the day and we’ve just got to sit back and pray.

  4. Deary deary me in God’s name depart Mester Cock-up…….Frank you should hang your head in shame for even inviting him into the City Ground………for a cup of tea!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Here we go again….. Why does every decision take us further into a downward spiral. Is it me, or does it feel like nothing has gone right since that playoff game at Swansea???

    How do we get out of this, i really don’t know… will we even have a club after Nigel’s will is read today.
    It’s a sad and sorry state that our famous and beloved club is kept alive by one man. What happened to us…. and football?

    Sorry all, still struggling with our latest result (well, lack of it).

  6. Frank Clark please act now, I am sure the manger is a nice bloke but he is inept at his job and we will be relegated (if we arent already) if he is not replaced.
    Warnock would keep us in this division.

  7. Whatever ‘new spirit’ of tolerance that I tried to adopt after the recent sad events evaporated after half-time yesterday and yet more ridiculous Clueless Cotterill excuses!  There should be a book opened on those gems alone as it would provide comic material for even the most dour of individuals.  I genuinely expected him to say something like “the pitch was too small for 11 men” after the game following his previous “the pitch was too big for 10 men” pearler after the Southampton game.  Last nights ‘no shit Sherlock’ utterance was the final straw for me.  On selection, Reid has provided 5 of the last 9 goals for a team that can’t score and is kept on the bench!   Deploying a 5-3-1 and conceding immediately because no one understands how to play it!  

    The list is endless and for me he is out of time IMHO and has outstripped Megson in the Buffoon League by some margin; I’m more certain than nffc and will not renew my ST with him at the helm!  Frank Clarke has to take the blame for this and the ridiculous contract he is on.  We have the most profligate attack, the most porous defence, a buffoon as a manager, a Chairman with no power, no money, disenchanted players and a future that rests on a Will reading this morning. 

    FUBAR applies, tolerance levels are re-exhausted and I’m dreading Saturday!

  8. Please rid our club of this buffoon, he clearly has no idea what is needed at this time to help us stay in this division, he has to go!

  9. I doubt he’ll be pushed but he might jump.
    Surely he’ll be aware that his “best” c.v. which so impressed Frank :-) is going to look pretty crap with Forest relegated and the worst goal difference, the longest non-winning run etc etc ad nauseam . . . .
    By jumping, he can always claim to another gullible chairman that “the club didn’t back me” and “I wasn’t given long enough” etc etc ad nasueam.
    Well we can all dream.

    But yes NFFC and others – his post match excuses are just laughable.
    No doubt after we lose to Coventry it’ll be “WE weren’t good enough and IF my granny would’ve had balls she’d have been my grandad”.

    Then of course we’ll be way to Birmingham . . . .

  10. Can I make a suggestion NFFC?

    Why don’t you (or some other technically gifted individual that frequents this blog) create an on-line petition to be sent to Frank Clark requesting that Cotterill is sacked & the reasons why we believe this is necessary?

    A petition backed by a large number of Forest supporters might give weight and force Franks arm.

    I think enough damage to both the clubs welfare & reputation has been done via demonstrations, so this is not the option.
    Booing or singing “Cotterill Out” at a game will not help the players and will be put down as a small vocal minority or frustration at a result.

    And as much as I respect FC and what he has done for us as player & manager, as well as the improved communication from the club during his administration – I can’t believe he will, without pressure, actually sack a manager that he has employed – due to his previous role in the LMA.

    We can apply that pressure in a more democratic & civilised way that does not detract from our support for the club. The petition would need to be worded carefully so that it is taken seriously and could offer alternatives (but not just Billy Davies please! – as this would lose credibility)

    (I did try to do this myself, but my work PC blocked my access to such sites – so I’m relying on others to
    1. Agree that it’s a good idea.
    2. Set up the petition.)

    Anyway, just a thought …

    • Good idea Timmy, and I see somebody has picked up the baton.

      Personally I’ve only ever sought to be a spokesperson for myself, and don’t feel comfortable putting myself in a position where I might be perceived as some kind of fans representative.

      • Vote with your feet, should we not win on sat against Cov, then don’t go to the games, I been season ticket holder for 12 years and if we have no win on sat I’m not going to the next home game, sod them if they can’t see our club is dying then I won’t put any money into the club, I do feel however we get relegated we will go into administration.

  11. i might have said this before, but i’ll say it again. sacking billy davies was the biggest mistake ever. despite saving forest from relegation in one season, and turning them into promotion candidates in the next two, the board decided to sack him after just two play-off semi-final defeats. fine, maybe the relationship between him and the board was getting sour, but that doesn’t always mean they should sack him, considering his achievements with the team so far.

    he was a hard-worker and a very modest and experienced manager. replacing him with a fool like schteve mcclaren who had absolutely no championship experience and was hardly that impressive apart from winning the eredivisie with twente, was a bad idea, and bigger than that, was replacing him with a manager who has only been with mid-table clubs, ever since. he (cotterill) had never won promotion from the championship, and i don’t know if he has ever been in the promotion mix in this league ever.

    so, it’s all down to this. there are still 16/15 games left to play, and, the game against coventry should be like a cup final. win, and maybe give cotterill a chance. but lose or even draw, and i think it’s high time for a change. it’s now or never. i think the club management should be blamed for this. sacking billy davies was the turning point, not the play-off defeat to swansea. things have been going downhill ever since mcclaren came. it would be an absolute pity to see this once-famous club get relegated and not come back up the following season. if you asked me, i think rafa benitez or neil warnock could do a better job, or even mick mccarthy.

  12. I said a couple of months ago on this blog that we have the solution to our striking problems within our resources. We have a choice of seven ‘non-striking strikers’ but I am sure that if you played Lewis McGugan up front, and give him license to go where he likes and shoot from distance, he would score the goals that we are lacking. Leaving probably your best player out of the squad completely is tactical suicide.

    Last night was crying out for us playing 5 in midfield to dominate posession and frustrate Boro but instead we get 4-4-2 with Gunts again in right midfield, ahead of the likes of Reid, Majewski and Anderson.

    Baffling team selection to say the least!!!

  13. I think an online petition would be a brilliant idea..I can’t sleep at night at the moment and i’m contemplating more drastic measures. This guy is worse than Megson, this isn’t a bad team.. Frank Clarke is going down in my estimations every day this chap is kept on. I can’t bare to say his name, it makes me feel sick, he’s destroying what little we had left of a club…

    • I’m up for a petition also, I have no knowledge of these things so cannot offer my services but surely someone can???

  14. There may be 15 or so games to go but we have only got half a dozen points from the last 15 or so. Will another 5 points save us? Will 10?

    Each week Forest serve up so much hope and then the hopes are dashed.

    Every. Single. Time.

  15. […] the bottom Nottingham Forest show no signs of life. “It’s sad to have to say this – but Steve Cotterill is clearly not capable, even by de… writes the Forest blog Through The Seasons Before Us, following another defeat, this time to […]

  16. I am going to disagree for once. We are 48 hours prep time from Coventry – the 6 pointer that may well determine our future. I think we have passed the point we could have taken action to replace SC and be ready for Saturday. So we need to put the recent horror shows behind us and hope n pray that SODs genius rubs off on the squad.

    A win – particularly a win by more than one goal – would kick start confidence. We don’t have the most aggressive or determined squad so they will needs something to go right.

    So I am keeping my thoughts on the manager to myself. Although of anyone from nffc were reading the blogs I might say how well that polish chap and the bloke from Brighton can play, how the Northampton man could do with a rest, and as strike partnerships go one big guy to hold up the ball is often an effective approach ;-)

  17. […] the original post on Through the seasons before […]

  18. Huddersfield have just sacked Lee Clark. Get rid of Cotterill and he would be great for us.

  19. Yawn yawn seen it all before in fact this will be my fourth relegation as a true Forest fan what a fucking mess ………

  20. You’re absolutely right nffc. You could see why they hired McClaren, and you could even kind of see (sometimes) what McClaren was trying to do with the team. But with Cotterill: nobody I know could understand why they picked him, nobody was happy about it, and there’s surely nobody out there who can tell me what the f**k his vision is for the team. I’ve just about accepted relegation but the prospect of kicking off in League One with this chump in charge is possibly the most miserable thought of all in this season of endlessly deepening misery.

  21. Wow NFFC, all the time reading this blog I’ve never seen you come out with such a bold statement. To break your firm independent stance of accurate reporting to demanding action speaks volumes to the mess that is SC and I’ll doubt you could find another true red to argue with you!

    Why play a right back at RW, a right winger at left wing and leave the most creative winger at the club on the bench? FFS!

    I agree that protests and chants will only have negative effects on the team but a petition signed by 19,000 would force FC’s arm, where do I sign?

  22. That’s 3 hamstring strains for Ishmoney
    Miller in the space of 5 months.
    Did he pass a Medical?
    It’s driving me insane how forest cannot
    grind out a point as Bristol C & Millwall
    did on Tuesday.
    Nffc I don’t think we are staring league 1
    I’m the face, clearly we have 1 foot in the
    door & SC is dragging the other foot through
    the £^%#¥ door!!

  23. Most people seem to think that Gunter shouldn’t play on the right wing but I for one was impressed with his performance their for the first game that Cotterill was in charge, that we won, and since then I’ve been wondering whether he could be more effective on the wing.

    He runs forever and a day, he can defend and get forward – his crossing isn’t any worse than anyone else that we’ve got and if he’d banged in 2 of the 5 chances he had on Saturday then we’d all be saying it was a master stroke. I know that what I’ve just said falls under “Cotter-logic” i.e. the bloody obvious but Gunter being right wing isn’t costing us – I mean after all, that’s only his 3rd game in that position.

    I personally think its way too late to replace Cotterill and the bottom line is that with Pompy losing 10 points on Friday we could be out of the bottom three come five o’clock. The sad truth is that it’ll invariably go down to the last game and once portsmouth are down their it’ll be essentially a battle against them, donny, and coventry – and they are all playing as badly as us.

    In 2010 the league gave Portsmouth the power to sell outside the transfer window, with such a precedence in place and HMRC keen to recoup as much tax now as they’ve ever been from mis-managed clubs then i’d say its likely that they’ll lose some of their players and they’ll sink further down.

    In some ways I’m glad Miller is out of action since on Saturday he confirmed he does little to help our cause. Harewood is useless so lets get back to trying some of the others.

    Another “Cotter-logic” moment here maybe BUT, given we’ve so many strikers on the books then surely the issue of misfiring players is easier to manage than it is elsewhere – start two, sub for two others, start a different two, sub the different two for two others…. and so on. Kept the rest of the team consistent and chop and change up front.

  24. Billy inherited a team severly weaker than that which Cotterill has at his disposal & we shouldn’t be anwhere near the foot of the table. Your right NFFC we have to act now as Cotterill appears inept:- he repeatedly ignores Reidy & he clearly has a disdain for creativity hence Raddy/google’s absence. You have to incorporate creativity into any team & the fact he’s not prepared to do this going forward leaves me in despair when thinking of the future. Chambers repeatedly gets game yet he ignores our most impressive defender this season- Lynch. Taxi for Cotterill, JFH & Kelly!!!!!!!
    If we supporters/the hierachy sit on our collective hands we’ll be relegated. Only hope Billy/Warnock (never thought I’d say that…)in charge until end of season initially.

  25. Right this is a bit of a rant ! Sorry in advance for going on! As many have said why would you keep a manager in that could not do the job??
    I was excited at first as anything was going to be better than McLaren!! Now I just want Billy back. What he achieved in his 2 years is second only to Clough!!!!! Why are we persisting with Cotterill when he has nothing new to offer us??? I think Clarke made his mistake now has to stand by his decision even if he knows it’s transpired to be a bad appointment. These days are reminiscent of time under Megson. I hated watching my beloved Forest. I think league one beckons and this is to reduce the wage bill?!?!?
    It’s the only thing I can think?!? Why are we not playing any of the creative midfielders we posses? We have the likes of McGugan and Majewski up our sleeve and they are not getting the games??!? I just want to know why we don’t lose Derbyshire, Greening, Boatang and McGoldrick. There is not one of them that is proud to wear the shirt! Not one of them!
    I think in the summer we will also see the back of a few players, none of which is good news! Camp, Anderson, Gunter and Chambers along with McGugan and Majewski?!?!? Next I hear Victor Chandler might buy us?!? Is this just a rumour? I am sorry that Nigel Doughty died. RIP a true Forest fan! Keep up the great work NFFC!
    Rant over thanks!

    • I don’t think we can just lose Derbyshire, Miller, Greening, Boatang etc. All these players are under contract and would have to paid off. Just like Cotterill. They could be loaned out but I don’t see a big queue for them, do you? These players might not be doing anything but it would be just throwing more money down the drain. Hopefully they’ll go in the summer whether we’re relegated or not along with SC.

      Shit times… again… At least we’ll have Notts to play next season

  26. nffc …you have the history to read my postings ..when i said macloser was not good ..cotterillily was a mass mistake….theres only one billy davies !!! one billy davies !! and when you see him near to tears for our beloved club ….frank clarke your a fart !! wheres ur backbone ? dont be a yes man …rid out MARTHUR !! …billy is the only one for us now ..and you know it …………….KING BILLY IS OUR SAVIOUR ,,,,,MARTHUR AND ALL THE DRIBBLE OUT !!! VIVA FOREST !! ……………TIMES RUNNING OUT FRANK…DONT GIVE US EXCUSES ..GIVE US OUR LEADER BACK !!

  27. Ther has got to be a coterill out demonstration on saturday !
    At least Frank clark and Mark Arthur will see it,and have something to discuss.
    O Driscoll,I’m sure would at least give us a chance.
    I’m so disappointed in Frank clarks lack of activity regarding sacking arther and coterill !
    Time is FAST running out Frank !
    We are competing with Bristol City and Millwall to stay up ????????????? I can’t believe it !!!
    Please a big demonstration on saturday !
    All the headlines next day should be Axe ready to fall on coterill !! Come on !!!

  28. Sitting on the other side of the world counting my blessings that I don’t have to spend time energy and money to go and watch what is obviosly the death of what was not a bad team last season. i believe like some of the others that the hiring of both Steve’s has been a mistake the likes of which we have’nt seen since Platt.Megson knew tactics as his trick was to change formation every 5 minutes so keeping the opposition (and his team) guessing. this guy seems to have no clue and there is no logic to some of his selections and substitutions. Tudgay works hard Findlay has found the net this season and Miller when he is not sulking,falling over etc causes opposition problems. rady and McGugen must be outside waiting on the first bus that takes them away to play for teams that will appreciate a bit of guile craft etc and there are a few others who should have their fares given to them. Crisis to crisis seems to be all we can manage. Please Mr Cotterill if you have any self respect left if we don’t get a result against Coventry please do the decent thing and resign so someone who has a clue can at least have a go at saving us from relegation.

    League one gets closer every week not looking forward to that at all.

    Keep chipping away NFFC you never fail to impress me with your comments and reports.

  29. […] the bottom Nottingham Forest show no signs of life. “It’s sad to have to say this – but Steve Cotterill is clearly not capable, even by de… writes the Forest blog Through The Seasons Before Us, following another defeat, this time to […]

  30. A quote from Steve Cotterill in the Post
    today. ” WE HAVE A FEW GAMES TO GO
    SO LET’S NOT START TALKING
    RELEGATION JUST YET”.
    Well I think that just about sums up this
    Schmuck!

  31. […] li stiamo già pagando: Billy Davies e Sean O’Driscoll. Oltre a tutto, come dice il solito Nffcblog, se è vero che il suo era il migliore tra i quaranta CV mandati al Forest dopo l’esonero di […]

  32. We are being poorly managed to a huge degree. Just a little reminder about what was said by a certain Mr Arthur when we were looking for Mclaren’s successor:-
    “We are more determined than ever to have a proper structure at the club and a footballing culture that will stand us in good stead going forward, not just in the coming months but the long-term.”
    Cotter-i’ve had my fucking f-ill, has failed on every front there hasn’t he?
    I might soon change my name from utterly depressed red to suicidal red.

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