Dull Forest vs. Dull City..

http://www.nottinghamforest.co.uk/cms_images/player/billy-sharp-4340-346566_478x359.jpgNottingham Forest – 1
Hull City – 2

It’s not too often I disagree with Sean O’Driscoll vehemently even after a disappointing showing – but I do this afternoon.  Whilst this wasn’t the horrorshow of disjointedness and errors we saw at Portman Road, personally I didn’t think that this performance was good enough from Forest against dogged visitors.

Whilst it’s easy to say they had a penalty that should never have been given and handballed their only other decent chance into the net, the fact is we didn’t offer much either.  Our penalty is was definitely in the ‘soft’ category but perhaps a better claim than theirs, and aside from that I don’t think we brought a save from their goalkeeper.  That’s not good at home.

I don’t have the rabid frustration many feel at playing one up front at home if you have the right supporting cast in midfield, but I think it’s fair to say that we don’t really have that.  The side lined up looking a little something like this:

Camp
Hutton    Ward    Collins    Harding
Gillett
Coppinger    Guedioura    Cohen    Reid
Sharp

Of course in opening I’ve been somewhat uncharitable to Hull, who did go about us a bit – and whilst Camp only had one save to make of note in the first half we did see Ward clearing off the line from Evans prior to Meyler putting the rebound wide.  This was half an hour into the game though, it was definitely one to file under slow burner.

The opening goal came for the visitors, Meyler ran into the area with Gillett alongside – the Hull player shoulder-barged Gillett into the deck before taking to the ground himself, only to see the referee (and assistant, I think) give a penalty.  Flabbergasting and understandably the Forest players were absolutely incensed at the decision.

Robert Koren stepped up and coolly sent Lee Camp the wrong way with a very good finish.  Just before half time Billy Sharp capitalised on a bit of lax defending, nipping in front of Brady and going over under a smidgin of contact, going to ground in the box.  Soft, certainly – but at least there was actually contact by their player.

Amusingly the Hull fans didn’t seem to realise the kick had been given initially, only to revert to diving gestures which was rather ironic considering how they’d taken the lead!  Billy Sharp took the kick and bagged his fifth goal for Forest with a very good finish into the top corner to give Forest the equaliser.

Those of you playing the Goals for LJS game for each of Billy Sharp’s goal need to get your donations in to the page today.  Click here to do so!

Chris Cohen perhaps ought to have done better as the half time whistle approached – but he blasted over after the ball came to him from a Reid corner.  All in all a fairly dull half, I thought Hull offered a little more than Forest – although there’s no way on earth there’s was a penalty, and ours was soft too.

Forest did start to look like they’d woken up a little bit in the second half, Guedioura had a chance to shoot after good work from Reid but curled his shot just wide from the edge of the area.  Sharp nicked possession thanks to a mistake from McShane but Chester was able to get a block in on Coppinger’s cross to deny us the opportunity to capitalise.

McShane was the man to give Hull the win with a little over 20 minutes to go – a corner was hit in powerfully and the defender rushed in putting the ball in with his arm, pretty visible from where I was but apparently not to the referee or his assistants who gave the goal despite the rather angry protests of the Forest players and Lee Camp in particular.

Having said that, it was bloody awful defending from Forest regardless of whether it was scored by McShane’s hand, arm or todger.  O’Driscoll made some changes, introducing forgotten-man Lewis McGugan and Dexter Blackstock at the expense of Gillett and Cohen (the latter in particular who’d had an uncharacteristically quiet game).

Sharp had a couple of late efforts, one just wide and bringing a fingertip save from Stockdale with a looping header at the end.  Whilst I disagree with O’Driscoll’s assessment of being pleased with the performance I suppose it’s reassuring at least that it was a considerable improvement over our last outing.  That said, I still maintain it wasn’t good enough.

That’s not sour grapes or disrespect – whilst they were dour and negative (and Stockdale is probably the only goalkeeper to take longer over a goal kick than Lee Camp!), Hull were certainly more positive than us over the ninety minutes and whilst I maintain neither of their goals should’ve occurred, on balance of play they probably were good value for a win.

Disappointing – and plenty of work to do on the training ground for the Reds.  I do accept we’ve been hit hard by injuries, and I certainly accept that we’re a work in progress this season, but I expect better than I’ve seen in our last couple of games.  I suspect that the manager does too despite his post-match comments.

Despite all this though I do think there are sections of our fans that are over-reacting (particularly the Twitterati).  I’m still very much supportive of the manager and the players, and think the fans could do more to play their part in what could become a difficult run in December.  I do hope to see some re-balancing of the squad in January though.

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12 Responses

  1. Sensible and balanced as usual, Ryan.

  2. I agree with most of your points Ryan but i have said for weeks now i dont agree with the system SOD is trying to implement .

    Our defending at times both in midfield and defense has been woeful for players who have played at a much better level its very poor,We get out fought and muscled out regular you can only ride your luck for so long.

    Look at the Leicester game we should have been beaten 4-1 Wolves should have put 3 past us easy poor finishing from both sides we got off the hook big time .Ipswich gave us what we deserved we cant moan about soft pens and bad decisions were not good enough its simple.

    I firmly believe SOD and his staff and i include the coaches are average championship level and its proving to be so this season.I recall big Sam at West Ham being interviewed after he took over when they went down he challenged the fans who wanted to play the West Ham way and asked them square on ” look where its got ya ” .He quickly assembled a team who knew how to get out the division and now they are shaking a leg in the Premier league and beat Chelsea yesterday.

    We seem clueless at how to get out this league and we flounder from one manager to another in the hope we can get promoted.Get ruthless Forest appoint a strong robust manager who will quit fannying around and get us promoted i dont see it happening under this regime AGAIN.

    Not happy redric

  3. One more thing I wonder how long the ” al hasawis ” will tolerate the huffing and puffing before the axe comes down. ?

  4. S.O.D. thought we were terrific yesterday , i thought we were very average , i know we have injuries , but you should play your best side always, that wasnt the best side picked with the players avaiable .I think S.O.D. is trying to keep everybody happy and thats a dangerous game to play!!.. oh and by the way 1 up front at home is an insult to nottingham forest!!!

  5. All good points from all of the above. The sad thing about Hull is that we all know from previous experience that they wil be dour & negative & that is exactly a team Forest cannot get past. Unfortunately you can almost right the script…. Hard done by etc.
    Whether our talent pool is over rated or SO’D & staff just couldn’t work out a way to test their keeper ( one up front you gotta be kidding me! ).
    It seems every time we’re on the cusp of the top 6 we crumble. That’s twice in the last 6 weeks we’ve succumbed to pressure.
    Rebuilding Yes,
    Scars Yes,
    New Staff Yes,
    Pride ?????
    Leeds has been out of form recently yet they have turned it around by beating Palace amongst others….
    Is that talent or a desire to play better & play for your future, club etc.??
    I don’t think anyone cares too much if their side loses its more the manner in which they lose.
    Lets be honest Ipswich could’ve put 6 past us with a bit of luck. And Camp was MOM for me v Wolves.
    Lots of work to do at Forest as usual…
    SO’D has played his cards close to his chest up until recently. To come out & pretty much say we have no midfield leaders & regularly get beaten there is a slap in the face to all Forest midfielders.
    I’m waiting to see the logic in making a point like that publicly…
    As SO’D did have funds to spend at the start of his spending spree.

  6. Also I would like to add I am absolutely mystified as to how Blackstock has been used so sparingly. What a perfect opportunity it was for him to start on Saturday with Cox joining our A grade injury list.
    He was scoring goals when consigned to the bench a while ago now.
    I hope we haven’t killed off his form.

  7. I was all for SOD when he got the job,his aim seems to me not to lose a match,not lets go out and win one.Performance wise apart from 2 or 3 games at the start of the season we have been utter shite,the players he has to pick from must be on paper one of the best squads in the division,he seems clueless,as to his best team and to stick with it,to listen to the bollox he came out with after the game yesterday sums the bloke up,i was wrong to think your the man for the job and i dont think it will be long before the owners are thinking that to.One man up front at home,is defo not the way forward…………..

  8. tyour bang right red ric ….ok …the basics ….sod is not the manager to take us anywhere ..other than be a manufactured financial club …stays where it is …thats what he is very good at ! ..ok ..we have a fabulous choice of front attacking naturally talented players ..who dont need to be shouted at .( does anyone see sod or his pack shouting or even getting excited at the sidelines?) let them run free ..in this league its so open …3 up front every game …simples ..because we have no defence ..and until thats sorted the best form of defence is power attack ! everyone i speak to ..and at the match ..we can see …why cant sod ? ..hey ..6 foot 6 defenders .agaianst milwall ..yet for 90 minutes …crossing high balls to our only attacker little sharp ! hard n low should have been the message ..but hey no ..arms folded standing in his corner sod …watching another game ? ….its a bloody nightmare yet again …we have been very very lucky with results so far ..and ..god ..i hope the owners can see the dribble the media at the club keep coming out with from each player …telling ..weve got to wake up !! give me a break …you cant kid me like you think you can kid everyone else ….no where ..thats where we going …..SOD THE BEST FORM OF DEFENCE WHEN YOU HAVE NONE IS ATTACK ….BRIAN CLOUGH ! say no more …

  9. Good write up Altho I don’t think either side deserved more than a point. Would have like to see Lansbury have a chance

  10. All yesterday confirmed was that we’re not gonna get one of the automatic promotion places.

    Some might say that we never were and that they’ve been happy making quiet progress and we need stability this season BUT with the players we’ve got and a quick look at how we’ve dropped points I don’t believe that anyone would’ve been surprised if we had been 9 or 10 points better off. Its an easy game to play but take away Rhodes’ penalty from the Huddersfield match, turn a few draws that we dominated in to wins and we’d be there and nobody would complain.

    The unfortunate thing now is that essentially we can have mixed results and performances for the rest of the season like the last two games so long as we pick up enough wins to be in touching distance of the play-offs by March. A not even spectacular run can then put you in there and the season can be saved with a shot at the big time.

    As for SOD as manager – I’m undecided, sometimes his interviews are interesting and he gives you interesting insights and information about whats going on but then the lacklustre nature of post-match interviews undoes any good work. We get that he doesn’t like these interviews so why not send out someone else? About 90% of the time all fans want is for him to give it straight and show some passion.

    It only takes a few words to reassure that in the case of yesterday’s game and the Ipswich game that they’ll be make damn sure it doesn’t happen again etc… it always does but its the difference between thinking you’ve got the right man and thinking that the manager is indifferent and not fighting everyday to get the best out of the players.

    Billy Davies’ name will always get mentioned until someone else gets us in the playoffs and/or betters it. Who knows whether Davies would’ve bankrupted the club if you’d let him, who knows if he was ever clearly told what the situation (read ambition) of the club was BUT he always gave the fans the words they needed to go away and think “yeah he’ll whip em into shape ready for the next game”. And that pretty much ensured that a shocking away form was put up with along with bizarre tactical choices and him turning down players who would’ve helped us when we needed it.

    We’ll be in the play-offs at the end of the season. Hopefully with a more settled squad and starting 11 + bench that picks itself.

    In the meanwhile SOD wouldn’t do himself any harm to work the PR machine a little more.

    COYR

  11. Craig i agree his PR isnt the greatest he almost seems pained to speak to the cameras but its part of his job.Billy Davies banged his drum but he broke long standing records held only by Brian Clough if he had been given a Lansbury or a Billy Sharp or SImon Cox when needed we would have gone up .

    We lack passion and drive and after those interviews I can see where that stems from ……………..?

    Get Billy back Campaign

  12. excellent redric …im right behind you on the billy davies campaign ….lets get him back before its too late ….oh ..but we must get rid of Marthur ..yes …we must !

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