Exclusive BBC “Buzzword Bingo” game!

An exclusive and essential way to pass the time whilst watching the Salisbury City vs Forest match, either with your friends or on your own – and there’s a number of ways you can tackle this.  You could just print out the below gamesheet and tick off the phrases as they are uttered by the BBC brainless automatons pundits, or you could print several sheets to take to the pub, and tippex out four random phrases on each and turn it into a competition with your mates.

Better still, you could turn it into a drinking game, assign an amount of drink (1 finger, 2 fingers, 3 fingers, half, down in one etc – be creative!) to each phrase, and then each time one of the phrases is uttered you have to follow the instructions!  At least that way, if things aren’t going according to plan on the pitch, you’ll soon enough be too bladdered to give a damn or even notice what is going on!  There, don’t say I never give you anything!

Grant: I’m not going anywhere

In the light of re-emerging rumours of a January move to Bristol City, Grant Holt has gone public to state his intention to stay at Forest and fight for his place; which I think is great news – it seems odd that Bristol are still after him, he had a right barney with Gary Johnson, the Bristol manager, during our Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie with them earlier in the week after he felled one of their midfielders – which continued after the incident when Grant again came close to the technical area.

Grant is still our top scorer, and indeed, added another goal to his tally in our last game – I hesitate to describe him as ‘out of favour’, but clearly there’s something amiss between him and Smoulds – whether it’s personal, professional and tactical isn’t exactly clear – but his omission from the team in favour of Neil Harris continues to fuel the bile of some of our less intelligent supporters who feel the need to boo or chant derisive things towards both Harris and Calderwood.

The Carlisle-born striker can’t be too unhappy here, given our placing and results so far, Smoulderwood won’t be under any pressure any time soon, yet Holt has spoken of not only wishing to see out his contract with Forest, but to earn an extension – so he must see a future here which suggests to me that his omission from the team is more likely to be a tactical one; perhaps Colin feels he is more impactful as a late substitute? Who knows.

He said the following to an Evening Post reporter:

“I’m not just here to January and then I’m not just here to the end of the season.  I’m here to stay the length of my contract, of which I’ve got two years left after this.  Hopefully I can do enough, keep performing and get back in the team before January. I will try to score a few more goals and hopefully get an extension.  That’s the aim – I don’t want to be just a bit-part player. I want to be in the first team and show everyone what I can do.  You’ve got to battle wherever you go. You are never guaranteed a place and even though I’m scoring goals I can’t get in the team. Now that I’m staying I’ve got to prove I should be playing.”

They’re the kind of words football fans love to read – so I hope that Grant can back them up with performances to warrant them; my first bit of advice to him would be to quit being such a whiner with referees – he always seemed to be moaning to Mr Crossley on Wednesday against Bristol, even when he was giving decisions in his favour!  I do think Grant gets a harsh deal from referees, he certainly did in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game, but just get on with it – you won’t change their mind.

Smoulderwood: half year performance review


Most employers have some kind of review process to see how well employees are getting on in their role, and they’re often split into quarterly or half yearly sessions to track the performance of said employee.  It’s been around six months since Smoulders took charge of Forest, and I imagine that heading off to meet with either Mark Arthur or Nigel Doughty (or both) for his performance review he’d be feeling pretty confident, he might even chance it and have a little swagger as he walked into the office.

The key objective for us this season is promotion, that’s without a doubt – and of course, there are three ways Colin could have delivered that to us – acceptable would be a playoff win, good would be automatic promotion from a second place finish, excellent would be winning the league.  Well on point one we are most certainly on course for excellent – six points clear at the start of December is an excellent start to his career, without question.

Nearly as important would be to rationalise the personnel – Gary Megson brought in a lot of players, and – with the bridging period of Charlie and Frank – it has been down to Colin to rationalise that squad into a team that gets results.  Obviously this process feeds objective number one, so must have been going well – but Colin was quick to cover Nathan Tyson’s injury through signing Junior Agogo, as well as decommissioning deadwood like David Friio, Nicky Eaden and David Johnson.  He’s also loaned younger players out to get some experience or regular first team football.  The only question mark in this area is his accepting of a bid for leading scorer Grant Holt.

Tertiary concerns would be the cup competitions – and defeat to Accrington Stanley in the Carling cup is a significant blemish on this score; however a decent run in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy was only just ended on penalties against the strongest other team in the competition – in my opinion – and non-league Salisbury City stand between us a potentially big FA Cup 3rd round tie – so depending on the outcome of this, the Accrington result could become a faded memory.

In summary, Smoulderwood’s first half year in charge has to be considered a successful one; he is delivering excellence in our league placing, building a significant gap in the league table with only 19 games gone – if we can maintain the form we’ve enjoyed so far then we would be on course for around 99 points; which is the title, basically – since much of our run was without Nathan Tyson in the side, and the possibility of strengthening in January, who can say that we won’t improve our form and try to smash the 100 point mark?

Felix to stay on at Northwich..

Young midfielder Felix Bastians is set to spend a further month on loan at Northwich Victoria, who play in the Nationwide Conference after impressing their manager Steve Burr with his performances so far for the Vics.  He said of the young German: “We have a good relationship with Forest and I am pleased Felix is extending his stay.  He is enjoying his football with us and doing well.  He has certainly made us stronger.”

Good news all in all – he had broken into the first team on the left side of midfield, and whilst there was certainly merit to his performances he didn’t quite look the finished article, so to be gaining experience of first team football at lower levels will toughen him up and hopefully give him a better chance of breaking into the side over the next couple of years – all in all, a good move for all parties, let’s hope he can continue to do well for Northwich!

Is trashing Amici Bristol’s biggest achievement?

We just played Bristol City in the Johnstone’s Paint trophy – they won on penalties after we drew 2-2 after ninety minutes.  You would really think – with them still smarting over us defeating them in our league encounter that this would be the focus of their attentions, now wouldn’t you?  But it would appear not to be so, at least for a subsection of supporters.

I was looking at the stats for this blog, amongst the exciting things I can find out is the terms used in search engines by people who find this site.  And consistently since the event I’ve had results for phrases like “Bristol City fans trash Nottingham” or “Bristol fans do Amici” – every day.  Consistently the Radcliffe Road rioting is what draws some visitors to these pages day after day, despite my only mentioning in passing in a match report, before writing a specific post about it.

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs if there are people who are still thinking fondly about the day they had a ‘piece’ of Nottingham – those days should be over now, I realise that some Forest fans are equally to blame for what occured (if not slightly more so, as reportedly they “started” it – to relapse into playground parlance for a moment).  But is that really the most interesting thing between us and City this season?  We’re rivals for promotion, for the Championship – we were, until recently, rivals for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy!

Of course, I compound the problem now because the magical google spiders and search engine whatnots will crawl all over this entry too, and index more references to what happened thus making further hits inevitable – but well, if you did come to this page searching for tales of the fighting between the Forest and Brizzle fans then think on, was not what happened on the pitch more important?  And to those Forest fans singing about trashing Bristol at the end of March next year – just think, that could be the day we win promotion, isn’t that what really matters?