Did Brecks and Smoulds swear at fans?

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?


The Calderwood conundrum..

I’ve shamelessly pinched this from a Forest forum – it resonated with me somewhat, and had a spark more optimism about it than I was able to muster earlier… I was going to avoid the message boards tonight through fear of rampant pessimism and over-reaction, but couldn’t resist a sneaky peak and found something slightly more pleasing!

Right then, now I know that alot of us can be accused of being fickle when things go wrong for Forest, me included, hense why we go through many managers no doubt! So I’m all for giving Calderwood the time to build this Forest team. Something that I thought he was doin well. Especially when the first three 3minutes of our season was a disaster with Tyson getting injured and Commons already out for two months.

I mean the guy was working wonders considering we were playing an under strength side and players out of position to fill the gaps. So it was difficult to fault the him! And let’s be honest a new manager is going to be judged by everybody associated with the club, fans and all, during this early part of their reign.

Now obviously the good furtune we were having during the honeymoon period of the Calderwood era is well and truely over. December we were 7points clear of Scunthorpe, yet now we are 7points behind Scunthorpe and continually missing out on the opportunity to close the gap!

One of the key times to judge a managers ability is when after things have been goin so well, is how they respond to everything going so tits up! Ignoring Tyson being suspended he has the strongest possible squad available to him, yet we are performing like a struggling league one outfit! With each week that passes we are getting closer to the teams outside the playoffs and new teams are steaking their claim to the automatic promotion hunt!

Tonight we were a total disgrace! When we had the ball be didn’t know what to do with it, the set pieces and crossing never looked threatening, The strikers got zero support, the Curtis/Prutton attack became more and more predictable and easy to handle, Players like Agogo just looked unfit and lazy, Gary Holt continued to be a waste of space as whenever he plays it’s like playing with 5 at the back! I mean it’s like we were playing a 5-2-1-2 formation with him in which allowed the opposition to dominate the midfield and whenever the ball was hoofed forward (which is most of the time) Blackpool were always winning the ball and had available free men to be there in support to get another move started! Which was generally down the wings as we had no wingers out there to cover and our midfield was so darn flat!

Then there was the Bennett factor. The man, like every one watching, could see that we had nothing on the left going forward so did his best to offer the option which 9 times out of ten was ignored! I mean has he and Brecks fallen out or something as the amount of times I saw Julian screaming for the ball in space on the left only for Breckin to flatly ignore him, was ridiculous!

What is Calderwood playing at therefore! He has got Commons and Clingan on the bench, both fit, both ready and raring to go yet even when the Forest midfield was playing so totally shit, showing no life and no width, Colin chose to ignore them!

The best we have played in the past 5 games has been when Clingan has been playing! Chelsea we were Rubbish. Sammy came on at half time and changed our team and was the only positive we could take from the performance. Bradford we were superb for long patches and Clingan again was on the pitch with Gary Holt on the bench were he should be! So why has Clingan been ignored the last two games???

It’s simple we lack shape and width and pace! The formation is wrong and the personnel too! Calderwood has the best players all fit and available yet he is ballsing it up! Bottling it! He sees this and thinks experience is the way forward to help him out thus continues with Gary Holt and therefore continues to fail!

Against Chesterfield it’s simple. A return to 4-4-2 and the team as follows



Curtis Morgan Breckin Bennett

Prutton Clingan Perch Commons

Holt Lester

A return to width, more balanced, our two set piece takers are restored and who could argue with that midfield? That has to be one of the strongest in the division! Up front you have Lester in Tyson’s absence, a man who has been scoring again since his return to the starting XI behind the front two and a player who loves this club and always puts his foot in and gives 100%! Already a better option up front than the misfiring Dobie and on tonights performance the lazy Agogo.

I put it forward to you, how can you argue with that team sheet? Yet without fail Calderwood will stick with the shite formation and incorrect team selection that has been misfiring the last 4 games! I’m losing respect for the man with each game that goes by! Surely he can see what’s going wrong right?

We will all have to hope so!

It’s nice to see something positive, although Smoulds (I reverted to his real name in the title since I am basically filching someone elses words!) still looked like this after the game, he’s developing a fine line in comedy facial expressions!

Tangerines give Forest a lesson in football..

Nottingham Forest – 1
Blackpool – 1

We finally got to see some progressive, passing, flowing, attacking football today at the City Ground.  Unfortunately for the fans in Red, it was Blackpool who were really showing Forest how it’s done, marshalled by the excellent Hoolahan in midfield, the Lancashire side – in all honesty – deserved their draw at the very least.  Of course, they were to attain that draw in very controversial circumstances – but I won’t let that distract me from yet another disappointing showing from the Reds.

The first half saw Blackpool with plenty of passing and endeavour, with little end product (sound familiar?), although they forced a punched clearance from Paul Smith – which was hoofed clear by Jack.  It was at this point, about 20 minutes in, that Keith Southern made a real mess of things and allowed Agogo to nick the ball and burst clear – with plenty of time to confuse himself with the options open to him, the striker calmly passed the ball past the keeper to make it one nil to the Reds.

Blackpool were denied a penalty when the tricky Hoolahan looked to have been felled in the box by Prutton, but the referee not only waved the protests away, he booked the Tangerines midfielder for diving – which was certainly harsh, as it looked like a foul to me.  Shortly after this Agogo tried an audacious lob from around 35 yards on the left, only for it to return into play off the bar – a great effort.  Lester then also appeared to be felled in the box – again, the referee choosing to ignore the protests – although not booking Lester.

In the second half Blackpool continued to play attractive quick-moving football, and frequently looked capable of carving out an equaliser  – fortunately for us much of their chances fell to David Fox who seemed incapable of hitting the target.  Prutton had a blast from 12 yards at the near post, but the keeper always looked to have it covered.  Blackpool piled on the pressure from this point, and Forest – predictably – sat deeper and deeper and deeper as the half wore on.

Hoolahan (who I might’ve mentioned once or twice) seemed to be at the heart of everything, twisting and turning his way past Forest players repeatedly and carving out great opportunities for his teammates – Keigan Parker being one who won a corner thanks to a smart save from Paul Smith.  Kris Commons came on for Lester and almost had an instant impact, heading just wide – but chances for Forest were few and far between.

The penalty came with 3 minutes on the clock – Hoolahan appeared to just fall over, perhaps the referee was mindful of the poor decision he gave in the first half, so gave the penalty.  It had to be taken twice, Hoolahan putting it past Smith both times, much to the jubilation of the decent number of Blackpool fans (including the ‘Frank Gallagher from Shameless’ lookalike) who’d made the long trip on a tuesday night.  And the Tangerines hadn’t finished there – a great shot from Burgess on the edge of the area rattled the cross bar in the dying moments.

As I said above, I thought Blackpool were the better team – but that doesn’t stop me being furious at the Reds for their largely inept showing.  We scored a goal gifted to us, had one excellent moment of individual flair from Agogo, and not a lot else.  Blackpool repeatedly carved our defence apart, with Smith having to make several decent saves compared to the one save Prutts brought from their keeper – whilst I don’t like the booing we hear all too readily at full time, I can certainly understand the frustration.

The other slightly irksome thing from a Reds perspective was Julian Bennett’s unsporting behaviour during the penalty taking.  I realise that it was a shit decision by the referee, but he just made himself look foolish by trying to psyche out the taker not once, but before the original and the retaken penalty – particularly since he’d just picked up a booking for the initial protests.  So there we go, Oldham dropped points again, and we didn’t capitalise again – well done to Blackpool, definitely amongst the most positive (Scunthorpe aside) sides we’ve seen at the City Ground – they’ll be feeling unlucky not to have won.

This result has left me writing off our chances of automatic promotion – even though we gained some ground on second place, it wasn’t enough – if you’re reading, Smoulds or the players, then consider this a gauntlet thrown down – I don’t believe you’re good enough, for whatever reason, to finish in the top two.  I would be delighted for you to take exception to this comment, and go out and prove me wrong.

Oh yes, a sidenote on Gary Holt – since he’s everyone’s favourite scapegoat on the message boards.  I thought he did okay today, until the last 20 minutes.  Now whether that means he’s not up to 90 minutes anymore, who knows – but if people start prattling about him playing being some kind of reason for the poor result, see the bigger picture.  I’m not his biggest fan, and if I was picking I’d go for Clingan – but really, it’s quite childish to pick on one person.  There were a number of disappointing performances in Forest shirts tonight.