Forest-inspired music: part ten

It’s an almost-country style (almost – but not quite) dirge which is difficult to place in terms of era – it’s certainly not revealing in that it doesn’t mention any players or notable occasions.  Perhaps there is a clue that it mentions ‘the old Trent End’ and ‘the new Main Stand’ – which would place it either very late 60’s or early 70’s – unless, of course, it’s a misnomer and it’s referring to the then Executive Stand then we could be talking early 80’s.  Tricky.

The style of music is somewhat timeless, so that doesn’t really give it away – given the lyrics of the song seem so far removed from contemporary Forest-related language (eg. ‘Come on the Forest’ rather than the more ubiquitous ‘Come on you Reds’), I reckon this is either (a) an oldish recording from around the time after the Main Stand fire in 1968, or it does indeed refer to the Executive Stand and is just a bit, well, misinformed.  But anyway, perhaps I’m over-analysing it somewhat!

It’s called ‘Come on you Forest’ (clearly from a more innocent age!), by ‘Forest fans’, and whilst it certainly ain’t a work of genius, it’s not as bad as some we’ve heard before!

An interview with a Derby fan: part five

This interview is dedicated to Aylesbury Red, who reminded me I’ve not done one for a while.  My Derby-supporting acquaintance was surprisingly fast to respond to my hastily drafted email, and indeed, appeared to be expecting it even though the whole series of interviews had completely slipped my mind.  So thanks to both for the reminder, and the good grace to reply in what is, after all, not the best day to be a sheep botherer!

I just thought I’d drop you a line to congratulate you on securing a playoff spot!

You’re a proper bastard you are – I knew you’d email me today of all days, you’ve got no class, have you?  I can’t believe we’ve thrown away such a good position!  You haven’t been in touch since January, this is the technology equivalent of a kick in the knackers, you realise?

Yes, I do concede it’s not very sporting.  Throwing away a decent position is something that I can relate to – of course, in emailing you today, I’m giving you the opportunity to get almost instant revenge since we’re likely to end up disappointed next week!

That’s true.  I did chance a look at the league table in division three, it’s close up there isn’t it?  How does it feel finishing behind the mighty Scunthorpe?

Well, Scunthorpe have deserved the league for their consistency.  So now you’re playoff-bound, how do you rate your chances of succeeding?  Looks like Southampton, Stoke or maybe Preston over two legs for you.

Indeed.  I’m not sure – we’re on rather poor form really, 2 defeats in three.  Teams like Stoke are on a decent run, but well, I try to remember that back at the start of the season, I would’ve taken third like a shot – so you have to try to forget that we’ve pissed a decent position away – much like you have! – but well, it could be worse – we could have done a Cardiff.  Or a Leeds! Ha!

Ah yes, poor old Leeds – an event that has unified the football world in joy!  I suppose as fellow Brian Clough worshippers, we have some rare common ground on this subject!

It was great, wasn’t it?  Seeing the dirty bastards try to get the game called off by invading the pitch – just like they were when they were winning things, couldn’t win things with any class, couldn’t get relegated with any dignity.  They aren’t known as dirty Leeds for nothing!

Indeed!  So, given that we might end up in the playoffs too (in fact, we’re more than likely to), should you get to Wembley will be you be extending your stay in London to cheer on Forest the following day?

Not bloody likely!  I’ve got this really nasty feeling that Bristol will slip up and you’ll sneak second on the last day, just to piss me off – and we’ll lose in the playoff semi-final, and the East Midlands news will obsess about Forest all bloody summer.

I’m not so sure about that!  How do things stand financially if you fail to go up?  All those signings, presumably on decent wages, this talk of redeveloping the (waste)land around your stadium – are they dependent on promotion?

Well certainly the signings could be considered a little excessive if we don’t go up – but we’re lead to believe the finances are in place regardless of our fate in the playoffs.  The developments I believe will go ahead too – part of which will be named after Brian Clough, it will be good to have a decent tribute to him at the ground.

The world isn’t big enough to house all the tributes the Great Man deserves!  Well, I shall leave you by blatantly not wishing you luck in the playoffs, but heartfelt thanks for your quick response to my, admittedly, very childish email.

No problem – you’re still a bastard.  I will be in touch next week when you’re in the same boat as us!   I know you’re pretending to expect a playoff finish, but deep inside you have that glimmer of hope burning within you that I will take great delight at reminding you of when it’s extinguished!

The battle-lines are drawn – of course, my sheep-bothering friend is quite right, it was a bit low to send the email today, so expect some abuse next week should we end up similarly playoff bound.  And that’s part of what makes football fun, and we should expect no less – indeed, if you can’t take it, you shouldn’t dish it out.  So I thank the interviewee for their good humour when really they’ve had a bit of a shitty day.  I almost (I said almost!) feel sorry for him!

Days like this are sweet!

Whilst I’m aware that yesterday’s results still make it likely we’ll finish in the playoffs, it’s still a good feeling to know we still have half a chance of the second place spot. The same can’t be said down Brian Clough Way, however, as today – as I’m sure you’re aware – the Sheep succumbed to the might Crystal Palace thus handing automatic promotion to Birmingham and Sunderland. So congratulations to them, and a result that will certainly make the playoff weekend interesting.

A different kind soul from LTLF has also uploaded the goals from the Forest game yesterday – so enjoy the magic of Jack and Kris in this little clip:

Permutations for next week..

Three teams could get second, in three different games – Blackpool are the outsiders, currently two points off second – and they face a trip to Swansea next week.  Forest are the almost-outsiders, with Crewe at home, and Bristol are pretty much the favourites with relegated Rotherham at home.  Anthony from the LTLF forum has kindly done all the work for me on working out how this could play out on the final day – so let’s consider just that…

There are three games not involving any teams, and three teams fate in the balance – so that’s three cubed – that’s 27 possible combinations of results that will occur next saturday – below they are all listed, with cunning coding to distinguish which side finishes where – 2nd place in bold, 3rd place in italic, and 4th place just as it is.  If you click the ‘read more’ button (if you’re reading from the front page) then you can see all the combinations listed below – but to foreshorten this writing, effectively assuming all combinations of results are of equal odds (which of course, they not) this is how it works itself out:

Nottingham Forest
1/3 chance of finishing 2nd
4/9 chance of finishing 3rd
2/9 chance of finishing 4th

Bristol City
14/27 chance of finishing 2nd
1/3 chance of finishing 3rd
4/27 chance of finishing 4th

4/27 chance of finishing 2nd
2/9 chance of finishing 3rd
17/27 chance of finishing 4th

The fat lady waits for another week before she breaks into song, but even if all results have an equal chance of occuring, Bristol City still find themselves very much in the driving seat to maintain their position in second spot.  Certainly come the Crewe game, I shall certainly be checking my phone regularly to try to keep track of results, particularly since you apparently can’t rely on what people hear (or think they hear!) on the radio in the ground given the “2-1 to the Carlisle” debacle last week!

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The final day is set to be a thriller!

Leyton Orient – 1
Nottingham Forest – 3

I suppose it was inevitable really that Millwall would pull a result out the bag against Bristol City today, and consign us to having a glimmer of hope going into the final day.  In a nutshell, if Rotherham can do the unthinkable and hold Bristol to a draw, or better, and we can beat Crewe, then we would have reclaimed second spot on the final day of the season and pick up automatic promotion to boot.  Neil Harris was again instrumental, assisting Robinson’s goal to give Millwall a 1-0 win.

Colin Fray described the game as “the Kris and Jack show” – and as has been the case for our last few games, our two attacking players were again instrumental in us turning around an early 1-0 deficit against a spirited Orient side, and so now whilst we obviously continue to back the Reds at home to Crewe, Forest fans to a man will be also acting as honourary Millers fan for the day, hoping that they will be able to cap off a disappointing season culminating in relegation with a last hurrah at Bristol City.  We can but hope.

The game started slowly, but it was Orient who took first blood early in the game – Adam Chambers playing Lockwood through down the left, where he had time to take a couple of touches before blasting home into the roof of the net from around 15 yards.  Not quite the start we had hoped for, and that’s for sure!

It only took ten minutes for us to equalise, and Jack Lester – so often the catalyst in recent games – found himself on the scoresheet – he got past Luke Guttridge in midfield, got the better of John Mackie before shooting from 15 yards to beat Glyn Garner in the nets with a lovely goal – and well deserved given his recent performances.

We almost took the lead again through Lester, when a 30 yard run saw him beat Lockwood to the ball, ricocheting from another Orient player and back to Lester en route to the penalty area, where his shot brought a tremendous save from Garner.  The lead was to come though, a quickly taken freekick saw Commons finding Lester, who held up the ball expertly before setting up Commons to score low into the corner of the net.

Forest’s domination now really started – Orient sitting back and allowing us space, Commons and Lester were on song together, although were occasionally wasteful – this particular attack saw a poor final ball from Commons.  Gary Alexander could and perhaps should have equalised when he found himself between the centrebacks, but he sent the ball over the bar.  Grant had a near miss at the other end but was blocked by Chambers.

The start of the second half almost saw Forst get their third – a Commons corner finding Grant Holt whose glancing header brought a save from the ‘keeper.  The third did arrive though – a freekick over 30 yards out again saw great combination play from Kris and Jack – Commons feigned a shot, but instead chipped into the area to the waiting Lester who found the net from around 6 yards.

Forest continued to press – and as news filtered through of the Millwall vs. Bristol result, it was a party atmosphere.  Certainly it still seems most likely that Bristol will get a result against Rotherham next weekend, but if we can do the same against Crewe, we will finish 1 point off second, and take some great form into the playoffs – certainly I can imagine both the City Ground and Ashton Gate full and one of them will go absolutely ballistic depending on how our respective results go.  Of course, we could both lose and Blackpool overtake us!

Also congratulations to Scunthorpe United, who despite losing are crowned as League One champions today – and thoroughly deserved too, I might add.  And some not particularly heart-felt commiserations to Leeds United, who – barring turning around a 9 goal deficit on goal-difference – will be plying their trade in League One next season.  All in all, a day that couldn’t have gone much better from a Forest point of view, but it sets up a tense day this time next weekend!

It’s brown trousers time ’til this time next week when we learn our fate!

Leyton Orient vs. Forest preview..

I’m a bit late previewing our trip down to Orient for a sell-out game in the dubious environs of East London – but I shall persevere nonetheless!  Forest travel to the capital on the back of successive wins over Brentford and Bournemouth, and now face yet another side battling at the wrong end of the table, so hopefully we can carry on taking points with a decent performance as we have mustered for the last game-and-a-half.

We remain – as ever it seems – four points adrift of Bristol City in second – with only two games remaining that means if City are able to beat Millwall at the New Den then they’re confirmed as promoted automatically, and we are guaranteed a stint in the playoffs (which I think most fans accept as inevitable anyway!).  So just as we will be keen to see Forest register a win, we will, of course, inevitably keeping an eye on goings on elsewhere in London.

Our other eye will probably be watching Kris Commons – the winger has been on great form of late, bagging four goals in our last two games, two in each game.  In a season dogged by injury and inconsistency Forest fans will be keen to see Commons taking a decent run of form (and fitness) into the probably playoff lottery we’re likely to find ourselves in.

Orient probably aren’t really at risk of being relegated – although I’m sure securing their safety mathematically by doing one on Forest would be an appealing prospect.  Certainly for Martin Ling who used to play with Smoulds for Swindon.  They won their last game, against Bradford, last week – this was their first win for some time, so the mood is likely to be reasonably good for our hosts.

If they were in a reasonably good mood, then they must be bricking it a bit that Scott Dobie is set to make his 564th comeback from injury for the Reds, having come through unscathed in a reserve outing against Port Vale midweek.  Dobie at least gives us another option up front given all our injuries.  Big Wes is still out, as of course are Clingan, Tyson and Agogo.

Orient are weakened slightly with Michael Simpson and Gary Hooper out with knee injuries, but will still be able to call upon the dangerous Gary Alexander who has helped himself to twelve goals in the league so far this season, which isn’t a bad haul considering how Orient have struggled at the wrong end of the table.

We do owe Orient one, mind – historically we’ve had the upper hand over them, but in our most recent meeting we were rather embarrassed on our own turf when the Londoners ran out 3-1 winners, with former-Stag Wayne Corden proving a real thorn in the side throughout the game – as well as scoring the final goal after Breckin had given us a lifeline.  This was, of course, Orient’s first away win of the season!

All in all, a tricky one – and largely irrelevant if Bristol win at The Den anyway – Orient are draw specialists at home, but I’m reasonably hopeful that if Forest approach the game positively and take their recent form and performances into this one, we will prove more than a match for them.  But let’s face it – Forest are anything but predictable at the best of times!

Commons’s Forest future hinges on promotion..

It wasn’t really much of a surprise to read on the Nottingham Evening Post website that Forest and Kris are putting their discussions on hold until our fate this season is decided.  Removing any emotion from the scenario – basically, Kris wants more money than Forest will pay if we remain in League One, but presumably will consider if we reach the Championship.  So in short, fail to get promotion, and Kris will seek his fortune elsewhere – probably Birmingham, Palace (Wolves? – Mick McCarthy was apparently at the Bournemouth game).

Hardly a shocking insight – it makes perfect sense from the point of view of both parties.  Forest don’t want to sign him up on a lucrative deal only to end up stuck in League One for another year, with dwindling attendances and a measly income from TV and the like.  Equally, Kris doesn’t really want to do that either – he’s reaching the point of his career when if he’s going to “make it”, then he needs to get a wriggle on and find a side at a level to suit his abilities.

On his day, Kris is at least a Championship standard player –  with the potential to make the next step (with a lot of work on fitness, teamwork and consistency!) – we’ve seen him make Spurs look foolish, for example.  He’s an incredibly gifted young man who could, in all honesty, probably benefit from moving to a club where he’d need to fight for his place a bit – too long his time here has been spent with him undisputed ‘talent’ in the squad, with no competition for his position aside from shoehorning Perchy in there, or recalling Bastians.

If he’s a difficult person to motivate (and I’m not saying he is, I don’t know him – but I get that impression from watching him play from the stands) then these are conditions that will nurture that lethargy.  Let’s face it, if Kris is fit, Kris is in the team – we know it, he knows it, Smoulds knows it.  It’s not a healthy situation to try to get him to push himself and develop further – so, regardless of whether Kris stays or goes (for the record, I hope very much that he stays), then we need to sign a new left winger – either to replace him, or to push him for his first team shirt and make him work for it.

It must be a slow news day or something!  The fear is that Mark Arthur is involved in the negotiations, whether it be releasing Trigger without securing a replacement, or allowing Harris to leave only to sign for a team we’ve yet to play – it’s all rather amateurish really – it doesn’t give me much faith for any deals being struck at the moment by our less-than-illustrious chief executive!

Forest-inspired music: part nine

It seems European football sparks a myriad of musical output – so perhaps we should be thankful that this trade has abated or we’d be flooded with nonsense records released by a bunch of scousers, prawn-sandwich eating cock-er-neys and, well, people from anywhere in the country other than Manchester! Today’s inclusion is called Magic in Madrid by a dubious collective who call themselves Tristam Shandy.

Tristam Shandy, I have discovered, is the subject of a series of eighteenth century novels written by Laurence Sterne. A set of comic novels, no less, repleat with bawdy humour that was immensely popular in it’s day apparently. Why this has inspired the name of this particular individual or individuals, I have no idea at all. There is also a person called Chris (the Mouth) Ashley who presumably provides the scathing spoken parts of the song – he is apparently a reasonably well known radio personality!

The song – given the title – unsurprisingly takes on a very Spanish sounding guitar-based ditty, with spoken words expressing doubt at Forest’s chances, with (almost) melodic verses and choruses exuding Forest’s greatness, some of it is actually quite infuriatingly catchy – and again, certainly gets you funny looks if you happen to be listening to it in the car with your windows open. There are the inevitable snippets of commentary and well, really, it’s probably on a par with many of the other songs I’ve included so far really. That isn’t really saying much.

Forest-inspired music: part eight

We’re back on the trail of cheesy music, and this one sounds like it’s loosely based on ‘Who wants to be a Millionnaire?’ to me, although I could be wrong – and features dubious voice-impersonator appearances from not only the predictable Brian Clough, but also Margaret Thatcher who, of course, would have been relatively new into her reign as Prime Minister at the time of release.

Entitled ‘Who’ll win the European Cup’, this jolly yet ultimately unfulfilling track is brought to you courtesy of the Medium Wave Band.  It follows a pattern and a style that for those of you who’ve been keeping track of this sequence of musical abonimations will be all too familiar with now – and is perhaps a very good indicator as to why we perhaps don’t see too many football-inspired chart releases these days!

Instant replay!

Well, not quite – but you can usually rely on some kind soul on the LTLF forum to provide worthwhile things to add to YouTube!  Let’s see Krissy’s tremendous goals against AFC Bournemouth at the weekend – and of course, marvel at how David Prutton has the audacity to claim the third!