Just another case of history repeating itself…

I spotted this on the LTLF forum, and it’s interesting.  In the context of disappointing results and performances, Smoulds is always ready to talk of learning from past mistakes – and fair play to him, that’s the right attitude – but someone on the forum has spotted that perhaps talk is cheap if this isn’t followed up with action.  Let me illustrate what I mean by this:

That doesn’t look like learning much, does it?  What makes this all the more eyebrow-raising is the post-match comments from both games.  In October, Smoulds was angry with the performance, in December he was – not entirely dissimilarly – angered by defeat.  It is a veritable groundhog day of things, made all the more frustrating when both fixtures were against the same team, at the same ground within a matter of weeks.

Now it’s true that any message board you care to name will be full of anti-Smoulderwood vitriol after pretty much every poor result, but this does provide interesting food for thought.  I’m not, and hope I never will be, the kind of supporter who is so reactionary that I will happily forget about a great performance against Crewe, a well won win at Brighton, in order to take delight in a disappointing performance and result – but it is worrying that Forest succumb so easily to these Jekyll and Hyde performances.

I am pleased that Smoulders is angry, just as I was after the league game against the Hatters – but it does demonstrate quite starkly that he wasn’t able to put his finger on what it would take to get a result there.  Tinkering with a winning team (notwithstanding the forced change due to Sammy’s suspension) is always risky – but it sounds like his tactics were quite far off the mark last night.

On balance I’m still supportive of Smoulderwood, but it does ring alarm bells when he speaks of learning from mistakes, but demonstrates against a team he’s not long met that he has done no such thing.  He certainly talks a good game, but in selections, tactics and subsequent performances and results, he seems to have dropped a few too many bollocks for my liking.

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