Pictures speak a thousand words..

I’ve just spotted a gallery feature in the software used to create the blog… and I quite like the idea, so I’ve gathered a bit of a montage of pictures that some of you kindly sent to me, some of them I’ve blatantly pinched, and they’re available below for your viewing pleasure.  There’s loads of photos doing the rounds, I’ve not tired of looking at them all afternoon so far!

Although the pictures above are awesome and emotionally charged, you can’t beat a bit of comedy too – and I don’t think I’ve seen a funnier picture than this:

Erm, I’m afraid you’re not, mate!

Remember to wave to Leicester City on the way up…

Because, thanks to a mere draw with promoted Stoke City and Southampton winning 3-2, for the first time in their history Leicester will be getting to sample the delights we have endured over the last three seasons.  It may take a while, but karma does seem to be working for me this weekend – and finally the Foxes seem to arrive at where they should for their administration-cheating shenanigans all that time ago.  Overall, it caps of what has been a terrific few weeks in football for me.

Let’s have an approximate look at a kind of timeline of things that have happened in the world of football that have filled me with delight over the last few weeks…

  1. Derby confirmed as the first ever team to be relegated from the Premier League before the end of March.  A bittersweet one this, it’s funny to laugh at the Sheep of course – and I am looking forward to our reacquaintance with them next season – but their laughably poor showing in the top flight this season really underlines the gulf between the Championship and the top flight.
  2. Notts County ensure they remain a league side.  I’m genuinely gutted for the Stags who didn’t manage to stay up, but am pleased that County have retained their place – ideally I would have liked Dagenham to go down and both Nottinghamshire clubs to survive.
  3. Liverpool get knocked out of Europe.  I don’t particularly like Chelsea or United, but I loathe and despise Liverpool so I was happy to see them fail to reach another Champions League final.
  4. Forest get promoted. I’m not ashamed to admit that I would have traded all the other things on this list for this one – by whatever means – but to have nicked automatic promotion on the last day was a momentous occasion and achievement by the boys in Red.
  5. Cheltenham survive relegation.  My desperate hunting of stats and information made me develop a real soft spot for the team we were pinning many of our hopes to.  The Robins didn’t let us down, and although a draw would have been enough for us, them beating Doncaster gave them a platform to survive too – which I’m genuinely happy about.  Up the Robins!
  6. Derby confirmed as worst Premier League team ever.  We knew it was going to happen anyway, but upon losing to Blackburn yesterday, it became impossible for Derby to level or better Sunderland’s previous lowest point record of 15.  The most Derby can get is 14 in the unlikely event that they actually win a game.
  7. Leicester City relegated to the third tier for the first time.  They’ve spent their history in the top two divisions, until now.  I never really concerned myself with them until their immoral exploitation of naive Football League rules to get out of their debts – so I’m happy to see them struggling to the level they should be at had the correct rules been in place back then.

It’s been the kind of few weeks you joke about with your mates; realising that it’s just not possible that nearly everything you want to happen in football generally doesn’t.  Particularly concerning our own team, which is why – as I noted above – I would happily have traded anything on the list for the day we had yesterday, or even hauling ourselves up through the playoffs.  Now I find myself slightly gutted that I didn’t buy a Lottery Ticket yesterday, as surely it would have won?

As we recover from our foray in the third tier, brought about largely by honestly dealing with our financial mismanagement in the past (ie. selling players, and paying our debts), it’s good to see that eventually it comes to those who deal with matters in a less moral fashion.  Enjoy the splendours of League One, here are my top five tips for things you can look forward to:

  1. The Johnstones Paint Trophy.  You probably don’t know what it is, you don’t want to either!
  2. You’re not famous anymore.  From every set of fans, every week, ad nauseum.
  3. The first round of the FA Cup.  Probably away at Backwater United, maybe even on telly.
  4. Frozen pitches.  Games between November-February have a 50:50 chance of going ahead at many grounds.
  5. Shilton reborn every week.  Opponent goalkeepers will become worldbeaters when they play you.

I’m sure a few fellow fans might come up with a few more things for you to look forward to as you navigate the third tier for the first time.  Huge congratulations to Stoke City who confirmed promotion to the Premier League today, and of course to a Stern John – of all people – inspired Southampton who managed to win 3-2 to secure their safety at the expense of Leicester.

I’ve seen it in print, so it must be true!

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have awoken this morning (okay, this afternoon – just!) with an incredibly sore head and a strange feeling that I might have just had a rather fantastic dream.  I was quite grateful that, upon stagger to the local shop I was able to grab a Football Post which rather clearly confirmed what I believed I had experienced yesterday.  Indeed upon picking up my ‘phone and seeing numerous text messages from Reds fans and other teams alike, it dawned on me we’d really done it.

The best part of around half past noon ’til now has been spent perusing the forums and news sites, just taking in the fantastic pictures and videos Forest fans took from all corners of the ground, it’s fantastic and I guess the ubiquitous nature of the camera phone, and YouTube means this is the first celebration of this nature for the Reds where we’ve had the opportunity to see this wonderful myriad of ‘real’ footage taken by regular people as they leap for joy.  Heady stuff.

So here’s a few links that might make for pleasurable reading for you..

  1. Celebration photos on the Official siteincluding one of Terry the Kitman (I think there might be two – there’s one of a Terry-like figure having champagne poured on him, with his back to the camera, but the shocking thing about it is – if it is Tel – he’s wearing a vest!!).
  2. Pitch invasion photographsa thread on the LTLF forum inviting members to share their photos from the pitch invasion.
  3. Pitch invasion videos – as above, but for videos this time.  I’m sure a general search on YouTube will yield many more besides, everywhere I looked yesterday people were recording stuff!
  4. Post-match reaction – most of us obviously missed these at the time!  Links to interviews with Nigel Doughty, Mark Arthur and the players as they did their lap of honour.
  5. The goals! thanks for this link, Dazzler, I’m going to attempt to get hold of the goals from ‘The Championship’ tonight, too.

Thanks to the organised members on LTLF who collated them so neatly!  I’m currently investigating ways of getting hold of the goals to post later – so watch this space, likely to be late this evening or in the early hours of tomorrow – I really can’t wait to see ’em again, particularly Bennett’s opener, I’m still tingling from that one alone, let alone all that was to follow!