An apology to Smoulderwood..

Now I’ve (almost) calmed down from a few days of madness, I would like to offer an apology to Smoulds.  I initially was very fond of our bronzen manager, and had a great deal of fun constructing an imaginary lothario loosely based around him – at times this season, though, I have howled with rage and derision and posted numerous times that I’d like to see him vacate the helm at Forest.

He has every right to feel both very smug and very vindicated as he and the team celebrate snatching automatic promotion.  When he said a few weeks back, as the gap to Carlisle was 11 points, we called him mad for saying we still had an opportunity.  As Doncaster were closing the gap but we weren’t, we called him mad for saying it kept the pressure on Carlisle.  Some of us called him a lot worse.

I certainly stand by my more lucid criticisms, because whilst this season has undoubtedly been a success – the target was automatic promotion, and that target was met, it hasn’t been entertaining.  I started to see glimpses in the first half against Yeovil about how Smoulders’ system might work in an entertaining fashion, and maybe with some new recruits and with less defensive opponents it might.

The constant ramming of square pegs in round holes will also be something I can’t bring myself to forget – despite his run of goals at the start of the season, Chambers has never looked comfortable at fullback, particularly with no covering winger infront of him.  But for all those criticisms both fair and unfair, Smoulds has stuck to his guns and delivered – and for that he has my heartfelt thanks, and a genuine apology for any criticisms I may have levelled that were unfair.

At the very least he has earned the right to take us to the next level – as Nigel Doughty pointed out post-match yesterday, he’s a relatively young manager – five seasons of management have yielded three playoff finishes (and failures), and two automatic promotions.  I’ll tell you what, I’ll take that for next season in a shot – even the playoff failure part.  So I’m prepared to wipe the slate clean for next season.

Thanks for all your hard work, Smoulds, and thanks for putting up with fickle boggers such as myself – in a ground where the ecstatic feelings were palpable at the weekend, I imagine there were few feeling better than yourself – and you’ve earned it, along with the team.  Of course, there was a slice of luck, but we’ve had enough slices of bad luck earlier in the season too – it’s true these things generally balance out.


20 Responses

  1. I disagree; we went on a good run at last and took advantage of two teams not being able to fall over the line. He has made many mistakes with the best squad in div one. If Donny would have won on Saturday and we would have failed in the playoffs you would not have wrote this. He is a very lucky guy and still has a lot to learn. I am over the moon we are up and was confident we would go up. I felt Carlisle and Donny would fail, but really we took advantage of them running out of steam far more than getting promotion cos we have a great manager. I think due to our squad and resources any manager in div one would have been confident in getting us up. So we will wait and see what happens next year, then and only then can we judge Calderwood. If he keeps us up and we do well with good football along the way then I will say he is a good manager. If he gets us promotion then I will say he is a great manager. Basically its great to get up but I am still far from convinced he is the man.

  2. I bet that took writing, i personally reserve judgement for another day but praise where due for the last match. Commons going, mixed feelings, only plays when he wants to like Saturday. All the Nottm lads were superb even Wilson who is suffering with form at the moment but a brave move to play him instead of Breckin.
    Where was Sammy, have i missed something?

  3. Oh I still reserve judgement, like any good fickle football fan – but I’m prepared to give him a fair go despite my reservations.

    I read somewhere that Sammy had a fever and didn’t train before the weekend, so I guess that’s why he wasn’t playing. Pretty sure I’ve seen him in the numerous celebration photos though 🙂

  4. he’s now probably now given it to the rest of us then

  5. He absolutely deserves a chance in the Champ. The policy of bringing in the Nottm lads has been an excellent decision. I’m still in between one concern. Do the players under perform or does the manager lack inspiration and positivity?
    Anyhow, there’s now a clear sight at the Prem league and if the players can’t inspire themselves to play at the highest level, that is their issue. Calderwood though has inspire because these are young lads

  6. Hey nffc, why not give him some slack now and as part of your apology drop the “Smoulderwood” and use his given name? Give the man a bit of respect!

    Great blog by the way.

  7. Smoulderwood is a compliment, not an insult, though! 😀 In honour of his smouldering way with the ladies!

  8. The players can and will play when the crowd get off their backs, look what happend on Saturday. Some of the City Ground crowd need to take a long hard look at themselves, booing the team off at half time and groaning at every missed place pass did nothing for their confidence this season and only help fire the opposition up.
    Let shope the boo boys have learn’t their lesson or stay away.

    CC & the team deserve our support for 90 mins, that is how we will thrive in the CCC

    Great blog nffc, keep it up

  9. Truth is he’s still learning to manage just like many of our players are still learning their trade. As long as he learns from his failings this season I don’t mind, however if he feels this result somehow vindicates everything he did this season he’d be daft!

  10. I listened to most of the games on the net and of course i’m absolutely thrilled that Forest have finally gone up (though it was about f‘king time!). Surprisingly, there are quite a few journos here in Brazil that keep an eye on Forest and often talk about the team during the EPL games we get on ESPN. We even got a mention in the footy paper Lancenet on Sunday (though it was only one tiny paragraph). As far as CC is concerned, I too was extremely frustrated with what was going on and wanted him out. But at least he got us up and deserves a run next season. Whether this was down to his managerial ‘brilliance’ or pure luck doesn’t really matter right now. Let’s enjoy the moment. But if things go pear-shaped early on next season, the club will have to take a hard-nosed stance and let him go – because I for one got very fed up with telling everyone here that I support a team in the third division and I don’t want to go through that again!!

  11. colin calderwood’s a fuckin genious…

  12. I was planning on posting my reflections later this week after my euphoria has calmed further, but I think your blog today has pretty accurately summed up what I would have said.
    I’m still not convinced by our manager – he’s made some shockingly Megson-esque decisions on far too many occasions over the past two seasons. But I am glad he has succeeded this season, whether by luck or design, and I’ll try and be patient with him next season – hopefully when he has us playing 4-4-2!

  13. I’ve given my apologies, in case you missed them it basicly goes like this Thanks for getting us up but your still lucky.

    His record is great, yes, but he’s only done it in the lower leagues. Now’s NOT the time to start, let’s enjoy the sumeer, see who comes in who goes out – Commons, put your signature where your mouth is – sign the new contract when presented now we’re in the Championship again.

    Again, a great thanks to all the players & the manager who despite his mysterious & infuriating ideas has taken us out of this league. I can’t help thinking though Commons might go but not because of not going up….

    Forest till I die – I’ll proudly be wearing a lot more often my Forest shirts this summer -))) See you in & around Ayia Napa & Protaras. There are at least 5 of us Trickies in Cyprus & a 6th is moving over soon!!!

  14. you cant argue with the best defensive record outside the premiership though can you?

  15. Well, the aftermath of a phenomenol weekend is starting to set in and now we think about next season. Great post NFFC, love the blog. And agree in part with what you said. The thing is, looking at the bigger picture, even though we technically won promotion on the last day and it was lucky in the sense that we had to rely on Donny falling at the last hurdle, the season is about every game we played. And overall, we did better than every team in the league bar Swansea (and Leeds if you don’t take their deducted points into account). Nobody was complaining when we were seven points in front of the pack back in December or whenever it was (seems a lifetime ago) apart from the fact that we were in the same position last year so we wondered if we would slip up again like last season. Fair play to the guy, over the whole season he managed to get us promoted. We’ll see what happens next season I guess, which will be very much dependent on who he can bring in. Championship is a whole different kettle of fish, maybe his method may work. I for one and happy with what he did and can feel proud to have held judgement until the end of the season, where nobody is complaining now. Great season, including all the tense moments. Uuuuuuu Reeedddssss!!!!!!!

  16. NFFC – You kept faith in him when many of us thought he should be sacked after last season so no apology necessary from yourself! It’s funny in football how the width of a goalpost can be the difference between you being a good or bad manager. But well done Colin – you deserve a chance to show your management ability in the Championship!

    It’s very interesting to watch an interview with him on Forest World where he talks about a nameless person who has supported him throughout and given him a book which has been ‘inspirational’. He also talks about the enormous effect that Neil Lennon had on the players – who then developed so well he couldn’t get in the team! According to Colin, the Lenny signing was the catalyst for our success this year!

    A special mention to all of the Yeovil supporters who lined up outside their coaches to congratulate all the forest fans leaving the ground. I thought that was brilliant!

  17. Who is that in the picture with the banner? Not you, is it?

    By the way, I have always been a “glass half-full” kind of person when it comes to all things NFFC, and therefore couldn’t agree more with Pachuca Red; no matter what the team’s failings were, over the course of 46 games, the table doesn’t lie (despite what the Leeds fans will tell you).

  18. Haha, no, it’s not me! I didn’t occur to me that saturday’s events were possible so I’d not have prepared such an optimistic banner!

  19. Oh well NFFC, but news just in on the official site reports some sad fan (maybe not even a red) has stolen our Physios bag. Yes, but he only wants the radio which was in it back.

    So to the spoilsport & sad person who took it – do the decent thing & return it back. Details on the official site.

  20. I saw you NFFC……………ripping up that “Smoulderwood Out” banner minutes after the final whistle blew on Saturday. You naughty boy LOL 🙂

    On the manager subject I too remain unconvinced. Looking back over the season, yes we won enough matches to eventually get promtion (for which I shall be eternally grateful) but Im struggling to think of many matches where we REALLY dominated and imposed ourselves, certainly over a full 90 minutes.

    On reflection, maybe my standards are just too high nowadays. I want Forest to stroke the ball around like the Forest of old. Maybe those days, at our level, are lost forever……Im just not sure.

    Finally I would like to echo Aylesbury Red’s praise of the Yeovil fans. I saw a load of them applauding Forest fans as they left the ground which I thought was a very nice touch.

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