Green about the gills?

Forest and Sunderland legend

Brian Clough: Forest and Sunderland legend

Without wishing to sound like a grinch (who was also green), I’m not quite sure why Forest have suddenly decided to compel people to wear green for the Sunderland cup game.  Of course, I realise it is supposedly to honour the late, and the great, Brian Clough who had an immeasurable impact as both manager and player alike for the two sides involved in the fixture, but well… why?

He passed away back in September 2004, so the date of the game – nudging the end of August – isn’t really of relevance, I realise the two sides obviously share a link with the Great Man, without sharing the animosity that we have with our nearest and dearest competitors this season; who we will meet in November this season for the opportunity to try to win back another tribute to Sir Brian – the trophy that bears his name that’s up for grabs every time we play the sheep botherers.

Now, don’t get me wrong – the contribution he made to Forest, to football and to – well – my life in general leaves me in permanent awe, with countless gratitude.  I wholeheartedly supported the campaign to have a statue of him erected in Nottingham, I can’t wait to see it later this year.  I am, in all honesty, a little bit obsessed with him to be point of reverence.

So it seems odd that this manufactured ‘tribute’ sits uncomfortably with me, doesn’t it?  Well, perhaps not.  It sits uncomfortably that rounds of ‘stand up for Brian Clough‘ is chanted at random intervals seemingly every game; it kind of dilutes the affection and legendary status he still retains at the City Ground.  I mean, what’s it for?  If it were on an anniversary, against appropriate opponents, then it makes more sense.  It doesn’t bother me, per say, it just leaves me feeling rather nonplussed.

Then something clicked; it’s because Smoulders himself is championing this green sweatshirt wearing idea personally.  Thinking back to Swansea, their fans at numerous intervals treated Roberto Martinez to a rousing chant in his honour; much as we did for Brian Clough back in the day.  Smoulds is clearly aware that he has yet to win acceptance amongst a fair chunk of our supporters – he’s certainly rarely, if ever, chanted for – does he accept this, so seek to collude with manufactured ideas to try to get the fans behind something?

It’s quite depressing really.  Sometimes I long for the days when every player had their own chant, their own chant that was generally – without fail – rattled off to them by the old Trent End during the pre-match warm up, before of course the amazing ‘Psycho salute’ when the captain lead out the side to start the game (having not joined the others for the warm up).  Maybe I’m just being over-nostalgic, but I miss those days – and not just because we were a better football team.

12 Responses

  1. I suppose it may link the rival fans in some way on the night and they can then be worn again for the replay….Hope I´m wrong on that but just a feeling…Alan

  2. So true nffc.
    Standing on the Trent End belting out songs and chants for individual players and seeing them salute back used to make my day.
    Sad fact is all-seater stadiums have knocked that on the head now. It’s not just the players or football they’re ‘treating’ us to. How can you go barmy when the guy sitting next you is worried about spilling his cup of tea, or the girl in front is texting her mate and isnt even looking up at the game??
    It’s not just us, watch any game on tv and the atmosphere just isnt what it used to be.
    As for CC, he’s got a long way to go before he is worthy of his own chant. Well, one that he’d like, anyway!

    I wore a green top for the West Ham game after BC left us, I’d do the same again if someone organised some sort of benefit game (Nigel…?)
    But against Sunderland in the 2nd round of the Carling cup? Nah, I’ll try the blue labbatts shirt again, well it worked against Yeovil (I’m not superstitious!!)

  3. I can’t see anything on the Sunderland website about wearing green for this game and I agree with you NFFC it seems an odd thing to do for this game.

    Very bad news that Lewis is injured. I’d quite like to see Thornhill given another chance as he looks a great prospect and scores goals. But I’d prefer to see him as the attacking midfielder in a 442 with proper wide men and 2 strikers rather than Colin’s strange formation!

  4. Well I seem to remember rattling of chants for every player in the current Trent End, okay so we were in the premier, perhaps europe but at most, if not all home games you could hear the Trent End singing.

    The fact you cant now is just as much the supporters fault as anything else, apathetic is the only word you can use to describe them, too busy moaning, blaming everyone else for lack of atmosphere.

    I’ve now taken up permanent residence in the trent end, mainly because my mates refused to move and i’ll be doing my best to start the chants, and support others, that means its up to you lot to back me and the others up!

  5. I would like to think Calderwood wasn’t quite so scheming as to put his weight behind this idea just to get some adulation himself. In fact, I think that he is sensible in supporting anything related to the club’s heritage. If he didn’t, the fans would think even less of him and on previous interviews I have heard he has talked about the club’s past as somethnig that elevates our status rather than as the burden that some previous mangers have suggested.

    I don’t like this latest idea though. It is a manufactured tribute to try and raise the attendance for a game that is going to be on sky and will not attract a big crowd. The media will make all the Roy Keane played for Clough links in the build up so some bright spark at the club thought lets cash in on this! It is ridicolous and I agree that it goes some way to diluting the sentiments of respect and affection that is poured out for the Great man on more approriate occassions such as actual anniversaries, important matches or when we play Leeds or Derby. It just shows again that the club really doesn’t understand its fans, its all very dissapointing.

    Also, does anybody agree that a half full City Ground with splatterings of green will actually be quite embarrassing. It will just send the message to everybody watching on Sky that we are not a well supported club and we can’t even be bothered to turn out for a game against a Premiership side when there is an added reason to attend and celebrate a great figure from the club’s history. I’m not criticisiong the people who won’t go to the game (I won’t be going) but I just think that’s how it will be perceived by fans of other clubs watching.

  6. I’m not trying to cause an argument but the way I see it, it’s nothing to do with Calderwood. As is already mentioned, there is nothing on the Sunderland website so I can only assume it’s an excuse to try and encourage fans to attend the game after the poor showing against Morecombe.

    Hidden agenda? Maybe. I can understand the link between the two clubs but with already playing them in pre-season and it being on Sky TV, the Forest hierarchy are scared that Sunderland will bring more fans than we’ll have attending the game and are therefore encouraging people to attend with a ‘Clough link’. Sad really. Perhaps they should actually award season ticket holders for a change and offer a slight (I’m not asking for a massive amount) discount.

    I only live about five miles from the City Ground but will be saving that £15 for Wolves away instead and watch it on Sky. A terrible thing to say but with my season ticket and other game/travelling costs in a poor financial climate I don’t think it’s fair that true fans (season ticket holders that also attend all of if not most away games) should be paying the same for cup games as the average person on the street. Even £1 off would at least show some loyalty.

    I’ve stumped up my £480 in the summer and also have membership for the Forest Foundation, etc, etc but what awards do you get for season tickets nowadays except advance on away tickets? Nothing. My apologies, my moan is over. Have a nice day.

  7. Mattyboy is spot on. Our ground has been turned into no atmosphere zone. What would help is if we were given the Lower Bridgeford and allow people to sit wherever they want. Villa have done something similar and crowds & atmosphere has increased, County have given home fans the Kop. Don’t expect Forest to catch on to this until 2025!!

  8. Dave you obviously wern’t at the Yeovil game.
    The noise in the Trent End was ear splitting!
    I’ve been in the Trent End since the early 70’s and whilst it was noiser then, the fans still needed something from the team to really get them going.
    I always feel there is almost a sense of ‘show us you’re trying then we will get right behind you’ If things are not going well but the team is giving everything there is no louder support anywhere. Unfortunately in recent years there have seen too many games where you can feel the apathy in the crowd because they believe the team isn’t trying.
    On the green sweatshirt issue I agree with you NFFC, I have no idea why Calderwood has suggested this.I find it insulting that he appears to be looking to gain kudos out of the memory of a man who is a legend to me and many others. My tip to him would be stick to what he’s paid for and not to get into things he knows nothing about!!

  9. Absolutely spot on fella; getting in the Trent End @ 1.30 pm to get a decent vantage point…happy days. I too am a little miffed about the green sweat-shirts & share your reverence of the legend of Sir Brian.
    In relation to the large gates @ the sheep dip-A large part of their recent rise in “bums on seats” has a lot to do with the tie-in’s offered when all the glory-hunters grabbed season tickets last season. So don’t be conned by the lines about loyal fans etc. The reality is that Forest, just like all other clubs, need to start looking at more realistic pricing policys or attendances will continue to fall.
    “At number one is Brian Rice, At number two..”

  10. I’d agree with the ‘hidden agenda’ line of thinking. It does seem to be a somewhat contrived and thinly veiled way of getting people up for a game that is a/ of little importance in the grand scheme of the season b/ midweek and c/ on TV anyway.

    Having said that given that the majority of people just blindly accept any fasion/trend/order that comes their way it probably will encourage a few extra fans to the game wearing the desired green attire.

  11. This actually links in to the debate about ticket prices and attendances, specifically the hypothesis that people are less willing to turn up because all the goodwill has been spent; we Reds have become a cynical bunch after years of mismanagement on and off the pitch, and disdain towards the fans from some of these regimes (and to an extent, who can blame us?).

    I personally suspect that Marthur and the Commercial Director have cooked up this idea, and CC is just doing as his paymasters tell him to do…

  12. I think CC has a very long way to go to get the support of the fans despite last seasons promotion. I sense the majority of Forest fans still are not convinced by CC especially with his continuing frustrating tactics and not so attractive style of play. The green campaign is i agee embarrassing.
    There is no doubt Football matches cannot escape the effects of the current economic climate, therefore there is even a greater need for CC to produce exciting attacking football which fans will be more willing to pay to see., Earnshaw up front on his own is not the answer, I still believe in too many games CC’s overall objective is not too lose the game as opposed to go out and winning it, he gives too much respect and attention to the opposition.
    Maybe this will change when we get Cole, Tyson Garner Anderson and the others are fit-I really really hope so!!!
    Come on u reds

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