Everything but the goal..

Nottingham Forest – 0
Blackpool – 0

This afternoon was one of those frustrating afternoons.  Not because Forest were rubbish, well, not entirely, but because no matter what we did it seemed like we’d never ever score.  Even though Blackpool didn’t bother turning up, and we got to play some men in B&Q uniforms instead, we couldn’t win.  Whilst our opponents basically went for spoiling tactics, some of our promising attacks finished in a poor effort on goal or a decent save from man-of-the-match Paul Rachubka.  I imagine the visitors today will return to their comfort zone of directing customers to laminate flooring and rawl plugs.

The first half was the pick of the halves; the first chance fell to the visitors but it was easy for Camp to gather; our first decent chance was a fantastic ball by Thornhill through to Moloney who was motoring down the right flank, his early ball into the box looked perfect for Tyson to latch on to, unfortunately the striker put it wide.  Tys was looking lively though, winning a freekick and earning former Stag Alex Baptiste a fairly early booking.

After my lambasting of corners and freekicks, today was a very marked improvement – and this freekick found the head of Wes Morgan whose header looped onto the top of the bar, albeit covered all the way by their ‘keeper.  Morgan again came close after the ball fell for him from a tight angle, who volleyed powerfully from six yards – Rachubka did well to close the angle and to hold onto the ball to prevent any further danger.

The hapless Joel Lynch (I’m sorry to single him out, but he was an unmitigated disaster every time he touched the ball this afternoon!) was withdrawn with a dead leg for the return of Julian Bennett.  I was excited by this prospect, and then felt a little depressed at how desperate our situation has become.  Bennett was a late addition to the bench at the expense of Paul Smith, a fortunate decision there!  

Forest continued to press, I commented to my neighbour that it was the best game I’ve seen from Thornhill, he commented very aptly that he was playing against probably the worst central midfield we’ve seen for some time.  Blackpool were by and large awful – which makes it worrying we never got the breakthrough against them, I would say we were moderately less awful than them – but ultimately we share the points, so the margin can’t have been that great.  Tyson had another effort – this time on target – which was aved well by Rachubka.

The next chance fell to Garner who headed powerfully from close range forcing the ‘keeper into a smart save, diving to his left.  It was from a corner, too – we actually had a LOT of corners this afternoon, and only about three of them were rubbish, compared to the normal 90%!  It’s true that our attacking of the ball once it reached the box clearly left something to be desired, but I guess the lads haven’t had much practice of that for a while – so they need to get used to the idea first!

Next probably came the chance of the game, Cohen delivered a great freekick into the box, picking out James Perch who conspired to miss the target completely from only six yards.  He’ll be kicking himself for that, another below-par performance from Perchy from a passing and attacking point of view – as ever he did good work tracking back and covering his defensive colleagues; which I imagine nobody will have noticed.

Tyson had another chance just before the break as the ball fell to him after a defensive mix-up, unfortunately he was rushed into an early shot which hit Rachubka giving Forest yet another corner.  My neighbour joked that Blackpool had worked out that the ultimate defensive tactic against Forest was to keep giving us corners, which was a little cynical, but amusing nonetheless.  The general mood at half time was a mixture of resignation that we’d never score, with a tinge of that optimism that football fans can never quite quell, despite years of bitter experience.

The second half started with Anderson cutting in from the left and doing well to fashion himself a shooting chance, unfortunately he didn’t get nearly enough power behind the strike making it a relatively simple save for Rachubka – although it did give us yet another corner.  Blackpool had probably their best spell in the third quarter of the game, without ever looking particularly threatening.  Perch picked up a very soft booking will will see him suspended now for our next game.  Blackpool put the freekick wide.

Best effort went to Cohen who cut inside from the right and into the area, striking a decent effort that brought probably the best of numerous saves from Rachubka.  With goals hard to come by, it probably made sense to bring on Earnshaw from the bench at the expense of the increasingly ineffective Garner.  He almost got himself almost into a goalscoring chance when Thornhill headed the ball into the six yard box, but the striker wasn’t quite able to reach it.

Another corner (corner number fifteen according to the official site) found Bennett who headed against the crossbar, but time was running out and they were unable to capitalise on their efforts.  It didn’t help us that the referee was clearly on secondment from Rugby where it’s okay to manhandle players, because he let the Blackpool defence get away with what looked like blatant infringements when challenging aerially; but that’s kinda par for the course.  All in all, a good performance – but we need wins, and we’re not getting them.

Boos and calls for Smoulderwood’s head greeted the final whistle, which is kind of inevitable, as people’s memories of a game we actually played some good stuff in are erased in the midst of a result that wasn’t wanted.  Who knows what the answer is, certainly not I.  We did actually make up some ground and go to third from bottom today, however, with results elsewhere going how they did, this afternoon has to be considered a massive missed opportunity to make up more ground.  Two home games against two poor teams should have yielded more than one point.

Our next opponents are Southampton, followed by Doncaster, then Norwich and then Charlton – these are all the teams that are around us at the foot of the table, so these games are all huge.  A run of results in these fixtures could see us clambering precariously towards safety.  Or worse still, becoming further embroiled in a desperately unwanted relegation battle.  Let’s hope the Forest fans are singing ‘Jingle Bells’ at St. Mary’s next week, then maybe we might just celebrate a Merry Christmas.   Not that we’re exactly famed for our runs of results over the festive period…

26 Responses

  1. Your article on corners really hit home today.16 and no goals.. Still no Breckin,our best header of the ball and fortunately due to the ball being at the other end of the pitch there were no disasters from wilson. Sounds like their keeper was in inspired form… Now we HAVE to win at southampton !!!

  2. 19,000 and kids for a quid. Have the youth of Nottingham have lost interest ??
    I know why. Took the kids again to the match today towards the end the call’s against CC became quite vociferous. I will not be taking them again because sport is supposed to be enjoyable. They asked if they could sit somewhere else next time. Truth is there ain’t nowehere.

    Match programme showed that ND chucked in another £6m this year. What is the bloke doing ?? Is he being conned ??

    On the pitch Tyson great, Maloney magnificent, Anderson well worth watching.

    Calderwood produces teams that makes scoring difficult so not suprised on the result.
    OHH to the days when we have a team that scores goals, a Manager who doesn’t bullshit people in his interviews and someone you have some faith in.

    Until then F’OFF to those in charge at Nottingham Forest.

  3. I think today summed up Forest’s season so far perfectly. Some lovely stuff at times, some woeful lapses on concentration on others, some poor decision making in the final third, a total inability to cross a ball or stike a shot with venom, another ref who refuses to give us a penalty and a mystifing decision from Calderwood – taking off Anderson in this instance.

    I’m beginning to think the playoffs may be just beyond reach this season 😉

  4. i agree radgie
    in terms of lynch… i actually felt slightly sorry for him.
    When he was subbed off…. bennett came on to great applause, normally when a Forest player is injured and gets up, normally they get applauded, however i presume this applause was solely for Bennett.
    When Lynch went down, I said “I’m not surprised, if I was Lynch I’d want to get off straight away”
    I totally agree that almost every touch Lynch had, he messed it up. Similar to Eboue, of what I saw, last weekend for Arsenal.

  5. Forest did everything today but score. Blackpool didnt even turn up!! it was like the goal had a magnetic forsefield around it! But what a weekend to claw back with everyone around us losing. But weil never get better opportunities to win a game. Just to remphasise the dissapointment of this result. I texted my mate after the game telling him the score and said Forest lost!!!

  6. We are already relegated our failure as a club to stop the rot has cost us and forest never learn.Draws hard luck stories is a pile of crap we are not good enough for this leage.





  7. It would seem that the Forest players must read your blog, nffc!
    Our corners and free-kicks were vastly improved, and Garner played much better today than previously. Although he still didn’t look likely to score, which is his job…
    Bit harsh on Perch I feel. He did okay, IMO. Now he’ll be replaced by Lewis though and struggle to regain his place back.
    I was a bit bemused by the formation though. 442, great. But a right footer on the left and left footer on the right??? And why swap Anderson for Davies??
    Quick mention for Moloney and Thornhill, both were candidates for MoM.

    Now, a complaint.
    What the f**k was all the booing about at the end??? The players come over to the Trent End to applaud the fans and all they hear is booing. Wes, Cohen and Perch looked crushed. I was ashamed to be a Forest fan at that moment. Sure, have a go at Calderwood, and I know thats who the booing was for, but for christ sake do some of these people have any intelligence at all?
    This was an improved performance and we should have clapped them off then walked round to the front and protested if thats how you feel.

    And we wonder why good players cant wait to leave and other teams good players dont want to come.

  8. Agree about Moloney and Thornhill; their best performances yet (that I recall anyway)..

    I’ve never been much of a fan of booing at the end; unless the performance on the pitch has been dire too – which it wasn’t today.

    I don’t think I’m being too harsh on Perchy – I really rate him but his passing has been woeful this week, and it’s not exactly his strongest point on a good day – so for it to be noticeably worse is a worry. We’ll miss his defensive covering when he’s out though, all that work he does that goes unnoticed by most.

    Judging by the influx of unfamiliar faces presumably snapping up £1 tickets (although I’m sure they weren’t kids!) around me, then your question about people having any intelligence at all is an emphatic no!

  9. spot on with the complaint maattyboy !

  10. Well despite the manager and players best intentions it seems we are all but relegated now. Yes we are only 4 points from the next place but we are both unlucky and lucky, ask yourself how many times has camp saved the day recently…. we need to prepare for div3 again, PLEASE NFFC LOOK AT YOUR TICKET PRICING….Football is about to undergo a revolution, Forest had better be prepared.

  11. From where I sat there are supporters who are turning on the players, some of the boos are at them as well. Poorly directed (on any occassion), but you’re going to have to stomach it whilst Calderwood is still in charge.

    The positives today are the determination of the players. It’s definetly a case of Monty Pythons “the 100 yard sprint for people with no sense of direction”, and it doesn’t suprise me that we get so few goals.

    MOM 1. Maloney 2. Thornhill 3. Anderson. Also Tyson has a dead certain penalty second half right in front of me.

    I can’t wait until Calderwood quits, we just might have a chance if we get ourselves sorted out going forwards.

  12. B4 I start, why the heck CC hasn’t 3 walked yet. Disgusting. That’s y the title is that. Same excuses, different day. Calamitywood will make any player look bad. 2 wins in 10 games guys. The only point which looks good is 2 defeats in the same time.


  13. Presume Smoulds leaving would’ve made Rachubka have an off day, or perhaps our strikers be more accurate? :S

  14. This is the first game where I actually think it’s the players at fault.

    Calderwood did OK (weird choice of wingers apart), the players just aren’t able to give it that bit extra to make the difference. Which is a shame cos I’m pretty sure that they’ve got the ability, they’re just not quite right mentally. And I think the fitness coaches need shooting – why are we always looking knackered at 80 minutes when the opposition are still full of running?

  15. nffc – y u refering to this game only? You think CC staying is the way onwards? His track record in the last 10 = Relegation. Nobody wants it but the truth is in the league table. 3rd from bottom, 4 pts adrift & 3 big games follow again. Saints away, Doncaster H on a Friday night then Norwich again A on the Sunday after! …

  16. Just playing devil’s advocate, my friend. It’s easier to find someone to blame than it is to find a solution sometimes! I have no idea what the answer is.

  17. It was wrist-slittingly dull and disjointed. I dont think we deserved a win, even though they kicked lumps out of us and the Ref was a blind wooss.

    Team selection lacked any creativity in midfield to unlock them (McLeary would have been the obvious choice)

    When will CC realise Earnie needs someone to hold up the ball with him (as does Tyson) – so Tyson/Garner YES, but Tyson/Earnie in the second half – foolhardy.


    Btw WHAT has happened to Lee Martin? Apart from being the “worst haircut at the club poster boy” why is he not taking to the field?

  18. […] turned up wearing the worst kit I have seen so far this season, which Through the Seasons Before Us noted was very similar to a B&Q uniform. That should not be a distraction though, and to be […]

  19. Yep I worried.. If Blackpool were aweful how coem we aint winning?

    My guess is that 3 from the bottom might be where we deserve…….

    The defensive mentality that got us promoted almost didnt work last year .. and it really isnt going to work this year in fact its going to relegate us.

  20. Once again its reality check time for some fans.
    After promotion Calderwood was given a substantial amount of money to spend then told us a second straight promotion was possible!!
    Where are we know?
    Bottom three with some fans claiming we played reasonably well to get a 0-0 draw at home against a side that is happy not to get relegated each season.
    The booing and chants of ‘OUT’ were quite clearly aimed at Calderwood who had ventured onto the pitch. Once he had left everbody applauded the team off.

  21. Oh, so it wasn’t spontaneous booing then?!
    Whatever, it just doesn’t help the players, does it.

    I’ve been a long-term critic of Calderwood, pretty much from day one. I’m just at a loss as to how this club can progress. Everyone is saying sack the manager, but who for? We can all see the problem and who’s at fault. But can someone please give me a nailed-on certainty to save us?
    Davies? Nooooo!
    Dowie? See above.
    Alladyce? As above (He wouldn’t come even if asked).
    Clough? Long term he may be a good manager, but will he have instant success (which is what we now need).
    Keane? Curbishley?
    We could argue that no-one could do any worse, but if we leave it too late and get relegated regardless would we then turn on the new man?

    I firmly believe that the squad we’ve got is more than capable of surviving this season. But only with the right motivation.

    We HAVE to start winning. If Calderwood stays we’re down, if he goes I can’t see beyond Keane.

  22. It doesn’t help the players ?
    Come off it the players arn’t completely stupid even they must be aware of where the fans’ anger is directed.

    Voicing our opinion for change after a game is the only real option we have to be heard on mass.

    As for a candidate to take over there are many out of a job and many in jobs. Curbishley is my preference. He’s done it with Charlton & West Ham.

  23. Mattyboy: well said, except for two things:

    1. No-one can see into the future, it is far from certain that “if Calderwood stays we’re down”, especially as several other teams seem to be doing their best to go down as well

    2. Some people are accusing Calderwood of spending too much money with little result (amongst other things) – why would Keane be any different?

    URED: looking at Tyson and Wes at full-time, they came to applaud the Trent End and were visibly upset when they heard the boos – maybe you give them too much credit, or maybe negativity breeds negativity?

  24. As I sais on the eighteensixtyfive blog: “when is it gonna be plain enough to see CC will at best keep us up? If anybody can prove to me otherwise, I will stop asking for him 2 leave.

    …. read the rest there! …..

    A team includes a manager, something we have but need a better on to pull away from this mess.”

    He’s said it after 10 judge me, we did. He didn’t budge, injuries came gone came gone – virtualy full squad, same results… Still won’t go. 😦

  25. I see coventry want to swap tyson plus 500´000 for best.
    Best can´t get into the coventry team so we should have him as he is from Nottingham…..so is wilson.!
    Tyson for best and 2 million from them sounds more like it if they want tyson and want to ofload best !! You have to admire their nerve. Unless our board..shudder shudder, think that is a good deal..
    .Nothing would surprise me any more…We might even get a couple of wins in the next 2 games….

  26. Wouldn’t b suprised either

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