Forest score five, but only win by one!

Norwich City – 2
Nottingham Forest – 3

Apologies for the delay in posting this, I returned to Nottingham this afternoon to a number of distractions!  Thanks for your concerns, Vasillis, but worry not, everything’s fine!

So, the drive to Norwich is always interesting – if you don’t go ‘cross country’ you end up in Suffolk before heading back upward into Norfolk which can unnerve the unwary traveller!  However, I got to my destination in time for a quick wander around East Anglia’s capital, and it was really rather nice.  In my parochial way, judging everywhere I go by football chants, I imagined a ‘frontier town’ type affair, but I was wrong!

Pembo’s first game in charge saw him ring the changes, five of them no less.  And he changed the formation!  Lining up with Camp in goal, a back four right to left of Chambers, Morgan, Breckin and Heath, a midfield five of Cohen, Thornhill, Perch, McGugan and Anderson, with Tyson operating as a lone striker.  On the bench were added firepower of Earnie and Garner, along with Moloney, McCleary and Smith.

The game started positively, and some interplay between Lewis and Thornhill culminated in a chance for Chambers which was blocked at source, then passed back to the keeper – not that the referee noticed!  Marshall was in action again, coming out smartly to smother a chance before Cohen could pounce.  The Norwich fans started the game in good voice, but very reminiscent of us at home, very quickly got on their team’s back.

Croft on the right wing was looking dangerous for the home side, and was taking advantage perhaps of Heath’s inexperience as he often got around the youngster to pump crosses in.  One reached the giant Gary Doherty who brought a decent save from Lee Camp, conceding a corner.

Less than half way into the second half Forest had the lead, Tyson did all the work in getting the ball back for Thornhill who hit it from the edge of the area, smacking the post and ending up in the net – much to the shock of the travelling Reds fans!  It must have slightly confused the players too, who started letting Norwich back into the game, but not for long.

Lewis evaded both Clingan and Omozusi to give him a direct run at Marshall; the keeper came out quickly but McGugan kept his cool and calmly slotted the ball through his legs and into the waiting goal.  Now if the first goal came as a bit of a surprise, the second one certainly did!  Any pretense of contentment from the home fans disappeared and the vitriol started coming from them – either that or sullen silence.  Which made a nice change from such things afflicting us.

The Canaries heads hadn’t dropped though, and Croft again provided the danger with a break forward and a decent shot which Camp stopped comfortably in the end.  Pattison must’ve been asking himself why he headed the ball to Lita when six yards out rather than going for goal, but that’s what he did – and it gave Camp the opportunity to intervene and prevent a goal.

The save of the game came from Camp – although he was out of position in the first place – the loanee was off his line, and Pattison looked to have done enough to lob it over him and into the goal, but somehow he got back to get a strong hand to tip it over the bar for a corner.  Cue the inevitably-going-to-be-ignored chants of ‘SIGN HIM UP!’ from the travelling Reds fans.

Despite ending the half strongly, Forest did have the last say – McGugan hassled the ball from Omozusi and found Tyson whose shot was dragged wide which probably would’ve wrapped up the game at half time.  As it was, 2-0 is never a particularly comfortable lead to defend – in fairness, given the number of times we’ve had one, I don’t suppose any lead for us is comfortable to defend!

The second half started more evenly; Forest were just a bit more urgent but Norwich were containing them from creating any further chances.  Tyson managed to make a monkey out of Omozusi and get a shot away, but Doherty was on hand (tell you what, he’s a quick bugger than Doherty!) to get a block in to prevent the danger.

With the Reds looking increasingly comfortable the Reds fans mischievously started ‘You will be sacked in the morning’ chanting again, this time directed at the weasel-faced Glenn Roeder – amusingly this chant was gleefully taken up by the home fans!  Anderson was unlucky with a curling effort that almost wrong-footed Marshall, but Forest were predictably starting to sit deeper and deeper in defence.

Heath blocked a cross from Croft, but from corner a flick-on bounced of the bar out to Russell, whose shot looked pretty poor until it took a rather decisive looking deflection off Ian Breckin to evade Camp and find its way in the goal.  This got the home sides tails well and truly up, and they did start to pile on the pressure, and we certainly showed some signs of cracking, with Lita having a chance narrowly over.

Doherty nearly made a serious faux pas, passing back without looking which got Earnshaw almost clean through.  The substitute almost got around Marshall to claim a goal but the ‘keeper managed to just get a touch to take it out for a corner.  The bloke infront of me started saying “He doesn’t want to score against them, look!” – referring to Earnshaw’s prematch and half-time interactions with the Norwich fans.

Forest lost a lot of shape after this, Camp made an outstanding save from a Lita header that had goal written all over it.  However, Forest got the next goal somewhat against the run of play – substitute Joe Garner played a great ball through to Earnshaw who did well to evade Doherty in the penalty area before deftly chipping the ball over Marshall and into the goal.  He flipped infront of the Forest fans before making ‘peace’ gestures to the four stands of Norwich fans, a nice touch.

The referee – who was increasingly giving every decision to the home side unless his linesmen intervened (he even booked Chambers for being shoved by Lita!) – dredged five minutes of stoppage time from somewhere, which set a few sphincters a twitching – particularly when Joe Garner, for reasons he alone will know – decided to plant a spectacular diving header onto Wes Hoolahan’s cross to gift Norwich their second own goal of the day.

Fortunately for us, there wasn’t much time left and the whistle did indeed go to give us a much needed win to take us out of the relegation zone.  The celebrations were more muted than we might have expected, but it was such a relief to get the points!  Camp running to the fans, doing the ‘I’m not worthy’ bow and lobbing his shirt to the fans is a sign to me he’s not sticking around – which is a crying shame.

And so, having been out of the internet loop for a period of time I have no idea of the latest rumours – except that Paul ‘sex pest’ Jewell has quit on Derby, which is amusing.  Although of course it is only fair to admit that the vacancy down the road does give us some competition in filling ours – assuming we don’t already have somebody lined up.  I imagine it will be a competition between Forest and Derby fans to see who can come up with the most enduring Nigel Clough related rumours.

I am worried that there don’t seem to be any moves to get Camp to sign permanently, and it’s a little worrying that we have immediately gone ahead to extend Lynch’s loan spell despite him being, well, a bit rubbish for the most part.  We shall see, I suppose!

22 Responses

  1. Good to see your alive and well nffc you had us all worried.Top result for us the club have said that the camp deal is on hold at mo i suspect camp is also wary of the threat of billy davies coming in as is earnie.

    Isnt it funny pembo comes in uses the football nouse that has won him the leage last year and we are in the groove.Oh i despair at the likes of mark arthur he is the real cause of forest plight HE CLEARLY DOESNT KNOW WHAT HES DOING.

    U reds

  2. I too enjoyed a leisurely stroll around Norwich interupted only by the occasional drinking hole, but must say how surprised i was by how quiet and welcoming nearly all of the pubs were. Great day,so so match,great goals,fantastic celebration by earnie/rest of the lads including campy(highlight of the day for me).Ended by Lee Camps parting gesture too us fans at the end -QUALITY. Great piece as ever NFFC,good to see you’re safe and sound, keep us up-dated if you hear owt please.

  3. Lynch’s tie up with a permanent deal is a very strange one considering his recent performances & the fact he’s not very good. Funnily enough in running the rule over a player I’d always make sure he can pass a ball five yards…However, I do believe that this deal was tied up before christmas whilst Billy Smart was still in charge!!
    Whilst I was suprised to see Maloney not figuring in the starting line up, I was pleased to see the team tightened up & a formation created that suited the strength of Perch, the creativity of McGugan & the penetrating runs of Thornhill. In addition, the second half performance of Tyson against Donny must have proved to all @ the City Ground that you MUST start with him EVERY match. Quite simply his pace and workload are invaluable. Anyway onwards and upwards…”Gary Johnson’s/Brian Laws/Martinez’s/Roy Keane’s/Curbishley’s Red & White Army.”

  4. I don’t want to take anything away from Pemberton but how much of the lineup and formation was dictated to him by certain players being unavailableand others being knackered from a full 90 minutes of headless chicken impressionism only a couple of days previous? I suspect that nearly all the team changes were enforced.

    Lynch’s move isn’t that strange considering Bennett is out for an extended period. There’s obviously little confidence in Heath within the club though…

  5. i admire your stance of not openly criticising players NFFC but we all know that lynch is rubbish, lets just hope he’s there to make up the numbers during suspensions and injuries and at the end of the season he tootles off back to brighton.

    i have to say that the best i have seen mc gugan play this season has been up front, against southampton he ran circles round them and looked like cruyff with some of his flicks and touches, then on sunday he was always a threat with the ball at his feet, the pass to tyson on the left when he intercepted the ball and his cool finish for the second were top drawer. At times he has been poor in the middle, failing to impose himself on the game and too often misplacing passes, sitting behind the front man in a 4-4-1-1 might be his best position, supporting the front man and also dropping deep to win the ball, especially with an already proven young player going by the name of thornhill running the midfield.

  6. Off subject here – I found in facebook the group: Appreciation Society for Terry Farndale – AKA ‘Terry the Kitman’! U wouldn’t know anything Mr NFFC?

  7. I do wish people would stop getting their knickers in a twist over the respective situations of Camp and Lynch. The club are acting in the only sensible way possible with regards to both.

    Camp has been great, and I’d love to see him sign, but there’s a big ‘but’ to add to that. How much will he cost? If QPR don’t want to loan him again (which must be the case), he’s going to cost a serious chunk of cash to get them to sell. Especially given the finances at Loftus Road. Forest have indicated we’ll be one of the very few clubs to have a budget available for the transfer window (thanks Chairman), is anyone seriously suggesting they should start spending it for the new manager before he arrives? Camp is certain to be discussed by the transfer committee (that I believe has been serving us well since introduced), the new manager will have the option, what more can Forest do? Even then, bearing in mind Smith is decent, if QPR want seven figures for him there’s a case to be made we should spend some money on players that would stop us relying on our keeper so much, perhaps with an eye to looking at Camp again in the summer. Or who knows, maybe the new manager will have another goalkeeping target. The crucial thing is for the club not to tie his hands. Oh, and no-one who called for Calderwood to be sacked can berate the club if Camp goes. You can’t call for the manager’s head and expect the players he wanted to be the players his replacement wants.

    As far as Lynch goes, again the club have one the right thing. All they’ve done is extended the loan, which given we’ve no other left-back at the club with experience is a no-brainer. The new manager can take a look at him, send him back if he wants to, keep him if he wants to. I hear what people are saying about his performance level, which in general hasn’t been good enough, but Lynch comes out of things better than the morons screaming abuse at a kid of 21 game after game.

  8. As Cloughie did with Shilts,You buy a good keeper whatever the cost !!!. Camp has fitted in well,penalty saves,commanding his area and shouting at the defenders,good quick distribution of the ball,
    It seems we are after the walsall keeper who is having a good season and whose contract expires at the end of the season. Save a few bob I suppose, but I would be happy to know Camp is with us.
    I would be very happy if arthur resigned,but he knows no one else would employ him,and for some very strange reason Doughty won´t sack him. Unfortunately he must have a good expensive long term contract. Ah well onwards and upwards…Keep up the good work NFFC !!

  9. Camp should be available for 500k absolute tops. Somewhere between 200k and 300k is a much more realistic figure.

  10. JOHN MICHAEL some good points made ,but how much would relagation cost us,i am not saying one man makes a team ,but for camp over the last weeks has saved us from being further in the shit than we are now ,i would have thought getting the keeper on board either short or long term would have been the clubs main aim ,then letting the new gaffer make his mind up ,if they think lynch is up to the task i must have been watching a different game…..great blog NFFC.

  11. John Michael White – I think you make some excellent points and I agree completely with your view. Personally, I am also delighted that the club hasn’t made any rash announcements and hasn’t already appointed someone – that means that any decision that is made will be more considered, will have reviewed all the options and will be a better decision.

    I’m involved with senior level recruitment and the process and decision at this level typically takes 2-3 months so we shouldn’t expect such a crucial decision to be made in a few hours. Also, it is not just whether the chosen person can do the job, but will they do it in a way that fits with the culture and ethos of the organisation.

    The last 13 games have yielded a respectible total of points and continuation at that level would see us end the season with more than the “magical” 50 points and probable safety. It is imperative that whoever comes in understands this and can build on this improvement,

    I’m sure that Nigel Doughty and Mark Arthur also understand this, so this is a time to support them and then back their decision fully.

    NFFC – keep up the great work – by a long distance, the best written and most informative Forest blog!

  12. Looking at Newsnow ,I dont like the look of davies coming here and clough going to the sheep. That would be horrible. Please God no !!!

  13. Ooh, me heart just skipped a beat. Clicked on to the “official” site to see King Trev staring at me with the headline “back on trentside”!!! For a split second I thought ND had made his decision!

  14. I’ve just realised the new banner NFFC, fantanstic! I have seen the reports from various papers that Billy will be named as the new manager, what a delightful belated Christmas present… NOT! Happy New Year to you all!

  15. please god not davies to us and clough to them

  16. It looks like it’s Davies according to the official site.

    We could have done a lot worse, so lets get behind him and see what he can bring to us.


  17. Jingle bells
    Doughty tells
    Davies coming in
    oh what glum it is for us
    when forest need to win

  18. It’s officially there on the forest site chaps… barring a breakdown in negotiations (please) the davies era begins today-ish. Yes could have been a lot worse, but I guess you’ll have to change the header agin nffc.

  19. I’l post this here too so here goes – Davies in = Earnie in the cold & Camp definatly not coming back. That’s why we don’t want him @ the club. 2 star players isolated is the last thing we need & if he gets the job it’s a very likely senario.

    I hope that sums up the anti-Davies thoughts nicely.


  21. Yiannaki – you’ve lead the calls for Smouders to be sacked on these pages; surely you of all our fans should be welcoming of the new appointment? 😆

  22. I don’t think this is the beginning of the end for Earnie.

    I think he will continue to be in the team, I certainly hope so anyway.

    The sheep fans I have the misfortune of knowing are pretty jealous as they all think Davies is a decent manager who paid the price for getting the promoted too early. I think I can be pretty confident they would have ended up with more than 11 points if he had stayed on. I think he was sacked because he criticised the american owners for not putting any money into the club (something they have repeated before they announce a new manager)

    We don’t know do we, but I am pretty optimistic. He has a track record in this division of getting teams into the play-offs with Derby and Preston, been to the play-off final twice I believe and won one of them.

    I just hope he keeps Camp on-board. He obviously knows him, but I think he went to QPR during his time as manager.

    Part of me is hoping he’s not such a nice guy. CC was the nicest man in the world by all accounts, but sometimes you need your manager to get a bit “nasty”

    Happy New Year to you all.

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