Worst game in history?

Billy: You and the board have a lot to answer for

Billy: You and the board have a lot to answer for


Nottingham Forest – 1
Derby County – 3

Let’s be honest, it was a dreadful game of football between two dreadfully poor sides, the problem is our side was more dreadfully poor than our opponents, by some margin.  The referee was rubbish, but not in a match-changing way, our inability to deal with set pieces did for us – the first goal saw our defenders looking like statues, the second a barely-contested header in the box, the third – well, Hulse dived like a good ‘un, but there was contact, so it probably was a penalty.  All in all, a shameful afternoon.

The players tried, I don’t doubt that – Earnshaw and Anderson were clearly not even vaguely fit but tried hard, Tyson worked his nuts off – the sad fact is that as a collective, they weren’t good enough.  Davies lamented our small squad, our lack of bodies, the spending power of our opponents.  Hang on, last time I checked we spent £2.6m on a single player in the summer – we have spent big, just on too few players.  Frankly, this result – which feels like a new low – is because of the club’s abject failure to strengthen in January, something they said they would do.

We had a record of no defeat on Nottingham soil to them for 30 years, that has been blown away twice in a matter of weeks.  That is not good enough, regardless of the size of their squad, regardless of our injuries, regardless of whatever other excuses reel easily from the tongue.  It is not good enough.  Billy Davies, Mark Arthur, and Nigel Doughty – you all owe us fans big time for this humiliation you have inflicted upon us.

Upon leaving the ground I had taken some solace in the fact that with ten minutes to go we’d come back into the game, we’d got a goal back – Perch really should’ve had one, and we could have really battled for an equaliser.  It wasn’t until getting back into my car that I realised – with a little help from Robin Chipperfield (yeah, thanks a lot Robin!) that with ten minutes to go, Derby withdrew a player through injury and played on with ten men.  How bloody depressing.

As much as I’d like to, I can’t begrudge them the win – the better team on the day won, marshalled well by Savage, and Hulse upfront demonstrated painfully the kind of presence we lack up front – particularly if we wish to continue pumping long balls forward.  This is a dark day for Forest fans, and with the relegation zone looming large again just behind us, it is perhaps the beginning of many more, how we have managed to go from a promising side with an injury crisis to such a shambles is anyone’s guess – but it doesn’t feel good being a Forest fan right now.

Do you know what the really crazy thing is?  I’ve agreed to go down to Reading next week with a pal, as well!

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38 Responses

  1. Good luck at Reading.
    Mark Arthur now has to go ,so Davies can get the players he needs until the end of this season without any interference from the board or committees!!!Bringing young players through makes sense long term but we need players NOW !!!!ARTHUR OUT NOW !!!!

  2. “I’m very confident that David Pleat, our football consultant, our chief scout Keith Burt and the board know exactly where they’re going and the timing of how we’re going to get there.”

    Is that Billy unfairly avoiding responsibility for no signings or a telling explanation of how it really is nothing to do with him? I’d guess at the latter.

    Every time I check the news I see another player that would’ve improved our squad being signed on loan somewhere else. The board claim they don’t want to pay over the going rate but if EVERYONE ELSE is obviously paying inflated amounts, that then BECOMES the going rate and we HAVE to pay it.

    Doughty is highly political, Forest are resented by similar sized clubs for their history and no one likes Bill Davies… is it just no one wants to help us?

  3. The game yesterday proved what we have all suspected, we need a new spine in the team. Goalkeeper, centreback, ‘a robbie savage and a Hulse.

    I am worried by a cupold of things, just above relegation and the teams below us have games in hand. Also we have played Derby 3 times in a month and we didn’t come up with a way to combat Hulse/Commons ???
    What is going on on the training ground ??

    I really worry for us and hope that ND picked th right guy !

  4. or doughty is feeling the credit crunch like the rest of us,and his wealth aint what it used to be ? – fair assumption of the game nffc,when both teams lined up before KO they looked on average 4,5 even 6 inches taller than us(apart from fatty) so why the long balls and f****** head tennis in the centre circle when it needed playing on the deck,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  5. I too will endure the long trip to Reading ….i wonder how many of the team will be there ?
    doughty needs to say something soon

  6. When we got at them we looked ok, we had a lot of chances Ernie, McCleary, Perch for example. (some in the last ten minutes I know ) Billy blames everyone and everything apart from himself, Derby are not that good but they have a plan, a structure and confidence. We don’t, that’s Billy’s fault nobody else’s. You can have all that with any team with any level of quality. I was still fairly confident at half time. Basically I don’t buy all of his excuses, yes it would have been great to get a couple in, yes it would have been great to have less injured players. But game plan, structure and confidence is what he is paid to do and he is not doing it very well at all.

  7. Me and the lad are off to Reading to. Can’t possibly be worse than yesterday. BD simply has to take the blame for the tactics. Long ball after long ball is not how we were playing when we were doing well, even if it was against lesser opposition. Ironic that we started playing the ball around last 10 minutes and looked a different side.

    BD 100% to blame for yesterday. We showed previously we CAN compete against teams of Derby’s level and higher so his comments of the radio afterwards were complete and utter bull.

    Ironic how many people mentioned needed a keeper who comes off his line after yesterday’s match when I thought Smith did more of this yesterday than he ever has. Admittedly, he was still rooted to the spot far too often and this has undoubtedly cost of goals and points. And which joker gave Earnie MoM?

    I didn’t think the ref was too bad tbh and got most things right. Should have booked a few though and let the game run more but in general, he was a lot lot better than some of the tripe the FA have sent us.

  8. That cost me thirty quid. I could have had a decent night out on that and actually enjoyed myself.
    A disaster. Where do they go from here?

  9. Nigel Doughty needs to come out and appologise to all Forest supporters at the shambolic way he has run this club and fed us supporters on continuous false promises and expectations. The truth of the matter is He is not prepared to put any further money into the club this season, so basically Billy Davies has to run with what he has, which in my opinion doesnt hold well for the relegation dogfight we are in.
    Mr Doughty and his bungling bafoon Mark Arthur were not even at yesterdays game, so what does that tell you about thier commitment to the club.
    Nothing would please me better than for Mr Doughty to leave and I will even help him pack his bags. he lacks ambition and desire and is taking us supporters for mugs. What next from the Doughty/Arthur merry go round?

  10. nffc you write a very incisive article always but this one is 100% spot on!! I was so pi@@ed off yesterday, I could even face reading anything until this morning. The key points you make are:

    “All in all, a shameful afternoon.”

    “Frankly, this result is because of the club’s abject failure to strengthen in January, something they said they would do.

    “It is not good enough. Billy Davies, Mark Arthur, and Nigel Doughty – you all owe us fans big time for this humiliation you have inflicted upon us.”

    “This is a dark day for Forest fans, and with the relegation zone looming large again just behind us, it is perhaps the beginning of many more, how we have managed to go from a promising side with an injury crisis to such a shambles is anyone’s guess – but it doesn’t feel good being a Forest fan right now.”

    We had good momementum and now its gone, it’ll be very difficult to get back and as I stated in some previous posts other teams have been here before and have strengthened with players who now how to handle this pressure. We have not and the trap door is looing large.

  11. we won’t win another game all season …that’s it it’s all over

  12. Whoever we have as Manager just will not gel with Arthur. 10 years of standing still and making plans for Nigel. BD is on borrowed time already because of him. I like BD’s honesty and the fact he fires people up & some the wrong way. Jar of Wasps.

    We hated yesterday because we had 2 Forest legends showing us how we could play, we bottled the decision to employ Nigel on “sentimental” grounds. My view is that we would have gone down with him but at least we would see goals. Martinez like football is closer to our heart at the CG, so there are always alternatives, first we have to get a bit better management in at Board room level. Our colleagues at NCCC being very close unsung heroes in that regard.

    The future. As a youngster I was a follower of Reading which had a ground based in a cow shed. They were passionate about their club, although living under the shadow of the mightier London clubs. Later along came a bloke called Majedski, he gelled with whatever Manager came along, he brought out the best in his Manager, some of them previous failures, he said the right things at the right time you know the man is a Leader. Look at them now, look at the Stadium and look at the footie they play.

    We need that formula.

    So good luck to us Saturday, we’ll need it, and I hope my second club will give us a shout.

    Ooops sorry, Reading are of course my third club. The second of my teams are of course ANY team playing the sheepshaggers.

  13. I listened to the game on 5 live sports extra, the commentators could not believe how much space and time Forest gave to Derby and Commons in particular. It was said Forest only started to play with some kind of belief in the last 10 minutes.It all sounded very depressing and really is very concerning for all Forest fans. It seems the managers forthright and aggressive views (after Ipswich)of players in public do not work.
    Thank you NFFC for continued reports which are consistently revealing and objective. I totally agree that we are owed an apology from Davies/Doughty/Arthur. As we all know it is 30 years since we lost at home to Derby (in the league) yesterday was a disaster to go along side the Yeovil catastrophe at home.
    According to the radio (Darren Fletcher) both Doughty and Arthur were on holiday last week which hindered bringing in loan players. As one Forest fan commented on another site ‘ you couldn’t write this stuff’
    Indeed we are truly owed an apology. These people do not deserve the amazing support of the Forest fans.

    Good luck at Reading

  14. […] the original post on Through the seasons before us VN:F [1.1.3_449]please wait…Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes […]

  15. The Forest team that started against Man City was:

    1 Smith
    6 Breckin
    4 Chambers
    5 Morgan
    7 Perch
    15 Cohen
    8 McGugan
    11 Anderson
    26 Thornhill
    9 Tyson
    10 Earnshaw

    I accept the motivation level of our opponents was a lot higher yesterday and nor were Earnshaw/Anderson fully fit but do people who witnessed both games (I unfortunately only saw the latter!) feel that tactics, something CC was pilloried for, had a major part to play in the considerably different results?

  16. I think that would be a fair comment, Steve. That’s why Davies is included in the trio that owe us.

    His job is selection, motivation and tactics – on two fronts he let us down yesterday, I accept selection is tricky. However, his job is also to secure us signings, something which as a collective the club failed to do.

    Davies clearly identified targets, so I blame him less for this.

  17. They were on holiday?! This is unbelievable. Enough is enough.

  18. I cant believe I’ve watched the sheep put 3 past us at home, TWICE. It was hard to single out a bad individual – we were bad as a unit!

    I too am bemused at BD’s excuses about the squad – dissing the young players doesnt help their confidence, even if it will help BD get the board to act as they need to.

    We DO need a) A 20 goal per season striker (given our 3 recognised strikers are all injury prone)
    b) A creative midfield player that can unlock defences (It was galling to see the degree that Commons does this for the sheep, but we need the equivalent)
    c) some steel at the back – Campy plus one defender as a minimum. However, it ISNT all about new players….

    Poor defending of 2 set pieces is down to BD and team, and the “high tempo” training sessions described in the programme are all well and good, but there was a LOT of hit and hope long ball football, which the sheep had no problems neutralising all day.

    Come on billy – get your act together.

  19. Doubty and Arthur – 10 years is long enough
    please release us

  20. For me its like a game of cards, Clough does the very best he can with his hand. Davies folds and blames the dealer, the card manufacture, the size of the table and the seat he is sitting on!!
    The last thing Davies wants is a fit squad, and three new players brought in in January because then all his excuses would be useless. Mark my words he will take us down and blame everyone but himself then leave with his credibility (as far as he is concerned) in tact. Because nothing is ever Billy’s fault and as Billy said yesterday to radio Nottingham his record is second to none. Does that include the premiership Billy ?………………dickhead

  21. I find it amazing if the buffoon Arthur was on holiday last week? But then again after his farcical tenure maybe not. If this is true & it prevented business being done before the Derby match I’m ashamed at the lack of professionalism especially as one/two additional bodies could have made all the difference yesterday.
    Noted today; once-forest target McCormack has just scored for Cardiff & that so-called donkey Adebola can’t stop scoring since we were linked with him!
    I re-iterate that apart from Doughty’s biggest crime being his judgement in selecting managers/chief executives he is not the problem as bar a year/two under Harty he’s backed every manager. I can’t bring myself to criticise him because he clearly has the club at heart; Arthur however…
    I see Coppell has said that after they’re defeat yesterday, the Forest game is massive- oh dear! Anyway like NFFC I’m giving serious consideration to heading down there & watching the latest edition of Carry on Forest. Come on you Reds…ooh matron!!!

  22. You lot are so fickle – a few weeks ago you were praising the manager – 3 games on your daggers are out again. Yes, it was good when we were winning but as soon as it gets rough you’ve sharpened your knives again.

    Get a grip on yourselves and decide to back the Manager & team in the good & bad times just like marrige but there again, nowadays you’d jump out as things were going bad.

    YES, BD made a bad judgement in playing Earnie & Anderson from the start – unfit. Bring them on at HT if you’re so desperate. You (BD) talked about having Moussi in the team but you go & turn around & throw 2 decent players but unfit in & expect to do s’thing good. Well, 2 goal at the start of either half is the result.

    Reading next, I don’t wanna dither on this defeat any more. 1 week to get players into the right frame of mind & fitter for a tough game.

  23. Er, Yiannaki, surely you’re not blaming Anderson and Earnshaw for yesterdays shambles??
    Anderson was one of our best players yesterday! And who else do we play up front? Sinclair?
    No, the fault lays squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff. The reason D*rby beat us in the cup was because we stood off Commons too much and let him dictate play, we let Hulse have far too much room in the box and we insisted on hoofing the ball high and mighty.
    So what did we do yesterday? Exactly the f**king same.

    We have arguably one of the best midfielders in the division (maybe even midfield), but we just dont use them enough. Lewis is on a poor run of form at the moment, he needs managing effectively. Perch is another on a poor run. Chambers is hopelessly out of his depth (was Moloney injured?).

    On the radio on the way in, Davies moaned that the likes of Perch, Lewis, Moloney, Heath, Tyson, Thornhill were too young and inexperienced and said he needed good pros like Lynch back.

    Well, I used to get paid to pay this simple game of football, and let me assure you that there is a very good reason why Lynch couldn’t get in Brightons team. But if Billy “it’s not my fault” Davies thinks thats what we need then we are doomed, my friend.

  24. Yiannaki, you wouldn’t forget yesterday if you were there. The lads just weren’t good enough.

    I thought we were out battled in Midfield again. Someone said that McGugan’s apparent relaxed running style was like Michael Johnson, yesterday it was more like Boris Johnson. I’m not happy with our midfield set up we seem to get pulled out of shape a lot.

    Also, I think the appointment of Clough is more sinister than you think. I think Pearson & Co are looking further afield to expand. With those in charge at the CG we’re vulnerable. We need to dig in, and fortify our position. The removal of Captain Darling Arthur would help.

  25. my 8 year old son saw what was wrong with our team yesterday when he said why is no one closing judas commons down?,why are we playing high long balls to tiny strikers?and why is chambers (who cant head a ball)playing instead of maloney?if at eight years old he can see our failings then why cant billy (its not my fault davies)?doughty should now do the decent thing and refund every forest their £30 back and sack his lapdog arthur,then make funds available for its not my fault davies to go and get a keeper,defender or 2,midfielder and a striker asap!!!!

  26. Live on ESPN Classic now; Forest vs Hamburg – EC Final 1980. Aahh – memories!!

  27. you lot just don’t get it do you ??!!… nigel doughty and mark arthur are buisness men …as long as forest are ticking over nicely (which is what they are doing at the moment)..they don’t really give a hoots! just take a look at this piss poor squad, even 2.6 million quid earnie could’nt hit a barn door with a banjo!!….it is a f@@@ing disgrace…you all bang on about breckin being in the side ! he would’nt get in any side in that league along with smith , chambers, perch, morgan , garner, newbold, heath , wilson, sinclair , maloney,…etc… the only two players with any credibility out of our ultra thin squad are mcgugan and chris cohen ( player of the season by miles , and he will be gone at the end of the season)…..wake up forest fans and vote with your feet and stay away from this drivell…………..

  28. Sadly and inevitably it’s history repeating itself. Remember van Hoydonkey’s mardiness? He said Forest hadn’t made any effort to strengthen the squad in the summer & consequently they’d fail. He was right and deep down, we all knew that he was. Unfortunately the pattern has continued – we’ve never seemed to really ‘build’ a team but just brought in the odd player on the cheap or in Earnie’s case, on the rebound from losing Commons.
    In one of the books, Clough & Taylor were reported to have believed that you started to ‘build’ the best team from the back & that’s why they signed Shilton. Given that we’ve now let in 50 goals in 34 league games (including the Camp era)that seems like sound wisdom.
    After Calderwood went I wrote that there was something rotten in the woodshed at the City Ground. It was more sinister than just poor managerial performance – I fear that the malevolent influence is showing through again after the short honeymoon period of a new manager and we’ve had plenty of those in the last few years.
    However, I’ll try yet again to feel optimistic….maybe one win will restore some team confidence.

    I have to confess during our short purple patch after Billy Davies arrived I once even calculated how many points we were short of a play-off position !

  29. ummm I think it was an entertaining match to be honest. Imagine if we were the Derby fans, we would have been ecstatic. Forest were alwful. Derby to be honest were the better team and, lets face it, conceding from two set pieces and a penalty (that was a penalty by the way). The first goal was shocking because the defenders should have dealt with it.
    Personally I was right behind Savage’s cross for the second goal. A good cross to be fair, but still it was a set piece! The worst thing that could have happened at the start of the second half.
    Sum this up, when Forest scored I gave him a good clap whilst sitting down, and I only realised after that Derby played the last 20 mins with ten men.

  30. After reading the comments in the sun online,maybe there is hope yet if Davies gets his way. Arthur and pleat out !!!

  31. Got a link, Alan?

  32. “wake up forest fans and vote with your feet and stay away from this drivell…………..” – Because that is really going to help isnt it?!!!!

    Nobody likes losing to Derby and we are all getting a little tetchy at that looming relegation again after we thought we might actually move away from it, but we all knew that this month was going to be a tough run-in and with a bit of luck we would have got something.

    Birmingham – a few early chances that if we had taken would have changed things as they offered little against us (BTW how poor are their fans?!)
    Ipswich – Disallowed goal, hit woodwork and last minute saves
    Derby – lacklustre admittedly, but if we had gone at them like we can we could have won

    Yes its a lot of ifs and buts and yes we do need players to strengthen this squad (mainly the defence who dont seem to be able to defend crosses) but there isnt that much wrong, we just need to show a bit of fight, which hopefully BD can instill in them again. There are enough games left with a lot of the teams around us still to play

    Let the dust settle and keep the faith. YOU REDS!

  33. No matter who the manager is, who the players are, its the same old same old. What is it about this club ? We get strikers who cant score who then leave and become outstanding, we get defenders – you know the pattern……… How the hell did we get promoted last season ? We tell lies to each other, we rant about how good the squad is……..bollox this club has got to get real, management, players and fans ! We need a complete re-focus, no poor standards, no second rate players, we need a full squad and unfortunately that means we have to pay and Mr Doughty, can we, can he – I dont know – hard times are ahead, I still follow the reds, but with reality, we need investment, not history !

  34. That sun article is interesting and I wonder how much truth is in it. If Billy is clearly out for a fight then it would explain all his comments. There is a lot of talk of him absolving himself from blame and using Arthur/Pleat etc as a scapegoat. Well I think he’s saying this stuff so he can get more control. I have long since thought that there is something rotten at Forest and it simply can’t be the managers fault every time. On paper the managerial appointments we’ve made should of been good yet they have all failed, some worse than others. I think Doughty doesn’t want to give the managers too much control of finance because of what Platt did. But its clear that going the other way and giving that tit arthur control is whats ham stringing this club. He has to go. He’s the rot and I hope Billy forces him out. If it means him threatening to leave so be it. And if he does walk it will be clear to all that arthur is the problem.

  35. AD_BC you seem to have hit it on the nail, my point as well, managers, players – it never works why ? I do have one concern about losing Mark Arthur – at least we are still here and a financialy viable club, if he had not been – maybee we would not be, again I dont know, one thing is clear if Forest is to survive with its fans we need a bit of success and this means players – we cant keep living in the past we need something to hold onto now ! Bily just might be that push we need, lets hope so for the clubs sake as well as the fans!

  36. Mr Red till I die, just to pull you up on one point. We are not a financially viable club, we are in debt to the tune of £40 million. And if Mr Doughty ever decides to leave or withdraw his support he will want every penny back.

  37. […] fully prepared.  He had a tricky start, and in this month we lost to Derby at the City Ground.  Twice.  Now whilst our respective fortunes have diverged in a favourable direction for us, make no […]

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