Drawings by a much younger nffcblog editor..

I included a possibly foolish throwaway insight into my past in the Steve Hodge autobiography review, that as a child I’d draw pictures of the Forest squad and send them to him to get signed.  I’ve just had a rummage in the loft to see if I could find them, but alas was only able to unearth some more recent sketches, unsigned, from 1995.

The next stage of the search will be to see if the parents might have kept hold of this veritable treasure-trove of future embarrassments.  I have no idea how likely that is, although they do seem to have a worryingly large cache of my old school books stored away somewhere so there’s always the possibility.  So, for those of you that asked, here are some (slightly better I think) drawings from my youth.

That should help set your expectation levels for the even less technically gifted versions!  I’ll keep trying to get hold of the really shit ones!  Apologies for the dubious quality of the scan (which is really, rather blatantly, fairly hastily taken pictures with my phone’s camera!).

Sorry about the self-indulgence, but some of you did ask.

Won’t the real Nigel Doughty please stand up?

Opinions relating to the board, and specifically Nigel Doughty, really seem to be the vogue at the moment.  They also seem to be very polarised – at least on the internet forums.  He’s either cast as a saviour or as some kind of malignant entity personally responsible for our demise almost as though he’s inflicting it upon us on purpose.

In fact, in the latter circles the cat-in-the-bin lady and the eastern-European-throwing-puppies-in-the-river are thought to have been operating under his direction.  Perhaps that might be a slight exaggeration, but it’s only a slight one!

Of course, last season’s investment and – indeed – last season’s third place finish – seem to get brushed under carpets as people focus on this summer (which was upsetting, admittedly) or go back in time and cherry-pick other instances of poor decision-making or limited financial backing.

The people who want a regime change also don’t seem to have identified a prospective replacement – simply leaving it to the old adage of “Ah well, someone will invest – they always do!”.  Yeah, that’s how Peter Ridsdale, Milan Mandaric et al get their hooks into a club, that’s how Munto Finance turned Notts County into a laughing stock.

As for me, I don’t think there’s enough information available to make your mind up about Nigel Doughty – which is why he, or his Mini-Me, should probably be gauging the amount of unrest amongst online Forest fans and offer some degree of reassurance.  Every conspiracy theory I’ve heard could potentially be true – but not due to any special inside knowledge.

It’s because there’s a dearth of information coming from the City Ground – and when the silence is that deafening people will fill in the blanks with, frankly, made up stuff.  Some of that made up stuff might well be a lucky guess – but the continued lack of comment from the board at Forest after a disappointing transfer haul fuels this fire to inferno stakes.

So whether Doughty has run out of money, fallen out with Billy, is awaiting a takeover, really is diverting his funds to some kind of diabolical scheme involving sharks and lasers, is actually a Derby fan in disguise or – just maybe – has the club’s best interests at heart but is running a strict financial policy that struggled to get players in over the summer.  Who knows?

Whilst I respect everybody has a right to an opinion, and to express it (I’d be a bloody fool if I didn’t writing a blog like this!), there’s an awful lot of assertion with very little fact to back it up, and unfortunately football fans do have a lemming-like nature that sees them taking the strength of assertion as some kind of validation.

So, saviour or destroyer?  Perhaps predictably I can’t quite polarise myself so dramatically – certainly Nigel Doughy is answerable for some shockingly bad decisions during his tenure, but of course, to view any period in football lasting a decade or more with hindsight I think you could probably say the same of most chairmen and indeed managers.  His cash definitely makes up for our shortfalls, and yes it’s in the form of loans, but there’s tax reasons for that.

Ultimately by biggest bone of contention with the current regime at Forest is their appalling record of communication with the supporters.  I’d just like to hear from the powers-that-be at Forest, and give myself more information with which to develop an informed view rather than peddling heresay and mysterious and unnameable ‘sources’.  I’m not holding my breath…

On another note – I can’t wait for the bloody matches to start again, this weekend has been like torture!  Whilst I was seeking something to do I’ve actually managed to get the blog listed on the Amazon Kindle market place – so if that’s of use to you, you can subscribe here and have new posts automatically pushed to your devices when they’re published and enable you to read them even when you’re offline.