Controversial decision piles on the pressure for Derby visit..

Matt Derbyshire: Opened his account, but denied a penalty late on..

Southampton – 3
Nottingham Forest – 2

It’s difficult to know how to react to this – I was expecting a shoeing, which we didn’t get.  I was hoping to not see Cohen at left back, but he was.  I was expecting shambolic defending – which we were given, but you know what? Southampton are a decent team, but we are unlucky not to have taken at least a point from this fixture.

A combination of laziness, apathy and the need to borrow a laptop from somebody made this the first game in years I’ve not previewed on the site.  I wanted to wait to see the disappointingly short highlights on The Football League show to see the two penalty incidents, they only showed one of them which – whilst not at the best angle – still looked like a spot-kick to me.

Anyway, let’s start at the beginning – a line-up that had me worrying that Southampton would be attacking down their right hand side all game with gusto… I wasn’t too far wrong!

Gunter    Morgan    Chambers    Cohen
Majewski    Greening    Moussi    Reid
Derbyshire    Miller

It was the Saints who started most effectively – but the Reds who managed to snag the first goal early days.  Ishmael Miller picking up the ball and bursting down the right edge of the penalty area before putting a nice ball across the six yard box, finding Matt Derbyshire in the right place to tap in from close range to open his account for Forest.

Being Forest though, we couldn’t calm the game down and compose ourselves – an attack found Do Prado down the right who had time and space to pick out Connolly in the box, Camp made an excellent save from his initial shot, but the ball fell kindly to Ricky Lambert who made no mistake in firing in the equaliser from close range.

It was all about the home side for much of the half now – Morgan chucked himself in the way of an effort from Hammond, an effort from Connolly was blocked by Gunter.  Lambert threatened again from a free-kick, and finally they broke our not particularly convincing resolve.  Another attack down the right, another cross – this time from Cork – a flick from Connolly and Lambert on hand to head in unattended at the back post to net his and Southampton’s second.

They kept attacking too – a decent save from Camp denied an unmarked Fonte a headed goal from a Danny Fox free-kick.  Suddenly though, Forest started to come to life again – Miller appeared to be impeded in the area, but his appeals were waved away by the referee, shortly after Matty Derbyshire headed just over.

We did pick up the equaliser shortly after though, it was Miller again causing the problems for the home defence.  He fed the ball to Derbyshire who had spotted Majewski’s unchecked run into the box, and was able to put the ball in the net from about eight yards out.  We could’ve snuck the lead too – a corner found Raddy, his effort fell for Chambo whose header was just off target.

So, half time and 2-2 – similar to other recent games, signs of alarming disorganisation in defence, a glaring weak link at left back in Cohen (compounded by Reidy’s unwillingness/inability to provide support or cover), but with some genuinely excellent forward play – and a slice of bad luck in the form of a refereeing decision.

Forest started the second half really positively too – clearly McClaren had found the right words to say in his half time talk – Miller brought an exceptional save from Davis with a header from a Cohen free-kick.  At the other end Lallana stung Camp’s palms from outside the area and won his side a corner.

On the attack again Miller almost found himself on the end of a pull-back from Cohen, but it was scrambled clear.  The game continued to ebb and flow, and Fonte was unlucky not to restore the lead for the Saints with a header against the post from a corner.  Shortly after this Camp made a decent save from a long range effort from Schneiderlin.  Lallana will be kicking himself for not doing better with a rebound off Camp from a Lambert freekick.

With about eight minutes left on the clock was perhaps the decisive moment of the game – honours even at this stage was probably about fair, until Derbyshire got to the ball just ahead of Davis, who elected to haul down the striker.  The linesman was well-placed, and favoured the goalkeeper and his referee agreed – Derbyshire picking up a booking for his troubles.  At the time it looked a penalty to me, having seen the replay, the angle isn’t the best to be honest.

It was more of a penalty than the one we were given against Leicester, and certainly more of one than Coventry got against Derby today.  Them’s the breaks – there’s no point in dwelling, there will always be contentious decisions and the key for us is to get over them and carry on – that is exactly, of course, what our players didn’t do.

A free-kick by Fox was met by the head of Lambert who completed his hattrick.  You would really think the Forest defence would pay more attention to a man who’d already scored two, but no – it was all to easy for the dangerous front man.  We really do look clueless from set-pieces.

So, reasons to be cheerful – we can attack, we can attack well too.  But we can’t expect to score 3 or 4 goals in order to register any points in games – so our defensive frailties are all too concerning.  Cohen is not a left back – if we play him there, he must get cover from infront, which Reid will not provide.

We also, in my opinion, desperately miss the ‘screen’ that McKenna provided infront of the defence.  Not only that, the constant coaching and advising he provided our defence on his pitch.  Given that we have had the same defensive unit with a left-back issue for some time, it’s increasingly obvious to me that it’s the role of our last skipper we are missing – whilst his legs were failing, his voice and experience appears to have been invaluable.

With Derby at home up next there will always be pressure – there could probably no more so than now, the Rams – whilst falling to defeat at Coventry – have had an excellent start, and McClaren and indeed the board are already under pressure.  Something embarrassing in this fixture will bring out deafening voices of discontent.  What ever you do Steve, don’t describe this as just another game.

Even at St Mary’s there was a gentleman I spotted with a t-shirt emblazoned with an anti Nigel Doughty sentiment.  Unfortunately the website listed on aforementioned t-shirt doesn’t seem to actually exist.  The signs are there though – in times of trouble sections of Forest fans will hit the self-destruct button, which personally I rarely find helpful.  We really need to win.  Even more so, we really need NOT to lose!!

25 Responses

  1. McClaren seems to be a very slow learner.

    1. Never play Jesus/boateng in the same team unless you want us to be static rather than threaten

    2. Never play Reid and Cohen in combination on the left.

    How hard is it? Two of the three goals today were down to uncontested crosses from the right – pure and simple tactical blunder by Mac.

    Many positives though that even a linesman sponsored by RNIB can’t dampen…..
    Derbyshire has found his feet and looks excellent. To not miss the superb findley is a mark of his performance today.
    Radi is consistently our nest player, and seems to have put a lacklustre season last year behind him.
    Miller is already the key player in our forward line.

    Hope ando gets a game when he returns and that Timbuktu athletic make a very attractive loan offer for mcgoaldrought, and of course, the ghost of playoffs future visits mcclaren and says with his Glaswegian accent “ADVISE AND RECOMMEND A BL**DY LEFT BACK.

    Everything crossed for saturday.

    Miller is making a real difference.

  2. We are without doubt getting better in most aspects of the teams performance game by game and we must remember Stcheve did not have the ideal pre-season prep due to the clubs tardy and poor handling of new transfers. Today but for some dubious decisions we could, & probably should, have taken something from St Mary’s and that would have been a fantastic result. However, whilst you can taken positives from this, don’t lose sight of the fact that this was another game where we have shipped 2 or more goals and above all else that worries me.

    Successful teams are built on a solid defence; ours cannot be described as anything but flaky at the moment even giving credit to the Saints attack today. Sadly, I am not seeing progress in this area and I fear that this will cost us dear in the end. We have a phrase in the military that “hope is not a course of action” yet I fear that this adage accurately sums up the Clubs past and current strategy to resolving this particular problem. I sincerely hope I am proved wrong.

    As it stands I think next week will be a pivotal game. WIn and some time will have been bought to put things right; lose, especially by shipping a few lax goals, and the grumbles will increase exponentially both in number and volume. I think its going to be a long week for Stcheve.

  3. It’s going to be a long week for all of us,never mind Steve.
    I’m sure we will all be scanning newsnow for any progress regarding left back and a replacement for our old skipper.
    I have a feeling we will come good next saturday !!!!!

  4. We are shipping goals at an alarming rate and like your report and Husky Red s comments I dont see this amazing coach in McCaren we are getting it tight just now and are shocking at the back

    Cohen/ LB no way
    Reid/ Past it too slow
    Chambers Captain / Big mistake
    Camp / Wants away
    No shield in front of defence ??????
    No pace on flanks ????

    Nigel clough will be rubbing is grotty little Derby mitts …………..

    I think doughty will be starting to regret sacking billy I dont think McCaren fully understood what he was getting involved in when he took the job ?
    Well he damn well knows now and I am going to stick my neck out and you heard it here first I believe Shteve at the helm will end in tears

    I love the club but are very frustrated at the the way they fail to build on any progress made its snakes and ladders at the city ground. I believe there needs to be change at the top its gone on now for over a decade

    Its going to be a very long frustrating season I fear the Smoulderwood era returning WHAT A MESS FOREST !

  5. I must say again how Marthur’s dead hand kills off completely the progress of this team year after year . The Keystone Kops ‘routines’ are played out in EVERY transfer window to then leave the manager playing impossible catch up ( we are now already 11 points off the pace ! season over ? R battle coming ?) .

    I must say Forest should move the season ticket deadlines from June when the new season is supposed to begin in the transfer market etc – to end of October, when we actually get started after Marhturs done his worse …… This would be more honest to the Fans ! .

    We’ve had years of this —- and I for one am getting weary of the deceit and ineptitude —— In business its clear that the person who has CEO written on their office door takes the rap for ultimate failure —- At Forest this has failure to progress has been deflected for years onto the helpless in situ Manager . We are now the biggest club who have been out the Premiership for the longest …. I cant think of anyone who hasn’t at least had a shot at it since us ….can you ?
    despite promotion being the stated objective …this has not been achieved ….why ? who has been responsible throughout …?

    Nigel , please please please help the club…. we desperately need a real real breath of fresh air…. do it ….the Fans are with you ….MARTHUR OUT

  6. “Snakes and ladders”; absolutely brilliant and sums the club up over the last ten years. Those at the helm make the same mistakes time and time again, yet seem oblivious. Although early and I do have a certain amount of sympathy for the new gaffer, I am underwhelmed by some of his early decisions. However let’s face it, Fergie would probably struggle with the Chuckle-Brother’s running the club! Either back McClaren, or continue to accept second best- You Reds!!!

  7. I live in the south and pre-season had pencilled in a trip to Southampton to watch Forest… Didn’t bother going, while I love taking my kids to see our beloved Forest play win or lose, I can’t bear to watch school boy errors in our defence.
    What really concerns me is not only the managers lack of defensive awareness but the fact that we’re this bad defensively with no injury or suspension issues, how bad would it get if Camp, Morgan or Chambers were out? No quality cover in those positions and no left back at all let alone cover!
    SMC can ‘rue’ penalty decisions but the facts are you can’t concede 3 goals especially away from home and expect anything out of a game.
    In the ‘acquisitions’ SMC has made to-date I can’t understand his plans for our midfield, all we needed was a quality replacement for our skipper and some natural width, we haven’t gained either and have only managed to push one of our most consistent players out of position.
    Greening and Boateng can’t play together and while Boateng may have a ‘high’ workrate he seems to have resorted to chasing the ball as his defensive duties (only ever witnessed this in junior football until now) causing even more chaos in defence.
    I agree that SMC will need time and more players but like others the changes he has made in our midfield and especially on the left are totally beyond me!
    I’m glad I saved my kids the disappointment of watching another defensive shambles.
    Sort it out SMC and ND!

    • Just gotta hope that in fixing the defence we don’t completely stiffle the attack! That said its nice to see Miller and Derbyshire doing what we’ve lacked so often – getting the ball and creating their own chances and goals.

      Part of the problem in understanding what McClaren wants from midfield and how he plans to use his midfield signings is that he didn’t expect them to be the only ones, he expected a left and right winger and clearly due to being unconvinced to some of the players we’ve got he’s keeping with the ones he’s brought in even though its not yet working.

      We’ve time… just not very much…. to get them bedded in.

  8. What is worrying is that I’m not sure McClaren recognises left back as a problem. When asked in interviews he said it was not a priority.

    I also don’t think he’ll be looking to replace McKenna, as he probably thinks that’s what Boateng’s for and possibly Greening too.

    Does anyone know how Greening played? Did he actually contribute anything this time round?

    Also, I hope I’m proven wrong, but Davies didn’t go for Reid in the loan market last season and Holloway sold him after a few months. May be they saw he was past it! He just looks so overweight and slow. Not sure what he can really bring to this team when Mcgugan is sat on the bench.

    I’m sick of Doughty, Arthur and Pelling making endless bad decisions. How can he have invested so much over the years and still be in this division and indeed spent 3 horrible years in division 3. Running a football club is just not for Nigel Doughty, even someone so successful can’t get everything right and he has got almost everything so very wrong over the years he’s owned Forest. He’s just not up to it and needs to accept that by publicly stating he would sell the club if the right responsible buyers came forward. At least put it out there Nigel! You’re never going to be a hero here, do the right thing and sell us on to people with the ambition and resources to match, and the fans will then still respect you for what you tried to do and how you moved us on.

  9. Lynch at left back, Cohen in midfield. It’s really so f_ing obvious Schteve! I thought you were supposed to be tactically aware?!!!

  10. It just sprang to mind Graham the ” snakes and ladders ” thats exactly what WE the fans have had to suffer under this current board.

    How many different managers do we need ?

    How many failed transfer windows ?

    3 fumbling years in leage 1 ?

    How come clubs like Swansea & Norwich can assemble SQUADS that play vibrant attacking football with less resources.???????

    I could answer these questions but it would take 3 pages to do so ………..

    Change is needed at the top they cant cut it im afraid ! .

    • Exactly! How can Swansea and Norwich do it on significantly less resources, along with Blackpool, and also now we’re seeing Soton and Brighton up there – albeit early days but I remember our return to the Championship enough to know that good performances in the first 7 games never converted into points and we struggled until Davies came in yet these teams now seem to be coming up and aiming for promotion!

      But surely that is exactly what Nigel Doughty is thinking? Why am I spending more and getting less?

      He wouldn’t settle for the same performance in his businesses so why with Forest.

      It seems to me that between MA, JP, DP, we’ve overspent on wages and tried to use how much we can pay a player over their existing club as the leverage to get the players to push for transfers rather than keeping wages in check and thus giving the club money for transfer fees that if we acted swiftly would get clubs to sell us their players. More performance related bonuses give players the chance to up their income but only when they get us over the line. How many times under Davies did it seem like we were accused of making “derisery offers”?

      Now we’ve a wage bill preventing future transfers and a side that currently seems unbalanced since whoever starts in the left back position doesn’t end the game there and Greening and Boatang aren’t helping the defence!

      Uff… lets hope a win against Derby is the turning point.

  11. Good comments!! We are all right that Nigel should put the club on the market !
    He has nothing to lose by doing that ,and he would still have access,I’m sure to the directors box so he can watch premiership football at the City Ground !!!
    As we say wearily every year Arthur and Pleat OUT !!!

  12. Before the doom and gloom and panic take over completely, there were some positives yesterday.

    I haven’t seen every game this year but 2nd half was the best I’ve seen us under SMc. Southampton are a skilful and confident side and yesterday was their 12th home win in a row but we had them on the back foot for long periods and could easily have taken all the points. Derbyshire had two very strong penalty claims – we all had a good view in the away end and I thought they were both as blatant as each other. Linesman also had an excellent view of both and it’s hard to believe he didn’t give either one. Perhaps with the second one Matt went down a little too easy but the keeper definitely caught him.

    Miller and Derbyshire both looked sharp and Raddy had a good game again. Greening also was decent but I think for everyone else you could have written the script beforehand.

    As others have said, our left flank was desperately open. Reidy looks slightly trimmer (or maybe that was just the black shirt) and his passing is wonderful sometimes but him and Cohen are just too vulnerable together. But the whole defence is a worry: every time the opposition get a set-piece you can smell goals in the air.

    I do miss Billy but I think if McClaren can sort the defence out, we could still have a solid season. Running out of time though..

    • From the one away game I’ve seen and then the home games I’ve noticed that none of our players take the role of constantly speaking to the ref during the game like McKenna used to.

      Was it any different at Soton yesterday did you notice??

      Makes me wonder if we had had someone like McKenna whether the second peno would’ve been giving since McKenna wouldn’t have stopped reminding the ref that we didn’t get the first one. Most top teams always have that kind of player – look at Nolan for WHU… it definitely makes a difference, especially if like us you don’t fight fire with fire 😦

      • Didn’t notice anyone in the ref’s ear yesterday but I wasn’t really looking for it. Interesting though that McKenna had such a hard time from a lot of fans last season and now everyone’s missing him. Billy always said he was underappreciated..

        Speaking of underappreciated: our top scorer from last season doesn’t look very happy at the moment either. Wouldn’t be the first time he’s had a sulk about being left out but if he’s not getting on with McClaren, that’s bad news.

  13. Billy Davis is looking like a genius……….

    What ever way you look at it 3 goals against is never a good look.

  14. Common themes all through this thread from some measured commentators. Picking up on Craig’s point about the need for a vocal Captain, it saddens me that Chambo just has not settled into this role; Red Ric also comments to this effect. Watching Chambo struggle is no fun and he just isn’t pulling the team along with him and I believe it is adversely affecting his performance as a defender.

    That of course begs the question of, if not Chambo, then who should get the armband? It worries me that I am not seeing anyone obvious; for the record, I do not like goalkeepers being made Captain. Have we really turned full circle to the pre-McKenna days; if so how was that allowed to happen?

  15. DeepingRed, your point about measured commentators is correct. For the first time I think reasonable and thought out fans are wanting Doughty to leave. This goes beyond the type of unrealistic fans that just expect Roman Abramovic type owners to be growing on trees and want to organise a protest at the drop of a hat, there is now a growing number of considered fans who are genuinely wondering why we should be putting up with a regime that has made continuously bad decisions for so long.

  16. Nigel Doughty should leave Forest and if he is the so called saviour wipe off the debts at the same time. He has failed time and time again and as other comments have stated he doesn’t know how to choose a manager, and when he does (Billy Davies) he sacks him after 2 years into a 3 year plan. Its a complete waste of time asking for Marthur to leave as he is Doughty’s message boy, he has no decision making authority at all, he just does what he is told. While Doughty is there Marthur will not be ousted.
    As for Schteve its a complete myth that he is a good coach, where on earth is the justification for this!! Look at the mess we are in, we are 4th from bottom and sadly I fear another defeat next week. We cant blame refereeing decisions on Saturday, we let in 3 goals, Schteve is out of his depth and doesnt understand this league he is not a good coach and if he is really honest he would say he wished he never took the Forest job. When appointed we had a lot of comments about all his knowledge and contacts in Holland and Germany and the new players we could get.His career and reputation is on the block-where does he go when he fails with Forest-and he will, by Christmas we will be in the relegation zone and then in January Doughty (if he is still here god forbid) will have to sack him.
    Schteve had his chance to walk after the transfer window and he would have left with a chance of getting another championship club, now next stop for Schteve some far off foreign national team no doubt.
    Mclaren like Sven and Venables(used too) are living off England manger
    Nigel Doughty has failed again, he answers to nobody regarding Forest and nobody will challenge him, when they do, i.e. Billy Davies he sacks them. He is arrogant – just look at how little he communicates with the supporters and how appalling we are treated, come on Nigel what happened with the 3 year plan, why did you stop it after 2 years with Billy Davies be honest we are not stupid’i dont think he could motivate the team for a third year’ is utter rubbish. Well youve replaced Billy with a real motivational manger in Schteve, progess ? I think not.
    We are a shambles and nothing will change with Doughty there.
    He will only go if the fans turn against him and I think that might happen very soon

  17. The reality is you have to get young players and let them build confidence and skill and from the players Billy Davis has moulded I thought was going very well. Play off 2 years in a row is a great effort with the squad he had. Obviously someone in the boardroom didnt like BD and BD probably told them how it was and got the arse. Calderwood did his job from Div 1 to championship, BDs job was championship to Premier. Problem is we are probably back where we were 3 years ago and have to build again. But by chirstmas if we arnt mid table Schteve is out the door.

  18. So John Pelling is worried we are going to get caught with the financial fair play in the NEXT FEW YEARS !!
    As this does not apply to Premiership clubs,it doesn’t sound as though our Board are expecting promotion in the near future ….I still think our club should at least be put on the market to see whether there are any potential buyers !
    It looks like our only hope,unless Steve can perform a miracle with our current squad
    .At least the lads seem to have a good attitude and work hard at training…Vamos a ver !!

  19. Pelling said that FFP will mean rich benefactors will be irrelevant in the Championship in a couple of years. THIS IS ALL THE MORE REASON TO GET RID OF DOUGHTY, if he can’t even put any money in then what on Earth is the point of having a man who has made such terrible decisions for so many years! He couldn’t even achieve anything when putting his money into the club, what chance will he have when all clubs are on a level playing field?! Leave Doughty, or at least replace the people you employ around you who have nothing but a shocking track record to point to on the evidence of what Forest have achieved (or lack thereof!) during your time at the club.

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