Burnley – 5
Nottingham Forest – 1
You’ll understand I’m sure my reluctance to get around to writing this, what a disastrous development in the spectacularly underwhelming reign of Steve McClaren. If I were a betting man then I’d certainly be starting to think about looking at what odds he were to be next in the sack race (as well as the usual “shall I just have a think about betting against Forest” ponder).
Five goals against, five defensive errors – certainly credit to Burnley for punishing, but well, we didn’t exactly make life difficult for them did we? The most disappointing thing is listening to how absolutely clueless the manager sounds in his post-match comments about how to go about resolving our problems – cluelessness that perhaps is hinted at in the team selection:
Gunter Chambers Morgan Hill Lynch
Greening Moussi Reid
I’m not going to dwell too much on the game. The early signs weren’t good. Even before the early concession a clearance from Hill got in the way of Burnley’s first chance. Shortly after a cross came in, Charlie Austin put it back across goal and Rodriguez put it in.
Another chance, another defensive fuck-up – another cross, a header by Rodriguez, a goal. A rare Reds chance created by Lynch was missed by Miller, meanwhile the home side continued to threaten – a cross by Wallace caused consternation in defence, but Rodriguez this time missed the target when the ball fell to him.
Realising how inept we were, Burnley – who’d been struggling at home – piled pressure on, Austin got a good chance from a corner which Camp saved well. McClaren obviously spotted things weren’t quite going right on the pitch and made an early tactical switch, taking off Gunter and putting on Findley to try to shift the emphasis from defence to attack for us.
It didn’t really work – we were soon three down, this time a corner wasn’t cleared leaving McCann free to fire in from close range. At the other end Miller tried to create an opportunity for Derbyshire who couldn’t get on the end of the cross. Shortly after this Reid and Derbyshire combined to create a chance that resultied in a corner. Miller missed from close range from a Findley cross too.
A brief respite for the long-suffering Reds fans, though – it was four just before half time, a poor pass from Wes to Lynch let Wallace nip in and take the ball into the D and put a curling shot into the bottom corner past Camp just to compound our misery.
Half time was odd, the team were out early, McClaren just sat there looking bereft of inspiration or ideas. One idea he did have was to take off Andy Reid and replace him with Majewski. The early signs were more positive, a more energetic start from the Reds, and this paid back with a goal for Miller – he got away from Edgar and Grant perhaps should’ve done better in the Burnley goal – he was probably shocked we had a shot on target!
It didn’t last for Forest though, Burnley got back into their stride – Bartley strolled away from Majewski and missed the target from the edge of the area, at the other end Findley hit a decent effort but he struck the outside of the post. With 20 minutes left it was Greening who gave the ball away, Burnley broke quickly and crossed to give Austin the chance to put a looped header past Camp, Morgan almost cleared it off the line but it was ruled in.
A disgraceful performance. McClaren had no excuses after the game, but still alas does his best to justify the hapless/useless figure that the media paint of him.
I’m not one for knee-jerking but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that there are serious issues at Forest. You only have to read the message boards (if you can bare it) to see the disharmony amongst the fans, indeed, I’ve been texted to alert me to non-specific protests about “the way things are being run” that will take place before the Birmingham game.
It isn’t that surprising, there’s a disconnect between the promise of pre-season, the disappointment in the transfer market at the end of pre-season followed by the hapless performances as the season begins. The idea of appointing a coach like McClaren then not quite delivering the squad he needs or talking about financial fair play a lot seems at odds.
Whether the traditionally slow-acting Forest board have a plan remains to be seen, but for peace-loving folk who just like to go and support their team, times like this are both demotivating and quite stressful.
Filed under: Matches |