You should’ve gone Christmas shopping..

Nottingham Forest – 0
Leeds United – 4

Thanks Leeds fans for the headline.  I was tempted to go with one of the rare amusing Forest chants of the night: ‘How shit must you be? You’ve only scored four’ – but well, I didn’t want to clutter up the news feeds with naughty words!

A well observed minute’s applause for Gary Speed was probably the highlight of the evening for Forest fans.  Steve Cotterill took heed of the issues we’ve been facing and put Anderson and Reid in the starting eleven.  A good move, almost universally thought.  Greening and Gunter missed out, with McGugan moving into the middle as part of the bargain.  Chambers remained in his makeshift rightback role.

Chambers    Morgan    Lynch    Cunningham
Anderson    Moussi    McGugan    Reid
Tudgay    Findley

I – funnily enough – don’t propose to dwell too much on this one.  I’ve just about thawed out from an evening of sitting zombie-like watching perhaps our worst performance of the season in many ways.  Leeds will be embarrassed for two reasons – one, it was too easy for them and two, they only managed to score four goals.  It really could – and arguably should – have been more.  And not because Leeds were brilliant, they didn’t need to be – we were just awful.

That’s not disrespecting our visitors – I guess they established quite quickly that aside from closing down and working to a semi-competent level they didn’t really need to break much of a sweat.

So, the planned tribute to Gary Speed – chanting from 11 minutes in for 11 minutes started on time, it was greeted with applause from the home fans and a brief join-in, but we left the Leeds fans to continue the tribute – the game didn’t exactly set on fire, and the effect of the chant was quite soporific – so much so that it appeared to have hypnotised Cunningham who left Snodgrass cut inside him on to his favourite left foot and smash the ball in past Camp literally as the 11 minutes were up.

It should’ve been two ‘nil – Camp tried to clear a long ball by chesting it away from Snodgrass but made a hash of it.  Fortunately Moussi managed to get something on the resultant open-goal opportunity for the Leeds man and caused the ball to loop over the goal.  Howson missed a great opportunity after Snodgrass made a monkey of Cunningham again – but conspired to miss the target from close range.

He made amends at the end of the half when Becchio was able to nod the ball over Lynch to Howson, who had evaded Cunningham who’d been drawn to the ball – and gosh it was a nice finish, giving Camp no chance with a finish to the top corner from the edge of the area.  To be frank, it wasn’t good.  Admittedlly it had been individual errors expertly punished – but we’d got away with a couple of bloody good opportunities for the visitors too.  Optimism was not high.

Cotterill made an unusual-for-him step of a half-time change – taking off Findley, who had been frankly mostly awful, for returning-from-injury Ishmael Miller.

Whatever he had said at half time didn’t seem to make much odds – four minutes in and it was three – and it was embarrassing.  Brown seemed to have all the time in the world to pick out an excellent cross to a similarly unmarked Becchio who put in a lovely glancing header.  Again, very well taken – but we made it so easy by not offering any kind of opposition to either cross nor header.  It’s not like this is something new this season!

A couple of rare but ultimately flaccid chances fell for Miller, one deflected over, the other a pea-roller directly at the keeper.  Our first shot on target, around an hour on the clock.  In the meantime the harassed Cunningham and the anonymous McGugan were withdrawn for Chris Gunter, who moved to right back with Chambers going central and Lynch going left back, McGoldrick replaced McGugan.

Guess what? Leeds scored again moments later.  Moussi slipped, Howson nicked in and brought a save from Camp, Gunter looked set to clear but Camp punched it away from him, to Clayton who popped it in the goal from close range.  It was frankly getting embarrassing watching new ways in which pretty much the entire Forest squad seemed hell bent on making Leeds look like world beaters, despite the visitors clearly not really getting out of first gear!

A strange consolation nearly came when a Lynch cross almost went on target – but it popped just over.  Shortly after he appeared to pick up a knock, but struggled on since we’d used all our subs.

Oh yeah, and Reidy – who had, in fairness, put in a few decent balls (albeit with nobody busting a gut to get on the end of them) got sent off for two second half bookings, both of which were warranted (unlike the earlier booking for Lynch which was absurd).  Forest continued to offer little, Leeds had further chances including a 3-on-2 break but weren’t able to coax Forest into providing them further gilt-edged opportunities to convert.

A flattering result.  Flattering to us.  Leeds could’ve easily extended this scoreline to be incredibly embarrassing.  Is anybody else feeling a bit reluctant to make that bloody long trip to Brighton this weekend?  This really was a disgustingly bad performance.  It’s true there were a lot of specific errors that led to goals, but to have pretty much the whole team have an ‘off day’ is worrying.  Very worrying.

Steve Cotterill claims the players are hurting at this result – I hope he’s right, because they didn’t look like they gave much of a shit on the pitch.  Perhaps that he has a more professional outlook than I do is a blessing, though.  I’m bloody seething.

25 Responses

  1. Utter utter complete garbage. Only saving grace is the Derby slide continues also. It’s not too bad table-wise either as although bottom three now, a mere 4 pts separate 22nd up to 13th. Need to stop the slide NOW and these defenders need to learn to deal with set pieces better…

  2. another 400 euros …..another dismal display …driving to london ..not happy ..a club with no money …mid table i predicted ..i really hope so !! i see pat bamford scored again ..lascelles never been tried …but is the highest named player in the media ,,,but not played for 1 minute first time football ….players played out of position …yes…im back !!! but i will stil follow the best club in the land …viva forest ….ritorno subito …Anoi !!

  3. 400 euros? Christ! I was upset at paying 28 quid…

  4. […] the original post on Through the seasons before […]

  5. I’m still dithering as to whether it was quite as bad as the Boxing Day game against Doncaster that saw Calderwood sacked, but it was certainly up there with it.

    Not that it would have made any significant difference, but I’m positive (looking from Trent Lower) that their keeper made the save inside the goal and stood a foot behind the line holding the ball after Miller’s effort when we were only 3-0 down.

    Desperately sad for Chris Gunter who was probably the player on the pitch closest to Gary Speed that he should end up having to risk the boos while trying to applaud us (or mostly our departing backs) at the end.

  6. I really hope the players are shaken up by this
    Tudgay must have been knackered after his last away performance and its good to see our centre forward back again !
    ~. The only consolation is the championship table is still so open that ANYONE can still make the playoffs………………………………

  7. no majewski but lewis offers nothing

  8. Dont let it get you down this result. More to life than this sack of shit. I am really enjoying my weekends now and evenings by not going down and letting the forest result bother me.

    The club is dying and quite frankly I am passed caring. It is more of a chore going to watch forest these days so I just don’t bother.

    Like I said, more to life than supporting over paid and hyped up crap footballers on a Saturday.

    Sad really.

  9. Mr B, you should be ashamed of yourself. Either you’re a supporter or you’re not. If you are, get behind the team – following Forest is about highs & lows not bandwagon jumping when results suit.
    Yes it was a crap game & a crap result and we were lucky not to have been on the end of a 7 goal drubbing which it could easily have been but that’s what we signed up for.
    SC has done more than SMc did in roughly the same amount of time so it’s not all doom & gloom. Yeah we’re in the bottom 3 again but if McClaren was still here we would be bottom and already out the race.

  10. Well – I was one of those people who thought the Greening-Moussi needed breaking up. That didn’t work out so well…

    I was also one of those people who worried what Cotterill was going to offer beyond an initial burst of post-Schteve enthusiasm and relief. I hope I’m as wrong about that one too.

    I’ve already bought my Brighton tickets so will be heading down there as optimistically as possible. It can’t get much worse I suppose – but then how often have I thought that already this season?

  11. Rubbish from front to back, Leeds far more organised than us and pressed us non stop. Felt for Reid, he was the only one actually trying to make something happen but deserved to go under modern rules. He was going for ball both times but is just far too slow!
    Fair play to leeds fans but disappointed that on a night remembering the dead they couldn’t resist slagging of Clough as usual.
    Lots of work for Cotteril to do now. At least with an almost full squad he’s got options to change it, starting with a right back at right back please

  12. At the risk of sounding like a fickle
    supporter, I thought to myself Forest
    would be the perfect team to play
    when there is an emotional attachment
    to the game.
    No fluency, no cohesion, no hard running…
    The squad looks resonably strong on
    Paper but for whatever reason it’s just
    not happening on the field.
    I’m afraid it’s a dog fight for us as these

  13. At the risk of sounding like a fickle
    supporter, I thought to myself Forest
    would be the perfect team to play
    when there is an emotional attachment
    to the game.
    No fluency, no cohesion, no hard running…
    The squad looks resonably strong on
    Paper but for whatever reason it’s just
    not happening on the field.
    I’m afraid it’s a dog fight for us as these
    thrashings have now become all too regular.
    But when you’re in a dog fight you need
    to fight like a dog to survive! hmmmmm???

  14. First time I’ve made the 320 mile round trip from the SW this season and I’d be annoyed if my sons under 7 team defended like that!! Reid aside there looked to be no pride, no passion, no cohesion … and I thought those were the things SC was supposed to specialise at. Leeds did what they had to, two good strikes for goals 1 & 2 (although they should never have been allowed the time and space to have them), usual poor defending in the air for 3 and a complete shambles for 4. I had been looking forward to my ‘local’ game at Bristol City in a couple of weeks but I’m dreading that now … only hope this is the wake up call they all need cos it can’t get much worse!!!!

  15. I like Steve Cotterill and I hope he can keep us in this division, we cant turn the clock back but we should never have sacked BD.
    SC will have to wheel and deal to do something to shake things up, well done to Forest hierarchy £1 million spent on agents for players who have added nothing!! You couldn’t make it up.
    ‘Unlucky’ teams dont lose 4-0 at home and 3-0 away to Portsmouth.
    There is a massive job to do at Forest, who would have thought we have been in the top 6 for the last 2 seasons??.

  16. I’m glad the Smc era’s over & I’m still behind Steve Cotterill but it puts it into perspective what a bad bad decision it was to sack Billy!
    I keep hearing the phrase “if their good enough their old enough” well Pat Bamford scored twice again yesterday in the FA youth cup!

  17. Yes, possibly and even worse performance than West Ham at home. The players ought to donate their wages to Forest Fans for Charity after that.
    May time for drastic measures in January. Probably see what we can get for our “better” players such as Camp and McGugan and see what we can buy in the way of players with a modicum of pride and application. No particular criticism of those two.

  18. 400 euros ..yes ..the Alexwire ..i travel from Abruzzo Italy ….and will continue doing so ….until im skint !! love the FOREST …COME ON COTTER…USE LASCELLES AND BAMFORD NOTHING TO LOSE ALL TO GAIN !! VIVA FOREST !!! UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUREDS !!

  19. Like most of the above it was utterley utterley lacking in effort fight or desire. Until this season I have never left before full time this season I’ve done it twice as I just couldn’t take anymore after the fourth goal.Does that make me fickle and not a true supporter? I plead guilty.

    Mr b has his point.If I’m honest if it was season ticket renewal time now would I renew…NO NO NO!!! I to am also getting to the point were I just don’t care. It’s only meeting up with mates that keeps me going but I doubt I’ll be back next season on a season ticket.

    I don’t mind losing but I do mind when the oppostion only have to turn up to win. I do mind when the team show me NO effort NO desire NO movement. I worry about SC if he can’t see that Chambers isn’t a rb that you can’t build a side around Mcgugan, he isn’t good enough. When our best midfield player isn’t on the bench when macgoldrought is anywhere near the first team, when we persistently give Wes time and space on the ball. When we look like a team that had been introduced in the car park!

    A sad night for all concerned at Forest! Time to get out the maps for the third division grounds!!!

  20. I hear the calls for more youth talent to get their chance. It should also get the senior players more fired up to compete for their places but Forest are so bad right now that putting Bamford up front will do nothing but damage his confidence. If seasoned players like Tudguy and Miller can’t do anything I don’t think Bamford is going to change it unless he’s like Collymore… and he isn’t. Scoring in youth/reserve games is one thing, scoring for an under achieving side, low on confidence with an inability to link midfield and attack is another. It wouldn’t take long for the fans to start getting on his back and when that happens it will put his career back a year, maybe more. Its all very well having the talent but you’ve got to have a team that can support it and provide them with chances to score. Forest can’t do that for their experienced players right now. There in lies the irony of the academy. Producing good players can be done but when they get the chance to go into the first team it will be probably be detrimental to their development… only at Forest.

    It doesn’t make sense. That side should of played so much better together… It was a classic 442 with wingers and our best midfielder meant to be pulling the strings. I hope this was an off day but there have been too many bad results to blame things on an ‘off day’. I can’t see us getting much at Brighton and you’d have to be happy with a draw given the results we’ve produced from the last 3 out of 4 games.

  21. I’m sorry to say that the manager has to accept responsibility for this result-Team choice was poor and tactics??!!…who knows? A night to forget.

  22. Last night (I think) was the first time this season we had a chance to play all the available players in their correct position. At some point Steve has to drop one of Wes or Chambers so that we can play with recognised full backs and centre backs!

    • I absolutely agree. It just happens to be the most difficult decision for him. Imagine if it doesn’t work out though? He’s going to get pilloried from all angles. I thought his team selection bar Chambers at right back was pretty good last night. In some respects his job was easier when he was forced to play who he’s got available. Now he really has to work out his best squad and stick with it to give it a chance, replacing like for like when players get injured or show lack of form if possible.

      It all seems so obvious to us doesn’t it? And on paper it is but we don’t know the first thing about managing a football team. Sure we can look at our players and a team from it but getting them to play well and working is something that is beyond 99% of us.

  23. I kinda saw this coming we have been poor the last 2 games and I personally believe we are in big trouble.From front to back we just are not cutting it at this level the decisions made earlier in this season i.e sacking Billy and the Mclaren fiasco are now hurting us big time.

    Seen this before when we have been relegated 3 times and the signs are all there ,

    Poor Poor defending
    Lack of goals
    No solid midfielders
    Lack of passion

    Not a happy chappy I tell ya I hate getting beat of leeds anytime ………

  24. Midfield needs fixing.
    Need some industry & legs in there (+ bit of organisation)
    Forest have always been crap with too many pie shop boys in midfield.

    Ok carrying one player without the legs but 2 is far too much Mcgugan & Reid ? bad tactic in my opinion effectively left 3 Leeds Midfielders v’s the Moose.
    Play 5 in midfield stop em getting at our back 4.

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