See below…

Nottingham Forest – 0
Cardiff City – 1

Just like dogs can resemble their owners, I’m starting to get concerned that a football team can resemble the manager.  There was endeavour and effort (perhaps excepting ‘I’m already gone’ McGugan and Matt Derbyshire who were both terribly lethargic), but no quality. No end product – no difficult save for their ‘keeper to make.

Our visitors, on the other hand, offered very little – however brought one decent save from Camp in the first half, saw Miller miss a gilt-edged opportunity to open the scoring, shortly before he – well, did.  We blustered and huffed and puffed but ultimately did not make any significant or meaningful assault on the Cardiff City goal despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession and mounting a fair amount of pressure.

Mixed news at the start on the injury front, Dexter is injured, but Lynch returned:

Gunter    Chambers    Lynch    Cunningham
McCleary    Moussi    Greening    McGugan
Findley    Tudgay

A bright start from Findley saw him brought down having touched the ball past the Cardiff keeper – he certainly wasn’t clean through and it was a heavy touch past him too (does he do any other kind?) – so a booking was probably fair.  Shortly after that after going up for a header he stayed down and was subbed for Matt Derbyshire – deja vu there, an early substitution due to injury.  Not ideal.

As for the match, same as usual really – promise, some degree of endeavour – but lacking in final balls or strikers prepared to gamble in the danger areas.  Tuds is, bless him, too slow and I’m sad to say that I’ve all but written off Derbyshire.  He’s lightweight, has poor anticipation and doesn’t seem to have a particularly strong work ethic either.  Most attacks came via the useful looking combination of McCleary and Gunter down the right.

I’ll be amazed if we don’t succumb to one of the inevitable offers for Gunter in the January window – whatever Cotterill says in the papers about him wanting to stay.  I’m sure he does, but I’m sure he’d like to play in a better side too whilst probably earning more cash.  It’s easy to point the finger at players we’d like to see moved on – more difficult to imagine who on Earth will oblige us by taking them off our hands.

A special word should be saved for a particularly bad referee as well.  He wasn’t biased, just mind-bogglingly poor with his decision-making.  Cardiff didn’t look up to much either – full of gamesmanship, play-acting and diving which surprised me since Mackay has taken over – but proved they had the quality necessary to convert one of the limited number of decent chances they made.  As noted above, for all our bluster we failed to draw one decent save from their keeper.

The introduction of a spirited Bamford from the reserves was perhaps a slight glimmer – he put himself about a bit and caused some problems, perhaps an earlier introduction might’ve paid dividends (indeed, Derbyshire might as well have not been on the pitch anyway).  Hopefully the mediocrity surrounding him doesn’t detract from the good performances he’s been putting in in the reserves and we get to see a bit more first team action for him.

Listening to Steve Cotterill suggest post-match that we’re not in trouble if we’re only losing 1-0 and not by 4 or 5 is infuriating.  I do realise an element of his job is to remain positive, and I also realise that he is massively hamstrung in how he can operate here – but I regretfully have to say that I really don’t believe he is capable of achieving what is looking increasingly like the impossible and dragging us out of that relegation zone.

Naturally I’d love for him to prove me wrong, but I shan’t be holding my breath.

A big Happy New Year to you all, let us hope for some miraculous turnaround in 2012 to see us start to pull in the right direction.  Alas all I can foresee is the very likely impending relegation of the club – and a probable trip into administration.  Who would’ve thought that this mess was on the cards this time last year?

Finally the Goal of the Month competition for December has been a hotly contested race for Forest, with really only too main contenders.  In a close vote it was decided by a narrow margin that the Trent End goal was just preferred to the Bridgford End goal, because it’s the one our lads do the warm-up in.

Ipswich up next.  They’re the last team we scored against!

23 Responses

  1. happy new year NFFC and all the forest fans around the world. I am sure next year can only get better… Well hoping so anyway. Time to get smashed me thinks !!

  2. Happy new year to all, forget the footy! we don’t have a choice

    If the players think they are better than the 3rd tier, whats the matter with them? The article mentions administration? We are already there really, we will need to shift players to make the club a worthwhile business. That is administration, just self inflicted by very poor visions and decision making. I lay zero blame with Doughty, he did of course listen to his advisors though, but I’d like everyone at the club to ask themselves, are they worthy of representing Nottingham Forest at the moment?

  3. Happy New Year NFFC and all Forest fans who join me in reading this great blog!

    I posted back in October about taking my 9 year old stepson Daniel to the Blackpool game and him becoming a fully fledged Forest fan as a result. I then took him to Ipswich at home where he also witnessed a hard fought win.

    He was Forest daft by that point, wanting to know everything about them. I took great delight in telling him about our history, Cloughie and the glory years, then onto our rivalry with Derby, we watched the 5-2 DVD together and Dan cheered like it was live.

    He got a Forest top which he wore to school. We live in Birmingham so he was a braver man than me! But when a Villa fan told him ‘Forest were rubbish’ he simply replied ‘How many stars are on your shirt?’ Yes, I had told him what those two stars meant.

    Since Ipswich, we’ve been horrible, worse than that shite under McClaren, and whilst Cotterill seems a smashing bloke, he’s coming across as a hopeless manager. I’ll carry on to say we need to see what he does in the transfer window because he’s been bound by the team he inherited.

    As for Daniel my side of the family got him loads of Forest stuff for Christmas and he loved the annual, stationery set and other daft stuff. He still loves Lewis McGugan and relegation probably hasn’t even crossed his mind.
    I remember feeling that way in 1982 when my dad first took me to the City Ground. What a great, innocent, naive way to follow to football.

    Only difference is we were a good team back then!

  4. A Happy New Year to you all !!
    Let’s hope our luck changes in 2012 and we get fewer injuries and a goal at Ipswich !
    Let’s get Harewood and Bamford together up front.
    Tudgay needs a rest !
    Hopefully sell Derbyshire and get rid of Hasslebank !
    Come on Forest,please stay in this division !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  6. Happy New Year to all Forest fans…
    Has any team ever lost so many games
    by the slender 1-0 margin in half a
    We can only hope we deal our cards
    properly in the transfer window & fresh
    players will inject some HEART into the
    The current squad/ formation/ management
    is simply not working…
    Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve SC…..
    Make the call & deal ferociously this month!

  7. Happy New Year to all. Thanksowns respect to NFFC for his continued effortsshowreel this site going especially in these difficult times when I, probably like most of us, find their faith seriously challenged. His articles are, IMHO, some of the best articulated, balanced and insightful I have read on any footy blog and certainly help me in these difficult times.

    Good stuff matey! Have a good 2012.

    PS loved the goal of the month bit!

  8. All the best fellow reds this has to be the lowest point I have felt as a Forest fan in 33yrs even worse than the dark days of Megson.

    In 6 months the club has completely imploded with promotion aspirations to not even being able to score a single goal totally pathetic.It simply isnt working is it ? from top to bottom they are a complete joke and a disgrace to be wearing the Forest crest !

    Never mind winning a game these donuts cant even stick the ball in the net its a complete joke and they are getting paid thousands a week.How about we cancel there wages until they win a game would that change things I bet it would .

    If we go down witch looks odds on now I believe we could be the first SO CALLED big club to go out of business and become even more of a laughing stock than we already are.

    Sorry Nigel you have ruined Nottingham Forest CHEERS !

  9. Thanks nffc for all your articles and effort on the blog its quality reading and you do make us laugh through this complete fiasco that is being played out.

    Your aim as I recall when starting the blog was to chronicle Forests rise from the ashes back into the big time again.Well matey im sure you like most of us are cringing at the prospect of us being cut adrift in a world of financial ruin and bungling hapless managers .

    Gee thats depressing ………….!

  10. Wishing a Happy New Year to TTSBU contributors is easy but it’s surely wishful thinking to consider it’ll be a truly ‘happy’ New Year for Forest supporters.
    Sorry to repeat an earlier posting but I wrote “there’s an increasingly Calderwood-esque style about this manager” and the last six abysmal performances have just reinforced that view.

    I suppose tho’ it’s the ‘reality check’ I have to come to terms with in 2012. Just now we appear destined to become a mid-Football League, mediocre team rather like Notts. I have to forcibly dispel the belief – encouraged by Billy Davies – that we’re a Premiership side about to happen.

    Mid-table Divsn 1 sides have loyal fan bases with realistic expectations of their teams’ performances and the businesses behind them. It’s just re-adjusting to that mind-set which is the hard part for me.

    We can’t (yet) criticise Frank Clark, at least he’s open and honest with us about the parlous state of the club’s finances. We can’t even claim that it’s all the inevitable consequence of big money clubs atop the Premiership creating an ever-widening gulf that clubs like ours will never bridge. You just have to consider Swansea, Stoke, Norwich etc to appreciate it can be done.

    It’s tempting now to conclude that Steve Cotterill can’t motivate the team but is that justified? We might wish that BD was back at the helm but it ain’t gonna happen.

    I’ll always support our club as I’ve always done, but “fings aint what they used to be” that’s for sure.

  11. “I lay zero blame with Doughty”…

    Interesting. I don’t doubt that over the past 12 or so years he has done nothing but try to make the best decisions for Forest. For this I can’t fault him but to say he is blameless for where we are now and our lurch from one crisis to the next in the timeframe he has owned the club is bullshit.

    He owns the club and every important decision he has made with regards to the club on and off the pitch has backfired with the exception of appointing Davies.(and, at a push, Hart… but that was probably a decision already made for him due to circumstance).

    The club is old and tired. Talk of 5 or 10 year plans is utter shit. While results on the pitch are hard to control what can be controlled is the running of the club and turning every aspect of it into an economically viable business proposition. Everything from the half time kiosks to the merchandise to the ticket pricing policy should be turning in a profit regardless of league position. What other business can you pretty much guarantee 20-25000 walking through the door every other week? If everything at the City Ground was geared to service this core support then you can build a platform in which to grow but it is constantly taken for granted and neglected. The ground itself is shabby and tired and just that little cosmetic thing can start to breed a culture of complacency all the way from the staff to the fans. If you stop having pride in appearance then its not long before everything else starts to crumble. What does it say to the players, the fans and visiting fans when the club can’t even be bothered to keep on top of general maintenance of the ground?

    Fans can put up with a lot of crap results wise but what they can’t stand is being lied to and seeing their hard earned cash wasted, which is exactly what the club is doing to our money. At the moment the fans are disillusioned by how the club operate. The constant fuck ups on and off the pitch of the last 12 years are taking their toll, the club is imploding and if the fans stop giving a shit it will be all over.

  12. I still can’t understand why Greening come’s in for so much stick, yet players like Derbyshire, Miller, Mcgugan and Findley don’t get any. None of them give 100% and look uninterested most of the time. Yet Greening who clearly give’s him best and plays well most game’s gets booed and made the fans whipping boy most matches. I know he’s not the best player on the pitch but he sure as hell isn’t the worst thats for sure. Anyway happy new year to all the forest supporters and remember that we are all going though this shit together. I know it’s hard but in football you godda take the ruff with the smooth. I just hope come feb Miller, Derbyshire, Mcgugan, Mcgoldrick, and Chambers who’s been poor all season will have been shown the door, but no doubt we’ll end up stuck with the fucking lazy over payed clowns all season.

  13. All we are saying…is give us a goal!!!

    I still think playing Lewis up front would be worth a shot but not sure we have the resources to do that at present with all the injuries. A 5 man midfield to dominate posession vs Ipswich is the way to go. If Moussi has to cover at the back, which seems likely, play Greening behind Majewski and McGugan in the middle with G Mac and Reid either side. That’d work!

    If the Chinese authorities do give permission for Marlon to play then stick him straight in up front. If not, anyone but Derbyshire!!!

    Happy new year fellow trickies, don’t lose the faith!

  14. AD_BC

    You are bang on with your perspectives well said – the whole club feels shabby to me as well . half time kick the ball at the stupid victor chandler board sums it up ( Nobody seeems to be capable of doing it by the way ! ) – I have been going on about this for a while as you know – this department is clearly Marthur’s and his misrule sets the whole wrong tone for the club . He needs to go and lets get a proper CEO who can start us off again by at least getting the off the pitch stuff right – this is more depressing than the on the pitch stuff as you say – This needs to be in Frank’s in tray for January in my book –
    and he needs to kick Marthur out of any of the transfer dealings where his ineptitude is also well documented ……

  15. Thanks NFFC for the blog and reports, I can no longer force myself for the 350 mile trip to watch Forest.
    The club has imploded. I respect alll Forest fans opinions but it is very difficult to understand ‘zero blame to Doughty’.
    His managerial appointments apart from BD have been woeful, he has allowed Marthur to make massive errors. In last 18 months alone he has let out of contract players leave for nothing (one of them being a classic goalscorer, what do we need right now ??) Paying Wilson for 6 months when he was injured?, Grant Holt leaves for next to nothing and then scores 20+ goals in the championship. etc etc,
    Yes some of these were manger decisions bur Arthur and his boss Doughty are very much in charge have to take the blame.
    Of course we have to move on but sacking BD was a monumental mistake! I know Billy wasnt perfect ( Mcgoldrick purchase and I really dont rate Tudgay) but he took us from relegation fodder to 2 top six finishes, he did say he would leave Frorest in a much better place nad he was right, I wish we could get him back.
    I think Cotterill is a decent bloke, honest and committed but not sure if he can get us out of this mess, I hope he proves me wrong.
    Happy new year to all Forest fans we need some luck and we need some proper management throughout the whole club, urgently.

  16. Murphy you bring up Grant Holt nice one could there be any more glaring Fupa than Forest selling Grolt.The man dropped down a league and started banging goals in hes now a Premiership player good on him .Oh and captain of his club ……..

    That epitomizes the absolute ineptitude of the ND/MA era they couldnt run a tea party in my garden.Oh and I forgot Smoulders used to play Grolt on the wing gee wizz no wonder hes never done anything in management wow

  17. Happy New Year NFFC and thank you for your great blog.
    Lets hope that the first four months of 2012 bring us more to cheer than the last few have and that Forest can stay in this league.

  18. I cannot understand those fans that consider Doughty is not the architect of the Clubs current malaise; the blame has to be laid at his door.  He is the man at the helm who sets the tone of the Club.  It is he who appointed, and continues to back, Marthur and it is he who has presided over every decision taken by the Club even if it is not he who makes them.  Under his stewardship Forest have become a failed business model with double outgoings compared to income.  Transfer policy has lurched from the unregulated to the the unworkable with resultant crisis buys of journeymen with no desire.  Numerous players have moved on at a loss to the Club but who have then gone on to perform well elsewhere. When did Forest last make a shrewd sale or bag one of their first choice transfer targets? 

     Managerial consistency has been non-existant over the entire Doughty era with a proliferation of poor choices (other than Billy’s appoinment) epitomised by the recent appointment of Steve Cotterill after paying compensation to a Club allegedly about to rid themselves of him. Even the communication policy of the Club is a joke; crass slogans like Paint the City Red’ proliferate and a further example was set against the obvious angst of fans over the incoherent transfers last summer, the Club highlighted the new nets – was this not obviously stupid to someone?

    Don’t get me wrong, I have long seen Marthur as the real villain of the piece but he has been, and remains protected by Doughty; he is Doughty’s man pure and simple.  I also don’t see Doughty as a villain; I genuinely think he wanted to do the best for the Club but running a football club is a full-time business not hobby.  Had Doughty ran his major empire like he has run  Forest he would be bankrupt by now.  Sadly, and as much as I like him, I have always seen Frank Clarks appointment as a cynical move by Doughty; I seriously question what real delegated power he has and see him as a ‘sop’ to the fans to deflect the criticism against ‘the Board’.

    Saddest of all is the malaise that’s have seen set-in amongst the fans that i know who have followed Forest through thick and thin, home and away, from bases many miles from the City Ground week in, week out for more years than I can remember. This crisis feels different than previous lean times and these die hards are losing the faith and are becoming disinterested.  That should worry the club but I doubt it is being registered; Marthur is fully in control of the Club’s denial culture!

    But hey ho, we have always the Jan transfer window to look forward to!

  19. Your spot on Deepin this is the lowest point in my 33yrs as a fan I almost think its a nightmare im gonna wake up from but its no nightmare.

    Forest have become a white elephant and Mr NA and MA are the real villains as you put it they dont have a clue how the football world operates.Thats evident by there decisions ………….?

    Im a very angry and disheartened redric SORRY ……….

  20. Felice Anno to Sisco and to everyone else Happy New Year!

    NFFC I don’t now how you do it? I used to care and was passionate about the club………now I didn’t give a flying feek!

    Will the last person to leave the club turn out the lights?

    2 years and we’ll be out of business!

    As for the Ipswich game…….the players don’t seem to care so why should I!!!!!!!

  21. grazie milli Ravin reg ….felice anno nuovo a te !! Anoi !! ………………DOUGHTY IS A DOUGHNUT !! MARTHUR AND THE DRIBBLE OUT !!

  22. Best wishes for the new year, all.

    Thanks NFFC, from me, too. Sometimes reading this blog is the only enjoyable part of the weekend fixture.

    I think we need a fire sale. We should let all the top-earners go and re-build in division 3 next year. Our unsustainable position does not let us do anything else. If we can’t score we won’t win games, and there is only one way out of the division in that case. At least if we ditch the expensive flops now we can maybe work out what we have left and what quality we have. Google’s not interested and neither is Derbyshire – lives up to his name, I see. They may as well be sat in the stands eating burgers, as looking sulky on the pitch and doing nothing.

    I’m not sure this feels quite the same as Calderwood. Yes, there is that clueless element, but Cotterill doesn’t seem as negative on the pitch. i just think the players can’t be arsed to play for him. In any other business the MD wouldn’t be arsed to pay them either, and would show them the door. Such is the malaise of modern football. Players rule, and there is not a lot you can do if they turn out to be crap, over-paid, lazy-arsed bunglers. It’s just that several of them have arrived at the City Ground….

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