Nearly but not quite… Forest 1-1 Birmingham City

November 10, 2008

Due to the lateness of this report I’m sure that unless you’ve been on Jupiter for the past 24 hours you’ll already know the ins and outs of this match between the two “2nd” teams in the Championship so rather than bore you all with all the details that you’re already aware of I’ll bore you in another new and exciting way by making this more of an opinion piece.

It’s fair to say that we were excellent in large portions yesterday, most notably in the second half. This isn’t really anything new (at least not during home games) but what is new is that we’re actually getting something in the way of a reward, albeit not quite as substantial a reward as we usually deserve.

It’s becoming clear that our upturn in fortunes has a lot to do with the abundance of players making their long awaited returns yet even without Earnshaw and McGugan we still should have taken a deserved three points from 2nd place Birmingham City. But despite the performance Forest turned in despite the absence of these two keys players I can’t help but think that the presence of the absentees would have turned a deserved three points into an actual three point haul.

Despite the performance there was one or two points for concern, the most obvious being that once again we haven’t won but that frustration is quelled somewhat by the performance level against what was undeniably a far superior side on paper. I would have been happy with a point before the game so I can’t be too grouchy given that a point is what was achieved.

The most worrying (yet most subtle) concern however was the goal we gave away. Last season in particular we were never really overly trouble by set pieces yet the opposite seems to be true of this season. Of course the step up in quality is going to be a factor but the space given to James McFadden yesterday was a worrying sight…only topped in the anxiety stakes by the sight of our backline standing around whilst he slotted in their solitary goal of the day.

Granted they never really threatened Lee Camp after that moment…nor had they done so before. In fact our defence was pretty sturdy for the majority of the match yesterday and did exceptionally well to keep arguably the Championship’s best forward line surprisingly quiet. However, all that good work can be undone in an instant and the goal conceded yesterday is not the first time that an alarming defensive lapse has cost us.

I don’t want to end on a negative note however as on the whole there were plenty of signs of encouragement yesterday. Both Heath and Thornhill acquitted themselves splendidly despite a nervy start, particularly from the former and at the end of the day we made an excellent side look resoundingly ordinary.

On the whole not a bad days work.

Keep it up Forest.

Calderwood out…. But Who would come in?

November 5, 2008

Rumours are major around the City Ground at this time. In particular about the manager’s future at the club. As we sit 2nd from bottom after 15 games Calderwood’s critics are feeling their doubts have been proven and many have formed the conclusion it is time for the Scot to go. Now a quick glance at the league table and the results we have had immediately points to the exit door for Calderwood however thinking beyond the sacking brings a whole load of other factors into account.

Calderwood shall he stay or go?

Calderwood shall he stay or go?

Calderwood has been intrusted with Doughty’s wallet he has brought in players that will go well in his squad, playing his style of play and doing it his way. You have to be careful about how you choose your next person. It is great to look at someones CV and see how well they have done but the main candidate (Big Sam) introduces football in a completely different way. Big Sam believes that defensive football is the answer only just getting the results week in week out. Calderwood is more of an attacking man. When we look at our squad now does anyone believe we have the talent and ability to sit back and soak up pressure against the likes of Brum, Wolves and the other clubs we are to play? We have conceded a vast amount of goals so far this season and sitting back is really not going to help the cause. Allardyce went to Newcastle another side renowned for good football and brought in some great players (Duff, Viduka etc.) It was all looking good his ideas didn’t match the squad though. Dull defensive football awarded Derby their 1st and last win of their dreadful premiership season something which I am sure the Georides are all embarrassed about still. Allardyce was sacked only a few months into his new job because Newcastle couldn’t offer him time. Time is essential for a manager like Big Sam with a squad like ours simply because of style of play. Unfortuantely a new manager is not going to be offered time at this club if we replace Calderwood we need to look at someone who will make a big impact something which I cannot see Big Sam offering us.

So then who’s next. The recent sacking of Boothroyd I am sure has some forest fans interested and the latest rumour of Laws is a spreading fast. However, I just think the best man for the job is Calderwood. We all have to consider he has had to deal with some major injuries. McGugan and Earnie have been out for a while and we lacked creativity and finishing with neither of them in the side. Not to mention the current injuries recently Cohen, Moussi, Bennett etc. all key players With key players fit we have shown we can be successful. Reading we looked great, Watford we were immense in our comebacks and Charlton we looked strong. I suppose defending has been a major issue but has been resolved now with the last few games concdeing very little and with Earnshaw and Garner returning our attack is looking dangerous too.

Whether or not Calderwood is to be here come the end of the season. I think 4 point from 2 very difficult away games has most certainly bought CC a bit of time and a bit more patience from the fans. Whether or not he uses it I don’t know. What I do know is that we finally have key players returning and I think the squad is finally coming together. If we should sack anyone in my eyes it should be the Physio!

Distant memory for Forest fans now!

Distant memory for Forest fans now!

Match Report: Derby County 1-1 Nottingham Forest

November 3, 2008

Where to start. As I sit here writing this match report I’m still struggling to comprehend what happened in the dying moments of what was undoubtable the biggest match of the season. Dodgy decisions, disallowed goals, a red card, an injury and a penalty save. I’ll try my best to explain.

The first half was unmissable as a Forest supporter but desperately disappointing for the neutrals (not that you could find any inside the booming Pride Park). There was hardly a shot on goal until about 25 minutes in when Joe Garner should have opened his Forest account. Adjudged to be offside by a frankly miserable set of officials the goal never stood. It was typical of the Reds fortune that the decision was wrong and Forest denied a deserved opener. In terms of play though neither side demonstrated the cutting edge needed to break the deadlock and the spotlight was stolen by the antics of Dean Leacock and Joe Garner. They seemed drawn to each other and every time the ball was near, every time a foul. Other first half incidents included an Addison/Fletcher tussle and Rob Hulse was replaced by Tito Villa due to a rib injury.

Chambers on Fletcher off, Teale off Barazite on.

The second half began with Nottingham piling on the pressure and that period after the restart that has so often been our downfall proved fruitful. An own goal from substitute Villa doesn’t accurately credit the way that forest did score. The deflection was enough to give us the lead but that was before Lewis McGugan saw red.

He made contact with the ball but the tackle looked horrendous in real time. The referee took one look at the guilty looking McGugan and sent him to the dressing room. This was the point where Forests play started to suffer but luck was about to begin. Not instantly though as Kris Commons free kick was stubbed into the net by Tito Villa.

As Derby began to attack more the madness began. Barazites cross from the right wing created a goalmouth scramble that eventually ended in the ball hitting Lee Camps net. Remarkable though Luke Chambers was relieved to have been judged to handle the ball and play was pulled back to a penalty. Commons was overlooked and Barazite would hit from 10 yards. The low left shot was gathered up by Camp and the Derby born ram fan became Red.

Play continued and after another great save from Camp, Addison saw his header go in. Once again though the goal was disallowed and anybody who knows why must be one of the few that spoke with Referee Attwell. He must be the only holder of the reasoning behind the decision. Quick thinking, Tyson raced up the pitch whilst Derby protested and missed a guilt edged one on one opportunity.

As the whistle was blow nobody could explain what they had witnessed but understood the value of the scoreline. Nottingham Forest on the up and taking another step to being the number one club in the East Midlands.