Lucky Col
Dance as though nobody's watching, love like it's never going to hurt

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lucky Col’s review of the season

Usually it's best to wait until the end of the season to write the review, but after a bafflingly easy 2-0 victory for Reading over an abysmal Norwich side last night, Forest’s season has ended already.

And about time too.

I had this season as down as, and I quote from a post back in the day;

“one of the dullest seasons in living memory, mid-table obscurity secured by mid-March, no relegation worries to contend with and no disappointment at failure to go up.”

Well, there’s certainly no disappointment at not going up, the Premiership has turned into a freak show, a circus of play-acting cheating over-paid nancy-boys all cheered on by band-wagon jumping nobodies with more money than sense. Blackburn have shown some initiative to get the locals back into the ground, but these initiatives all seem to revolve around charging less which’ll mean relegation for Blackburn next season if they keep their heads above water in this.

And they’ll enjoy it a whole lot better down here.

Next season we’ll have Forest, Derby & Leicester, West Brom, possibly Newcastle, possibly Leeds, Sheff Wed & possibly Sheff United, Middlesbrough or Sunderland, Cardiff in a new stadium, a resurgent Ipswich, the Championship is the place to be, the true home of football in this country, where football is played in front of full houses of proper football fans, not your prawn-sandwich-eating-half-an-hour-for-half-time stuffed suit morons.

But how did Forest manage to contrive to leave it until 6 days before the end of the season to be safe, and then have to rely on another team bottling it in such morose fashion.


The season started OK, a relegated Reading matching us playing proper football, a draw fair on both sides, off to a good start. Then it started to go wrong. A goal off the back of Paul Smith’s head away at Swansea and a poor penalty decision setting the standard for what was to come. Watford were dispatched fairly easily, although defensively we let ourselves down again. The Watford game also saw the last appearance of the decent left winger, Lee Martin. At Wolves we were just abject. Wolves also saw the first appearance of the self opinionated lazy useless left winger Lee Martin.


Burnley were given all three points by a blind referee, Preston took all three with a header from the car park and then we couldn’t even beat Charlton. At home. Think about that for a minute. Charlton ! At Home ! Plymouth & Sheff Wed then beat us one nil, both relying on strokes of good fortune to grab their goals. It was at Sheff Wed that Joel Lynch made his debut, but was so far out his depth he should have gone back the day after. Fortunately, he didn’t. It was also at Sheff Wed that it became blatantly obvious that Andrew Cole was a wage grabbing football whore intent on doing nothing more than bank his money and go for a walk round green fields of a Saturday afternoon / Tuesday night.


Lost to poor Palace, QPR, & Cardiff sides but nicked a point at home to Ipswich. By which point we were so far adrift at the bottom of the table that the more than decent away win at Palace still left us six points away from safety.


Derby away. Say no more.

I went to the Doncaster match on a cold Tuesday night and saw a Rovers side completely outplay us for ninety minutes, but as they couldn’t score for toffee, the game finished predictably 0-0. I remember commenting how easy it was to get to their ground, something useful to remember next season as we were as sure as they were to return to whence we came. Doncaster’s climb to safety since that meeting would be my stand out performance in the Championship this season. Wolves are a team of thugs fashioned in a Mick McCarthy manner, Birmingham & Sheff Utd are just Wolves-Lite, Doncaster played decent football even when it didn’t get them anywhere and then stuck by their principals, and manager, all season. Fair play to them. And they let me park in their directors car-park, so no complaints at all.

And Norwich at home. Against ten men. Never again, please.


Winter was drawing in, but it was going to get a whole lot worse before it got better. Potentially useless draws against Coventry & Blackpool coupled with a defeat at home to Sheff United and the knives were out. An away win at Southampton might have stayed the execution, but three-nil down at half time to Doncaster meant, if rumours are to be believed, that Mr C Calderwood ceased to be an employee of Nottingham Forest Football club at around 3:45 on Boxing day afternoon. If you want a turning point to the season, there you go, right there. Just to prove it was the right decision, Forest scored five goals away at Norwich two days later.


Away from the pressures of the league, Forest travelled to Man City in the cup. Why is it that when Pools / Lottery winners agree to the publicity angle, that they always insist on claiming they’re just going to carry on being themselves, some staying on at work, drinking tea, maybe grabbing a quick Greggs pie just to show they’re still normal. The same goes for football clubs with a lot of money, sure they can buy anyone they want, your Deco’s, your Ballacks, your Ronaldo’s. But the first thing any rich football club does is show they’ve still got the common touch. Step forward Michael Bridges, paraded to the Eastlands crowd before kick-off, the footballing equivalent of a cheese and onion pasty. Nathan Tyson scored, in my opinion, Forest’s goal of the season in a 3-0 rout. And rout it was, not so much a cup shock as a reminder of how things used to be. Half time in the concourse at Eastlands possibly the best 15 minutes I’ve had as a Forest fan in the last decade.

Charlton were beaten, Plymouth were beaten, Sheff Wed were beaten, Cardiff were beat…, no, sorry we lost to Cardiff, but that didn’t matter, you expect the odd defeat along the way when you’re on your way back up, and anyway, we had better things to think about …..


Derby at home in the FA Cup. Apparently whoever won this had Man United in the next round, but not one person in the 30,000 crowd gave two monkeys about that. 1-0 after 90 seconds became 2-0 in fifteen minutes and all was right in the world. Then the wheels came off. Rob Hulse heading in unchallenged in the first half, Paul Green heading in unchallenged in the second half and Kris Common firing in dietly challenged to win the tie for Derby. Bugger. Three consecutive league defeats, the last to Derby at home again sent us falling towards the relegation trap door. Derby defeats at home are like buses, you don’t get one for nigh on thirty years, then some fat greedy lard a**e turns up who looks like a bus.

And just to highlight how unpredictable we are, we go and beat Reading on their own patch. Jeez.


A good home win against Preston and suddenly everything in the garden was rosy again. Nope. Three consecutive defeats again, including that abysmal non-show at Burnley and we’re right back in the mire, bottom three, two pints adrift.


So long as we didn’t lose to Barnsley we were OK, but it took a penalty save at 1-0 down to rescue our season. Maybe the good luck was returning. Three points have been won with penalty saves so far, and it’s not unreasonable to think that that will ultimately be the level of survival. Two home wins, including the, ahem, good fortune against Bristol City and three away draws set Forest up for avoiding relegation before the last game of the season.


Just Southampton at home left, who knows ? Hopefully a good game of football, lots of goals, two teams looking forward to the summer for albeit completely different reasons. I don’t mind, to be honest, so long as there’s sunshine and available beer.

It's been a poor season all in all, not helped by Clueless Calderwood's insistence that we weren't that bad when it was clearly obvious that "yes we f***ing were". It was absolutely imperative we stayed up, another trip to the dream factory that is League One would have crippled us as a club for years to come, but staying up will enable Billy Davis to build the club in his own small-man syndrome image. He'll need to be successful as ugly football looks so much worse when it's unsuccessful ugly football.

As far as I’m concerned the hard work for next season starts today, April 28 2009.

Less than 7 weeks before next season’s fixtures come out.

Come on U REDS !!!!!!


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