As the final whistle blew at the City Ground on Sunday, I was in no doubt that Nottingham Forest and Chris Hughton would finally be parting company.
Ironically, at the time of writing (20:30 Sunday 12 September 2021) the NFFC manager is still in his role, but perhaps more telling is the fact that we are also still rock bottom of the Championship table. At the time of publishing however, I predict that circumstances will have changed, not the league standing though.
Those who know me are familiar with my Groundhog Day mantra when it comes to all things NFFC during the last two decades. And this fully vindicates my opening article of the season where I used the term “make or break season!” Some laughed this off as an overly dramatic sentiment but I’m a man of my word and steadfastly stand by my statement. The Nottingham Forest supporters are at breaking point and will not tolerate another season of insanity.
Insanity: don’t take my word for it, absorb the rhetoric of some dude by the name of Albert Einstein who is credited with the following diction: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Does this sound familiar?
If we take the Cardiff City game in isolation (not Covid style) there were indeed many positives from which to draw. The acquisition of two new full backs certainly added a balance and solidity to the back four, and for the first forty-five minutes all seemed well in the world of Nottingham Forest. Perhaps most telling of all was something I’ve perpetually referred to during, not only my commentary, but in my writing also, and that was is the body language of any given footballer. You can analyse, pontificate, and compartmentalise a football team but the most accurate indicator of commitment to the cause will ALWAYS be the body language of the players. In the first half versus Cardiff the commitment of every Forest player was tangible. To a man they threw themselves in front of every goal bound shot, cross and through ball. Even Lyle Taylor, despite a poor overall performance, chased down the City keeper at every given opportunity, when he wasn’t on the floor.
Lest we forget the goal. Max Lowe’s brilliant run from the full back position to opposition by-line was fantastic, but the composure he portrayed when he got there was even better. I fully expected the loan man to dink the ball to the back post like I would have done, hence the reason why I write/commentate about football and no longer play it, but the intelligence he showed by rolling it back to Lewis Grabban was exemplary. In commentary, Elliot Stockdale, my co commentator, had alluded to the fact that aerial balls were futile when you had the likes of Aden Flint and Sean Morrison in defence so I’m guessing that Max was listening?
Half time and all is well in the world of NFFC. But then came the second forty-five, which well and truly belonged to Cardiff City. It was like a switch had been flicked, as Forest reverted to the same old siege mentality that has been their Achilles heel for, well, as long as those crazy millennial’s can remember. And then came the changes; brilliant, tactical substitutions by Mick McCarthy which invariably changed the game as Rubin Colwill bagged a brace whilst Kieffer Moore wreaked havoc in close attendance.
Truth be told, the manager will almost certainly go but the burning question is this: does the root cause of our embarrassment lay deeper than the ground upon which the manager walks? I simply cannot answer this, sorry to disappoint but I’m not an ITK!
Similarly, I’m devoid of all ideas when it comes to a solution for the progression and development of the club; honestly, I have no idea about who could manage the club, the best system to play, or how we can improve. Okay, I do have ideas, but this is Nottingham Forest, and we are the destroyer of worlds, we have become the archetypal poison chalice!
I shall leave you with the words of a former NFFC hero David Johnson; DJ tweeted the following statement after the defeat to Cardiff: “Just so angry and disappointed how the club is ran. It’s embarrassing (the whole board should of gone). They are a disgrace. Last time I said anything bad about the club. Gainnis called me. I’ll wait for his call I guess as I was right the first time.”
A little overzealous or too emotional? Again, I don’t know what David knows but what I do know is this; the results under the current manager are beyond indefensible and the inability of the club to do something different, as opposed to the same thing, over and over again constitutes insanity.
*Article provided by Steve Corry (Nottingham Forest Correspondent).
*Main image @NFFC the Forest team pictured with a tribute to Dylan Rich who tragically died last weekend.