Here's a list of things loosely related to the match. We know people like lists. Lists give people the illusion of order and control. "You can tell he knows what he's talking about," people say, "because he's written stuff in a list."
Especially lists with bullet points. Numbered lists don't work, because they imply a ranking order of importance, and end up causing arguments between stupid people.
Anyway, this was a match of two halves. One half was covered in snow, and the other wasn't. Which brings us to red lines...
We had this debate about coloured line markings, and concluded they were a stupid idea. You see, it doesn't matter what colour they are if they're covered in snow. The last time I looked, grass was green. But if it's covered in snow, it's white. On Saturday, they had to scrape the snow away to see the red line markings. On the bit without the snow, the red lines were pointless. It was all very disconcerting, like Leicester's diagonally cut pitch which is designed to make people sea sick.
The reason we call this lot the Undead is twofold. Firstly, if you take the middle bit out of United - Un..ed - the word Undead immediately springs to mind. Secondly, everybody knows that Bramall Lane is the Heart of Darkness and has been ever since it was touched by Warlock the Destroyer. The fans have developed a finely tuned inferiority complex over the years and seem permanently angry with everything, especially trees. Not Tricky Trees, but trees. Yes, they're cutting down all the trees in Sheffield, because living things aren't welcome there any more.
Younger fans may have been confused by the chant of "scabs"
which rose from the Undead fans fairly early on in the match. Well, this refers to the great miner's strike when Missis Thatcher was queen. The striking Yorkshire miners were so short of cash they ended up eating their own scabs. Even today, you can go into Sheffield chip shops and hear people ordering "one of each and a bag of scabs".
Anyway, the first half of the match was a bit duff. The Undead played with the spirit of men who hadn't quite realised how bad they were, and had a couple of chances. Clarke headed wide from what seemed to be inside the Forest goal, and Fleck tried an effort which was so poor Pantilimillione adjusted his position several times before it reached him. Forest defended solidly, then started up the boilers towards the end of the half. At half time the only question on people's lips was "Where are my feet?"
The second half was virtually all Forest. Whilst remaining rock solid in defence, they made enough progress forward to scare the bejeesus out of the Undead by missing several decent chances. The ones who used to score for Forest - Murphy and Dowell - were the main culprits. Dowell may still be suffering from a post-Warburton sulk, and Murphy may have lost the use of his eyes and legs, but these are no excuses. Brereton seems to have got himself in the unfortunate position of not even being expected to score, which is worrying. Mister Karanka's patience must be wearing a bit thin with his strike force now. Whoever he plays up front, whatever formation he puts them in, the goals have dried up completely. The fact that the Undead man of the match was their goalkeeper said much about Forest's dominance, but to be frank the saves he had to make weren't overwhelmingly difficult.
Mind you, in terms of attacking intent and execution, the Undead were worse. As well as asking yourself "Where are my legs?" you began to
wonder how this lot had ever crept so high in the table. Had everybody been asleep? They don't look good enough to reach the top six, but then neither do Derby. It's a funny old world isn't it?
So Forest rumble along like a slow red train, buggering up opponents' dreams of promotion, but not yet reaching anywhere near murderous speed. In the meantime, Derby cancel matches because they're running scared, Leicester's harum scarum football fails against Chelsea in the FA Cup, and the Undead can console themselves by sharing a big bag of scabs round the braziers where the trees used to be.
End of list.