Forest Supporter

contact us ltlf forums talkback trentend coyr (forest) forum

SEASON 23/24 PREMIER LEAGUE MATCH REPORTS AND STUFF


premier league game 1 august 12th 2023
The Grand Arse 2
Nketiah 26, Saka 32
Nottingham Forest 1
Awoniyi 82

12 TRUE THINGS WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS MATCH
Most sports/media outlets cast doubt on whether Forest actually turned up for this match. One or two mention a Forest goal, but only because without it the scoreline would make no sense. It is therefore our duty to put stuff right and say 12 things what really happened in this match.
1.   The game was delayed for half an hour or so because some fat joker called Denzil got himself wedged in a turnstile and jammed up the whole entry system. The tragedy of Denzil's fate has been covered up by some corporate nonsense about "software failure".
2.   Brennan Johnson cocked up a glorious chance to open the scoring early on because he had been instructed to show Spurs just how rubbish he really was.
3.   The Grand Arse's first goal, a deflected strike from Nketiah, finally woke up the Grand Arse fans, who had spent the first twenty minutes of the match harvesting cheese from each other's feet.
4.   Six minutes after Nketiah's goal, a strike from Saka went down in history as the most hyperbolised event since God invented Sky. See 9.
5.   Forest spent the rest of the first half failing to kick the wadding out of the opposition as Mister Cooper had asked them to do. Experts have put this reticence down to their away kit, whose stripey wierdness carried all the threat of a peppermint Spangle. Mmm Spangles.
6.   According to reports, the half time whistle came at the wrong time for the hosts. Obviously this was because the match had started at the wrong time, but try explaining that to a Cockney.
7.   Several of the new disciplinary rules made themselves evident during the match. For example, the match shall only be stopped in the event of a head injury or if thirty eight million pounds worth of Timber falls to earth. Managers shall conduct themselves in a reasonable manner except for Arteta who can prance around like the devil's mannequin. And VAR hand ball checks shall not be applied to players who cost £105m which is broken down into an initial payment of £100m, to be paid over 24 months, with £5m in add-ons, which are £1m every time Arsenal qualify for the Champions League and Rice starts 60 per cent of games.
8.   New signing Matt Turner acquitted himself well when called upon. One save from a wickedly deflected Rice shot was a remarkable display of cat-like agility, and would have been described as "stunning" had that word not been appropriated solely for the use of describing Saka's goal which was the most stunning thing ever experienced in the anals of tabloid history...
9.   ...but nowhere near, in all honesty, as stunning as the goal Forest scored in the 82nd minute. That was properly stunning, not some fancy dan flukery but a breathtaking display of power, speed and accuracy from Elanga and Taiwo which left Grand Arse defenders blowing like old men's farts and the Grand Arse faithful stunned good and proper. That's what stunning means, after all.
10.   Forest might have equalised, but MGW still can't shoot.
11.   All those Forest fans who committed suicide during half time were left regretting their decision as they failed to see Forest put the wind up the Grand Arse and give them the fright of their lives. The Grand Arse, remember, see themselves as title contenders, but no amount of media worship can cover up the fact that lowly Forest made life very uncomfortable for them. Surviving Forest fans were genuinely optimistic about the future. Grand Arse fans only pretended to be.
12.   What the hell is a Variable Speed Limit?


premier league game 2 august 18th 2023
Nottingham Forest 2
Awoniyi 3, Wood 89
The Undead 1
Hamer 48

I don't know whether you remember, Stress, but many, many years ago we went to a match in League One, I think, which you described as a shit sandwich.
Hang on a minute, I don't remember that.
Nevertheless it is true, sir. I recall your description not only because of its foul-mouthed vividness but also because it was so accurate. The match indeed had begun well, deteriorated into a mess of faeces, and ended on a bright note. A shit sandwich.
Still don't remember saying that.
I mention this because, all these years later, we've just witnessed a match which could equally be described in those terms.
You're right there, Pie. Not about me saying rude stuff, but about the match being a shit sandwich. But then, any match against Paul Dickinbottom's Undead was always going to be an ugly affair, wasn't it?
But it was Forest's fault wasn't it? I mean, the start...
Brennan all over them like a rash, back to Mad Surge, wicked cross to find Taiwo between two defenders, goal! What a start indeed, Pie. Scored before you finished that argument you were having with the bloke in the wrong seat.
...the start was incredible, but we scored too early. I said so at the time. Don't get too excited, I said. Forest are a team that prospers against the odds. They can't cope with being on top. And look what happened.
Yes, Taiwo and Neco nearly scored from two more top crosses from Mad Surge.
Okay okay, we were on top for a while, but gradually the passes started going astray, the flicks didn't come off, the attacking intensity dwindled, the defence started looking a bit twitchy. It's Serge by the way, not Surge.
They lulled us, Pie. Paul Dickinbottom's Undead were so rubbish they lulled Forest into a false sense of security. Plus the referee was as bent as a docker's bollock.
I don't know what that means, Stress, but I'm prepared to take your word for it. Sadly, Forest's decline continued into the second half, and it wasn't long before Hamer equalised for The Undead with a spectacular strike.
Another jammy goal, Pie, like the Arse jammy goals. Forest keep giving teams too much time to line up shots just outside the area, but to be punished by deflections and world class flukes is a bit hard, imho.
Anyway, we waded through the slurry part of the sandwich until you became convinced we were heading towards a defeat.
I don't remember that, Pie.
"We're going to lose this," you said.
I have no recollection of these things.
"We're going to lose to a bunch of zombies and their snake-eyed manager," you said.
This means nothing to me, o Vienna.
"And look who's coming on," you said. "Old Deadwood himself." That's what you said, Stress. Terrible things. Shameful things.
These words I do not recognize, Fatso. But if I did say them, which I didn't, I was not the only one who did or didn't say them. Many people's hearts sank at the sight of The Man In The Iron Boots, including yours, I dare say.
Not really, Stress. Because I read the game so well, I sensed immediately that Wood looked sharp and hungry. It came as no surprise to me when he guided Aurier's cross into the net for a superb 89th minute winner. I knew this because this shit sandwich of a match had to be topped by a tasty slice of bread. And what a roar as the goal went in, eh Stress? It was like a cannon going off.
It made you wonder which was best, Pie - humiliating Paul Dickinbottom's Undead by scoring five or six goals, or infuriating them by scraping a last minute win. I think I prefer sending them home really really angry.
Washed all the way home by a tidal wave of noise from the world famous City Ground, eh Stress?
A mighty serge indeed, Pie. If I know anything about football, ManUre will be quaking in their boots.


premier league game 3 august 26th 2023
ManUre 3
Eriksen 17, Casemiro 52, Fernandes 76 (pen)
Nottingham Forest 2
Awoniyi 2, Boly 4

This film has a very famous ending. The line "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown" is uttered by Lawrence Walsh (Joe Mantell), the partner of Jack Nicholson's sardonic private eye Jake Gittes, after Jake's love interest Evelyn (Faye Dunaway) gets shot to death by the police. You'll have to watch the film to get the full story, but the thing is, the good get f***ed while the bad get away with all sorts of corruption, and there's absolutely nothing the good people can do about it. Chinatown is the place where corruption is taken for granted, and protests are in vain. Bleak stuff.

For Chinatown, read Old Trafford.

The match itself began with a farcical display of ManUre's uselessness in midfield and defence. A bungled passing sequence left Taiwo free to run on goal, pursued by, of all people, Rashford. Rashford bounced off the Forest forward, the ManUre goalkeeper fell over, and Taiwo prodded it home. Surprisingly, the goal was allowed to stand, despite the fact that not all the ManUre fans had taken their seats.

The second goal was equally comical. A corner from MGW skimmed Worrall's hair before hitting WillyBoly's head and ending up in the back of the net. No ManUre player seemed interested in defending the set piece. Surprisingly, the goal was allowed to stand, despite ManUre claims that they weren't ready because they didn't feel very well.

Forest were two up inside three minutes. The ManUre supporters went sickly quiet. The Forest supporters were boisterously loud. Forest repeatedly threatened with pacy counter-attacks, and had they taken one of the opportunities they created, they would have been singing in heaven. As it was, a different script had been written, probably by the Devil himself.

ManUre got one back when Rashford crossed from the left and the partially visible Eriksen brushed it home with the outside of his right foot, the kind of finish you see in a 5-a-side game from somebody with no left foot.

It was at this point that you began to fear for Forest. Not because they were playing badly, because they weren't. Not because ManUre were far superior, because they weren't. It was because this was Chinatown.  In the film, Jake Gittes says that when he was a police officer in Chinatown, he tried to do as little as possible because everything was so corrupt that he couldn’t tell if he was doing any good. So at Old Trafford, the fear was that, one way or another, whatever Forest did, they were not going to be allowed to win, and there was a bleak inevitability about how this was going to happen.

Early in the second half the butt-faced Casemiro equalised for ManUre. If earlier interpretations of the off-side rule had been applied, the goal would not have stood, but at least 2-2 was a fair enough score to take from Old Trafford, until you remembered where we were. As one lad put it, "Now we just wait for the Man U penalty."

He wasn't far wrong. The sending off came first. Fernandes was "hauled" down by Joe Worrall, and the ref's red card was out almost before Fernandes had hit the floor. The fact that WillyBoly was covering was not even considered. It looked like referee Attwell was itching to give the home side an advantage, but that couldn't possibly be true.

Eventually, inevitably, came the penalty. Again, the ref awarded the spot kick, despite his blocked view, almost before the flying Rashford had hit the turf after brushing Danilo's thigh. Martin Keown's view on the penalty was honest and forthright: "I wondered whether it is a moment where you think, Did they actually see it? I cannot believe that the officials have come to that decision and awarded a penalty. I look forward to the day where the officials can communicate their decisions to us, and explain their workings out in the VAR room."

Forget it, Martin. It's Old Trafford.

And Steve Cooper, biting his tongue after the match: "I just think in games like these you need a bit, I don't even want to say good luck, to go your way, just things to go as they should. I don't want to get myself in trouble but the one thing I am surprised about is how quickly the decisions were made. On decisions that can define a game you tend to see referees take a bit more time particularly at the top level.

"There was a decision to make that is plain to see. I was just surprised how quickly... It was split-second stuff. You just need things to go your way. I am biting my tongue, to be honest, in terms of what I really feel. Of course, they were defining moments in the game."

Forget it, Steve. It's Old Trafford.

It's not just Old Trafford though, is it? It's virtually the entire football/media establishment. In almost all match reports, there is no mention of Forest's ten men pushing bravely for an equaliser which they almost got, nor are the controversial issues addressed, even though everybody in their hearts knows that weak referees bend to Old Trafford's will, and have done for years.

Still, Forest came away with a bucket load of pride. All the ManUre fans were left with was an itchy conscience and some feeble protest about somebody they didn't like for reasons they couldn't remember.

We'll meet them again soon, anyway.

Forget it, ten Hats. It's the City Ground.


premier league game 4 september 2nd 2023
Chelsea Dodgers 0
Nottingham Forest 1
Elanga 48

WE SHALL BE MIGHTY

Go on, admit it. The manic events of Friday provided you with the perfect excuse for pretending not to care too much about the Chelsea game. We would probably lose, you said, but it didn't matter because our strengthened squad would soon start picking up points.

The actual match, however, proved you to be a deluded idiot. Perhaps your mental processes were damaged by staying up past midnight waiting for Sangare, but you'd obviously forgotten that the "this match doesn't matter" excuse has always been rubbish. The Caribou Cup defeat to the Shy Moor Folk hurt a great deal for a match that didn't matter. And so the nearer you got to the game, the more your feigned indifference thinned away to be replaced by the usual pre-match jitters. You looked at the remnants of Forest's central defence - Boly, McKenna and a grieving Worrall - and imagined them being shredded by Sterling & co. As the match kicked off, it was close your eyes time, and hope for divine intervention.

Pretty quickly it became clear that God wasn't going to provide any help at all. On two minutes, Jackson bottled a good opportunity to shoot. Then Chilwell crossed to give Sterling the chance of an easy finish until Aina snapped in with a brilliantly timed challenge to clear the danger. Chilwell and Sterling provided more chances for Jackson, but the £32M man wasn't having a good day. Gallagher, who you always suspected was rubbish, curled one wide, as did Fernandes. Jackson threatened again, but Worrall hunted him down, forced him wide, and blocked his final effort.

Chelsea were on top, of course they were, but it dawned on you that things weren't as bad as you had feared. The defence was looking robust and sharply drilled. Forest threatened from set pieces. Taiwo was giving the Chelsea defence the squits, and almost scored with a clever right hook. Worrall blazed over after more Chelsea defensive chaos. No, being "on top" didn't mean anything, really, against a side bristling with defensive craft and determination. Being on top of a crocodile isn't to be recommended, after all.

You began to breathe more easily, didn't you? Until right at the end of the first half, when Danilo pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. That sinking feeling came back. Why was Danilo playing at all? Why had Forest suffered so many injuries already? Why hadn't the medical and conditioning teams been taken out and shot, as had been promised? Another top player out for a while. Forest were surely cursed. Not only was God not helping, he was actually conspiring against them. The abominably cruel fixture list, the corruption of referees, now more injuries - God seemed determined to test Forest to destruction. You knew this was probably sloppy thinking, but you couldn't help it. Anyway, Danilo was replaced by Elanga, and the first half finished.

Early in the second half, Forest scored. Chelsea's Gallagher, who you always suspected was rubbish, and Caicedo, who may well turn out to be £115M worth of rubbish , combined to gift the ball to Taiwo. Taiwo passed to Elanga by nutmegging Silva, and Elanga sidefooted the ball home, wheeling away in celebration almost as soon as it left his right foot.

You were very happy then, weren't you, but still tortured by nagging doubts about what might happen next. Forest had pushed the Grand Arse to their limits, had gone 2 up against ManUre, but had narrowly lost both. You tried to kid yourself that Forest's discipline and the joyful support of the away fans would see them home this time, but you had your doubts.

Those doubts, in fact, proved to be unfounded. The Forest defence simply got stronger, Chelsea threats, despite their attempts to look cool, got more desperate. Time and time again Chelsea moved the ball towards and into the Forest area, only to lose it through a poor touch or a piece of calculated violence from a Forest defender. Chelsea began to try the diving method, the pretending-to-be-interfered-with method, the mardy-brushing-past-the-referee method, but none of it disturbed the red wall.

Even Chelsea's so-called miss of the season wasn't as dangerous as it might have looked. Joe Worrall's touch on Sterling's cut back caused the ball to land short and catch Jackson slightly unprepared. The forward, not trusting his left foot, stretched forward with his right which made it almost inevitable that his shot would balloon upwards over the bar. And so ended Chelsea's final chance.

But not Forest's. Elanga, having scored, seemed determined to emphasise the contribution he could make, given the chance. Twice already he had surged forward only to make a final wrong decision. In added time he did the same, but this time he did it with a flourish which left Chelsea defenders bamboozled and everybody else gobsmacked. It was the best piece of skill in the whole game, and you concluded that Forest were, indeed, magic, on and off the pitch.

The only pity of the thing was that you started saying stupid stuff, like Forest were going for Europe. And then a pompous friend of yours said "We shall be mighty again", because he, like you, was a deluded idiot.

People never learn, do they?


premier league game 5 september 18th 2023
Nottingham Forest 1
Hudson-Odoi 61
Shy Moor Folk 1
Amdouni 41, Foster 90+4

This game had that "let's start all over again" feeling about it. Another transfer window, another bunch of signings, another team which, by force of circumstance, was made up of players who barely knew each other and who had had little time to understand their roles. Little wonder the performance came across as an exercise in dislocation. The crowd too didn't help much. Forest crowds feed off reputation - the bigger the opposition's reputation, the more fervent the Forest support. Against teams like the Undead and the Shy Moor Folk - teams with virtually no status to speak of - rip-roaring defiance is replaced by uncertainty, and support becomes patchy.

Anyway, we don't do player ratings, but if we did, they would look something like this:

Matt Turner : Splendid performance from a man who was recently pregnant. Perhaps he could rally his defence more effectively, but it's difficult when certain members of that defence are so dumb. Still, made some very smart saves, and performed as a first choice goalkeeper should. Rating: Sherbert Dip.

Gonzalo Montiel : Pretty crap really. Got skinned a lot, gave the ball away, got booked, that kind of thing. His best days may be behind him, possibly in his arse. He was taken off early in the second half, never to be seen again. Rating: Chocolate Covered Cotton.

Joe Worrall : Got completely razored for the Moor Folk goal, but to be fair he was covering for our absent right back. Probably influential enough to keep his place for now, but needs more, better and faster partners at the back. Rating: Pineapple Chunks.

Scott McKenna : Oh dear. Got caned, probably fairly, for letting Berge brush past him and create that disallowed goal, but he should never have been isolated like that, and Berge was manoeuvring the ball with his upper left arm, so perhaps we shouldn't be too hard on him. Better in a central three. Pretty scary in a two. Rating: Anything made with barley sugar.

Ola Aina : A reassuringly tremendous performance from a man whose name we're still not sure how to pronounce - is it Aina as in trainer, or Aina as in Hyena? Perhaps we'll never know. Anyway, sharp in defence and accurate going forward, he deserves the prize confection. Rating: Butterkist Sweet Popcorn. Definitely sweet, not salt or toffee.

Orel Mangala : Got booked for being Belgian or something which kind of hampered him a bit, but still played well enough in a newly mixed midfield. It's his new team mates who will have to settle, not him. He's fine. Rating: Pear Drops, which predictive text insisted was Pearson Drops, until it learned better.

Ibrahim Sangaré : The quality's there, though it won't blossom until he gets used to his team mates and the pace of Premier League action. Got caught out a time or two - Scott McKenna, ironically, saved his bacon late on - but there were good signs - smart interceptions, a thumping tackle or two, and a clever cross to Taiwo in the build up to Forest's goal. His influence will undoubtedly grow. Rating: Roasted Nut Rings.

Callum Hudson-Odoi : Wow. That goal should be framed and hung round somebody at Chelsea's neck. If he can keep his head while all about are losing theirs, he will have a great future at Forest. And all for three million pounds plus change. Rating: Barratt Candy Foam Shrimps.

Morgan Gibbs-White : If you try to do everything at a thousand miles per hour, don't be surprised if you end up leaving your legs behind, or the ball. Morgan is still waiting for his brain to catch up with him. Rating: Parma Violets. Or Parmalat Violets.

Anthony Elanga : Not sure this bloke should be a starter, but Coops wanted high width and pace, so in he came. Did ok - contributed energetically early on to Forest's attacking efforts, produced a save, lost the ball once, that sort of thing. He's probably better at counter-attacking from deep than pushing up high. Rating: Sweet Tobacco.

Taiwo Awoniyi : Very good, again. Always threatening, had a fine shot blocked, controlled Sangaré's cross with consummate ease to set up CHO's goal. Probably prefers a bit more space, but always terrifies the opposition. Rating: Sherbert Flying Saucers.

Nuno Tavares (for Montiel, 54mins) : Helped to make things more solid at the back, like Immodium. Rating: Rolo.

Ryan Yates (for Mangala, 71mins) : Should have been on from the start. Bit the usual number of legs, and wound Foster up so much the poor lad couldn't resist a flailed elbow and a red card. Rating: McGowan Highland Toffee.

Divock Origi (for Hudson-Odoi, 71mins) : By the time this young man came on, Forest were a bit puddled, so he didn't get much of a chance to affect things. Rating: Aniseed Balls.

Chris Wood (for Awoniyi, 88mins) : Came on, took up a Chris Wood sized space, went off. Rating: Pork Scratchings.

P.S. Those opinionated idiots on Sky seem to think that football's primary purpose is to provide them with a living, and VAR was invented for them to analyse like mouthy drunks. None of these things are true. Except the drunks stuff. What a bunch of clowns they are, allegedly.


premier league game 6 september 23rd 2023
Manchester City Laundry 2
Foden 7, Haaland 14, Rodri 46
Nottingham Forest 0

Good grief you've got to admire the ManCity boys. They are by far the best team in England, in Europe, in the world, maybe even in history. It seems clear now that God put them on this earth to please mankind, and as such they should be worshipped, and sacrifices made to their eternal glory.
What the...?
The latest sacrifice was Nottingham Forest, a newly assembled brigade who never quite understood their role in a stadium which the locals call The Abbatoir.
Do they, Pie? Do they actually call it The Abbatoir? Not The Library, or The Theatre of Cynical Violence Underlying A Sense Of Smug Entltlement?
Steve Cooper's team selection made it obvious that the plan was to defend and frustrate, in the hope that eventually Forest could bring on some speedsters and nick something on the break. As it was, the static uncertainty of the Forest defence allowed the ManCity boys to perform their ritual humiliation almost without hindrance.
They do that, don't they Pie? Their aim is not just to beat their opponents, but to humiliate them. Because they are arrogant bustards, that's why.
In the first seven minutes, Forest had two touches, one of them from goalkeeper Turner, while the ManCity boys managed a truly magnificent 48 passes. The 49th was a firmly thumped opener from Foden.
That Foden's an odd looking bloke, isn't he Pie? All basin cut and caterpillar eyebrows. How old is he? Six?
The second goal came when all of Forest's three centre backs, obviously bamboozled by the ManCity boys' superiority in every department, left the predatory Erling Haarland unmarked in the box. Haarland leapt high and doubled City's lead.
That Haarland's an odd looking bloke, isn't he Pie? He looks like a huge prehistoric crab monster, like the one Arnold Schwarzenegger blew up in the film Predator.
The humiliation was on course. One goal every ten minutes meant the game would likely finish ten nil to the best team in the world ever. But somehow the hapless Forest scrapped their way to half time without conceding again, thanks mainly to the ManCity boys' reluctance to exert themselves unnecessarily against such woeful opposition.
They got sloppy though, didn't they Pie? They got sloppy because Forest got more aggressive. Forest said "Sod this for a game of soldiers" and got more aggressive. The City Boys didn't like it. The arrogant bustards don't like being challenged, do they Pie?
You do understand what I'm doing, don't you Stress?
Of course I may.
I'm being deeply ironic, by reflecting and exaggerating the pundits' drooling adoration of Guardiola and his men. You do understand that, don't you?
It may not be completely obvious to me, but my friend Mister Thumb understands every word you say.
Good. So when I describe the second half as a scrappy affair in which, despite the grossly unfair dismissal of Rodri and despite Forest's bombardment of City's box, the home side were barely troubled, you understand that I am only reflecting the media's unwillingness to accept that Forest made any contribution to the match at all.
Ah, that's where you're wrong, Pie. Rodri's red card wasn't unfair. He lost his temper cos things weren't going City's way.
Yes, I realise that...
Cos Guardiola had obviously been barking at them like an alehouse dog, so they were all wound up. And Rodri just lost it.
Yes, quite probably, but I ...
Guardiola's a funny bloke, isn't he Pie? He's been in this country for ages but doesn't think he needs to talk English proper. People are so scared of him they daren't say stuff like "You make no sense" or "Are you speaking Klingon?" or "Why is your brand of gruesomely unexciting football entirely dependent on the amount of money spent on it?" or "Why do you bark like an alehouse dog? Are you an alehouse dog, or just mental?
I think that's enough now, Stress.
But you haven't mentioned how much Forest rattled them in the second half or how good Dominguez looked or how City fell back on diving and time wasting to "manage the game" or how the ref felt it necessary to compensate for Rodri's red by dishing out seven Forest yellows, or what an obnoxious piece of work is Jack Greaselick...
Enough. We all know the truth of things, Stress. It's just that some of us prefer a more subtly ironic approach to its telling.
I understand almost nothing of what you say, Pie, but I do know that when that lot come to the City Ground, we shall grind them to mincemeat and weep not a tear when the rats move in.
You illustrate my point perfectly, Stress. Well done.
Brent Ford's XI next, Pie. We shall grind them to mincemeat and weep not a tear when the rats move in.
You're repeating yourself.
I'm what?
You're repeating yourself.
Ha ha! Mine's a pint, landlord, and a small gin for my friend Mister Thumb.
And a year's supply of Speckled Hen to the first person who writes in to tell us that Schwarzenegger didn't blow up the predator, the predator blew himself up. Cheers.


premier league game 7 october 1st 2023
Nottingham Forest 1
Dominguez 65, Niakhate 56
Brent Ford's XI 1
Noorgaard 58

8 Ways To Support Forest And Remain Sane

1.   Avoid watching them if you can. Watching Forest is a waking nightmare, and it's terrible because each nightmare is different. In this match for example we were presented with another rejigged team, including a beefy youn g newcomer, with a greater focus on possession. The nightmare was that Forest struggled to achieve anything because there wasn't enough movement up front and everything kind of seized up, paving the way for Forest's habitual second half nap, Moussa's sending off, a Brent Ford goal and, even after a Forest equaliser, enough added time to sink a battleship.

2.   Avoid reading the kind of overcooked nonsense that cropped up in paragraph 1 above. There may have been some nightmarish moments in the match, but it was one of those nightmares you wake up from and realise that everything is all right. Murillo did fine in the end. Dominguez scored a startling equaliser. The defence and midfield were powerful and brave, and Turner managed not to throw the ball into his own net.

3.   Forget VAR, it's beginning to look like a bad egg with a pretty limited future. People tend to think of VAR as a piece of software, but it's not. The Video Assistant Referee is a human being. So the system has the potential to fail on two levels. Firstly, everybody knows that human beings make mistakes, all the time. Secondly, the cameras used in the var system run at fifty frames per second, and in a close offside call, it has to be a human being who has to decide in which frame contact is made for the forward pass. Getting this judgement wrong by one fiftieth of a second will alter the position of the computer generated lines leading to an untrustworthy offside/onside decision. Have you never looked at the lines and thought "that seems pretty crude evidence for a match changing decision" ? You realise the system is becoming hairline stupid when you read statements like this: "From the 2021/22 season, the process was tweaked as part of an adjustment to the implementation of VAR. Firstly, for marginal offside decisions, after the one-pixel lines are applied, the VAR puts on the thicker broadcast lines and where they overlap, those situations will now be deemed as onside." We're obviously not dealing with real life any more, but some warped virtual reality which makes arbitrary distinctions between Forest's "offside" goal and Brent Ford's "onside" goal, and reduces Moussa's tackle from an accident to a slow motion horror show. And that's enough about that.

4.   Avoid miserable buggers. Forest's return to the top flight has seen the recruitment of many new fans, especially on social media. Some of these fans are miserable buggers who think that being a miserable bugger will make them big fish in a little pond. So during the Brent Ford match you could read comments like "Murillo is w*nk", "That selection is crap", "Cooper has lost it", "We look like a relegation team", and many more. If you do read comments like these and they upset you, you should be reassured by the knowledge that these people are most probably sad bed-wetters from down the road.

5.   Stick to sites which actually support the team, like us. Supporting a team means offering unwavering and heavily biased support, except if the manager is Megson. So we can assure you here and now that, based on this performance, this Forest squad will do great things. Turner may have to sharpen up, or even take a break, but everyone else was fine. Murillo's distribution was wayward to start with, but as his confidence grew his defensive qualities shone through. He even managed a tricky run down the left at one point. Niakhate was good though not a left back - Cooper out. Aurier bombed forward occasionally but showed great defensive discipline when Forest went down to ten. Dominguez scored a terrific equaliser, was generally tremendous, and got himself injured. Sangare showed he is beginning to control things, and Mangala completed a real powerhouse of a midfield. The forwards showed promise, but either need time to refine relationships, or simply needed the energy of Morgan Gibbs-White, who should have been on from the start (Cooper out, etc). Willy Boly was magnificent, as was Toffolo, who played like a man on fire.

6.   Don't believe anybody who says they weren't proud of Forest after the match. To be on the wrong end of so many breaks, to endure a ludicrous 13 minutes of added time with ten men, and yet still have the guts to create chances, spoke volumes about the squad's spirit.

7.   Be aware that this Brent Ford XI can only wane, and this Forest side can only wax. You know exactly what we mean.

8.   Make time for the people you love, and smile. If you still feel stressed, have you ever thought about cutting out all those worthy-cause whiners and sending your money straight to somebody you don't know for no reason at all? Well here's the answer to your prayers. Just send an amount of your choosing to us at The Real Nottingham Forest Supporter and avoid all the emotional blackmail you're so tired of. Find us on the Web. Do it now.


premier league game 8 october 7th 2023
Crystal Palearse 0
Nottingham Forest 0

Forest's performance at Selhurst Park was of such quality that several of the incidents in the 0-0 draw were turned into films. Here are some of them.

Gambling Man
This short film tells the story of Harry Toffolo, who in two matches went from being a betting-addicted ne'er-do-well to a high quality Premier League left back. The film features footage of Harry's tackles, crosses, and the 35 Yard piledriver which shattered both Sam Johnstone's wrists.

Murillo's Run
This film depicts the exploits of 21 year old Brazilian defender Murillo Santiago Costa dos Santos, whose performance in this match elevated him from a misspelt youth to the status of global superstar. Watch out for his pin-point long passes, but especially his mesmerising high speed slalom through the Palearse defence which led to the finest almost-goal ever seen.

Interspatial
The strange tale of super hero Morgan Gibbs-White, who lives in two parallel universes at the same time.. In one he is giving the ball away through cleverdickery , in the other he is converting a high pass into the most exquisitely delicate lob over the goalkeeper only to watch the ball come back off the post to become the finest almost-goal ever seen.

The Invisible Man
A remake of the classic H. G. Wells' story in which Barcelona-bound Will Hughes becomes semi-transparent, disappears altogether, and finally becomes as insubstantial as a ghost. Watch as Murillo passes him as one might brush through a dandelion clock.

The Palace Diaries
To be shown as a double feature with 'The Invisible Man', this is a slapstick comedy featuring hilarious miscues from Palearse's Ayew and Mateta. Not to be missed, so to speak.

The Professionals
Western. Two hired gunmen, Dominguez and Sangaré, are brought in to clean up Forest's midfield. After a cautious start, their professionalism leads to a wholesale restructuring of Forest's playing style and almost total domination of opposing teams. Contains scenes of increasingly bloody carnage.

Blameless
The disturbing story of Chris Wood, whose lack of meaningful contribution always seems to be the responsibility of others, while cynical minds have concluded that he would only be any good if he was somebody else. But Chris has to come good while Taiwo is injured. Can he rise to the challenge? Probably not.

Roy
The amazing story of veteran footballing guru Roy Hodgson, who lives in a cauliflower patch and farms guinea pigs. In his spare time, he imagines himself to be manager of Crystal Palearse, but his doubters point to his wayward commitment to training and his curiously off-the-point post match interviews. Will Roy continue to prove them wrong? God knows. The film is four hours long.

Point Break
A short film which traces the heroic exploits of Crystal Palearse goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who single handedly kept Nottingham Forest at bay despite fractures to his fingers and wrists and two dislocated shoulders which he replaced himself during a brief lull in play. Late shots from Dominguez and Montiel led to a punctured left lung, but Johnstone soldiered on until the end, when manager Roy Hodgson hugged him and punctured the right one.

Miracle Man
A film about the impact of Forest manager Steve Cooper, who ...
...well, you know the rest. Have a restful International Breakage, and let's hope there are no more injuries.


premier league game 9 october 21st 2023
Nottingham Forest 2
Wood 48, 76
Luton Beds 2
Ogbene 83, Adebayo 90+2

AT PIE MANSIONS...

What on earth's the matter with you, Vetch? You look dreadful.
That's kind of you to say, sir.
No I mean, really dreadful, like something on a fishmonger's slab. A cod, for example.
I'm sorry that my appearance displeases you, sir, but I have to say that yesterday was a very bad day for me.
A very bad day for all of us, Vetch. To throw away the lead like that in the dying minutes was very disappointing, but that's no reason to look like a cod.
I beg to differ, sir. It was worse than disappointing. It was a disgrace.
Disgrace, Vetch? No, sir, disgrace was what Captain Hugo Spittle brought on his regiment when he was found naked in Lady Feltham's carpery.
Yes sir, but...
But me no buts, Vetch, the word disgrace is entirely inappropriate after such a sterling effort. Although one can't help feeling that a victory might well have been secured had more of the players attended the right schools, don't you know.
Schools, sir?
I think you know what I mean, Vetch. Public schools - the breeding ground of rugby excellence. Yes, the present crowd put up a fine effort, but perhaps a gaggle of comprehensive school upstarts were never going to cut the mustard.
Ah - you're talking about England's narrow defeat to South Africa in the Rugby World Cup, sir.
Well of course I am, Vetch. I'm certainly not talking about England's 229 run defeat to South Africa in the Cricket World Cup. Now that was a disgrace.
I think we may well have been talking at cross purposes, sir. My bad day was caused by Nottingham Forest throwing away a two goal lead to the mighty Luton Beds at the City Ground.
Oh that. Manager's fault. Rule number one: failure to beat any team from Bedfordshire is bound to be the manager's fault.
That seems a little harsh, sir. Forest played well for the most part. The much maligned Chris Wood actually scored twice.
And missed three more, I hear. Poor coaching, Vetch, poor coaching.
You can't surely blame the manager for individual mistakes, sir. Sangares miss, Aurier's blunder, Worrall's defensive ineptitude ... these things were out of Mister Cooper's control, surely.
That's what Captain Hugo Spittle said about his crucian carp fetish. That's what they said about that fellow Hugeton and various other managers - "You can't hold the manager responsible for individual mistakes," they say, over and over again, even if each manager insists on recruiting a bag of broken biscuits. But what you have to remember, Vetch, is that football matches are simply scores of individual mistakes sewn together into a hundred minute quilt. And managers still get sacked, because they have to take responsibility for that quilt, especially if that quilt develops holes where nanny dripped candlewax on it. What's that you say?
Nothing, sir. Perhaps it was the wind in the outside toilet.
I could have sworn you said something, Vetch. But what were we talking about? Ah yes, I remember. You were whining about dropping two points to Luton Beds, I suggested sacking Mister Cooper, then you started rambling on about quilts.
Erm, something like that, sir.
Well all I can suggest is, if you're set against sacking Mister Cooper, you must learn to treat setbacks with the kind of steel exhibited by Private Charlie Charles, who spent three weeks searching for his severed leg in the Dolomites. You wouldn't catch him whining about being six points clear of the relegation zone, even if you found him.
If you say so, sir.
Phlegm, Vetch, phlegm is what's needed. The truly English ability to spit in the face of disaster.
Like the Rugby World Cup? Or the Cricket World Cup?
Exactly Vetch. Couldn't care less. There are far more important issues in this terrible world of ours.
Indeed there are, sir.
Like my breakfast. Where is it?
I'm sorry, sir, but before I prepare it, I feel I must offer you my sincere thanks for your reassuring advice, so that my fellow fans and I may approach the game against Liverpool with renewed confidence.
Oh get on with it, Vetch. Everybody knows that Liverpool will batter your team to a sticky pulp, so confidence doesn't come into it.
I'm sorry, sir, you're quite right. Admitting that Forest are rubbish, will lose every game, and are heading for relegation, is obviously the way to go.
No, Vetch, the way to go is to the kitchen, where two eggs are waiting to be soft boiled and two slices of granary bread are waiting to be buttered.
Right away, sir.


premier league game 10 october 29th 2023
The Grand Poo 3
Jota 31, Nunez 35, Salah 77
Nottingham Forest 0

Phone In

Here's Raymond from Tuxford on the line. What's on your mind, Raymond?

HE'S GOT TO GO, DAVE. THAT WAS A DISGRACE.

Sack the manager, eh Raymond?

SACKING'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. HE SHOULD BE DEPORTED.

Where to, Raymond?

I DON'T CARE - RWANDA, WALES, ANYWHERE.

A bit harsh, Raymond...

DID YOU SEE THE TEAM HE PICKED? WHERE WAS THE AMBITION, WHERE WAS THE CREATIVE THRUST, WHERE WAS THE FORWARD THREAT?

Most of it was injured...

EXACTLY DAVE. DO YOU REALISE, SINCE COOPER CAME, FOREST HAVE HAD MORE INJURED PLAYERS THAN ANY OTHER CLUB IN HISTORY PUT TOGETHER? HE'S TURNED THIS CLUB INTO A SKIP, THAT'S WHAT HE'S DONE.

But Liverpool were simply better than us, Raymond...

EVERYBODY'S BETTER THAN US, DAVE. THIS IS THE SIDE THAT COULDN'T EVEN HANG ON AGAINST LUTON FOR GOD'S SAKE. THIS IS A SIDE THAT CAN'T DEFEND, CAN'T PASS, CAN'T CROSS, CAN'T SHOOT, CAN'T SCORE. IT PROBABLY CAN'T EVEN WIPE ITS OWN BUM. HE'S BROUGHT IN A BILLION POUNDS WORTH OF PLAYERS I'VE NEVER HEARD OF, ALL OF THEM WITH BROKEN LEGS, AND TURNED US INTO A LAUGHING STOCK. HE'S POISONED THIS CLUB DAVE, POISONED IT.

You're talking about the man who took us back into the Premier League, Raymond.

AND LOOK WHERE IT'S GOT US. I DON'T REMEMBER ANYONE ASKING ME   WHETHER I WANTED TO BE IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE. I WAS QUITE HAPPY WITH FOREST BEING A MEDIOCRE CHAMPIONSHIP SIDE THANK YOU VERY MUCH. BUT THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR MISTER COOPER, IS IT? NO, HE FLUKES A WIN AGAINST HUDDERSFIELD AT WEMBLEY AND HERE WE ARE, IN THE LAND OF A MILLION EXPENSIVE HEART ATTACKS. BRING BACK CHRIS HUGHTON, IS WHAT I SAY.

Oh come on, Raymond, you can't be serious.

NEVER MORE SO, DAVE. CHRIS HUGHTON WOULD TAKE US BACK WHERE WE BELONG. NO MORE MATCH OF THE DAY, NO MORE PUBLIC HUMILIATION, NO MORE OBSCENE AMOUNTS OF MONEY. A PLACE WHERE YATESY WOULD START EVERY GAME.

But...

YOU MARK MY WORDS, DAVE, ONCE WE GET BUTCHERED BY THE VILLA BOYS, COOPER'S HEAD WILL BE TOAST. BRING BACK CHRIS HUGHTON, WILL BE THE CRY ON EVERYBODY'S LIPS.

Just as a matter of interest, Raymond, did you actually go to Anfield?

I'M PROUD TO SAY I'VE NEVER BEEN TO THAT PLACE, NOR NEVER WILL.

So when did you last watch Forest?

THAT'S A PRETTY HURTFUL IMPLICATION THERE, DAVE. I DIDN'T COME ON HERE TO BE INSULTED, YOU KNOW. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF I IMPLIED YOU DROVE AN UNINSURED CAR?

I don't have a car, Raymond.

IF YOU SAY SO, DAVE.

I think it's time for the next caller. And it's Jason from Newark. Hi, Jason.

HI, DAVE. IT'S A CONSPIRACY, THAT'S WHAT IT IS. IT'S A PLOT CONTRIVED BY AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE OF THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH AND THE WELSH PRESBYTERIANS TO RUIN NOTTINGHAM FOREST FOOTBALL CLUB.

That's still you, isn't it Raymond?

NO, THIS IS DEFINITELY JASON FROM NEWARK. BUT I DO AGREE WITH MANY OF THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY RAYMOND FROM TUXFORD WHO IS DEFINITELY SOMEBODY ELSE.

Get off the line.

CHEERS DAVE.

Cheers.


premier league game 11 november 5th 2023
Nottingham Forest 2
Aina 5, Mangala 47
Villa Parkside 0

In every season there comes a match which might be referred to as a "turning point", a pivotal occasion which turns a club's fortunes in one direction or another, and often dictates the fate of the manager.

Sorry, but this wasn't that match. The idea that it was a make or break affair for Steve Cooper was built on flimsy foundations anyway, and it soon became clear that this match was simply an encouraging stage in the development of an improving team. An "it's been coming" kind of match.

It simply didn't have the feel of a crisis match, not after the singing and the Stevie Cooper chants and the heartwarming reception given to young Caiden Storry.

The positivity meter flicked upwards five minutes into the match as Elanga surged down the left, Toffolo directed his pass back outside the penalty area, and Aina arrived from right-back to side-foot a hard shot into the bottom corner for his first Forest goal. Boom.

The Parkside players seemed stunned by this unexpected turn of events, and proceeded to struggle their way through the first half. A Gibbs-White free kick struck Zanillo's arm, but a legitimate penalty claim was denied because the referee was Australian. A few moments later Dominguez hustled Kamara out of possession and played Awoniyi in for a great goalscoring opportunity only for the ref to pull the play back for what he saw as a Dominguez foul. I think. To be honest, things were getting a little blurry at this point. The rules governing the timing of offside flags, playing advantage, and referring stuff to VAR seemed to have been forgotten. Perhaps the officials were distracted by all the noise.

The Parkside boys certainly were. Their classy interplay kept foundering on the rocks of Forest's midfield and defence, and their high line was in constant danger of being breached by rapid counters, most of which were flagged offside almost before they had started. A few half hearted Parkside efforts were easily dealt with by Greek international goalkeeper Vlachodimos, who seemed to know exactly what he was doing, and Forest's only real problems concerned the officiating of the match. Gibbs-White penetrated Parkside's high line defence to send Awoniyi clear. The linesman kept his flag down as Dominguez and Awoniyi combined to threaten the Parkside goal. Awoniyi was felled by Torres, the Australian ref pointed to the spot, but an interminable VAR check decided that Awoniyi had strayed one pixel offside, according to Microsoft Paint.

If this was a genuine crunch match, there would have been nervous talk at half time about being only one up and the danger of VAR losing us the match, but all but the most die-hard grumps seemed more excited than apprehensive. Forest had, after all, out-manoeuvred one of the best teams in the league and had played with a cohesion, determination and confidence we always knew they were capable of. The Parkside had barely had a sniff.

They had a bit of a sniff at the beginning of the second half when Vlachodimos was forced into picking up a Watkin's effort, but seconds later Forest were two nil up. The media made great play of Parkside goalkeeper Martinez's "howler", what with him being the world's best goalkeeper and all that, but it wasn't that much of a mistake, given the power behind Mangala's shot. Better to imply that Forest were lucky that credit them for some fine play, eh? Still, it was amusing to watch Martinez pull the ball back from a yard inside his goal and just begin to pretend he had saved it. If he had been a German called Neuer he might have got away with it.

. Anyway, the rest of the game became an exercise in Parkside futility. Watkins headed wide, in the sense that he missed the ball and it went wide, Bailey shot wide and Diaby had a curling effort well saved by Vlachodimos, who seemed to know exactly what he was doing. All this was played out under a barrage of increasingly joyful noise from the stands as each Parkside advance came to nothing, a noise which culminated at one end in defiant celebration as Neco Williams' tackle on the "dangerous" Bailey in stoppage time earned Forest a goal kick. The crowd literally cheered Forest home.

So who was Forest's man of the match? All of them: defence, midfield, attack, subs, Cooper, crowd, even the kid with the bugle. If Mister Marinakis had taken his seat(s) with a view to making changes at the City Ground (which he probably hadn't), the City Ground had answered him with four mighty fist pumps and a bucketful of love.


premier league game 12 november 12th 2023
Wet Hams 3
Paqueta Crisps 3, Bowen 65, Soucek 88
Nottingham Forest 2
Awoniyi 44, Elanga 63

It's Raymond from Tuxford on the line again. Hello Raymond.

DID YOU SEE IT, DAVE, DID YOU SEE IT?

No need to shout, Raymond.

BUT DID YOU SEE IT, DAVE?

The match, you mean?

MATCH? MATCH? THAT WASN'T A MATCH, THAT WAS A DISGRACE. I DON'T LIKE TO SAY I TOLD YOU SO, BUT I TOLD YOU COOPER'S SO CALLED HEROES WOULD GET WELL AND TRULY THUMPED BY THE MOYES BOYS, AND I WAS RIGHT.

You said they would lose by four goals to nil. They lost by three goals to two. That's a narrow defeat, Raymond, not a thumping.

JUGGLING WITH NUMBERS DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACTS, DAVE. I MEAN, WHAT DID HE THINK HE WAS DOING, TAKING THEM TWO HUNDRED MILES TO PLAY ON OUR SACRED LORD'S DAY OF REMEMBERING THINGS? CHRIS HUGHTON WOULD NEVER HAVE PUT THEM THROUGH THAT.

Oh come on...

AND THEN OVERSEEING A PERFORMANCE WHICH SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT THREE POINTS BUT DELIVERED ONLY BITTER GALL AND HUMILIATION, AND A TEAM ONCE MORE TEETERING ON THE BRINK OF RELEGATION. AND WHY IS THIS, I HEAR YOU ASK.

No you didn't.

BECAUSE COOPER IS IN THE PROCESS OF RUINING THE CLUB, THAT'S WHY. THE EVIDENCE WAS ALL THERE, AS CLEAR AS DAY ON THE TURF OF WHEREVER IT WAS THEY PLAYED. LOOK AT WHAT HE'S DONE TO DOMINGO. SHOWED BAGS OF PROMISE TO START WITH, NOW COOPER HAS GOT HIM KICKING THE BALL UP SANGARO'S BACKSIDE AND GIVING AWAY A GOAL. HE'S INSTRUCTED GIBBS-WHITE TO TURN HIS SET PIECE DELIVERIES INTO A COMEDY ROUTINE. HE'S SOMEHOW REDUCED THE SIZE OF MURILLO SO THE DEFENCE CAN'T COPE WITH SET PIECES. AND HE HAS THE NERVE TO COME OUT AND BLAME THE PLAYERS. EVEN YOUR FAVOURITE NEWSPAPER THE GUARDIAN HAS RUMBLED HIM.

Really?

"To establish Nottingham Forest as a Premier League club – and keep Steve Cooper, a manager beloved among its fans, in situ – an improvement in away form is desperately required. A game lost from a winning position, albeit one held very briefly, was a severe blow to both objectives. One win from seven, just four points away from the City Ground, and 15th place with Bournemouth improving fast, spells imminent danger." THERE IT IS DAVE, IN BLACK AND WHITE.

Yes Raymond. I'd have more respect for that view if the same article didn't include a description of Jarrod Bowen's "bull like physique honed in the potato fields of his native Herefordshire." Honestly, Raymond, all this is just silly paper talk and pondlife panic, don't you think?

EVERY TRUE BORN FOOTBALL FAN HAS THE RIGHT TO PANIC, DAVE. IT'S ACTUALLY WRITTEN DOWN SOMEWHERE IN A BOOK. BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT.

What is the point, Raymond?

I DON'T KNOW. WHAT I DO KNOW IS...

Before you start repeating yourself, Raymond, I'll admit that Forest's performance was frustrating, but perhaps you'd like to comment on Forest's spirited comeback after that unfortunate opener, on Taiwo's saved header, Sangare's exquisite pass to MGW, Taiwo's goal, Aina's pass to the ever improving Elanga, Elanga's goal to take the lead, the sterling performance of Vlachodimos in goal, and a hundred other indications that Forest are nobody's pushovers.

I PRIDE MYSELF IN NEVER LETTING INCONVENIENT EVIDENCE GET IN THE WAY OF THE TRUTH, DAVE. AND THE TRUTH IS THAT COOPER HAS MANUFACTURED ANOTHER DEFEAT FROM A WINNING POSITION, CLEAR AND UNDENIABLE PROOF OF AN ONGOING CONSPIRACY TO DESTABILISE NOTTINGHAM FOREST. ONLY PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT ELECTRIC VEHICLES DON'T EXPLODE WOULD DENY THIS.

What?

YOU HEARD ME.

But why on earth would he want to do this?

BECAUSE HE'S WELSH, OF COURSE.

And you're an idiot. But I won't hold that against you. thanks for your call, Raymond.

WE'LL SEE WHO'S THE IDIOT, DAVE. WAIT TILL FRIDAY, WHEN COOPER'S HEROES GET A 4-0 THUMPING AT THE HANDS OF LOWLY MALTA.

That's England, Raymond. England are playing Malta. Forest don't play till the last week of November.

ANOTHER COOPER COCK UP, EH? HONESTLY, YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE IT IF IT WASN'T TRUE. SURELY EVEN YOU CAN SEE HE'S GOT TO GO.

If you say so. Cheers, Raymond. Now we really must go to our next caller, who is...

I'M STILL HERE, DAVE.

Oh bugger off.


premier league game 13 november 25th 2023
Nottingham Forest 2
Elanga 3, MGW 76 (pen)
Brighton Etc 3
Ferguson 26, Pedro 45+4, 58 (pen), Dunk 73

THEATRE OF THE ABSURD

Another thriller? No, just another crazy game. In Forestland, thriller Is another word for ridiculous. So yes, another ridiculous game, for so many reasons.

1.   Scoring after three minutes was ridiculous, because it left Brighton about 100 minutes to get one, or two, back. Or three.

2.   Brighton's defending for Forest's opener was ridiculous. As MGW's cross came in, Brighton defenders, preoccupied with the idea that Wood was the danger man, allowed the ball to reach Elanga, who steered his header home from an awkward angle. Considering Wood to be a danger man is in itself ridiculous, although his role as a distraction is much appreciated.

3.   Having gone ahead, Forest decided to yield control of the game to the opposition using some tried and tested methods - failing to press, falling back, misplacing passes, looking nervous everywhere. "What the f*** are they doing?" came the cry. "This is ridiculous." And it was.

4.   An intercepted Forest pass led to Brighton surging forward, playing diddly-ball around the Forest area, and scoring an equaliser. The goal came from Ferguson the Wonder Horse, aided by one of his team mates running interference in an offside position, but as nobody on earth understands the offside rule any more, which is in itself ridiculous, the goal stood.

5.   Forest fans now realised that Brighton players falling down injured and being withdrawn was merely a ploy to bring on better players. This may sound ridiculous, but the conspiracy theory was confirmed when Pedro scored in the 49th and 58th minutes.

6.   Reporting of Pedro's first goal described him as "outmuscling" Aina to head home. The description is ridiculous. Pedro simply arrived first, and, having the physiology of a lizard, has no muscles to speak of.

7.   Pedro's lizard like frailty was in evidence again when he collapsed under the weight of Wood's overbearing charisma to win a slightly ridiculous penalty. And again late on when he broke away from Mangala but almost drowned from exhaustion before Murillo took the ball from him.

8.   Murillo is ridiculously good.

9.   Things got really crazy when Hudson-Odoi, who added much needed energy and know-how, was brought down in the Brighton box in much the same way as Pedro was by Wood. Referee Taylor allowed play to continue and Brighton broke down the other end and almost scored. If Brighton had scored, we would have been plunged into a black hole of VAR protocol, public uprising and perhaps even cannibalism. The VAR-inspired penalty came eventually, but far too late to salvage Taylor's reputation as a fair and consistent judge.

10.   Things kicked off. It says something about the state of modern football that Forest players saw the need to protect the actual penalty spot. And it should be noted here that Brighton players are as one-eyed and mentally brittle as their manager. Dunk's arrogant stupidity got him sent off. MGW scored a good penalty. The game now entered its final stages of ungluedness.

11.   Forest had begun forcing Brighton back even before the sending off, now they went full-tilt attack. It was, of course, a daft tactic to wait until you were three down before settling on the approach you might have adopted from the start, but hey ho.Toffolo went close with a deflected effort, MGW jumped too high and tried to head in a superb cross with his chest, and Yates saw his instinctive close-range header saved by Verbruggen. With just a spoonful of luck, things could have been so different, but life's a bitch and then you lose, as they say.

12.   The match ended with the ludicrous sight of de Zerbi galloping on to the pitch like something not altogether sane. Perhaps next time he might consider shaking the opposition manager's hand first.

13.   We could spend ages talking about negative tactics, unfit players, selection problems, useless referees, useless strikers, and stuff like that, but it'll soon be Christmas, so we must all relax, every one, and wait for the miracles to happen.


premier league game 14     december 2nd 2023
Nottingham Forest 0
Everton 1
McNeil 67

RADIO DAVE'S FOOTBALL FONE-IN

Is that you on the line again, Raymond from Tuxford?

IT CERTAINLY IS, DAVE.

I thought it might be. What's on your mind this evening, Raymond?

DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THE EVERTON GAME, DAVE.

I'm trying really hard not to...

DID YOU SEE IT, DAVE? WHAT AN ABSOLUTE BOLLOCKS OF A PERFORMANCE THAT WAS AND NO MISTAKE.

No swearing please, Raymond. No real need to shout either.

SORRY DAVE, BUT BUGGER ME THAT WAS SHAMBOLIC FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. AND WE ALL KNOW WHO'S TO BLAME, DON'T WE?

Let me guess...

COOPER, THAT'S WHO. LOOK WHAT HE'S DONE TO MY CLUB, DAVE. LOOK WHAT HE'S DONE TO THE PLAYERS. HE'S TRANSFORMED A GROUP OF HIGHLY PAID WORLD CLASS PERFORMERS INTO THE DOG AND DUCK SECOND ELEVEN. IT'S A DISGRACE.

World class performers?

TO A MAN. LOOK WHAT HE'S DONE TO CHRIS WOOD. ONCE A STAR OF MANY A WORLD CUP, NOW THE POOR SOD CAN'T EVEN JUMP.

And that's Cooper's fault is it?

BECAUSE HE'S TRAINED ALL THE JUMP OUT OF HIM.

Trained all the...?

SAME WITH GIBBS-WHITE. USED TO BE A PROPER MAGICIAN WITH THE BALL, NOW HE'S MORE LIKE TOMMY COOPER.

Tommy Cooper was quite good to be fair.

OF COURSE HE WAS, BUT HE WAS A BLOODY AWFUL SET PIECE TAKER. BUT IT'S NOT JUST THOSE TWO. COOPER'S JIGGERED ALL THE PLAYERS GOOD AND PROPER, THAT HE HAS. HE'S SLOWED SANGARO DOWN, PROBABLY WITH DRUGS. HE'S SHATTERED VLADIVOSTOK'S CONFIDENCE BY SHOUTING AT HIM IN WELSH.

This is absurd...

OF COURSE IT IS. IT'S A MANAGER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE A TEAM BETTER, NOT WORSE.

Elanga did okay. Murillo was impressive.

BECAUSE THEY CAN SEE THE DAMAGE THAT COOPER'S INFLICTING, SO THEY'RE DOING THEIR OWN THING. HE'LL BE DROPPING THEM IF THEY'RE NOT CAREFUL, YOU'LL SEE. THE QUESTION IS, HOW DOES HE KEEP GETTING AWAY WITH IT?

I honestly don't know.

WELL I DO.

Of course you do.

HE'S DOING IT ON PURPOSE, DAVE.

Not that again.

HE'S SYSTEMATICALLY DESTROYING THE CLUB FROM WITHIN BY MEANS OF SHODDY RECRUITMENT AND TOXIC TRAINING METHODS.

But the injuries...

HE'S PROBABLY INJURING THEM ALL HIMSELF. IS THERE NO END TO THE MAN'S WITCHERY? HONESTLY DAVE, IF PEOPLE CAN'T SEE WHAT HE'S UP TO AFTER THAT, THE WORST PERFORMANCE IN THE HISTORY OF NOTTINGHAM FOREST FOOTBALL CLUB, THEY MUST BE AS BLIND AS A BLIND DOG.

A blind dog isn't blind, Raymond. A blind dog is a dog that helps blind people.

TO GET BACK TO MY ORIGINAL POINT, WHY OH WHY DOESN'T MISTER MACARONI GIVE HIM THE BOOT?

Marinakis?

I'LL TELL YOU WHY, DAVE. THEY'RE IN IT TOGETHER, THAT'S WHY.

Really?

IT'S COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT MISTER MACARONI IS ONLY KEEPING COOPER IN PLACE TO DO HIS BIDDING.

His bidding?

MISTER MACARONI ACTUALLY WANTS TO INFLICT DAMAGE ON HIS ENGLISH CLUB, AND COOPER IS THE MAN TO DO IT.

This is getting seriously weird now, Raymond.

IT IS, ISN'T IT? THAT'S JUST WHAT I SAID TO MY MATE JASON FROM NEWARK. "THIS IS GETTING SERIOUSLY WEIRD NOW, JASON FROM NEWARK," I SAID. AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT JASON SAID NEXT?

No.

JASON RECKONED THAT THE GREEK PRIME MINISTER HAD ORDERED MACARONI TO SABOTAGE FOREST BECAUSE WE WOULDN'T RETURN ELGIN'S MARBLES.

And you for one remain convinced that this is true.

I DO. I'VE NO IDEA WHY ELGIN LOST HIS MARBLES IN THE FIRST PLACE, OR WHY THEY'RE KEPT IN NOTTINGHAM, BUT THE SOONER WE HAND THEM OVER, THE SOONER WE CAN GET BACK TO NORMAL, PREFERABLY WITH CHRIS HUGHTON AT THE HELM, AND PREFERABLY BEFORE THE NEXT MATCH, OR ELSE WE'RE HEADING FOR ANOTHER RIGHT ROYAL THUMPING FROM THE COTTAGE BOYS.

Chris Hughton? Really?

AT LEAST HE NEVER PRETENDED TO BE ANY GOOD. HONESTY GOES A LONG WAY WITH ME, DAVE. ANYWAY, SEE YOU AFTER THE FULHAM ROUT. CHEERS FOR NOW.

Cheers for now, Raymond.


premier league game 15     december 6th 2023
Cottageboys 5
Iwobi 30, 74, Jimenez 34, 54, Cairney 86
Nottingham Forest 0

To every thing there is a season, but I don't think old Ecclesiastes thought it would be as bad as this one. This fourth defeat in a row, a right royal thumping by a team only just above Forest, caused Marinakis to leave early before he exploded with anger, forced Cooper to say he didn't deserve the support of the best fans in the league, and left ordinary people like us wondering why things had gone so badly wrong in the past few weeks.

We know what things have gone wrong - they were clear for everyone to see in the match. Forest started reasonably well - they often do - but the customary collapse in confidence came after Pereira's near miss on 26 minutes. From that point Forest found themselves unable to perform the most basic of basics. They offered nothing in attack, confusion and dithering in midfield, and a kind of sporadic, woebegone defiance at the back. Everybody knows now that you can press Forest without fear of effective retaliation, and if you press them, they will crack. The Cottage People knew this, and Forest cracked 5 times.

But why has it all turned sour? We don't know, but here are some of the current explanations swirling around like dots in a desert sky:

Forest are in the grip of the Second Season Syndrome, which may or may not be a thing.

The transition from a low block counter attack to a possession based style has not worked at all. The team is now stuck somewhere between the two, and doesn't have the players to execute either.

Without Taiwo, Forest are toothless.

The players don't understand Cooper's instructions, and/or have lost faith in him.

Cooper doesn't understand his own instructions, and/or has lost faith in himself.

Forest's spectacular recruitment has left them with another dustbinfull of spineless, overrated junk.

Changing a squad every season leads to changing the team every week leads to disaster.

Worrall has been stirring it in a pub.

The cold and damp does not suit the non British players.

The Premier League is a swamp of cynicism and egocentric entitlement. Cooper is too nice to belong here.

Whatever. It's all up to Mister Marinakis now. We've been here before, of course, and last season the owner remained cool and took his finger off the trigger. This time, despite the fans' magnificent support for Steve Cooper, he may not be so forgiving. There is, as old Ecclesiastes used to say, a time to hold on, and a time to let go.

premier league game 16     december 9th 2023
Wolverhampton Wonderbras 1
Cunha 32
Nottingham Forest 1
Toffolo 14


premier league game 16     december 9th 2023
Wolverhampton Wonderbras 1
Cunha 32
Nottingham Forest 1
Toffolo 14

WUMS, TROLLS, AND FOOTBALL "JOURNALISTS"

Steve Cooper's job hangs in balance after battling draw at Molineux... Forest boss Steve Cooper appeared emotional at the full-time whistle, with rumours swirling about the security of his position.... It had been reported pre-match that Cooper needed a win to remain in the Forest hotseat... Cooper looked to be bidding farewell to fans, who sung[sic] his name continuously, as the final whistle blew, perhaps signalling a final end to his two-year reign... Cunha equaliser heaps more pressure on under-fire boss Steve Cooper... The way the Forest manager went over at the end to applaud the away fans who sang his name throughout may have looked like an emotional farewell... Cooper remains under an enormous cloud of pressure after the crushing midweek defeat... Cooper angrily denied reports that he'd fallen out with club captain Joe Worrall and defender Scott McKenna... It adds to the feeling that everything is a 'sideshow' at Forest. The fans want him to stay – Marinakis' mood as Forest ended a four-match losing snap but didn't win again will be the ultimate test ...  Cunha cancels out Harry Toffolo's strike to deny the Reds a much-needed win, heaping more pressure on under-fire boss Steve Cooper... There was a long wave to the away end at Molineux and it was greeted with raucous chants of “There’s only one Stevie Cooper” but whether those fans will get another chance to celebrate their manager in person is unknown... Cooper changed the personnel, style and fortunes of Nottingham Forest to secure a draw at Wolves after four straight defeats, although it might not be enough to earn another stay of execution... Cooper, who was under scrutiny coming into the match... When a manager is unsure of his best XI, it is always a concern and rarely a recipe for success, especially when the cook is guessing the ingredients...  Cooper must wait to see if he gets an unwanted birthday present even though Nottingham Forest stopped the rot... The Forest boss was tipped to get the sack if his side had lost to Wolves and suffered a fifth successive defeat... And despite a spirited display from his side on Saturday to end a run of four straight losses, Cooper's position remains under threat... A tier of red sang for Cooper throughout, although that was intermittently drowned out by the home supporters chanting “You’re getting sacked in the morning”, as they witnessed a side thrown together in 48 hours ... But despite Forest producing a battling display to earn their first away point in two months, Cooper went over to the travelling fans at the final whistle and waved to them in what could be seen as a goodbye gesture...


Now here's the honest bit...

Forest were, for the most part, composed and organised, what with Cooper having chosen players and a team structure to combat a specific opposition, which is what he always tries to do. Toffolo's goal came from Williams' pinpoint cross, which highlighted a fine display from the two wingbacks. Forest did not crumble after the equaliser, but displayed a fighting spirit which not only took the game to Wolves but almost bullied them to defeat. Kouyate had a fine game but missed a fairly easy chance. Toffolo missed a chance which was definitely not easy. Overall, this was a brave and at times adventurous performance which fully deserved a point, if not more.

When asked if he was waving goodbye to the fans, Cooper said “I was saying ‘Thank you for your support, you’ve spent a lot of money this week, you’ve dragged the players through challenging times in the game and safe journey home’. I am just full of gratitude.”

"We were embarrassed on Wednesday," Toffolo told Sky Sports of the Fulham defeat. "We came here and knew we had to put it right.
"The love and support we've got for the manager, you can see it in abundance out there, you can see how together the group is, how much everyone wants to play for this manager. We're really proud to be part of that performance."

Wums, trolls and football journalists? Same thing really. Bottom feeders.


premier league game 17     december 15th 2023
Nottingham Forest 0
Hottingham Tosspots 2
Richarlison 45+2, Kulusevski 65, Bissouma 70

Dear Markymarks..
What are you doing, Stress?
Writing a letter to Markymarks, asking him not to sack Sir Steven Cooper.
This would be the Markymarks who owns Forest and whose real name is Marinakis?
If you say so, Pie.
So what are you going to write?
Dear Markymarks, don't sack Sir Steven Cooper, or else. Yours, a fan.
That's it, is it?
It do be so, Pie. They tell me his tanker, the Titanic, is parked down the Trent somewhere. I could deliver the letter there.
You could indeed, my boy. But before you do, could I suggest a few subtle changes to improve your epistle's chances of success?
I don't understand.
Of course you don't, but first of all, address your remarks to Mister Marinakis. "Markymarks" is a tad too informal for a communication of such import.
Okay.
Next, I would avoid giving the club's owner a direct order, especially one with a threat attached. "Don't sack Sir Steven Cooper, or else" is hardly going to improve his mood, is it? Introduce the topic with a little more politeness.
Okay.
Then I think you need to make reference to how well the team played against a top quality side like Spurs. Although the goals conceded were unfortunate, the spirit and the determination of the side were undeniable.
Apart from Turner. Or Turnip as I like to call him, because he's a turnip.
Amusing, Stress, but not relevant to our present task. You could also mention the pressure we put on them, and the chances we created.
We kept Young Mans Son quiet, didn't we Pie?
You should definitely refer to the support of the fans, and the continued approbation of the players.
They're on probation?
Not at all, you strangely demented fool. Approbation means approval or support. The players keep coming out and saying how much they love their manager. Of course, they might show that love more convincingly if they beat somebody, but that's not Mister Cooper's fault. It's Mister Cooper, by the way, not Sir Steven.
Not yet, Pie.
If you want to further deflect blame from Mister Cooper, you might mention that Forest's problems stem not so much from poor management as a lousy recruitment policy and injuries to key players (meaning Taiwo), and money should be spent on a proven striker and a proper goalkeeper if Forest are to make any progress at all, under any manager. If you phrase this carefully, you might give Mister Marinakis pause for thought. Have you got that?
More or less, Pie.
I see you've been writing as I speak. Have you finished already?
I have.
Then let us hear the final version, young man.
Dear Mister Markymarks, please don't sack Sir Steve Cooper, or else. The boys played well against the Tosspots despite being on probation, and the goals only came cos of Turnip and Richarlison who are both twats. If you want Forest to succeed, stop buying a bunch of crap players every couple of months. It's down to you, Markymarks. Pull your effing finger out. Love to you and yours, a fan.
Yes, that should do it, Stress. Now all you have to do is deliver it to the tanker Titanic, which is parked not, as you thought, somewhere down the Trent, but on the Bracebridge Lock of the Chesterfield Canal in Worksop.
Cheers Pie.
Cheers.


premier league game 18     december 23rd 2023
Nottingham Forest 2
Elanga 47, Wood 74, Boly 23
AFC Muffs 3
Solanke 51, 58, 90+4

RADIO DAVE'S FOOTBALL FONE-IN

DRAWING CONCLUSIONS ABOUT FOREST FROM THAT PERFORMANCE WOULD BE LIKE TRYING TO PREDICT THE WEATHER FROM A PILE OF DOG SHIT...

Hang on, is that Raymond from Tuxford?

...WHICH TO BE FAIR SEEMS TO BE THE MET OFFICE'S PREFERRED METHOD THESE DAYS.

It'd be nice if you told us what you were talking about, Raymond from Tuxford, preferably without the bad language. And the shouting.

DID YOU SEE THE MATCH, DAVE? WHAT AN UTTER SHAMBLES IT WAS FROM BEGINNING TO END. YOU MARK MY WORDS, WE'RE WITNESSING THE SYSTEMATIC DISMANTLING OF NOTTINGHAM FOREST, AND IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT SOON, OUR BELOVED CLUB WILL BE CONSIGNED TO THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY.

But what can we do, Raymond?

WE CAN STOP GOING.

But you don't go anyway.

COLLECTIVE ACTION IS WHAT WE NEED. HIT THEM WHERE IT HURTS. THAT'LL LEARN 'EM.

This is all faintly interesting if somewhat counter-productive, Raymond from Tuxford, but what did you think about the match itself?

WHAT AN UTTER SHAMBLES IT WAS FROM BEGINNING TO END.

Apart from that, didn't you think the team showed more attacking intent under their new head coach?

AND WHAT GOOD DID IT DO US, EH, THIS ATTACK IN A TENT? IT COST US THREE GOALS AND A HEARTBREAKING DEFEAT. AND I THINK WE ALL KNOW WHO'S TO BLAME, DON'T WE?

That would be Cooper, would it?

COOPER INDEED, DAVE. AGENT MISTER STEVE COOPER, WHO PLAYED SO MANY COMBINATIONS IN DEFENCE THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHETHER THEY WERE COMING OR NOT. MURILLO'S BEEN REDUCED TO A STATIONARY CUBE, NIAKHATE WANDERS ROUND LIKE A DRUNK, WILLYBOLY GETS HIMSELF SENT OFF, AND TURNER'S IN A PERMANENT STATE OF ELECTROCUTION. THANKS FOR BUGGER ALL, MISTER COOPER.

Language, Raymond. So you don't think the referee had an undue influence on the game? You don't think his decision to send Willy Boly off, amongst other things, was a result of either crass incompetence or malign intent?

YOU CAN'T BLAME THE REF FOR DOING HIS JOB, DAVE. CAST YOUR MIND BACK TO OLD TRAFFORD WHEN ROB JONES WAS ON VAR DUTY AND AWARDED A PERFECTLY LEGITIMATE PENALTY AGAINST FOREST FOR A PERFECTLY LEGITIMATE RASHFORD DIVE. REMEMBER WHO GAVE HIM DOG'S ABUSE? REMEMBER WHO SAID HE SHOULD BE TAKEN OUT AND DISMEMBERED WITH A FISH KNIFE? OUR VERY OWN MISTER STEVE COOPER. SO WHO CAN BLAME ROB JONES FOR COMING TO THE CITY GROUND AND TAKING HIS REVENGE IN THE ONLY WAY HE CAN?

But that's just stupid. Steve Cooper got sacked.

ROB JONES WASN'T TO KNOW THAT, WAS HE?

So Willy Boly's red card was Steve Cooper's fault?

AGENT STEVE COOPER, YES.

Even though he wasn't there?

YES. IN FACT, THAT WHOLE PERFORMANCE YESTERDAY, THE SHAMBOLIC DEFENDING, THE RIGHTEOUSLY VENGEFUL REFEREE, THE HEARTBREAKING DEFEAT, THE DODGY WATER SUPPLY, IS DOWN TO STEVE COOPER. WHAT YOU ARE WATCHING IS STEVE COOPER'S CORROSIVE LEGACY TO THIS GREAT CLUB.

Well, I think I've heard everything now. I thought you were perverse enough to be delighted at Cooper's departure. I thought you'd welcome a change of manager. But you seem just as curmudgeonly as ever.

THE ONLY CHANGE OF MANAGER I'D LIKE TO SEE IS THE RETURN OF CHRIS HUGETON.

Oh not again...

AT LEAST CHRIS HUGETON HAD A NAME YOU COULD SPELL. AT LEAST HE DIDN'T PRETEND TO BE ANY GOOD, UNLIKE THIS NEW BLOKE, WHO, IT TURNS OUT, IS JUST ANOTHER ONE OF THE OWNER'S AGENTS TASKED WITH THE CONTINUED UNDERMINEMENT OF THIS ONCE GREAT CLUB.

Really? Do you have any evidence of this underminement?

ARE YOU BLIND, DAVE? DID YOU NOT SEE THAT THE NEW BLOKE'S TINKERING WAS MERELY A COVER FOR BUSINESS AS USUAL? LOTS OF EFFORT, BAGS OF COMMITMENT, A GOAL OR TWO, THEN THE INEVITABLE COLLAPSE. DIFFERENT MANAGER, SAME OLD STORY.

Oh come on, Raymond, he's only been here a few days. Give the bloke a chance.

I'M PERFECTLY WILLING TO GIVE HIM A CHANCE, DAVE. IF ONLY THE SAME COULD BE SAID OF THE OWNER. NO, THIS NEW BLOKE...

Stop calling him this new bloke. His name is Nuno Espirito Santo.

THIS NUNO BLOKE WILL JUST STICK TO THE PLAN AND CONTINUE TO WRECK EVERYTHING BECAUSE THE OWNER'S BROKE.

What? I thought the threat to the club was something to do with the Elgin Marbles?

NAH, THAT WAS MY MATE XANDER'S IDEA BEFORE THEY TOOK HIM AWAY. IN TRUTH, THE OWNER'S BROKE. THAT'S WHY IT'S NECESSARY TO LIQUIFY HIS ASS. THAT'S WHY NOTHING WILL BE SPENT IN THE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW. THAT'S WHY THE CLUB WILL BE RELEGATED AND EVENTUALLY GO OUT OF BUSINESS. THAT'S WHY WE'LL LOSE TO NEWCASTLE AND MANURE AND THAT’S WHY HE'S HIRED SOME PORTUGUESE NUNOBODY WITH A NAME THAT TRANSLATES AS "HEAVY DRINKER" TO CARRY ON AGENT COOPER'S TASK OF DESTROYING THIS LIVING MIRACLE OF A CLUB.

Actually, Raymond, you don't know anything, do you? Everything you have said today, and possibly every day of your life, is wrong. Whether you're doing it on purpose or you're just subterraneously ignorant or maybe even insane I don't know, but it's time your poisonous contributions were brought to an end. With that in mind, I'm going to have to ban you from the show.

BUT WHY DAVE, WHY?

Well, because you're stupid, foul-mouthed and boring.

FAIR ENOUGH. CHEERS DAVE, AND HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Merry Christmas, Raymond from Tuxford. And a Merry Christmas to all our listeners. Cheers everybody.

NOBODY LISTENS TO THIS BOLLOCKS ANYW


premier league game 19     december 26th 2023
Newcastle Spiffs 1
Isak 23 (soft pen)
Nottingham Forest 3
Wood 45+1, 53, 60

FOREST WIN CURES MAN OF COVID

  Not really, but a performance like that is better than a dozen paracetamol.

  Several apologies are in order. We apologise firstly to Chris Wood for saying that he would only be any good if he was somebody else. His three goals proved us to be spectacularly wrong, and reminded us of the kind of goals Harry Kane used to score when he was good.

  Apologies too to young Murillo for calling him a stationary cube. He may be prone to the odd error, but he is very much a Risk Worth Taking, providing, as he does, a footballing ability which just makes your heart bump with joy. Or sometimes terror. But mostly joy.

  Apologies to Niakhaté for ever suspecting him of being drunk on duty. He was a magnificently reassuring presence yesterday.

  We were going to apologise to Nuno the Manager, but then realised we had nothing to apologise for. The Nuno v Cooper debate diminishes only those who engage in it.

  We apologise to the Spiffs' faithful for hardly noticing they were there, except when their players dived, which was a lot. And there was us, fearing the worst for our little lambs facing a hostile crowd in this Temple of Obesity, only to discover that the whole thing was a media fuelled fraud. Perhaps we should apologise to ourselves for being stupid.

  Apologies to the ref, for thinking he might be even handed and resilient. We should have known better.

  Apologies for missing out a few more random things ... like Chris Wood pretending not to celebrate his goals, MGW scything through the midfield and his uncanny ability to miss by inches, Elanga's bewildering pace (and occasionally bewildering decision-making), the Wood-Elanga-CHO-MGW axis, and the return of that blistering counter attack we got to love in the promotion season. And Montiel. And Joe Worrall. And the travelling fans. God bless them every one.

  Apologies for thinking "bring on ManUre" in the flush of victory. Too soon for that kind of stuff, especially as the flush of victory turned out to be the flush of covid. Back to the paracetamol.

  A very merry Christmastide to you all. xxx


premier league game 20     december 30th 2023
Nottingham Forest 2
Dominguez 64, MGW 82
ManUre 1
Rashford-Turner 78

This is is what happened. I've still got covid, which involves a lot of snot, cough, headache and a general air of uselessness, so yesterday (Saturday) afternoon I parked myself in front of the fire in front of the telly to watch the Premier League results come in. They were, after a few scares, most reassuring. Luton Beds lost, the Shy Moor Folk lost, Everton lost, and the Undead lost. All those below us lost, so a victory against ManUre would pull Forest away from the Dead Zone and provide a happy ending to a mixed year.

I decided to listen to the 5 Live commentary, so eased back in my Ikea 900-784-62 Pello rocking chair (£75!) and fell asleep. I missed that out earlier. A general air of sleepy uselessness, I should have said. Sorry.

Missis Pie woke me and said, "Yay, we won!" I was deeply suspicious of this. My wife may be as cute as apple pie, but she doesn't understand the concept of Fergie time. "Are you sure?" I said. "Yes," she said. "Forest have won 2-1. It said so on my phone." It probably also had the letter L after it. So I switched on 5 Live and the first thing I heard was "We're 4 minutes into the 10 minutes of added time" after which I was subjected to 6 or 7 minutes of abject terror as Turner performed basic heroics and Forest repelled advance after advance.

I forgave my wife, read the reports, watched the highlights and waited for Match of the Day, which doesn't seem to care any more. I learnt that Dominguez's goal was a sparkler, that Turner has too much fast-twitch muscle fibre which gives him lightning reactions but is counter productive when considered action is required, that MGW's goal topped a splendid captain's performance, that Forest were the better side, despite receiving grudging credit for it, that Erik Ten Hats (so called because of his head extension) seemed to have been watching a different match, and that Nuno was watching the future

May you all have a snot free New Year. COYR!


premier league game 21 january 20th 2024
Bentford 3
Toney 19, Mee 58, Maupay 68
Nottingham Forest 2
Danilo 3, Wood 65

So that's why they're called Bentford. They're so bent they can suck reality out of its natural orbit and smack its chops hard until it does as it's told.

At the core of this gravitational craphole was one Ivan Toney, given a hero's welcome after his struggles with getting caught committing some minor betting infraction. Everything revolved around Toney, even Toney himself, which was not surprising as he virtually declared himself to have divine powers. "I manifested this win when I was at home during the time I was out," he said. "I 100% knew this would happen again. I manifest things like this. Before the game, before I left my house, I thought, 'We're winning today and I'm scoring.' And I made it happen, which is good."

He made it happen, as everybody knows, by cheating, by moving the ball out of position twice and scraping the foam marker across to match the ball's new position. The intention was to gain an advantage, to deceive the referee, to cheat. But in the warped reality of the Toneyverse, none of this was of any significance. According to Toney himself, you are allowed to move the ball "half a yard each side", and he should know, being an avid student of the laws of the game. Other weaker souls were pulled in, too. Shearer said he had simply "gained an advantage". Other pundits blamed Forest for not alerting the referee. Others said Forest were defensively inept for failing to adjust their defensive wall. Some Forest fans blamed Turner, or Yates, or anybody, or the salmon coloured shorts. One even blamed Nuno for using the term "displacement". Bentford's manager Thomas Frank said he saw nothing, but admitted Toney was a "clever" player. All of these people had missed the point, either purposely or through dogged ignorance, by a stupidly large distance.

The logic behind blaming everybody but Toney is akin to blaming the victim for not avoiding the bullet. That well known pundits accept this kind of warped thinking reminds us of a visit we once made to the Artis zoo in Amsterdam where we saw a hungry or ailing gorilla regurgitating a recent meal and lapping it up again off the floor.

In short, Forest, who were the other team involved in this game, had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Despite having a depleted side and less time to prepare, they played well for much of the game and in a less bent universe could have picked up a point. But alas it was not manifested thus.

As a matter of interest, we manifest Bentford's decline in the not too distant future. We will finish above them. We 100% know this will happen. We manifest things like this, and we'll make it happen, which is good.

Back here in the real world, Storm Isha has lifted off a gable end ridge tile which we found embedded in the front lawn, so we urge you to stop your self-indulgent fretting about Forest and think about our heartbreaking struggles to get a bloody builder.


premier league game 22 january 30th 2024
Nottingham Forest 1
Awoniyi 89
The Grand Arse 2
Jesus 65, Saka 72

RUBBISH

Much rubbish has been spoken and written about this match, most of it rubbish. The biggest rubbish concerns the renewed confidence the Arse manager claimed to have gained after their win, because the goals Arse scored were nothing to do with superior skills or a reward for patience.

Their goals, in fact, were a bit rubbish.

The first goal, which followed some comatose Forest defending after an Arse throw in which should have been a Forest free kick, came from some speculative near post flick which went through Turner's legs. Poor old Turner. He is okay up top, but seems a bit rubbish below the waist. Anybody who says that Jesus expected to score from such a tight angle is talking rubbish.

The second goal resulted from a Montiel cock up which allowed Arse room to get the ball to Saka who passed it beyond Turner with his weaker right foot. Both goals were, ultimately, gifts, which makes Arteta's claim that "We have some momentum now,” a bit rubbish. You don't get momentum from relying on daft mistakes.

So Turner and Montiel did some rubbish, but they and their team mates, especially the defenders, did many things which were definitely not rubbish. Omo and Murillo were great, and deserved more for their efforts. The first half's grim defensive display may have dismayed some, but it was obvious what the tactic was, and it nearly worked. To have gone gung-ho with a tired and depleted squad would have been rubbish. As it was, Forest's red wall reduced Arse's fancy-pants dominance to impotent posturing.

After an hour, things turned rubbish with the two gifted goals, but not as rubbish as certain fans' conviction that Forest would capitulate/get relegated/cease to exist before the day was out. Far from capitulating, Forest made The Grand Arse's evening very uncomfortable indeed.

What was not at all rubbish was Taiwo's return. His goal, a remarkable combination of accident and inverted Cruyff turn, gave Arse the heebie jeebies (two of them ended up fighting) and everybody else a tremendous lift. He could have equalised too. With him and Elanga back there is hope. With the Africans back there will be more hope. With a decent goalkeeper we might just be unbeatable.

VAR is rubbish. Refs are rubbish. Timekeeping is rubbish. FFP is rubbish. Being so near the bottom of the table is rubbish. We may have to endure continuing rubbish over the next weeks as we bump along the bottom of adverse circumstance, but we believe with every bone in our combined bodies (412, remarkably) that Forest have enough skill and guts to climb out of this hole.

We always said Brighton were rubbish, and we've been proved right about that too.


premier league game 23 february 4th 2024
AFC Muffs 1
Kluivert 5, Billing 84
Nottingham Forest 1
CHO 45

Well that went better than I feared.
What was that, Pie?
I said that went better than I feared.
Sorry Pie, I can't hear a word you say.
Whyever not?
Because I've gone deaf.
Ear wax?
Probably.
What was that, Stress?
I said it's probably ear wax.
Good idea. Mine's a pint. And meanwhile, here are my player ratings.

Matz Sels
Big chap. Couldn't really do much about the Muff goal, which was down to really poor marking at the near post, but after that did some splendidly goalkeepery things like catching the ball, distributing it quickly, and not having diarrhoea. A definite upgrade on the terrified twosome. (Rating: chips - real chips, not oven chips)

Neco Williams
A bit up and down is our Neco, but after a dodgy start he worked hard and grew a bit more assured as the game wore on. Stress reckons he headed the ball backwards for the Muff goal, but Stress hallucinates much of the time and has terrible ear wax problems, so we ignore everything he says. (Rating: Batchelors Pasta 'n' Sauce - cheese and broccoli, not that there's any broccoli). Was replaced late on by Gonzalo Montiel, who was a bit up and down, but after a dodgy start stayed very much the same. (Rating: slightly underdone boiled egg)

Andrew Omobamidele
Looked a bit unsettled early doors, but then everybody looks a bit unsettled by the idea of an early door. A door that's too early can cause you to miss an open goal, for example. Anyway, he didn't give the Muffs a sniff after that. Good lad, is Omo. (Rating: cheesy puffs, any kind)

Murillo
Top stuff from the Man with a Thousand Names. Did a job on Solanke, but he's overrated anyway so that wasn't too difficult for a baller of Murillo's quality. Yes, we put "baller", just to show you how stupid it looks. Helped set up CHO's goal with some neat footwork, and blatted a few opponents who got in the way of our Murillo. Get it? In the way of our Murillo. (Rating: Pot Noodle)

Nuno Tavares
Found his way on and off the pitch, but a lot of other stuff, like passing, went bye-byes. Frustrating chap, who will probably score the winner in the FA cup final. Or not. (Rating: tapioca pudding)

Ryan Yates
This lovable rogue didn't have his most influential game, being as what he fluffed two decent scoring opportunities, stifled forward momentum by passing sideways or backwards, gave away free kicks, and failed to dismember Phillip Billing. Still, you'd miss him if he wasn't there, and he did nearly win a penalty. Perhaps he's better as a nuclear sub. (Rating: one baguette)

Nicolas Dominguez
A curate's egg of a performance. The curate worked his socks off to help Forest get a grip after that awful start, but the egg didn't pass the ball with laser like precision. Eggs will do that, especially if they're played deeper than they like. (Rating: chicken korma). Was replaced late on by Danilo, who could not resuscitate what was rapidly becoming a corpse of a game. (Rating: re-heated chicken korma)

Callum Hudson-Odoi
Scored an absolute beauty, then should have kicked on, but ended up getting kicked. Every so often we are reminded that CHO is a class player, and one day we hope he may come to believe it himself. Hope he's okay. (Rating: fruit cake with Cheshire cheese. mmm). Was replaced very late on by Rodrigo Ribeiro, who sounds like a Mexican revolutionary but is in fact six foot one inch of Portuguese potential. (Rating: too soon pie)

Morgan Gibbs-White
Tried to influence the game but with limited success, not because he is rubbish, but because the game itself was a scrapheap of lcd football. Lcd football is lowest common denominator football, the kind of stuff the Muffs rely on, where physical exertion outmuscles talent and everything ends up looking frantic and ugly. Not MGW's game at all. (Rating: cream splits)

Anthony Elanga and Taiwo Awoniyi
Both returning from extended injury breaks meant that both looked a bit lacking in sharpness. Elanga didn't get much space to run into in this rubbish tip of a game, and Awoniyi gave the Muff defence the squits but couldn't convert a decent chance. They will both be glad of the game time and make more of an impact in coming games, he said, stating the bleeding obvious with the studied negligence of a seasoned hack. (Ratings: warm Ambrosia rice pudding). Elanga was replaced late on by Gio Reyna, who looked a bit of a baller. Sorry. (Rating: two croissants and a cup of tea)

The Referee
A handsome young fellow sporting a ladybun who made a few mistakes but redeemed himself by sending Billing off for criminal assault. The Muff brigade, including their manager, called the ref incompetent, but that's because they are deluded idiots, including their manager, who seems fluent in Garbage. (Rating: a packet of plain crisps)

Did you say something, Pie?


premier league game 24 february 10th 2024
Nottingham Forest 2
Elanga 26, CHO 45+6
Spiffs 3
Guimaraes 10, 66, Schar 43

A match report will follow when we return from Mars.


Strange place, Mars. It wasn't what we expected at all. We expected it to be different, but it turned out to be exactly the same as it always was.

Anyway, the reason this report is so late is because there was no wi-fi at Mars Station, so we missed the match completely. We complained to the receptionist about this, and she said, "We're 213 million miles from earth, what do you expect?"

"But your brochure promised wi-fi in every room," we said.

"We lied," she said. "Now eff off."

Rude, eh? Turns out you had to bring your own food as well. So we set off back home sharpish. By some miracle of roaming interplanetary technology, the cruiser we were on was able to pick up YouTube, where we could watch extended match highlights. It seemed to be an exciting game, with Forest for the most part looking mightily sharp and dangerous. If they could defend properly, and certain players could shoot straight, and the refs abandoned their ridiculous "no penalties for Forest" rule, they would be a top six side.

There was a lengthy hold up just outside the asteroid belt, which unfortunately gave the Newcastle supporters on board the chance to get fat-bellied drunk. You'd have thought an undeserved win against a tired and depleted side would have rendered them a little more reflective, but no, they proceeded to bray like walruses all the way home.

You may detect a sour note here, and you'd be right. It's something to do with the unfairness of things - the defeats despite playing well, the penalties not given, the dodgy refereeing, an under pressure Premier League threatening to bring the hammer down, the lack of credit or recognition offered by the media and by some of Forest's own fans.

The lack of recognition. Sometimes it seems as if Forest are being sidelined, airbrushed out of existence. If you don't believe us, read this match report from Monday's edition of the i newspaper. See if you can reach the end without being sick.



premier league game 25 february 17th 2024
Nottingham Forest 2
Awoniyi 45+5, Hudson-Odoi 90+4
Wet Hams 0

The good thing about supporting a provincial nonentity of a football club is that you don't have to depend on media pundits to tell you where you stand. You are caught in the limbo between sycophantic praise and corrosive criticism. In other words, you tend to be ignored, but that's okay, because you know the truth of things.
There is much here I do not understand, Pie.
For the last time, Stress, plain speaking is not restricted to words ending in -ank.
Of which there are surprisingly many.
About fourteen, I believe. But that's not important. What's important is this: while the national media concentrated on the plight of Wet Hams with headlines like "Moyes Under Pressure" and "Hammers' Dreadful Run Continues", they missed the real story.
What's that then, Pie?
The real story was how good Forest were.
How good were they, Pie? Do tell.
That's easy enough. All we have to do is go through the main events of the match. Like Felipe giving the ball to Gibbs-White, who moved inside and swept a pass out to Hudson-Odoi on the left, who slipped the ball to Tavares, whose cross ended up with Elanga bulleting a drive at Alphonse Areola.
Tee hee.
The control and confidence in the move, the power and technique in the shot - it was all sublime. And that was only the start.
Some say the ball went through him, Pie.
What?
Apparently if you study the video really carefully you can see a ghost image of the ball travelling so fast it passes through Areola into the back of the net. But VAR is too crude to pick up proto-plasmic particles so it just displayed the save. VAR, eh?
Indeed, Stress. Then there was Danilo to Tavares to Hudson-Odoi to Dominguez to Gibbs-White, and another high speed blast at Alphonse Areola...
Tee hee.
... who made another of many couldn't-get-out-of-the-way saves he received undeserved praise for.
Some say the ball went through him.
No they don't. Then of course there was Danilo once more moving forward from deep finding Hudson-Odoi who laid it back to Tavares whose cross was headed out to Dominguez who stabbed it forward to Awoniyi who controlled it beautifully, rolled his marker and passed it into the net. Goooooal!
Gooooooalio!
Great stuff, right at the end of the half. It was becoming obvious what the difference between the two sides was.
I know, I know - Wet Hams' kit was like dish rags, while the Garibaldi burned hot and vivid against the legendary turf.
Er, partly I suppose, but the real difference between the teams was that Forest were better in every department. Forest looked top ten, Wet Hams looked relegation bound.
Huzzah!
What has been building for weeks seemed to mature in that first half and carried on in the second. Gibbs-White to Elanga, who volleyed the bouncing ball with ferocity goalwards, only to see Alphonse Areola tip it over the bar.
Some say it ...
Then Origi wins a corner. Zouma heads the ball out to Danilo, who sends another missile Alphonse Areola's way. The shot once again is magnificently struck and blisteringly hard, but again not quite hard enough to pass through living flesh like protoplasm, at least according to VAR.
Aw.
Then there was that long ball controlled by Origi who joined in the fun by back flicking the ball over his head to Williams, whose drive across the danger area found Hudson-Odoi, who finished with power and precision.
Goooooalio!
Goalio indeed. Right at the end of the match, to seal a well deserved win after a wonderful performance.
It wasn't all good though, was it Pie? There was some bad stuff too.
If you're talking about the idiot in the car park ...
No, in the match. There was some bad stuff in the match.
But even the bad stuff was somehow good. Like Felipe's mistake, which allowed Murillo to show his defensive skills by outwitting the bulldozer Antonio. Or Elanga's extravagantly missed efforts which kind of made you chuckle at the end of breathtaking counter attacks like the ones we used to see in the good old Steve Cooper championship days. Or Kalvin Phillips getting himself sent off for looking like a bit of a prat twice.
There was one bad thing that was properly bad though, wasn't there Pie?
You mean the penalty, don't you? Cornet treading on Williams' foot, a penalty so obvious it makes you seriously consider whether the "Forest don't get penalties" rule actually exists. It did sour proceedings for a while, but I suppose us provincial nonentities have to put up with such injustices if we want to play with the big boys.
Or do we ...?
Oh no, you've sent one of your letters, haven't you?
Full of words ending in -ank, of which there are surprisingly many. Do you want to see it?
Good Lord no.


premier league game 26   february 24th 2024
Villa Parkside 4
Watkins 4, Luiz 29, 39, Bailey 61
Forest 2
Niakhate 45+5, MGW 48

The 15th century governor of Wallachia, Vlad Dracula, has become known primarily for his habit of impaling his enemies on wooden or metal poles. But there was much more to this Son of the Dragon than gory myth allows. He was an educated man, a fine warrior who was both ruthless and tactically intelligent.

But not as ruthless or tactically intelligent as Unai Emery, manager of Villa Parkside. It took a stroke of genius to play a winger, Leon Bailey, actually on the wing against the awkwardly out-of-position Forest full back Moussa Niakhate. The result was the kind of gory bloodletting that Vlad would have licked his lips at.

Emery's skilful exploitation of his opponents' weaknesses has been much commented on, but from what we saw in this match the only skill he showed was in turning up with his team. Forest did the rest, providing our hero with a waste bin stuffed with crap defending to feed off. The famous team were three nil down in no time, the players eyeing each other with suspicion or guilt or that vague quizzical stare of men who don't understand how they've just chainsawed off their foot.

But wait, the tactical genius Unai the Impaler wasn't looking so smug when Forest woke up. A goal just before half time by Niakhate and a beauty just after half time from MGW after some brilliant play from Origi left Emery looking distinctly edgy, with everyone excited by the prospect of another thrilling 3-2 defeat which Forest serve up every too often.

Even that, alas, was beyond them. Bailey slotted in a 4th goal, the Parkside celebrated as if they had just saved western civilisation from the Ottoman hordes, and everybody went home and indulged in nocturnal activities of their own choosing.

Nah, it was just a crap day really. We must hope Forest don't sleep themselves into further trouble, and that this computer starts taking responsibility for its increasingly wayward behaviour.


premier league game 27   march 2nd 2024
Nottingham Forest 0
The Grand Poo 1
Nunez 3hrs

RADIO DAVE'S FOOTBALL FONE-IN

I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I'VE JUST WITNESSED, DAVE.

Who's that on the line?

THIS IS JASON FROM NEWARK, DAVE, AND NOT RAYMOND FROM TUXFORD WHO I UNDERSTAND HAS BEEN BANNED.

You sound very much like Raymond from Tuxford.

I CAN ASSURE YOU I KNOW NO-ONE CALLED RAYMOND FROM TUXFORD, THOUGH OUR OPINIONS MAY COINCIDE ON VARIOUS ISSUES.

Go on then, Jason, what were you going to say?

I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I'VE JUST WITNESSED, DAVE.

Yes I heard that. What exactly did you witness, Jason from Newark?

I'VE JUST SEEN FOREST COACH STEVEN REID LAUNCH AN UNPROVOKED ATTACK ON RESPECTED MATCH REFEREE PAUL TIERNEY.

What?

AND FOREST OWNER MARKINARKS IS THREATENING TO EAT HIM.

That's just ridiculous, Jason from Newark.

I AGREE DAVE. IT'S A RIDICULOUS STATE OF AFFAIRS WHEN RESPECTED MATCH OFFICIALS CAN BE THREATENED WITH SUMMARY EXECUTION ON OUR HALLOWED TURF.

That's just rubbish, Jason.

I AGREE DAVE. WHAT'S THE WORLD COMING TO WHEN RESPECTED MATCH OFFICIALS CAN BE BEATEN TO DEATH IN FRONT OF A BAYING MOB?

No, I meant everything you have just said is rubbish. Have you been watching the same match as me? Did you not see respected match official Paul Tierney stop a Forest advance to check on a dubious Poo head injury? Did you not see him fail to restart the game in the proper manner, by awarding an uncontested dropped ball to Forest? Did you not see Poo players smuggle the ball to their goalkeeper while the ref watched on? I'm sorry Jason from Tuxford but I don't see how you can respect a jobsworth who doesn't know the rules of the game.

I RESPECT OUR BRAVE REFEREES UNCONDITIONALLY, DAVE. HE MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN THE RULES OF THE GAME, BUT NOBODY DOES. THAT'S WHAT RULES ARE FOR.

What?

NEXT YOU'RE GOING TO TELL ME PAUL TIERNEY WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR LIVERPOOL'S GOAL, WHEN IN FACT IT WAS THE RESULT OF A SERIES OF CATASTROPHIC ERRORS FROM FOREST PLAYERS. HUDSON-ODIO SHOULD HAVE PICKED THE BALL UP AS SOON AS THE GAME WAS STOPPED TO SECURE POSSESSION FOR THE RESTART. THE FOREST CAPTAIN WHOEVER THAT WAS SHOULD HAVE POINTED OUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO RESPECTED MATCH OFFICIAL PAUL TIERNEY. AWONIYI SHOULD HAVE CLEARED THE BALL INSTEAD OF PIDDLING AROUND IN THE DANGER AREA.

And perhaps the ref could have blown his whistle at the correct time instead of allowing an extra two minutes for the Poo to score.

ADDED TIME IS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE REFEREE, NOT SOMETHING AS UNRELIABLE AS A CLOCK. WHINING ABOUT RESPECTED MATCH OFFICIALS WON'T CHANGE THE RESULT, DAVE. NEITHER WILL SENDING MARK CLATTERBURN TO THE REFEREE'S ROOM TO LOCK HIM IN THE TOILET. THAT WAS JUST CHILDISH.

You're not strong on facts, are you Jason from Newark? And I'm beginning to wonder whether you are a Forest fan or a troll like Raymond from Tuxford. You don't seem to appreciate how angry and exhausted Forest fans are at being constantly let down by officials, whether it be accidental or by design. This was just one more example of shoddy refereeing robbing us of points, for in my opinion Forest were in no way inferior to the Grand Poo. I'd be interested to know what you thought of the match overall.

I THOUGHT IT WAS A GAME OF TWO HALVES, ONE SLIGHTLY LONGER THAN THE OTHER. IT WAS END TO END STUFF AT BOTH ENDS. IT HAD 0-1 WRITTEN ALL OVER IT. NOBODY LEFT EARLY, ETC.

You didn't see it, did you?

OH, SO NOW WE HAVE TO ACTUALLY WATCH MATCHES TO HAVE AN OPINION ON THEM? GOOD GRIEF DAVE, THIS SHOW'S GONE DOWN THE NICK SINCE YOU BANNED RAYMOND FROM TUXFORD.

Go away, Jason from Newark or Raymond from Tuxford or whoever the hell you are. You're both banned.

CHEERS DAVE.

Thank God he's gone. Who's next? You're on Radio Dave's Football Fone-In. Tell us your name, caller.

HI DAVE, I'M JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA.

Sod off Raymond.

CHEERS DAVE.


premier league game 28   March 10th 2024
Hove 1
Omo 29 (og)
Nottingham Forest 0

STRESS'S BLOGUE with POTATO JACK

This is Stress speaking, because this is Stress's Blogue, not Stress and Pie's Blogue, but Stress's Blogue, my Blogue, cos I'm talking to you in yellow, and just for once I won't be interrupted by the Fat Man, cos he always tries to muscle in, doesn't he, with those big dumb words of his. Do you know, he once told me a joke which went something like Where are satis made? and I said I don't know, where are satis made? and he said In a satis factory, of course. That's how dumb he is.
So I decided to stop him butting in to my  blogue by inventing an emoji called Potato Jack, and I've rigged things so that every time The Grand Pie tries to interrupt, up pops Potato Jack to blot out his contribution. Neat, eh?
There he goes again, trying to make some feeble point, like "I do not concur, young man", but it doesn't matter cos we'll never know what it was, will we? The reason I've blotted him out is cos I want to tell you the truth about what's happening at Forest, not some feeble fairy tale version of events where everybody ends up having jam for tea but the honest truth. And the honest truth is that Forest are going to get relegated. The way things are going at the moment we'll get relegated even without a points deduction.
Oh shut up. Look at the match yesterday against Hove. It all went wrong from the start, what with that cockeyed starting eleven which left the best players on the bench. Nuno obviously thought he was being cute - maybe he was saving them for Luton (!) - but one sign of a manager who's losing it is cockeyed team selection. And it went wrong, didn't it? After a promising first ten seconds Forest lost control of the game to what was basically a pub team.
Yes, a pub team. Hove were awful, but Forest couldn't even cope with awful. Nobody could keep hold of the ball. Nobody could pass accurately. Up front we displayed as much threat as a cotton bud with a bit of earwax on it. Another sign of a manager losing it is that the players are actually playing worse as the weeks go by. You'd think that the unfairness of the Liverpool result would spark some kind of reaction, but all we got was like you'd ordered a full English and ended up with a damp squid. It's as if Nuno is coaching the confidence out of them.
I suppose Mats the Goalie did okay, making three decent saves before punching it into Omo's head for their goal. Harry Toffo couldn't get forward, Neco gets seriously fouled but can't get anybody sent off, Murillo is becoming an occasionally interesting cube, Omo's first half comprised a booking, a near sending off and a scruffy own goal, Danilo would have trouble passing wind, Origi couldn't hit a barn door with another barn door, MGW's set pieces were, as usual, bollocks, Yates tried to strangle Dunk at one point, Dominguez got booked and backed off, Wood had a chance but missed cos he's really not very good at all. Ooh look Woody's back said some people including probably Mister Pie but all I could think was pffft.
Yes I know it got better in the second half but it couldn't get worse, could it? Well it could, I suppose, but thankfully it didn't. Sangare came on and offered as much as he showed in the African Cup thing which amounted to not much done slowly. Elanga came on over an hour too late, CHO the same, Taiwo still doesn't look right, and Kouyate for MGW was plain bonkers.
When teams below us are getting better, Forest are getting worse, which has to be the manager's fault. Maybe we should never have had to sign him. Maybe we should never have sacked Steve Cooper in the first place.
After all, the only reason we got promoted in the first place was Steve Cooper. The only reason we survived in our first season in the Premier League was Steve Cooper. The only reason Steve Cooper failed at the start of this season was cos he was crushed under the weight of signings and expectation. And that's down to Mister Markynarks and a host of heavenly agents.
I've got a theory.
No, bear with me. I've got this theory that Steve Cooper is waiting for us to get back to the Championship so that Mister Markynarks begs him on wounded knee to rejoin his beloved club. That may sound daft, but dafter things happen every day in the back streets of Retford.
Sadly none of this matters. The only thing that matters is that Liverpool and Manchester United fought out a pulsating draw, Oppenheimer won a lot of Oscars, and some twerp called Lee Anderson has joined Reform. Nottingham Forest don't figure much these days, so the appalling prospect of them picking up no more points at all may well go unnoticed.
It's the truth. You can't handle the truth.
That's enough of that, Potato Man. Remember whose Blogue this is. Stress's Blogue. My  Blogue.


premier league game 29   March 16th 2024
Luton Beds 1
Berry 89
Nottingham Forest 1
Wood 34

We delayed this match report because

(a) it wasn't really worth reporting on, what with the whole thing being overshadowed by the pending points deduction...

(b) the whole day was ruined what with Forest predictably conceding that late equaliser, and Stress moaning on and on about Nuno...

(c) it wasn't that bad a performance, but Nuno's ploy of taking off his forward line late on was disappointingly negative. Luton always chuck everything at you in the final minutes, and without a decent forward threat Forest invited their dodgy defence to be bombarded...

(d) everything was so wearily predictable - the poor finishing, the set piece mistakes. Our next door neighbour's cat probably knows how to beat Forest by now...

and then (e) that pending points deduction finally stopped pending and turned out to be four points, a decision which caused the Forest powers-that-be to protest with surprising vigour...

Nottingham Forest is extremely disappointed with the decision of the Commission to impose a sanction on the Club of four points, to be applied with immediate effect.

Notwithstanding our disappointment, we thank the Commission for agreeing to deal with this matter on an expedited basis. The Club considers it to be essential for the integrity of the league to have charges resolved in the season in which they are issued.

We were extremely dismayed by the tone and content of the Premier League’s submissions before the Commission.

After months of engagement with the Premier League, and exceptional cooperation throughout, this was unexpected and has harmed the trust and confidence we had in the Premier League.

That the Premier League sought a sanction of eight points as a starting point was utterly disproportionate when compared to the nine points that their own rules prescribe for insolvency.

We were also surprised that the Premier League gave no consideration at all to the unique circumstances of the Club and its mitigation. In circumstances where this approach is followed by future PSR commissions, it would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for newly promoted clubs without parachute payments to compete, thus undermining the integrity and competitiveness of the Premier League.

Whilst the Premier League may have called into question the Club’s business plan, the Club maintains that it responsibly balanced compliance with PSR with important investment into the squad to give us the ability to compete in the league for the first time in over 20 years.

Even after the Club had missed the PSR reporting deadline, it still took steps to ensure Brennan Johnson was sold before the end of the transfer window. That was a clear demonstration of our respect and support for PSR.

The Commission's decision raises issues of concern for all aspirant clubs. The player transfer market is a highly specialised trading environment that cannot be compared to the sale of normal products and services.

There will be occasions when a player transfer cannot be completed in the first half of a transfer window and can only be completed at the end of that window. This should not be a reason for the condemnation of a club. For this not to be recognised by the Commission or the Premier League should be a matter of extreme concern for all fans of our national game.

Of wider concern for all aspirant clubs is the disturbing effect this decision will have on the operation of the player trading model. This is the only model by which clubs outside of the small group at the very top end of the Premier League can realistically advance up the football pyramid.

The rationale of the Commission is that clubs should only invest after they have realised a profit on their player development. This reasoning destroys mobility in the football pyramid and the effect of the decision will be to drastically reduce the room for manoeuvre for all such clubs, leading to the stagnation of our national game.

We believe that the high levels of cooperation the Club has shown during this process, and which are confirmed and recorded in the Commission's decision, were not reciprocated by the Premier League.

We know there are various different views around, but we think this is a splendid reply. What we find hard to stomach is the view that Forest should show a humiliating degree of remorse for their crime, instead of standing up for themselves and pushing back against a corruptly applied system.

However, as Stress says, the situation hasn't changed that much, in that Nuno will really have to earn his corn now, and for once, he's right.


premier league game 30   March 30th 2024
Nottingham Forest 1
Wood 61
Crystal Palearse 1
Mateta 11

There's this theory which says that treading on a butterfly in Worksop leads to earthquakes in Retford. It's called the Inevitability Theory. Given the right conditions, outcomes are inevitable.

As soon as people saw Nuno's starting line-up, the one which left out Elanga and Dominguez, they knew that the game would follow a grimly predictable path to a disappointing result.

A supportive crowd were given something to cheer about early on, until a Williams' pass was intercepted, Eze bamboozled a sleepy Forest defence, and Mateta scored. It had taken eleven minutes for the Inevitable to happen.

Predictably, Palace went on to cause trouble from a corner and an Eze free kick, because Forest's problem with set pieces is apparently impossible to solve. Other predictable problem areas began to crop up. MGW was crap at corners, Origi laboured to produce much, Sangare was never going to fulfil his expensive potential because we were screwed by PSV. Set pieces, poor selection, poor recruitment. There has been plenty of time to sort these problems out, and yet they remain. Given the lack of coherent thinking, outcomes are inevitable.

Forest began to do okay in that okay way of theirs, but there wasn't much going on up front. There continued to be not much going on up front until half time, when, predictably, there were some boos. Luton were beating the Tosspots, for heaven's sake, which meant that Forest were four points from safety. The Inevitability Theory stated that, given the prevailing conditions, Forest were heading for relegation.

There are other aspects of the Inevitability Theory which are worth mentioning at this juncture. They concern something called Initial Shift, which is a fancy way of saying that outcomes may change if the starting point is different and the conditions are altered. So Nuno changed things at half time, and the Inevitable outcome changed with it. There have been suggestions that Sangare insisted on being taken off for the second half because Forest had been screwed by PSV, but whatever the truth, bringing on Elanga made a big difference.

Not at first. A Palearse corner gave Forest the heebie-jeebies as a resulting shot fizzed across the goalmouth. A few minutes later CHO did his party trick of cutting in from the left and curling it towards goal with his right ... but Henderson got it away and the frustration grew.

Origi was finally hooked, and some unknown called Reyna replaced him. Reyna turned out to be quite good, and you wondered whether he had been found in an orphanage or something. Anyway, with all this attacking power, a Forest goal became Inevitable.

No it didn't - that's just silly talk. It came as a brilliant surprise, to be honest. A great cross from MGW, and a half-backwards header from Wood over Henderson's outstretched arms into the net. Such a finish is rarely dreamed of in our philosophy.

Sels made a save, MGW had a shot, Reyna had a shot, Palace hit the post, Luton lost so Forest climbed out of the bottom three on goal difference. All very predictable of course.

It would be nice to think it Inevitable that Nuno would learn a few selection and tactical lessons from this game in preparation for the match against the Cottageboys, but if there's one thing we've learned from all this it's that the Inevitability Theory is a load of bollocks. Treading on a butterfly in Worksop leads to little more than a dead butterfly. Sorry.


premier league game 31     April 2nd 2024
Nottingham Forest 3
Hudson-Odoi 9, Wood 19, Gibbs-White 45+3
Cottageboys 1
Adarabico 49

Timeline

- 60m:   Nuno picks the right team. Well almost the right team. Still no Dominguez. My word, there's a ton of money on that bench.

- 2m:   The Cottage People pretend to be unimpressed by the intimidating volume of Mull of Kintyre, especially the shouty bit.

5m:   A Forest corner is half cleared by Cottage keeper Burnt Leonard. The ball reaches CHO, whose cross is cleared by Shirley Bassey. Forest seem full of intent.

9m:   Goal. It is tempting to write GOOOOOOAL!!! but that would just be infantile and not a little common. MGW turns past Paulina, glides a pass with the outside of his right foot to CHO, who drives into the box, cuts inside, and curls the ball beyond Burnt Leonard into the goal. All this done at high speed. CHO scores that goal in his sleep.

16m:   Almost another for Forest, as MGW skilfully glides past Adarabico and delivers the ball to CHO, who takes a bit too long to shift the ball to his right foot and Burnt Leonard is able to save.

19m:   Goal number 2. Murillo's driven pass is controlled by Wood, who turns past Shirley Bassey and fires a twenty five yarder past Burnt Leonard. The goalkeeper is so wrong footed he nearly falls over backwards. People are trying to convince themselves that this is Forest they are watching, and not some bunch of world class ringers.

25m:   Should be three! MGW and Elanga carve open the Cottageboys defence with breathtaking ease, only for Elanga's shot to clip the far post. Shudda scored, but Forest's approach work is phenomenal. Somebody says that Forest will rue these missed chances, but he is beaten up and taken away in a potato sack.

29m:   Harry Wilson misses. Ha.

30m:   The Cottage manager is so cheesed off with his side's performance he makes three early changes, a move unheard of in the anals of Premier League history. Cairney, he of the enormous clown feet, replaces Lukic. Traore is on for Iwobi, and Wilson drifts tragically out of sight like a volleyball, to be replaced by Will-i-an. Will these subs stem the Forest tide?

40m:   Yes. The Cottageboys start to play, but all they have to show for their possession is a miss from Pereira and a flying catch from Sels, who looks very secure indeed.

43m:   No. Forest hit back. Omo heads a free kick across goal to Yates, who slams it into Leicestershire. Yatesy misses those in his sleep.

45+3m:   GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOALLLLL number 3. MGW and Danilo swap high speed passes through the Cottageboys' midfield and defence, and MGW coolly slots the ball home past Burnt Leonard. The roar is one of joyful disbelief, like when you think you're going to hell but end up in heaven. Half time, three nil.

49m:   Bugger. Goal for the Cottageboys, headed in by Adarabico. It's amazing how fragile the Forest supporters' confidence is. Now we have people being sick in a bag. Not the same bag. Things could get very dodgy indeed if Forest concede another.

90+4m:   Got something in my eye, one of those little black flies which seem to be made of grit, so I missed a lot of the second half. I understand it was a harum scarum affair, in which both teams hit the woodwork, Sels was magnificent, Forest were denied a penalty, and the Mighty Reds fought like dogs to maintain their advantage.

90+5m:   FULL TIME. Forest 3 Cottageboys 1. Relief as I get the gritty fly out of my eye, and Forest deliver a big sod off to the Premier League and all those who wish them harm. Well done lads. Jam for tea etc. As somebody once said, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Remember that when we face the Tosspots.


premier league game 32     April 7th 2024
Hottenham Tosspots 3
Murillo (og) 15, van de Ven 52, Porro 58
Nottingham Forest 1
Wood 27

WE'RE HEADING FOR DISASTER, PIE!
Stop shouting, Stress. You sound like Raymond from Tuxford. You're not Raymond from Tuxford, are you?
I'VE HAD A VISION, PIE!
Now you sound like notorious Bentford prankster Ivan Toney, who manifested himself both privately and in front of thousands of people.
IT WAS A TERRIBLE VISION, PIE. GOD WAS IN IT.
I see.
HE WAS REALLY ANGRY WITH NUNO, PIE.
And what was the occasion of his wrath, Stress?
WELL, WE WERE ALL ON THE BUS GOING DOWN TO LONDON FOR TODAY'S MATCH AGAINST THE TOSSPOTS, AND NUNO WAS THERE, AND UP POPS GOD LOOKING PROPER ANGRY AND HE SHOUTS RIGHT IN NUNO'S FACE AND I WILL STRIKE DOWN UPON THEE WITH GREAT VENGEANCE AND FURIOUS ANGER THOSE WHO ATTEMPT TO POISON AND DESTROY MY BROTHERS. AND YOU WILL KNOW I AM THE LORD WHEN I LAY MY VENGEANCE ON THEE.
That's from Pulp Fiction. Samuel L. Jackson said it.
NO, I'M PRETTY SURE IT WAS GOD. ANYWAY, THAT WAS ONLY THE START OF MY VISION. I'VE SEEN THINGS, PIE, YOU PEOPLE WOULDN'T BELIEVE...
Bladerunner. Tears in rain, etc.
IN MY VISION, I SEE THE MATCH START WITH MURILLO ALMOST SCORING A SPECTACULAR OPENER BY LOBBING TOSSPOT'S KEEPER VICARIO FROM 200 YARDS.
It's not often you see that, is it Stress?
SADLY, A FEW MINUTES LATER THE VERY SAME MURILLO SCORES AN OWN GOAL FROM WERNER'S CROSS.
The clarity of your vision is remarkable, Stress.
BUT ALL IS NOT LOST, PIE. IN MY VISION, WOOD EQUALISES WITH HIS FOURTH GOAL IN FOUR GAMES, THEN HITS THE POST FROM TWO YARDS OUT, WHICH ALL SOUNDS GOOD, EXCEPT IT TURNS OUT THAT GOD IS JUST TEASING US WITH DREAMS OF FORTUNE AND GLORY.
Like Indiana Jones. Or was it Short Round? Or maybe both. Sorry, Stress, I'm interrupting your vision of today's game against the Tosspots in London today, Monday. Carry on. But please stop shouting.
I CAN'T HELP IT, PIE. ANYWAY, WOOD'S EQUALISER TURNS OUT TO BE A TEASE, FOR IN THE SECOND HALF BUSTER COGLOO'S BOYS COME OUT LIKE FEROCIOUS COCKS AND SCORE TWICE, THROUGH SOME BLOKE CALLED VAN DE MAN AND SOME BLOKE CALLED PORRIDGE, NEITHER OF WHOM HAS ANYBODY EVER HEARD OF THEM BEFORE.
Remarkable. So Forest lose 3-1 to the Tosspots in today's match, do they? In your vision.
THAT'S WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE, PIE. BUT MY VISION DIDN'T END THERE.
Oh bugger.
GOD TURNS UP ON THE BUS BACK, WITH A BIG ANGRY GRIN ON HIS FACE. HAVE I NOT SMITED THEE GOOD AND PROPER? SAYS GOD TO NUNO. FOR WAS IT NOT I/ME WHO CAUSED EVERTON AND LUTON BEDS TO WIN, AND THEE TO LOSE, THUS DRAWING RELEGATION CLOSER LIKE A VERY BIG KIND OF HOLE?
God says that, does he?
HE DOES, PIE. FOR THOU ART NOT FIT TO LICK STEVE COOPER'S BOOTS HE SAYS TO NUNO, AND IF I WAS MARINAKIS OF THE ANGELS, WHICH I AM NOT, BEING GOD, BUT IF I WERE, I WOULD SACK THEE FORTHWITH AND CAST THEE OUT INTO THE WILDERNESS.
So your vision is just a roundabout way of saying you want Nuno sacked?
NOT ME, PIE. GOD. GOD NEVER WANTED HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Of course you do realise that the game against the Tosspots, originally scheduled for today, Monday, was actually played yesterday, Sunday.
BUT HOW COULD THAT BE, PIE?
It's called contingency, Stress. It could be because it happened.
QUICKLY, PIE, TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED.
Murillo scored an own goal, Wood scored for Forest, then van de Ven and Porro won the game for the Tosspots. But you knew this already. So perhaps you can stop shouting now.
SO MY VISION WAS TRUE!
As true as if you actually watched it, Stress, except for the God bit. God rarely turns up on Sky. For those who are blinded by the Sky are destined to fall into the darkest hell.
I KNOW THAT ONE - IT'S TIN TIN. OR HIGH NOON. SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
For heaven's sake, stop shouting.
STAR TREK?


premier league game 33     April 13th 2024
Nottingham Forest 2
MGW 45+1, Danilo 57
Wolverhampton Wonderbras 2
Cunha 40, 62

Mediocre Events Happen

This was not, as reports would have you believe, an entertaining game. As Old Uncle Boff used to say, "Entertaining games are the ones you win, unless you are a neutral, which means you do not matter, like Switzerland." This was a game which came and went while Missis Pie started tidying the garden in the rain. This was a meh game with a meh result. Apart from MGW's earplug routine.

This was not a must win game. At this stage, must win games only exist before they are played, or in the souls of hopeless men. This was not even a must not lose game.

Somebody said this match was a reflection of the whole season. This was not true. You cannot draw a season. That would be silly.

Forest played reasonably well to start with, unless you consider 'reasonably well' to include a goal, or shots which test the goalkeeper or do not go wide. This may sound harsh, but such profligacy often has unreasonable consequences, like conceding the first goal.

Meh games contain sequences of brilliant play and atrocious play which neutralise each other. A perfect example of this was Yates' iron booted pass to Wonderbras Gomez in front of the Forest goal, the kind of pass you might see in an under 12s match from the sulky kid who didn't want to play in the first place, only to be followed by a breathtaking piece of adjustment from Murillo to head the ball off the goal line and eventually away. One act of incompetence negated by one act of brilliance equals a state of mild exothermic hypertension, or meh.

There were four goals, three of them a mess. Or mehss. Cunha's first, hailed as a brilliant solo effort by those who know better but are addicted to hype, was the result of the Wonderbras forward barrelling through two Forest defenders who couldn't tackle the skin off a rice pudding. The third goal, Forest's second, resulted from rapid but uncontrolled forward momentum, a misplaced pass, a couple of deflections, and Danilo's finish. The fourth goal, Cunha's equaliser, was the mehssiest of the lot, being the result of the customary mass incompetence in the Forest goalmouth amid an aerial assault from the Wonderbras forwards. The only decent goal was MGW's glancing header, and that only happened because he was rubbish at taking corners. Meh.

The match failed the excitement test because so much of it was predictable. The occasional bouts of unrewarded skill, the fragility of the Forest defence, the wastefulness of the forwards, the customary bent jobsworth of a referee, the failure to manage a game or press home an advantage, the question of Origi ... all these things are familiar to Forest supporters. This game provided no surprises, nothing new. A point gained or 2 points lost? Meh. Just a point.

It's going to carry on like this till the end of the season, isn't it? Matches which fail to nudge the universe one way or another. Our seasonal serving of raised hopes and frustrated expectations. The underlying sense of unfairness. It will go on like this till the last day, probably even beyond, and the sheer drag of it all is already breaking many supporters, mostly those in the panic rooms of X or the various forums.

But meh is not necessarily negative. It can signify that the matter in hand need not be treated as a crisis, and the best way to deal with it is to keep calm and carry on. Like the real, eternally optimistic Forest supporters in the stands, who Mostly Experience Hope. As Old Uncle Boff used to say, "You may not always get what you deserve, but you always deserve what you get." A pointless Christmas cracker sentiment, yes, but one which we would all do well to forget.





Free Website Hit Counter




POWERED BY BEANZ