No season of Goodwill at Nottingham Forest

Posted by on Dec 27, 2012 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
No season of Goodwill at Nottingham Forest
Image available under Creative Commons (c) 50 Watts; Photostream

The refrain ‘Against Modern Football’ has rarely felt more relevant today following the sacking of Sean O’Driscoll by Nottingham Forest. Here, Steve Wright of the Mist Rolling in from the Trent blog provides his reaction to the decision. You can follow Steve on twitter here.

When the Al-Hasawi family appointed Sean O’Driscoll as manager and announced a long term plan to re-build Nottingham Forest I was more excited than I have been for a long time. There would be money to kick start the process but the focus would be on developing strong foundations that with patience and hard work could give us a club to be proud of.

The goal was still to achieve Premier League football as it should be for a club of Forest’s size and status but it would be done the right way. Money would support the development rather than be thrown around like a metaphorical willy waved in the faces of our opponents.

Just five months later, with the team sat in 8th place a point outside of the playoffs, that plan has been cast aside and O’Driscoll has been shown the door. When shareholder Abdulaziz Al-Hasawi landed back in the country customs should have been looking for a scythe in his luggage, he has made two trips to Nottingham so far and a manager has been sacked on both occasions. The writing was clearly on the wall some time before the side demolished Leeds United yesterday.

In one move, everything that had seemed good about our new owners suddenly looked like a sham. The rhetoric has changed from building for the future to promotion or bust. The role model is no longer Swansea but QPR. It feels like just as I was falling back in love with Forest it has been snatched away.

This won’t be the case for all fans. Some will agree with the owners and want to be promoted whatever the cost. They value being in the Premier League above any sense of what type of club Nottingham Forest is. That’s fine, it is another way of following football, but for me it is empty. My enjoyment of football is found in the build; the win satisfies because it has been earned.

When there is talk about ground development in Nottingham it often revolves around wanting to stay with the history of the City Ground and not swap that for a flat-pack arena that could be any club in any city. However, on the pitch we seem to be going for the identikit cheque book approach that robs a club of its personality and its values.

I want to support my distinct local club with its own DNA, Sean O’Driscoll struck that chord for me and I was enjoying watching him set about defining that DNA at Forest. I believe that in time he would have delivered something special whatever league we were playing in and begun a process that other managers could continue.

Now it seems rather than work to produce our own identity we are going to see if we can buy a clone. The problem is that even though a clone might look the part it doesn’t have a soul.

The Two Unfortunates
The non-partisan website with an eye on the Football League


  1. Lanterne Rouge
    December 27, 2012

    A mindless, diabolical decision that really does make one despair of football. I don’t have Sky so the chance to catch the first 60 minutes of yesterday’s game against Leeds at my Dad’s was a rare treat and Forest thrilled me no end – Dexter Blackstock’s towering header was a real highlight and Andy Reid was rolling back the years. With Henning Berg’s time at Blackburn lasting about as long as the average mayfly’s life. it seems that the game’s administrators and owners can stoop to no lower depths now.

  2. Torquay in Sore Need of an O’Kane | The Two Unfortunates
    December 27, 2012

    […] the focus of your average Football League supporter will probably be on Henning Berg and Sean O’Driscoll, sacked after 2 and 5 months in their jobs […]

  3. Steve
    December 27, 2012

    23 managers losing their jobs since the start of the season I think I heard….and I’m afraid it’s down to us.
    If we want football back to what it used to be with managers being given time and fans to be patient then two things need to happen.

    1. Money need to be removed from the game. It’s become real life monopoly, or maybe poker would be more accurate with rich how to do’s buying their way into the game.

    2. Bring technology fully into the game. With the amount of money involved, key decisions are the difference between a win and loss. This causes grievance and a few games of ‘bad luck’ can lose someone a job. It also causes anger and hatred between fans. Bring technology into the game and all key decisions can be reviewed in a way that calms the situation and punishments, if required, are dished out. Start reducing the aggression in the game and people will become more patient. If the fans are more patient then the owners will be.

    Regarding o’Driscoll, I was never in favour to start with and he’d have got the boot if we’d got promotion anyway. He strikes me as similar to calderwood…got the tools but doesn’t know how to use them. Calderwood is a better #2, and so is O’Driscoll.

    All the good managers have had a ‘quiet’ but techy #2, as we Forest fans should know.

  4. Matt
    December 27, 2012

    Amazing that owners can’t work out that you can’t buy your way out of this league. The vast majority of teams that go up (Swansea, Reading, Southampton, QPR to name a few from the last few years) have built a consistent nucleus of a team under the same manager over the course of at least 2 seasons. Hull and Cardiff are examples of that this year.

    As a Watford fan I know our ownership model is not everyone’s cup of tea but the people in charge know football and are not preaching ‘promotion or bust’ this year. The vast majority of the new breed of owners seemingly don’t.


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