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Bill's Take: Typical Of Forest To Spoil My Fun!
Thursday, 27th Mar 2014 08:15 by Bill Riordan

I don't normally pay any attention to comments made by managers and coaches after a match; I find them self-serving and lacking any real interest.

But I was struck by the comments of Nottingham Forest assistant dwarf David Kelly after the Rams' historic win on Saturday:

“Huge credit to Steve and his group, they thoroughly deserved the victory but we were disappointed in how we defended. It was a disappointing catalogue of goals we gave away and what we were working on during the week was disappointing in how it was executed on the day.”

"It's a huge, huge game in the season and we're disappointed we've let the fans down. We only had a fit group of 18 we brought today but that's not an excuse, it's just the facts of what's going on."

I liked the comments so much that it was my intention all weekend to use them as the basis for my article. I pretty much had it all worked out. I had intended to remark that injuries could perhaps be used as an excuse when you lost narrowly; but when you've just shipped five goals you tend to sound delusional.

I was going to ask what's the problem in having 18 players; isn't that enough? Or had it been their intention to name 10 substitutes but for injuries?

I was going to make the obvious point that they would have had more players if they hadn't loaned out the likes of Ishmael Miller, Marcus Tudgay and Simon Gillett.

Kelly's comment, that the players didn't do what they were working on during the week, demanded the question; its almost the end of March so what is there to say and drill, that hasn't already been done a hundred times?

I wanted to remind us all of that snarky comment that Wee Billy made after the match at the City Ground; something to the effect that “people” say they (Derby) are well managed and we (Forest) aren't. Well, "people" were proved right on Saturday, weren't they?

Most of all, I wanted to talk about the culture of excuse-making that exists at Billy Davies's Forest: everybody is at fault but management.

I was going to have fun.

But then on Monday my guns were spiked.

Forest sacked Billy and the other dwarves. Just as things always do, when Billy Davies is involved, it all ended in tears. Perhaps surprisingly, Forest does not appear to have had everything greased with regard to a successor. They seem to be making it all up as they go along, as though replacing Billy had never occurred to them before Sunday. Colin appears to have removed himself from consideration, so now the really big names are being bandied about: Zola, Hoddle & MacKay (not Dave).

This is a little confusing: given the peculiar psychosis that exists at Forest, it always looked as though achieving success was not enough; they had to achieve success with an ex-Derby manager. This seemed to limit the current choices to Nigel Clough and Paul Jewell. Although John Gregory might be ready for a change from Crawley.

So, where does that leave us?

A history - making win, followed by a deflating defeat at Ipswich.

It really does look like the playoffs now.

We have an enticing looking run-in, but even if we were to win all of our remaining matches, Burnley ought to be able to stay in second place from this point.

It is testimony to the marvellous work that has been put in this season that we can even be thinking of automatic promotion and in turn having to settle for a playoff place, will now be seen as a disappointment.

The rest of the season begins on Saturday at home to Charlton. The Addicks may be hoping for another easy East Midlands three points, following Tuesday's win at Forest, but we need this one after Ipswich.

And If Burnley lose at home to Leicester on Friday night, you never know, perhaps the fight for second place could just about be on again.

Photo: Action Images

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dibdob added 09:58 - Mar 27
I came to this article via twitter. It wasn't until the end that I realised it was written for Ramzone. I have to say, as a Forest fan, I agree with everything you have said! Billy is poisonous and we are well rid of him.

DurhamDaz added 11:25 - Mar 27
Forest were always going to blame injuries. Would have a point if the score was 1-0 or 2-0 but not 5-0)! There can be no excuses. I've never experienced such an embarrassing score in over 40 years watching Forest. Yes I'm an exiled forest supporter but at least I have some perspective on the recent madness. I can remember when Derby, Leicester, Forest and Coventry were all in the top division and the rivalry, though never exactly friendly, was always healthy. I hope those days return but not sure they ever will, football has changed too much. From the safety of the north I can see that Derby are well run (Nigel Clough deserves massive credit for bringing on young players), and seem to have grasped the way forward which is to bring on players through the academy system, unlike Davies who has correctly been called a cheque book manager by Forest fans. And look where dismantling of the reserve team and ignoring the academy has got us. Painful as the defeat was (and it was painful in the extreme), I wish Derby all the best. The East Midlands deserves a team in the top flight after such a proud history

pkay_brum added 18:38 - Mar 27
Davies dismantled the Derby reserve team and Academy as well. It has taken years to restore a fine Academy and thriving 'development' team. The fruits are now there to see, in such as Will Hughes, Jeff Hendrick, Mark O'Brien and a good few others.

When results turn, Billy seems to turn on the Chairman to make veiled comments about needing more or better players and exhorting his superiors to do more about it.

His specialism is creating the siege mentality, the 'Us & Them' team spirit - which can get you so far but is one-dimensional and won't work at all levels, beyond cobbling an initial group together for the cause to provide initial momentum.

He was utterly inept when recruiting for the top-flight after the Rams' Wembley win over WBA; when the team bombed at the start of the Prem season, he blamed possible interest in his players before the end-of-August transfer window deadline as an unsettling factor.

As soon as the window closed, he was desperate for the January 'window' so he could get better players!

He immediately crossed (new) Chairman Adam Pearson and contrived a get-out when he was called to order, in a rapidly-convened meeting. He briskly departed and IMHO, probably laughed all the way to the bank.

The media strife and internal/external conflict Billy inflicted at the City Ground had Rams fans nodding in recognition - and Trees fans might acknowledge that 'we told you so' when he was reappointed!

As BD has sometimes threatened to 'reveal all', hopefully a book is in the offing! It would make fascinating reading, though I'd doubt Billy would make a cent out of it, as the tables could be truly turned and there may well be much litigation to follow publication!

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