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Billy Fury Fuels Forest Fire

By Anthony Vickers on Sep 18, 13 09:02 AM

WHAT a fantastic match! It was an emotional draining. action-packed encounter fought out in an atmosphere that rarely dropped below hysterical.

It was a magnificent chaos, a dramatically charged confusion of pulse-racing passion and physicality, jammed to bursting point with incident and controversy and punctuated with outbreaks of some really breath-taking football.

Boro may have dropped two points at Forest and that was frustrating and disappointing - and predictable - but it was a brilliant encounter that had tingling supporters of both sides reaching for the valium.


Kei Kamara stabbed home on his first start after a brilliant counter-attack, then George Friend unleashed a weapons grade rocket shot for a screaming second.

In between those goals Jason Steele superbly saved a penalty from long time Nemesis Andy Reid and it seemed Boro were nailed on for an historic victory.

Then fired-up Forest launched a furious counter-attack, swarming forward and thumping balls into the box in a sustained route-one assault that could only have been stopped by the United Nations imposing a No Fly Zone.

Naturally Boro cracked. That is their frustrating fatal flaw this term.

First the relentless barrage saw Matt Derbyshire - a player with goals against Boro written into his contract - send a diving header in off the post. Then trundling penalty box HGV Darius Henderson - ditto - stabbed in a low cross to grab a leveller.

But relating the goals doesn't begin to tell the story of a pulsating fractious encounter that fizzed and spat and bubbling just below boiling point throughout.

The spectacle was fuelled by a potent cocktail of anger and nervous energy, a rage radiating from the Forest dug-out that, wired up to the National Grid, could power Nottingham through the frostiest of winters.

Bridge-burning boss Billy Davis is a pocket-sized bundle of barely contained anger; a shouting, pointing, stomping Caledonian volcano at war with the world.
.
The pint-sized Primark Fergie is currently fighting the local newspaper, sparring with sections of the national media, battling factions of his own fans and exchanging sniper-fire with a string of former board members from the old regime.

In his previous stint at Forest he spent most of his time in verbal fisticuffs with the hierarchy of his own club too, using press conferences to berate the board and demand more money to spend..

The steaming siege mentality is the engine that has driven his career and fuels his teams. And on matchdays it is directed onto the pitch. It is contagious: the Forest team and fans have become incandescent by osmosis.

Davies and his backroom staff spent the entire 90 minutes frothing at the fourth official, the referee, Boro, his own players. And anyone else who knows him. He jumped and pointed and shook his fists at the sky, petulantly stamped his feet and at one point did a cartoon dance of fury that Yosemite Sam would have been proud of. It was a compelling spectacle and great entertainment.
yosemite.jpg

To be fair, while 'Krakatoan' is probably Billy Fury's default setting, he did have plenty to be angry about. And Tony Mowbray did his share of bottle-kicking and dug-out thumping too on a night dominated by refereeing decisions... athough we shouldn't complain too much as Boro definitely came off best.

The game was marked with chaotic outbreaks of skirmishing over penalties given, not given and at one point over whether or not the missed spot kick was being retaken. In between there was some fantastic football played on both sides and both Boro goals were brilliantly engineered.

Forest had an early penalty shout early waved away after Jonathan Woodgate looked to have handled as he came sliding in and charged down a shot. "You've seen them given". That led to Davies and his crew - including David Kelly and former Boro keeper coach Steve Barron - surrounding the fourth official in a tetchy tag-team and generally barking at the moon.

Worst was to follow. Rhys Williams really clattered Majewski to concede the first half penalty. Mowbray insisted afterwards that his skipper had got the ball with a hefty tackle that had sent the ball in a direction that indicated a clean contact. Maybe, but he also caught the striker and sent him flying into a painful heap and the judder rippled around the ground and left a lot of people wincing.

Rhys got a yellow that possibly - probably - could have been a red and that sparked a lively skirmish as players squared up, pushed and pulled and gesticulated while Billy Fury's steam kettle started to whistle on the touchline.

When Phil Dowd eventually restored order Steele superbly saved Reid's spot-kick as he went full length to push away the low piledriver - and then followed another skirmish.


barroom.jpg The ref pointed and briefly to have ordered a retake and Boro players reacted angrily - Albert Adomah was booked and a few others could have followed - while Reid grabbed the ball and stood on the spot serenely amid a Western Saloon scrum. All that was missing was flying bar stools and a terrified piano player in a bowler hat.

After a moment's bedlam Dowd clarified his gesture: it was a corner. At that point crack health and safety officials and fire engines were mobilised as Davis appeared on the verge of spontaneous human combustion.

In the second half the simmering continued, the tension crackled and the temperature rose. The Forest crowd were fantastic. Both sets of supporters were. They goaded each other with old school call and response banter. "You're not famous any more."
But at two down and stung by injustice the home fans dug deep and tapped into Billy Fury's tangible vitriol and roared their team on in the final 20 minutes.

There were only 19,000 in but it felt like a lot more as the engrossing atmosphere magnified the response to every tackle, every decision and every attack.

You can't help but feel that, had the situation been reversed, had Boro been two down at home with 20 minutes to go that a big chunk of the Riverside crowd would be trickling away morosely to 'beat the traffic'.

Forest pulled a goal back and the crowd ramped up the hysteria levels to critical mass.
And the volatile mix exploded soon after when Forest were denied a stonewall penalty. Henderson was clean through and into the box and bearing down on goal when Steele came out and went sliding into a tackle that sent him sprawling.

It looked clear cut. Steele caught the striker full on and he went flying. After the game the snappers were showing the evidence, zooming in on-screen to pictures of stud on flesh contact and a face twisted in pain as the Forest man went flying - too artistically though. His acrobatic arc seemed a little too rehearsed for Dowd.

With players squaring up in the Boro box once more, spit flecked fans behind the goal baying for blood, and wild-eyed Davies going beserk the referee ran over reaching for a card and it seemed certain that Steele would go - and with all the subs used too- and that Forest had a penalty.

But then Dowd flashed a yellow card at the stunned striker for diving and Boro were off the hook. Davies wailed, wounded by injustice and impressively finding another level of ticking time-bomb malevolent threat while in the far side Boro fans could be heard laughing in disbelief.

There was no let-up in the relentless draining drama. Forest scored their second after carving down the right and finding Henderson at the near post and the anxiety levels ramped up again. The dials were all bouncing into the red now. The ground was shaking. She's gonna blow...

Then it was Boro's turn to point and scream. At the death a ball into the box found Jutkiewicz with his back to goal and as he tried to control and turn he was wrestled down to the ground by Halford who had both arms tightly wrapped around the striker. It would have been a foul in Rugby League.

Mowbray was up and kicking water-bottles while Mark Venus roasted the fourth official and incredulous Boro players surrounded the ref. It may have seemed that Jutkiewicz was backing in. It may have looked 50/50 from his angle. And we all know that refs value their integrity and would never do something as crass as 'even it up' ... but equally you can't help thinking that Dowd saw the incendiary possibilities if having turned down the Forest penalty he then gave Boro one and they scored. It would have sparked a riot. The ground would have gone into meltdown. Davies would definitely have exploded.

Then to wrap it up Ledesma was sent off for a rash tackle from behind. He chased 20 yards to chop down a player who was going nowhere and was hemmed in by two defenders. By then no-one had the emotional energy to argue.

The whistle went leaving everyone drained and frustrated.

Naturally Boro were bitterly disappointed to have lost from a winning position. Again. They have only won one game all season and no matter how well they have played there is no arguing with the stats. (Or is there?... one defeat in six.)

But there were positives: Kamara looks useful in both boxes; Boro looked good on the counter; Steele was superb; they bounced back from the Ipswich debacle to get a point from a team that will surely be among the play-off pack; they showed grit to not fold under pressure in an intimidating arena; Boro didn't lose at Forest - historically adjusted that is a famous point.

Most of all though it was a fantastic spectacle. It was magnificent entertainment. It was dramatic. It was enthralling. Tingling. Draining. Totally engaging and with the outcome in the balance right until the whistle. It put everyone in the ground through the emotional wringer,

Where's the Valium?

48 Comments

Ian Gill said:

I would have taken a draw at the Trent at 7.45pm on Tuesday 17th Sep 2013. If we had been top with 18 points and a positive goal difference of 20 I would have taken a draw. No complaints from me.

John Donovan said:

A great match to be part of Vic but their fans only got into the game after the yellow card for Henderson. Dowd was as theatrical as he always is. Poor ref, full of his own self importance.


Much improved from Ipswich, but points are needed and we must get 3 on Saturday.


**AV writes: You may not have been able to hear them as well over in the corner but from where we were they were pretty good all game, though obviously it ramped up after they got back into it. After the Rhys tackle there was some blood-curdling baying around us and the Trent End was growling all game.


Great atmosphere. That's what people go to football for. That and winning. And to take gurning selfies on their Ipad obviously.

Nikeboro said:

As most of us recognise, last night was further evidence that Boro aren't far from being a decent team. The makings are there and with a CH and CF (as a minimum), post-Xmas could be a good spell for once.


But how good is 'decent'? If we got the final pieces of the jigsaw and the Mogganaut lifted off, how high could we conceivably finish? Top half? Play-offs? Automatic? Perhaps we need to think about who else can be expected to crowd us out.


Looking at the current top 10, it's no surprise that Leicester and QPR top the table - you'd expect them to finish in the top six. Similarly, it's difficult to see Forest ending up much lower than their current 5th. Watford haven't had as good a start as might have been expected but have already made up the shortfall and are likely to be in the mix at season's end.


On the other hand, Blackpool and Burnley are a surprise - neither looked to have the wherewithall. I suspect both will fade - but then Ince made a silk purse out of a sow's ear in the lower divisions and could do it again.


Derby have had some excellent results and look to be improved but it would be a suprise to see them in the playoffs. Maybe next season. Leeds - big club, proven manager, some good players but only ticking along. They might improve but I can't quite see them making the cut.


As a relegated team with a proven manager, more was expected from Reading. Nevertheless I wouldn't be surprised if they came good later in the season - they did it last time. Similarly Wigan have made a poor start but may well come good.


It's shameful for Boro that Bournemouth and Huddersfield are well ahead. I don't expect it to last.


So those likely to make the play-offs: QPR, Leicester, Forest, Watford. Those with a decent chance: Reading and perhaps Blackpool. On top of those, there's sometimes one club that rockets from the lower reaches. Could Bolton zoom from bottom?


Not a lot of room for Boro to muscle into. On the other hand, none of them are world-beaters and it shouldn't take a lot to overtake them. Big Jack or Bruce's Boro would have seen them all off.


**AV writes: Its a funny division though. This time last year it looked like Blackpool - who had just spanked us 4-1 - and Blackburn, who were top, looked like shoo-ins for promotion and look what happened to them. Meanwhile Palace and Hull were in the bottom six.


I never even bother with the table until 10 games have gone. We've got two first team players who have played two games and another group who have played five. Most teams have. It'll take a couple of months to settle down.

mickymac said:

Excellent review. Put a smile on my face this morning. Love the animations to back up the descriptive prose as well. On the down side, it seems the balls into the box barrage is our undoing again.

Jarkko said:

There are so many variables in football that it is just opinions. Even the statics can be used to support the team or against Mogga. Like one defeat in six or just one win ...


Strange that Steele was MoM at mfc.co.uk and Maddo said the CB pair of Woody and Rhys were the best - joint MoM! And we still lost two points after being 0-2 up. Incredible match.


Now I hope for a result on Saturday - to support the thought that the team is heading to the right direction.


Then, a cleen sheet wins matches is relevant, again. Wish we stopped considing. At least Mogga told that the next two weeks will be spent practising crosses and HEADING the ball out in both penalty areas. Back to the basics.


A good match by all standards. Unbeaten against Forest for second year running. Good summary, AV. Up the Boro!

Nigel Reeve said:

Great peice AV, highly entertaining.


I'd have bitten your hand off for a point before kick off, although being two up and being pulled back for a draw is disapointing, the important point I think is that the team put in a strong performance after Ipswich. I'm happy.


Three points on Saturday please.

Red Ken said:

Great article which sums up perfectly a great match. Entertainment at its best - loud, spicy and frantic. The Championship never fails to serve up this type of British classic encounter, long may it continue!!!!

L N Holbrook NFFC said:

What a fantastic write-up! One of the most entertaining match reports I've ever read.


COYR!


**AV writes: A Tricky I take it. Welcome aboard. Is it always like that?

Bob said:

Good report Vic, sounds like a cracker.


I maintain my view that goal scoring is not our problem. Even after letting our top scorer go on a free transfer with no discernible plan for replacing him, we've still managed to score in all eight games so far this season.


Think about that for a second. How many versions of the Boro that we've all known through the years would go eight games without a blank. I can't remember too many and I've been through a few generations now.


Even last season, at 61 goals we scored the same number of goals as the team that finished second and achieved automatic promotion. So whilst everyone clamours for the elusive (and perhaps non-existent) 20 goal a season striker, I clamour for some defenders.


The transfer windows gone, and we've bought our usual phalanx of midfielders, with a token striker and defender, neither of which anyone had heard of before they were signed. If we could fix the defensive problem, then promotion might just be a possibility. Without it, we'll bounce around the middle of the table.


Very pleased for Kamara, I hope he goes on to have a successful time with the Boro, he seems like a great bloke.

Bob said:

On another matter, and for posters of a certain vintage, Leyton Orient have set off like a train in Division 3 with seven wins from seven.


Looks like we might be renewing our relationship with them next year. That will bring back some very painful memories.


**AV writes: Oooh good: new ground.

Jarkko said:

As Werdermouth said earlier today, what is the change they have done at Rockcliffe health department? I mean that Woody has played all 90 mins of EVERY league match this season - so 7 matches in a row.


AV, you could do a story about the new, improved health department during the next international break. And next a story about the new scouting system Boro have. You know they might even have a scout in Finland, too!


Up the Boro!


**AV writes: I'll stick it on the growing "to do" list you lot are drawing up for me.

Ian Gill said:

I take your comment about the fact Boro Fans would have drifted away at that point but if Billy Fury Fuels Forest Fire then it is also fair to say Mogadon Mummifies Middlesbrough.


I have no doubting Mogga's passion but he does look a tad subdued.


**AV writes: He wasn't subdued in the five minute bleepathon before the microphone was turned on. And he does his share of hoarding-kicking.

Redcar Red said:

Great game which had everything apart from three points but like everyone else I would have settled for a draw before KO.


The overall performance and attitude was much improved but the frailties are still there and very nearly cost us the point. Friend needs to be excluded from his own six yard box in an effort to stop him drifting too far in, leaving opposition wide men the freedom to tap or head in. That should be a relatively easy fix, more so the fact that he has held his hand up to the very same so fair play to the lad but it still didn't take the gloss of a cracking goal from him in my eyes.


Kamara looks up for the fight and on that showing could become a new fans favourite if he can be consistent. Marvin looked a lot more composed and had some useful (as oppose to just nice) touches so hopefully he can build and grow from that.


Ledesma could have been a real nuisance by using his undoubted skills to trouble the Trees up their own end, in fairness he made a few good tackles but what on earth was going through his mind when he upended Lansbury, he made a nuisance of himself all right but not the way Mogga had intended!


Its easy to spin the stats again negatively after another draw but in fairness there were redeeming qualities as well as the frailties. The big test now are the home games coming up where wins are not only expected but psychologically needed, draws are not enough.

David T Wells said:

What a great report, spot on!

Mark Jenkins said:

Great report!


From a Forest fan its great to hear other clubs think we have a bit of Krakatoan Passion! For too many years its been too quiet at some home games. The sense of togetherness that Billy Davies installs in everyone really does make it feel like its us against the world.


Great team spirit to come back from two down. and well done to Boro (who's own fans seem to have written them off before kick off)


**AV writes: Writing them off before kick-off is what we do best.

Cassandra said:

You seem to have a dyslexic block with Mr Kamara's christian name but apart from that this piece was probably the most unrelenting and sustained bout of metaphorical alliteration that I have ever had the pleasure to read! Splendid effort Anthony!


Disappointing to crumble yet again, but per the general consensus, a point is a point given the opposition and the quality of the last performance. Need to start winning though so Bournemouth is already a six pointer!


**AV writes: If you think I am bad on Kie/ei you should see me on Josz/zsef Varga. It just won't stay in. To be fair, it was two in the morning when I wrote it.

boromadloon said:

At kick-off, BBC Tees seemed overwhelmed by disbelief at the thought that we were going to play split strikers. I imagine sections of the fan-base were appalled by the idea of Emnes starting the game. And why of why is Reachy still not back?!


Still, we took a point, scored two good goals, and gave them a real run for their money. Maybe Mowbray does know how to pick a system after all, and we're beginning to see his realised plans.


Unfortunately, there are still a few unresolved problems. We couldn't shut down the game. At 2-0, we needed to turn it into a stodgy midfield grind, rather than continuing with what seemed to be a flowing, end-to-end thriller.


Derbyshire and Henderson coming on was the most obvious signal of Forest's intent. Davies played all his cards, showing the world that this game was going to be all about getting the ball into the box, and hoping that something would fall kindly.


And it did. Maybe it wasn't preventable. Maybe the support of the home crowd was always going to give them the belief to get back into it. We're dealing with the world of speculation and second-guessing now.


My feeling towards Ledesma coming on is that he was the wrong choice. Had he demonstrated his creativity, used his flair, and netted us a third on the counter, I'd no doubt have hailed Mowbray as a visionary and a daredevil. However, that is who he is. He's the little playmaker from Argentina.


At 2-0 up with a resurgent Forest looking for a way back into it, I want to add some fight. I want Smallwood replacing Emnes, joining the midfield snarl of Leadbitter and Whitehead to scrap and fight and give us an extra body to track Reid and Henderson and Mackie and Derbyshire and Abdoun, and anyone else who was in our box.


Failing that, maybe Gibson could have come on to bulk out the backline, make our penalty area too crowded to be broken down by skill, forcing Forest to rely on luck.


The general consensus seems to be that Steele, Williams and Woodgate did remarkably well, they were just asked to do it too often. We need to find a way to bulk up, keep the ball, and make the opposition feel beaten before they can find a way back into it.


This is no reason to panic though. We still played well, and came close to taking all three points against a side looking to go up. We can mark this down as a match where Mowbray has learnt a little more about this particular group of players, which will hopefully stand us in good stead next time.

thegodlikeClough said:

Anthony -


As a Forest fan, I must say that is one of the fairest, most accurate match reports I have ever read. Your description of Wor Billiz is spot on and thanks for such a good read.

Rob Lee said:

Forest fan in peace. I've got to say that I have never seen the reporter before, nor any of his work. But I have got to say that it is possibly the most enjoyable match report I have ever read. It is funny to the point of hilarity, it is factual and it is also extremely well balanced.


It is nice to read an opponents match reports that give as much praise and compliments to Forest as well as to their own club. Excellent report and brilliantly executed. Thank you.

Never Give Up On Boro said:

After Saturdays game at Ipswich I would have gladly taken a draw at Forest but to be 2-0 up and then to implode again is just so "typical Boro" it felt like a defeat on the coach home instead of a valuable point at one of the promotion contenders.


Everyone around me were more nervous when we went 2 up than when we were just leading 1-0,we just knew if Forest got one then they would at least get one more.


We have had a settled back four all season now so can't blame that,Derbyshire was totally unmarked on his own for the first,that shouldn't be happening!


That aside,Steele made some good saves including the penalty and ensured we got a point. Nice to see Kamara get off the mark quickly and hope there's more to come. Great net busting strike from George too!


Exciting for the fans. Premiership Ref Phil Dowd made more baffling decisions than his inferior Championship compatriots. At least they were more in our favour.


Afraid a must win game home to Bournemouth on Saturday before the trip to QPR next weekend or we are going to be falling too far behind already this early in the season.

David Cant said:

Well done Anthony, a really great and unbiased piece of journalism for once, whichever team you support (I'm from Nottingham). Thanks.

Ian Gill said:

Friend does tend to drift towards the centre. That is no great surprise as I believe his background is centre half who can play left back.


There again you don't see many galloping, overlapping centre backs!

John Clarke said:

As A Forest fan I have to say what a great report. I wish we could print it in our next matchday programme, it would cause a few chuckles. At two down we could not see where a goal was coming from to get on terms with Boro and you looked yards faster than we were, and you have to be up there come the end of season


**AV writes: I'm not sure some people at Forest have seen the funny side....

Texas red said:

Great report. Better than the drivel we get at the Nottingham Evening Post

Forever Dormo said:

Seems to me, AV, that you have some admirers in the Forest camp. Don't the journalists down there "do" amusing, incisive or even handed?


From now on, the thing to fear is Boro going ahead: 1-0 up at Ipswich and we lose 3-1. At Forest, 2-0 up yet we end up with a draw. Two games, a total of three goals up, six points being anticipated by those who have a tendency to ennumerate gallus gallus domesticus - yet we end up with one measly little point. This game is fowl. I ate it.


**AV writes: Don't get cocky.

Smogonthetyne said:

For a second there, it looked like loads of comments from Forest fans.........
Is nowhere sacred? Jarkko have you got a spare room?


Being a boro fan (probably any fan) was summed in those two hours last night. So much angst, pleasure and relief. And no one won. What's the point in that?


I'll tell you what the point was, a schoolboy will be able to walk proudly into his East Midlands class room this morning. Well done Mogga and the boys for that.


I am convinced though if we averaged 20k crowds we would get more decisions, win more games and generate a great atmosphere. Chicken and egg situation.



kev B said:

If you really wrote that at two in the morning then you should do it more often AV! Very entertaining write up, though of course your more measured and considered writings are always good!


It was indeed a good point considering the strength of the opponents but we really, really need a couple of three pointers now. Premiership refs are all show boaters these days (Oerr, bit of a generalisation there!) playing up to the crowds and TV. Shocking.

wer der Wald ? said:

It's been impossible to post all day as I kept getting redirected to some Forest blog


I was beginning to feel like the posters had been assimilated too, but luckily having seen a familiar name in Forester Dormo I think I'm getting over it now - though I suspect Smog-on-the-tyne has already taken a chainsaw to the blog.


I guess with all the recent talk of off-field planning and needing to gain points we shouldn't overlook that at the end of the day football is about the energy and experience of matches witnessed completely on adrenalin.


Still it was disappointing to let slip a potential famous victory but hopefully Boro will learn how to see out games - Though I dare say you wouldn't have had so many admirers from the Trent of your well crafted article if Boro had escaped with all the points.


**AV writes: Absolutely, Think of all those times we have been invaded after my "fair, balanced and entertaining" streams of consciousness have annoyed the opposition because mighty Boro won. Yes Sunderland, I'm looking at you.


Paul John said:

Hi Anthony,


Forest supporter here. Couldn't get to the match last night but your report has really enthused me. It was fantastically fair, extremely erudite and hugely entertaining. So different from the apparently professional wordsmiths you read in the red tops.


Best wishes,


Paul

Matt said:

Forest fan in peace. Just want to say what a splendidly entertaining football report this is. Funny, factual and refreshingly unbiased. Splendid stuff that made me laugh out loud. Thanks!

Clive Hurren said:

A quite brilliant report, AV, thank you! It's almost as breathless as the game sounds! I couldn't go, sadly.


A point from one of Ian's unexpected places! We'd surely have taken that if offered it before the game? But it should have been three! We're all desperately disappointed because Boro blew a great position again.


Comments on the Gazette blog are blaming the manager for putting on attacking subs rather than shoring up and parking the bus at 2-0 up. What do you think, AV?


For me, though, one of the great positives from the game is that Boro were evidently prepared to mix it big style. No game for faint hearts, it seems! Mogga appears to have provoked the reaction he expected after the Ipswich debacle. Let's turn that fighting spirit into points in our next game.


**AV writes: Boro had been penned back all night and were looking to hit on the break. That had been the pattern for the whole game, even early on. In the second half when Forest had the momentum they were pushing a lot of bodies forward spaces were opening up behind them and Mogga presumably thought that a change of personnel and fresh legs in the forward roles could get more joy.


Shoring it up - maybe putting Gibson on to add an extra body in the box to head the crosses away - wouldn't have changed the shape of the game. In fact, to do that at the expense of a player further up the pitch would have increased the pressure as Boro would have had no outlet.


I thought the substitutions worked. Forest had a really good spell but after they levelled I felt they were running out of steam and ideas and were becoming predictable. Boro had put a couple of players on whose instinct was attacking and even right at the death they were looking to hit on the break. It was every bit as likely that Boro could snatch it as the Forest would.


Mogga is often accused of making negative substitutions and trying to hang on and allowing the opposition back into the game. In this game I think he tried to win.


Forever Dormo said:

To be fair, you have to be a very good football team to beat FC Basel in a European competition.


I wonder if there are any teams locally who'd match that description?

Billy's left ventricle said:

AV! Top prose -
from them what knows?;
them tricky trees -
them so-an'-sos!


Have to really hand it to you this week Vic! Quality Work! Even the opposition loved it!

Ian Gill said:

A silver lining from Tuesdays match, Smog now feels able to use the F word.

Andy R said:

Well played AV. Great stuff as usual.


The blog is always of a high quality but I'm sure it helps when the match has so many talking points.


Good to see a positive invasion from the Trent - the more the merrier for me. Come back for the return game in March! By the way, is there a contingency in case a Forest fan gets the 100th post? Will the Trabant go that far?


Would anyone care to put their finger on why we can't keep the ball out of our net? Do we overrate Williams and/or Woodgate? Is it their blend as a combination? Does the midfield not offer enough protection? Do the fullbacks not cover enough or is Jason Steele a liability unless faced with an insntictive save? What can be done?


Bob -


you're right, goalscoring is not our problem. Scoring enough however...


The problem up front for me is more about our chance conversion rate (which was actually pretty good at Forest).

lenmasterman said:

AV: Brilliant report, as ever.


Since, as the best sports writer in the land, you are now a bigger asset than any of the players you report upon, I suppose you can now expect a lucrative offer from the Nottingham Evening Post. You may have been tapped up already. Hope you do a Leadbitter and stay. If not we might all have to transfer some of our allegiance to Forest, as many of us did during Clough and Taylor's glory years.


**AV writes: *kisses badge* *runs away to phone agent*


mark king said:

From a Forest fan: that is the best match report I have ever read and I am 68,so I have read my fair share. Good luck to Boro and lets hope we both get promoted this season.

nakka said:

That is a honest and brilliant description of the game and a brilliant read. I didn't want it to end just like the game,


I was one of those FOREST fans baying for Phil Dowds blood, how he could of thought a player would of dived when he had virtually an open net is and always will be beyond me but I must say FOREST bought it all upon themselves like they did against Barnsley and if we don't fill that midfield holding role and get an out and out striker I can see us fighting and missing out on that last play-off place again come the end of the season.


Great write up Anthony Vickers , I will be watching out for more of your funny but brutally honest outlook on matches, Keep up the great work 10/10.

CroydonBoro said:

I've just seen the highlights on Youtube -


I'm a fan of Friend but he was particularly at fault for their second goal. If our fullbacks can't cut the cross out at source, - which is their prime objective - perhaps Sunday morning training should be compulsory until they can. Glad to see Mogga disciplining the boys after the Ipswich debacle.


Mind you, Friend's goal is a beauty.


I would definitely taken a point and two goals before KO so generally happy. I'll not be so forgiving with a point at home in our next game.


It's nice that so many Forest fans are posting with positivity though AV's reports are in danger of being more entertaining than the football itself - as if the Riverside's attendances needed any more competition..


'Ian Gill said: 'There again you don't see many galloping, overlapping centre backs!' Sean St Ledger?


**AV writes: To be fair a sheepish George Friend put his hand up to the leveller after letting his man get free to put the cross in.

lenmasterman said:

What happened to the philosophy and practice of ball retention at Forest? This was block-and-tackle Boro. Great defensive work all round with plenty of courageous and gritty performances.


But the reaction from Ipswich was too severe. The pendulum was allowed to swing too far. Of course it is sometimes best to put your foot through the ball in deep defensive situations. Ask Jonjo Shelvey. But there were more Row Z clearances, and aimless punts upfield than we have seen all season.


So Forest were able to attack in continuous waves that made last ditch defence our default option. In the first half we scarcely played the ball constructively out of defence at all. A bad mistake by the Forest full-back let in Adomah to lay on a goal completely against the run of play, but my thoughts at half-time were that if Forest got a goal, they would get three or four.


Heroic defensive work apart, what was disappointing about our first half performance was that only two weeks ago I saw us play Wigan off the park for most of the game. Defensive heroics were unnecessary because Wigan scarcely had the ball, so well-organised and dominant was our mid-field, a mid-field that was largely absent in Nottingham.


Leadbitter tried hard, but was playing too far forward and Butterfield was anonymous. Up front first impressions of Kamara, marooned out wide on the left, were of a tall lad, a trier, but probably lacking the robustness and physical presence to make it in the Championship. Hope I am wrong, but he did not look like a £900,000 player to me.


I have seen no reference in any of the reports to Emnes' performance. Excellent as Woody and Williams were, for me Marvin was our MoM. He held the ball up brilliantly, rarely lost it, and was fast and tricky. Above all he played with great spirit and enthusiasm. He looked as though he was enjoying himself again. Perhaps the presence of Kamara has helped Marvin to put the problems that seemed to weigh so heavily upon him last season into perspective. I have rarely seen him play so well in a Boro shirt.


In first- half added time, we went in for a bit of time-wasting, slowed the game down and played keep-ball. Almost by accident we looked cohesive, almost like a team, and even created a couple of shooting opportunities. This continued into the second half, and it was a lovely move which ended with Friend's picture goal.


Thereafter we were confined to counter-attacks, unable-or unwilling- to keep the ball, and it was less surprising that Forest scored their goals than that they had not done so much earlier. In the end, given the penalty debacle, we were lucky to get a point, though Mogga's attacking substitutions put us on the front foot rather than hanging on in the final minutes.


So this was a one-step-forward-two-steps-back performance. Greater defensive resilience, yes. But when midfield cohesion is sacrificed on the altar of no-nonsense defending, then it severely undermines what I understood to be the entire Mowbray project , a project which I am fully behind.


timfromsa said:

AV -


Fame at last which gets acclaim from both sets of fans. I would think the 2-2 draw helped but a great read.


Agree with an earlier post that our most important concern now is the defence. We need to spend decent money on a CB to make the defence more solid .Obviously coming in on loan until January with view to a permanent deal.


Kamara scoring was a bonus but I see him being more of a foil for Emnes. If that gets Emnes more space and more goals then the £900.000 was well spent.


Bournmouth will be no pushovers sitting much higher than us in the league so could be a tough on Saturday.

AndyInDarmstadt said:

Here is a question for your AV.


Realistically how much do you think it would cost, in wages, to pick up some of the higher profile free agents knocking around. People like Khalid Boulahrouz, Boris Pandža, Yossi Benayoun, Grétar Steinsson, Ciprian Marica, Gabriel Tamaș or Marek Sapara for example. Most of these players are still playing for their national team with pretty decent records behind them.


**AV writes: Impossible to say.Think of a number....


If people are unemployed then who knows what they would ask for. The problem is when you add in signing on fees, long contracts, relocation costs/rent relief. It can quickly add up. Especially if they ask for two or three years deals. Then you have to consider who else is interested and wha the average wages are in their home countries or where they are based.


Central and Eastern Europe, Scandanavia and Holland and Belgium outside the big few clubs have relatively low wages so Boro can always compete their but a lot of players hold out hoping to get the gig at the Holy Grail 'lower Prem club.
.

David of Redcar said:

AV


I think you have peaked to early - who need to travel to watch the Boro when we have you.


**AV writes:Imagine the colour and hyperbole when we march up Wembley Way.

Werdermouth said:

Well I think the pressure and expectation are definitely going to be on tomorrow - I mean, will AV be able to reach the heights of his previous match report?


**AV writes: Doubt it: I'll have too much time to think and I won't be doing it hysterical through sleep deprivation. I'll probably just list the scorers.

lenmasterman said:

Scorers? There's incurable optimism.

Grove Hill wallah said:

Beat me to it Len.

Ian Gill said:

Len -


Thats what sleep deprivation does for you.


There again AV could copy and paste 'unmarked at a corner' and 'failed to clear'.
After all that's what the nationals do when they report from the Riverside - 'under grey skies etc'.

Charlie NFFC said:

"The pint-sized Primark Fergie" is the best description of Billy Davies I've ever read!


Many thanks AV


PS You're becoming famous in Nottm by all accounts.


**AV writes: That's nice. Let's hope Billy shares your views.

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