Our first match after the international break sees us at the City Ground, Nottingham where we meet Forest… obviously. So when we face the guys who used to wave inflatable trees at us while our plastic Canaries looked equally aggressive in response, let MFW once more talk to loyal supporter and all-around Forest scion Christian Brown in order to get the current lowdown on all things NFFC.
Both our clubs are running more or less in tandem in the Championship at the moment – what might get your nose ahead of us?
We seem to be very difficult to beat! At the time of writing (there’s a chance we’ll get pumped by Boro, so getting this in now!) we’ve only lost one game, and even, the winning goal came in the final 10. (Forest beat Boro 2-0! – Martin).
On that basis alone, we’re looking pretty good value for at least a point wherever we go, despite a few shaky moments here and there.
At the time of writing though, we haven’t won an away match this season, which is definitely a good thing from a yellow and green perspective. (You have won one now – Martin again)
Aitor Karanka – are you guys in love with him or not so?
Those that appreciate the job in hand, how quickly he’s turned things around, the level of player he’s signed, the complete culture shift from ‘losing’s alright if we try hard’ to ‘losing is completely unacceptable’, and getting fans back into the City Ground (I don’t think our ground has been less than 85% full this season for a league game) are very much are in love with him.
However, those who expect us to win every week because we’ve spent money and find it baffling that we’re not winning every game 4-0, don’t. The less said about that crowd, the better. Anyone with just one footballing brain cell can see that he’s doing a brilliant job and that things are falling into place for us.
We just need to be a bit patient and stop treating every bump in the road like it’s a 10-0 defeat.
You spent a rumoured £13million on Carvalho. How good is he?
He plays football on a different planet. It’s genuinely scary how good he is – his vision and movement is something you just don’t see at this level.
In fact, it’s kind of hampered us at times, as he’s been so far ahead of the game that there have been occasions where he’s played a perfect, defence-splitting ball, but our players haven’t expected him to play it and reacted late!
When he gets on the ball, he’s an absolute joy to watch. In short, he sees things that we don’t see, and we’ll be lucky to keep him for longer than two years – even if we go up. The consolation of that is that we will probably make a staggering profit, and almost certainly our record sale.
At this moment in time, I’d say he’s probably the Championship equivalent of Mesut Ozil. He also possesses a ridiculously good free-kick, as we found out against Millwall.
Forest are shaping up pretty well (as are we). Your thoughts on why you’re doing so well?.
It’s down to Karanka. He’s completely shifted the culture, cleared out the dressing room of players that just weren’t good enough (believe me, there were a lot), replaced them with ones who want to be here and have the required ability to play for us, and has rammed home the message of how important it is to play for Nottingham Forest.
We haven’t had that in years, and it’s made such a difference. There are times where his game management has been questionable, but we have to remember he’s still only in his second job in management. While he may make a few errors, as every manager does, it’s worth noting that he’s already got one promotion to his name.
We’ve definitely got the right man in charge, and I really do believe it will show soon.
We as Norwich always get Forest away first with our home leg to follow later. Can you explain the phenomenon?
Very astute observation! It is weird how the fixture generator comes out with similar patterns. That away game is Boxing Day as well, so we’ll be playing each other twice in just over two months. Most odd.
Have you been up from Kent to see your beloved lot much this season?
Not as much as I’d have liked, but I did get to the Birmingham game in the league. In typical fashion, we were abysmal for 75 minutes, then remembered we needed to get something out of the game.
Your old nemesis Daryl Murphy popped up with an 87th-minute equaliser – another five minutes and we’d have won that game.
Cheers (not) for reminding me of Daryl Murphy. How’s the Forest ownership situation?
So, so much better – when it gets to the point that your club does something other clubs do as a basic requirement, and it’s heralded as a major breakthrough, that speaks volumes as to how badly the club was run before.
The new owners have been nothing short of brilliant – they’ve quietly gone about their business, pieced the club back together behind the scenes (which took them pretty much all of last season), and we’re now reaping the benefits of that now.
There are probably a few minor things that need amending, as is the case at every club, but for the first time in what feels like a century, we can now say that we are a very well-ran professional football club.
Well said. And what most of us can agree on is what a tight league it is this year, Christian very much included.
Many thanks to the magnificent Mr Christian Brown. He’ll be back on MFW before the Boxing Day return fixture (if I can twist his arm hard enough, anyway).
So… with that international lark over with, we return to the nitty-gritty of the Championship with this tough ol’ looking trip to the City Ground. And we’re Pukki-less. Whether that’ll signal the usual October downturn or if this latest iteration is less fragile than we’ve become used to is all about to be revealed.
For what it’s worth (usually not very much), here’s what the infamous five think (plus Siri and the oppo of the day)…
Penney predicts: They are very well organised and looked really good against Boro. 1-1.
Andy assumes: I’m going to this one and that’s usually the kiss of death. However, I think both teams will be cagey and eke out a 0-0 draw.
Gaz guesses: With most of my colleagues having gone for a draw, I just can’t. The question is does the ball land on red or yellow. Sod it, go for broke. Live on the edge. 1-0 City.
Cookie concludes: Could have beaten Derby, should have beaten Stoke, fate hasn’t been smiling on us in October and I fear for us. Forest 3-City 1.
Stew suspects: A good one between two in-form teams. Finishing with a Desmond: 2-2.
The oppo’s opinion: Same as Martin P – 1-1.
Siri says: I’m with Steve; Forest 2-City 0.