Oops…since I asked our contributors for their words, events have overtaken us somewhat with the arrivals of Sean O’Driscoll, Adlene Guedioura and more rumoured to be on their way in. Still, we asked some fans for their opinions on what the new season may hold at The City Ground:
Rahoul Baruah (1865 Webmaster, Co-Editor and general technical genius):
So this is it … we’re in the money. Ker-ching. After what is probably the most turbulent year in our recent history (and the scars from Pierre van Hoijdonk’s strike, Harry Bassett’s sacking and, dear God, Fat Ron in the wrong dugout are still fresh), finally we have some good news.
Renaming the academy after Nigel Doughty is a nice first step. Tomorrow we should find out more about the short term plans – the new manager, a director football maybe? And definitely an emergency defence?
The al Hasawis have made the right noises about their approach to football – they are fans of the game – and their communication has been better in two days than the club has been in two decades. But are they after a long-term sustainable club future – or are they planning to do a QPR (with whom they have some connections) – get us up and cash out?
Tom Cullen (online editor of Shortlist and exiled Forest supporter):
Hopes? If I’m allowed to dream a little, I want promotion. And as much as I understand the argument that we should only get promoted when we’re ready for it, I hate it. I want promotion yesterday. I want promotion the day before. I want it in 2003. I want five wise signings and one ludicrous one. I want an academy that’s churning out Reids and Williamses and Jenases and Dawsons, I want Van Hooijdonk signings, I want Norwegians I’ve never heard of pulling on the shirt and making local heroes of themselves. I want a cup run and to moan about the price of a beer on the King’s Road. I want fortress City Ground. I want to sing “We’re Nottingham Forest, unbeaten at home” without the fear that it’s the kiss of death. I want to outclass sides but I want the scoreline to reflect it. I want to hammer sides. I want hat-tricks and goals straight from corners. I want talk of Europe and penalties scored on the rebound by a youngster in a band. I want to be murdered by Bayern Munich because the journey to that point would be bliss. I want Bryan Roy and Stan Collymore. I want England caps and England goals.
And what I DON’T want, I REALLY don’t want, is that smug look of apology from people when I tell them who I support. I’ll be proud to be a Forest fan with or without any of this. But I want all of it.
Fears? I’ve decided to share them in the form of a lighthearted limerick so we don’t all have nightmares…
Woah! Can’t we just have maybe ONE dull season? I’m a busy man, and I love Forest. Can we please stop forcing me to be over-excited? Can we not be like Spurs, like Villa, like Everton, who may float up or sink down to the extremes of the Premiership, the occaional panic, the occasional glory, the consistent steady confidence, and thus cherish life mid-table? Can we just calm down?Apparently not. We are, as ever, cursed to live in interesting times. And as a few acres of the Trent’s banks pass into Middle-Eastern hands, we’re all shook up. It’s great for bloggers such as the esteemable outfit i’ve been asked to comment on, and I’m sure the Nottingham Post are delighted so much fodder is being thrown up to pick through. The casual fan?
Oh, they’re happy. Yet there is a lingering feeling that we are somewhere between Abramovitch and Munto Finance on this one.
The Maradona of the Midlands (occasional eighteensixtyfive podcaster and Trent End season ticket holder):
As I write this, Forest have no manager, no defence and very few pre-seasons games organised to prepare for the new season. The one chink of light that has appeared this evening is the prospect of Sean O’Driscoll taking-up the post. He should have been appointed when Billy left, so may be we are getting back on track, albeit a year late.
The new manager will have an incredibly tough task to firstly bring in the sheer quantity players we require to have anything resembling a squad and secondly to make them gel and play as a team. Given these disadvantages, the realistic target for this season has to be to stay-up, may be finish mid-table, anything more than this would be a bonus.
Last season was terribly depressing in all aspects. I just hope Forest create some good will and positive vibes this season and we can go back to enjoying football. The new owners have had a mixed first week, on the plus side, an immediate improvement in fan communication, combined with an enthusiasm and dynamism that we haven’t seen at the club for a while. On the negative side they could be accused of creating unrealistic expectations with some of their comments and not handling the managerial issue very well. However, at this stage we need to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope they can convert their enthusiasm and ambitions into something tangible and successful for many years to come.
Hopes: Now Sean O’Driscoll is the new manager, I hope we can begin to put together a squad capable of competing at the right end of the Championship, playing some entertaining football in the process. Promotion isn’t a necessity this season as I’d much prefer to see Forest heading in the right direction both on and off the field. It is a great opportunity to rebuild the club from top to bottom and bringing in the likes of O’Driscoll can only be a good thing.
Obviously we need new players, but I’m hoping the club doesn’t throw money around trying to bring ‘marquee’ signings in. We’ve been down that path before and it hasn’t always paid off.
Fears: I fear that this new investment will place pressure on the manager and players to deliver instant success. I’d be happy to see the club stabilise in the Championship and assemble a team which can push for promotion the year after. Having just avoided the drop last season, let’s be patient and not expect too much too soon.
Hopefully the new owners will give Sean O’Driscoll time to implement his ideas and methods on the players and ultimately assemble a winning team.
Thanks to Tom, Matt, MOTM and Steven for their contributions