by Daniel Widdowson
When asked to write an article regarding Nottingham Forest for the close of the championship season there were numerous approaches I could have taken. Favourite goal – there are certainly many of them through this season. Best performance – there’s been a huge variety in the level of performances. A key moment from the season – there has definitely been many shaping moments throughout the 2011-12 seasons. And we could also throw in referee performances, managerial turmoil, revolt by the fans and a complete roller coaster of a season. Welcome to the whistle stop tour of Nottingham Forest’s season 2011-12.
This entire article could last for days just covering the debate surrounding the various managerial movements from this season, Billy Davies went out, Steve McClaren came in, Steve McClaren left and Steve Cotterill came in, there I’ve summed it up. Not everyone was happy with it; very few people understood it and even less people thought it was dealt with properly or professionally. Nonetheless that’s what happened, and ultimately shaped our season, now let’s move on.
Summing up this campaign in positive and enthusiastic terms is a difficult task for even the most optimistic fans. It started off alright – for about 5 games, 3 wins and 2 draws – before hitting a steep decline of just 6 wins and 3 draws in the following 29 games. Since then there have been 15 games, with a variety of results; 6 wins, 5 draws and 5 losses. The performances throughout the season have been relative, a mass variety of the good, bad and downright ugly. From wonder goals from players such as Adlène Guedioura and Gareth McLeary, driving attacks and the destruction of Leeds to shocking defensive decisions, crosses that have more chance of hitting the corner flag than the head of a Forest striker and, in retrospect, being destroyed by Leeds. Needless to say it’s been an annoying season for Forest fans.
However, having brought in various loan players such as George Elokobi and Adlène Guedioura, Forest’s season appeared to improve. If nothing else our performances have become tighter and far better to watch. Admittedly we still have an inability to finish chances but we have been getting more efforts on goal and defending with far more success. It would appear that after the turmoil of various managerial changes Steve Cotterill has been able to restore some normality and regularity to Nottingham Forest. The season is over and we secured safety in the championship, this is being written before the final game of the season so I’m hoping for a solid performance to finish on a high.
No article on Forest would be complete without mentioning the single biggest moment of our season. It didn’t bring joy, it didn’t bring any emotion towards the team or manager, it simply brought a sobering realism to all those related to the club. The event I speak of is of course the death of the club’s owner, Nigel Doughty. A lifelong Forest fan and a man dedicated to his club, hopefully we did him proud by recovering from the slump we found ourselves in and with some luck we can return to pressing for promotion next season.
There are just a couple of notes I wish to flag up. One of which is a link which I would encourage anyone with an interest of Nottingham Forest to look at. The YouTube channel “http://www.youtube.com/user/MrKingBarns”. On this channel there have been numerous videos posted which pretty much fit with many of my articles. I’ve found some of them emotive and amazing to watch. Hopefully the user will have better events to upload next season. The second note is my hopes for next season. Forest have many players running out of contract and players on loan who apparently want to stay. Personally I hope the various contract issues get resolved quickly, along with the tiny issue of us needing new owners, and next season we can press for a kind of season Forest fans had become more accustomed too. I thank everyone who has read my articles this term, and hope to produce many more next.