by Daniel Widdowson

It’s not often I will pen (or type) a response to a fellow contributors articles; often the Cutter is filled with top quality articles and ramblings on numerous topics and altogether I hold those to take the time, and effort, to create a piece of work in the upmost respect. This is not untrue about the article I respond to now either.

Whilst I respect the fact the contributor took the time to write about my club and share her views however, I frankly share very few of them. Hence this piece in defence of Nottingham Forest, its history and its supporters.

Rest assured that the current generation of Forest fan is spread over a large age range. Remembering that we won the European Cup in 1979 and 1980 a large number of fans linked with the club still have strong memories of our successes that continue right into the 1980’s and early 90’s. Even the ‘younger’ generation of supporters who clearly never experienced these monumental victories have seen us rise from League One, hold our own in the Championship and battle in the play-offs. Over the last couple of seasons we’ve been presented with a team that will fight and battle to the end, not merely lie down in defeat. Certainly it would be foolish to claim that the results Clough brought in could be recreated with any manager, at any club, in the modern game. Also the tactics wouldn’t hold any success in the modern game; it’s now a team game where everyone can fill in for any position. Clough formed a team around each player, getting the best out of each player, knowing that “John Robertson couldn’t run 20 yards” but “you give him a ball and a square yard of grass and he’s the best player in the country”. He also used these same techniques to success at other clubs, such as Derby with players such as Alan Hinton, who Clough described as “petrified”, but if someone got him the ball he could “plonk it anywhere you like”.

Without directly attacking the article, as I don’t believe that would be fit or right, I will note that although Nottingham Forest are no longer at the lofty heights where they once resided we are far from a struggling, scrappy, free falling side that faces little hope of recovery and regeneration. In the modern game there is little hope of f major success for teams without big budgets and clear plans. Frankly, Forest haven’t had the huge budgets to compete with some of the ‘big boys’ for many years, and I wouldn’t want to.

Forest are who we are; we try and play some decent football, we pride ourselves on our fan base and as they will happily remind you “we went to Europe, we won the cup twice”. The history we have is not something to compare us to, it is something to hold up high and say “this is what we achieved”. And for now, and the future, Forest fans will remain behind our club, we shall hold our heads high and we will support whoever is wearing that beloved Forest shirt knowing the history and the fact that those successes in the past were created with a great man – a footballing God – and a team and tactics that simply would not succeed in the modern game. What we achieved was magic, Nottingham Forest are magic. That is why Forest supporters hold our heads high in pride.