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Arsher Ali’s Nottingham Forest Blog: Forest fans need to keep their perspective

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I am alarmed by a growing number of Forest supporters who are lacking a bit of perspective after the recent run of results.

I’ve “lurked” on a few fans forums and the fretfulness is bewildering but sadly predictable.

Lets look at few of the reactionary items of “debate”.

1. Sean O’Driscoll isn’t the right manager and he doesn’t know his best XI.

So, all of a sudden, the man who was hailed by many as the manager to return us to our glorious traditions of playing passing football is now deemed not good enough? Please.

The only tradition these so called “fans” are hankering for is an inglorious one - the tradition of instability brought about by hiring and firing managers at speed. With seven managers in the last eight years (not including caretakers), it seems a disappointing habit of wanting instant results has been engendered here, as it has in most of the footballing world.

Until I’m proven categorically and cataclysmically otherwise- he is the man for the job. A job that he’s only had FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS.

As for not knowing his best eleven - really? How could he yet?! Give him time to assess his squad. The process of acquiring players has only just petered out! He must be afforded with patience and support.

Let him try to implement his ideas and convince the players to trust themselves and his philosophies. If you’re going to hang him, at least give him the time to make his own rope.

2. No “Plan B” if passing game is disrupted.

We were duly warned by Doncaster fans that the only criticism leveled at O’Driscoll was that sometimes “he lacked a Plan B”, so this can hardly be news. In fact, I don’t think its a genuine criticism at all.

I think most good managers are realistic enough to know it’s hubris. Good managers can read a game in play on top of their researched preparations . You have an initial game-plan, sure, but “Plan B” is

the real-time reaction and adaptation to the other teams live input into a game.

There’s only so much you can legislate for in football and just as in life, the rest is out of your hands. You simply cannot have full control over your environment. Plans, right or wrong ones, are

executed to varying degrees of success by players, so the success of an improvisational reactionary “Plan B” rests with them to a large extent.

Yes, Sean O’Driscoll is the overseer and can change the framework in which the players can express themselves during a game - but how adaptable, intelligent and determined are they? How strong are they mentally?

If a team, like Derby County did on the weekend, are intent on breaking up play with fouls and time wasting, can your players keep their composure? Can they still create and capitalize on their limited opportunities or do they get angry and allow themselves to be drawn into base confrontations and conflict with the possibility of seeing cards?  We all know what happens to best laid plans...

3. Bring back Billy Davies.

Think we need to have a bit more respect for the current incumbent. Yes, he was a good manager and we enjoyed some great nights at the City Ground with him at the helm, but this is the root of a lot of Forest fans current problems - living in the past.

Don’t forget that the cantankerous Davies was a noisy man, a nickname given to O’Driscoll with full marks for irony. Don’t forget the flirtation with Glasgow Rangers and the habit of publicly stating his team wasn’t good enough going into important games - either an odd motivational tool or too brutal a truth. That was then, this is now. Lets move on.

I genuinely believe, given time, we’ll enjoy continued future successes with the current management. As toddlers can testify - we just need to get through this teething period.

I’ll close with this - if Sean O’Driscoll ever starts referring to himself in the third-person, I will welcome Billy Davies back. And Billy Davies will welcome Billy Davies back.

 

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