As I watched the meltdown unfold on social media following Nottingham Forest’s first defeat of the season, I produced a wry smile, safe in the knowledge that there were still 43 games to play!
Cast your minds back if you will, to this very week in 2016. Newcastle United had played three Championship matches, losing two and winning just the one; if I remember correctly, they went on to win the Division.
Am I saying that Forest will go on and replicate this feat? Absolutely not, but the point I’m alluding to here is that the fortunes of many Championship sides will change as abruptly as the four seasons within the footballing calendar.
At this juncture last season we were also in the fifth year of what seemed like a never ending nightmare, unmistakeably known as the Fawaz years.
Those well versed on all thing Forest will be quick to point out that we’ve conceded five times in the league and it’s clear to see that we are yet to address the balance between defence and attack. At the end of the day it’s just one more than Newcastle let in at the same period last year.
Again, I’m not defending...our defending but things are going to take time to improve.
I said last week that I thought we have the players to give the 3-5-2 a bash, something that Mark Warburton has indeed deployed in the last two matches.
It was interesting to see him reverting to the 4-1-4-1 during the defeat against Barnsley though.
It’s a clear indication from the gaffer that he’s not yet certain which will serve him best and more importantly what players will best suit his preferred choice. I always believe that you should have faith in your own vision if you’re a manager and be able to perceiver despite the odd setback along the way. One thing’s for sure, I’m certainly not going to lay into Mark Warburton any time soon.
There has been so much change at Nottingham Forest both on and off the field of play, and it’s all happened within just a few short months.
The coming months will also yield many changes in much the same way so I’d be inclined to sit back and let it unfold without getting too irate.
If Fawaz Al-Hasawi’s tenure at the club has taught us anything, it’s just how far from grace we had fallen as a club. I don’t want to sound patronising or disrespectful but some of our supporters are slightly detached from reality; something that I noticed immediately after the sale of Britt Assombalonga.
The usual “why aren’t we spending ALL of that on new players?” comments were doing the rounds. Yet they’d be the very same people to attack the new owners if we slipped back into an embargo because of Financial Fair Play; which is exactly what would have happened by the way!
We’ve been crying out for stability ever since the Fawaz situation turned sour, so now that we’ve got it, we mustn’t be fickle and rock the boat too quickly.
We’re a demanding crowd at Forest and especially at the City Ground, where history has been made on more than one occasion. It’s also the former hunting ground of Britt Assombalonga, who ironically will be returning to play for Middlesbrough on Saturday.
His appearance could be the ideal distraction for those sharpening their proverbial daggers for Mark Warburton after a whopping three games played.
Before the 2017/18 Championship campaign began, the majority of NFFC supporters said they’d be content with a mid table finish.
The word I used to describe the general consensus of our fans in my first piece of the season was “Pragmatic.”
For those of you that admit to accepting a mid table finish, it’s worth noting that Cardiff City finished in that spot last season and racked up 18 defeats in the process. So, there will be a few backward steps but we will progress given time.