Q – How long have you been following Forest and what was your first game?
I have been following Forest since I first became aware of what football was, which was about 1988 I think. My first football memory is watching Forest on the TV in the cup finals against Luton and I think Everton that season. Since then my Dad and I had a season ticket for about 14 years. I still go to games now but having just got married a season ticket is a bit out of budget!
Q – What are your most memorable moments as a Forest fan? Good and Bad.
Most memorable memories have to be the UEFA cup season. Every game was simply magical, and even the 5-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich was a game I wouldn’t have missed due to the excitement and atmosphere at the ground. Other happy memories include many trips to Wembley and the promotion season with Dave Bassett in charge.
Bad memories…the 8-1 defeat to Man Utd! The worst two were losing the 1991 FA Cup final – the second and last time I cried over football – and the game at home to Plymouth in the relegation season last time we were in the Championship. It was do or die and Forest were useless and spineless. The play-off second leg at Sheffield Utd wasn’t great either.
Q – Since you have been following Forest, what would your best eleven be? And who is your all time favourite player?
At the recent wedding, the table plan was Forest Legends theme. I only went for players who’d been around in my era, so the team was:
Collymore and PvH are two players who would have made the side had they not been such terrible professionals who disgraced themselves either at Forest (PvH) or later (Collymore).
Q – What would you say is the best goal you have seen Forest score?
Good question…there have been some great ones. PvH vs Huddersfield from 35 yards was a classic. Bryan Roys against Malmo was a superb goal that meant so much. I think Pearce vs Coventry in the cup many many years ago with a thunderbolt free kick was one of my favourites.
Q – Best and worst away ground visited?
Always love going to Wembley, so I’d say that was my favourite away ground. Worst by far was Rotherham. Awful place and awful stadium.
Q – What are your thoughts on the proposed new stadium?
As long as the new stadium doesn’t drown the club in debt (ie Southampton) its a good thing. The City Ground is a great stadium, but these days the club needs to be able to generate more revenue off the pitch which a new stadium would allow. It will be a sad day when we leave the City Ground, but I think on the whole the move should be made on the basis that the current ground can’t be developed to provide the same benefits.
My main worry is that the new stadium is a souless bowl ala Pride Park and the Walkers Stadium. It must be unique in some way so that is always recognisable as the Forest ground.
Q- Which player(s) would you like to see us sign this summer(realistically)?
The defence needs re-building almost from scratch. I want Chambers to be given a shot at centre-half as I think he has the makings of a damn good player in that position. A right back he isn’t, he knows, we know it, and we finally have a manager that knows it!
So we need a new centre half (guy from Scotland I’d have thought) along with a new right back (Gunter) and a new left back. Lynch performed well at the end of the season but he isn’t good enough for a team chasing promotion. Bennett also isn’t at that level but good as a back-up.
Further forward we need to sign Blackstock and McSheffrey along with another wide player to replace Anderson who shouldn’t be signed IMO. Croft from Norwich perhaps but open to others. Controversial this might be, but I’d like us to re-sign Sammy Clingan too! True he left us for more cash, but he is a very good player and one that didn`t get the recognition at Forest, as often his type of player doesn`t.
A team of Smith/Camp, Gunter, Wes, Chambers/New CB, New LB, New RM/McLeary, Moussi/McGugan/Cohen (two of),, McSheffrey, Blackstock, Earnshaw/Garner looks very handy.
Q – All seater stadia. Good thing, or a bad thing?
A good thing for sure. Football should be a family friendly place to come and I think standing doesn`t allow for that on the whole. It`s all very well having one standing area, but I don`t think that would work practically and it won`t ever happen.
I realise some fans get upset by stewards telling them to sit down, and I think how fans are stewarded is something that can be improved, but then again some of the A block no doubt simply try to create agro with the stewards, so it`s a two way street. Fans should be allowed to stand during exciting bits of the game or while chanting though of course.
Q – What are your thoughts on how Forest did last season and how did it compare to your expectations?
I think CC was very naïve in terms of the standard of the Championship. He believed a team that only went up literally by their fingernails would be good enough to compete in the Championship and he was wrong. We therefore didn`t strengthen enough, and the teams we played were simply more knowledgeable and experienced in terms of how to win games.
The players did well to rally round and keep us up, which I think being realistic was the aim. We should have been more comfortable in doing it, but the season is now gone and we achieved keeping our status in the league. In the process, we now have a superb manager – the best for a long time – and the players have had a tough seasons worth of experience drilled into them, so I think going forward the future is very bright.
Q – What are your expectations for next season in the Championship?
I think we can expect Forest to be mid-table chasing a play-off spot. Whether we achieve it or not I don`t know, but I think we`ll be looking up the table more than we`ll be looking down. I think its actually important a club develops over time rather than achieving instant success, so I`d rather we have a season or so in the Championship before we look further upwards. Derby achieved instant success and it set them back years (well done BD!).
Q – What League position will Forest occupy at the end of the 2009/10 season?
9th. We`ll prove not quite good enough to sustain a play-off challenge in a very tough year, with a league including the likes of Newcastle, Boro, West Brom, Sheffield Utd etc, but we`ll be challenging the year after.
Q – What’s your opinion of Billy Davies and what he’s done at NFFC, since arriving in January?
Billy Davies is an excellent manager and someone who won`t take any crap. Something we`ve desperately needed for a while. He is a common sense no-nonsense guy who will achieve results for us.
He`s already pointed out that players should be played in their right positions, which CC never recognised. He made some good loan signings and I think over the summer, once he has built his own team and brought his own people in, it will be a different Nottingham Forest taking the field. Instead of a talented but naïve side, we`ll be a young, hungry, determined, and talented team that is much more clever and astute.
I know BD has his doubters when he arrived, but to be honest I couldn`t see why. He has a wonderful record in the Championship and obviously knows his stuff. I really think he`ll take us into the Premiership. If he falls out with the odd player then fine, its their loss.
Q – Where do you sit/stand at the City Ground?
Usually main stand, C block or thereabouts. Also soemthings Brian Clough upper when I go with my Dad.
Q – Name the celebrity you would most like to bang.
I wish to “bang” only my lovely new wife, who invented to chant “The Moose, The Moose, The Moose is on FIRE!!!”.
Thanks to LoyalRed for being the first to step up to the mark. If you would like to take part, you’ll find a copy of the questions HERE. Just email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next up…it’s Ripley Rich.
The Vital Forest Fan Interview: LoyalRed
Q – How long have you been following Forest and what was your first game?