Date:Wednesday December 17 2008
There's one thing that I'm unable to find an answer to in the Calderwood in/out debate: would another manager really change anything? As the old cliche goes: 'the more things change, the more they stay the same'. Forest have had a ridiculous rate of turnover in managers in the past decade or so and none of them have been able to turn us back into a club even half as good as we once were. Maybe now it is time for stability?
Usually the reason you get a 'honeymoon' period with a new manager is that the players had lost faith with the old gaffer and suddenly want to impress the new one. The players certainly want to play for Colin Calderwood and I think that is a massive factor in CC not being sacked thus far. I think it's clear for everyone to see that the team spirit is fantastic - much better than has been seen at the City Ground for many years. For whatever reason we're just falling short at the moment but I'm certain that will change and we will stay up. Doughty knows that these players won't play any better under a different man and therefore change would only bring about more instability and ultimate failure.
The performances this season have, excluding Wolves, the second half against Norwich and Sheffield United, been pretty decent - certainly as much as anyone should expect from a newly (not to mention fortunately) promoted side. In quite a few games we've looked a brilliant attacking force but somehow haven't managed to find the back of the net. We could easily have had five both at Coventry and against Blackpool. I heard a stat the other day that said, despite having around half a dozen penalties against us, we haven't been given a single one. Teams like Cardiff, on the other hand, are into double figures. Even if we'd only had three or four, that could quite easily have given us another eight or so points by converting draws into wins.
I know this sounds like I'm clutching at straws but I'm basically trying to highlight the unbelievably bad luck Forest have been dealt throughout the first half of this season.
Another example of this are the injuries we have, once again, suffered with. We've been without our two new strikers, Earnshaw and Garner, for a hefty combined period of time. Even now neither of them can really be counted as fully fit. We lost Moussi early on in the season and, despite a slight dip in form, he'd really looked the part until his injury. McGugan was out for a while with both an injury and a suspension, followed by yet another injury which has kept him out of the last couple of games. Even Bennett who might not be Championship quality has been sorely missed. He's got such amazing determination and always plays like he'd rather be at Nottingham Forest than any other club in the World.
I know I'll get slated for this as most people think he's had more than enough already, but I really think Colin just needs more time. We look like we've become a bit more solid at the back recently and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the goals start flying in. We've got a very young squad and a very young manager and they're growing together, as a team, with each game that passes. He may not be the most tactically astute manager in the world at the moment but, as I say, he's learning just like the players.
In Joe Garner I think we have a top quality striker. He might not score 30 goals a season but, once he's fully fit and adjusted to this level, he'll easily get 15-20. Couple that with the fact he's playing alongside Robert Earnshaw who, when fit, is one of the most proven goalscorers at this level, and I can't see how we can fail to start hitting the back of the net soon.
Lewis McGugan had started to show, before his injury, that he can really make the step up to Championship level. He's intelligent on the ball and in the pass, he's skillful and can't half hit a ball, too.
Guy Moussi, after playing only a handful of games for us, was already being branded as the new Patrick Viera. Who knows how good he could be for us with a decent amount of Championship games under his belt?
Calderwood has certainly shown that he is shrewd when it comes to transfers. He's got rid of most of our poor players and has replaced them with much better ones. If he's given the money in January, which with Doughty at the helm I'm sure he will, he will surely strengthen the key areas - Camp signed permanently, a solid centre-back, an experienced midfielder and a different type of striker to the three similar ones we already have.
If the worst case scenario come to fruition and we were relegated from this League, which I'm sure we won't be, I think we'd be very strong next season and would bounce straight back. If we go down the best chance we have of keeping our young stars is with Calderwood in charge - he's brought many of them through and they genuinely appear to have massive respect for him.
I know the majority of the people on this forum have already made their mind up and there's nothing I can do to change that, but I hope some of the points I've made have made you think a little harder about whether getting rid would be the best thing to do.
Thanks to Jack for taking time out to give us his views. If you would like to have your say on anything Forest related, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date:Wednesday December 17 2008
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