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Crazy Christmas For Managerless Reds

I don't watch soap operas. I don't need to. I'm a Forest fan. The twists and turns on Trentside are more intriguing, thrilling and baffling than any TV drama but just like the soaps the ongoing saga at Forest saved its most dramatic storyline for a frantic festive period.

The Boxing day 'special' saw a dismal capitulation to basement rivals Doncaster - putting an end to Colin Calderwood's tenure in the City Ground hotseat.

The leaderless Reds bounced back from the disappointment and emerged from the drama of post-match sacking to earn a superb win at Norwich, which sucked the Canaries into the relegation fight and pushed themselves out of the bottom three at long last.

The Christmas period was a lurch from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again in a gripping plot to match any 'Who Shot Phil?' or 'Emmerdale Plane Crash' soap storyline and the biggest cliffhanger still remains - who will be handed the task of saving the club from relegation?

That Colin Calderwood's management ended in the ignominy of an embarrassing defeat seemed a shame but in the cold light of day his sacking was necessary to try and save the club from the possibility of plummeting to the dreaded reaches of League One.

CC's legacy to the club is a small squad of young, talented players - who have, in fits and starts, shown themselves capable of playing well at Championship level.

A new manager will have to continue to look to Lewis McGugan, Joe Garner, Wes Morgan, Matt Thornhill etc as the basis for the future of the club.

CC's downfall was in not adding steel to the style his players offered.

At key points in the season a lack of experience and nous at full back, centre back and in centre midfield has cost us points. These gaping holes must be plugged in January to avoid the type of disastrous performances that have occurred at unfortunate intervals throughout the campaign, crushing any upward momentum the team had (Wolves, Norwich, Sheff Utd, Doncaster spring to mind).

In those games where the team have played well (which to be fair have been regular enough to warrant optimism) the side is crying out for a calming influence - someone to drive the likes of McGugan on and help hammer home our advantage.

Up front Tyson's electric pace, Earnshaw's poaching prowess and Garner's tireless tenacity provide variety that could be expanded on with the addition of someone with strength and guile. Another body would also be extremely welcome for the strike force after the failure of the Andy Cole experiment.

The squad does not need dismantling and re-building - it needs toughening up. Any new boss should not put a stop to the stylish football being played but should try to ensure that dominant performances are turned into a more plentiful plunder of points.

And the man to do that is.........well that's for another episode of the City Ground soap saga. I'll certainly be on the edge of my seat for the next installment.....

Thanks to t10red for another great article. You can check out more of what he has to say by visiting trentender.blogspot.com.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: t10red Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 30 2008

Time: 9:33AM

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FA Cup Mag Seven Fans Q&A: Here Come Forest! http://www.manchestercity.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=137037
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