City Ground Return For Calderwood
The verdict on former manager Colin Calderwood's two and a half years in charge at the City Ground is probably varied, depending on who you ask. For me, he was proven to be a man found working out of his depth and it was his lack of tactical nous that finally got him the sack.
I was a little bit late in jumping on the 'Calderwood Out' bandwagon, but soon made up for lost time once aboard. His first season in charge, saw us fail spectacularly to gain promotion. A sorry and embarassing Playoff semi final defeat at the hands of Yeovil, had many Forest fans shouting for his head then. There were many that were calling for it from the day he took over, but every man deserves a chance and so it was that I threw my lot in with CC for a second season.
His second season in charge, saw little difference in the style of play, much to the bemusement of the fans who were still living in hope of seeing an end to the hoofball we'd been playing since the days of Megson. Calderwood's critics accused him of being ultra negative and cautious and often questioned his tactics and team selections. That's par for the course with any manager I suppose, but there were constant queries over CC's.
The 2007/8 season ended as spectacularly as the previous one, only this time with a positive outcome. Calderwood managed to win us promotion on the final day of the season, in the most dramatic circumstances imaginable. We needed both Donny and Carlisle to fail miserably and thankfully, they obliged. It was amidst scenes of unbounded joy and celebration, that we went up to the Championship and it was thanks in no small part to Colin Calderwood that we did.
The fans knew we had to strengthen the squad to be able to withstand the rigours of the Championship, but with striker Robert Earnshaw (an injured Joe Garner)and Paul Anderson being the only quality additions made, we were always in for a long hard season. By the beginning of October, we were rooted to the bottom of the table and by Christmas Calderwood had only won 4 games. Boxing Day saw us lose 4-2 at home to Doncaster Rovers and that was the end of CC.
No sooner had the City Ground exit door hit him on the back of the head, than the one at St. James Park was welcoming him in. Calderwood teamed up with another former boss Joe Kinnear and joined Newcastle as first team coach. He's still there now and is second in command to acting manager Chris Hughton.
I can't see many people giving CC a hard time on Saturday. He was a decent bloke and did his best for this club. Tactically naive he may have been, but he can be credited with stopping the rot and our further decline down the leagues. We were in a right mess before he arrived and when he left, it has to be said we were in much better shape. Although it was right for him to be sacked when he was, we do have alot to be thankful for and that's why I presonally will applaud the guy on Saturday, albeit rather quietly.