The Vital Forest Fan Interview: Fritz24
Q - How long have you been following Forest and do you remember your first game?
A - For over 20 years, though I have vague memories of going to see one of the European Cup parades when I was about 6. My first match was a 0-0 draw at home to then-champions Everton in about 1985/1986. We had two goals disallowed for offside.
Q - What are your most memorable moments as a Forest fan? Good and Bad.
A - Good: My first trip to Wembley to see us beat Luton 3-1 in the 1988/89 League Cup final. It was a gloriously hot and sunny day and everyone seemed to think we'd win 3-1, with Luton scoring first, it was bizarre. I was old enough to drink beer, but not old enough to buy it, so it was never my round. I remember sitting outside The Torch on Wembley Way with hundreds of Forest fans all singing in the sunshine. Happy days.
Bad: The FA Cup final in 1991. I had to go on my own and sat in a restricted view seat. And of course we lost. I also genuinely believe that much of Forest's decline stemmed from that day, as I think if we'd won, Brian Clough would've called it a day on a high.
Both the good and bad are based on matches I've been to. Obviously getting promoted has been good and getting relegated sucks.
Q - Since you have been following Forest, what would your best starting eleven be and who is your all time favourite player?
A - Again, this is based on matches I've seen live. GK: Sutton - LB: Pearce - CB: Walker - CB: Cooper - RB: Laws - LM: Woan - CM: Keane - CM: Webb - RM: Stone - CF: Collymore - CF: Clough.
For pure passion and spirit, Pearce would be favourite. For ability and excitement it'd have to be Collymore - the most gifted player I've ever seen in the Garibaldi.
Q - What is your best and worst moment of the 2012/13 season?
A - Best moment: The 6-1 drubbing of Huddersfield. A real feelgood factor seemed to be back at the club and everything just clicked, in front of a decent crowd too. Worst moment: December 26 - January 31. It was uncomfortable to watch as the club lurched from one embarrassment to the next, culminating in the Boyd deal collapsing.
Q - In your opinion, how have the new owners performed since taking over the club last July?
A - I'm not sure you've got enough server space to host my thoughts on this. My feelings are…..mixed. Some things have been good: the commercial communication has improved, early bird tickets were a great idea, the screens and boards were welcome additions and rebuilding the squad to ultimately finish 8th was, in retrospect, a pretty impressive feat. Other things have been not so good. I refer you to my previous answer about January...
Q - Best and worst away ground visited?
A - Best: Old Trafford. Worst: The old Highfield Road was a particularly grim dump.
Q - Who is your Nottingham Forest player of the season?
A - Though it took him a while to get going, I'm going to say Henri Lansbury. The guy is absolute class. Skilful on the ball, good range of passing, gets around the pitch and puts himself about. He'll be back in the Premier League for sure one day, hopefully with us.
Q - Which player(s) would you like to see Forest sign this summer (realistically)?
A - I'd be very happy to see us sign Craig Dawson. We need a leader; a commanding presence at the back and he seems to fit both of those bills. Bolton's fortune's certainly improved when they had him.
Q - All seater stadia. Good thing, or a bad thing?
A - Good. The matchday experience is far more pleasant and it is still possible to generate an atmosphere.
Q - What are your thoughts on how the team performed last season and how did it compare with your expectations?
A - Bearing in mind where we came from, the team probably slightly exceeded my expectations, certainly in terms of final league position. To improve from just avoiding relegation to a top 10 finish and only missing out on the playoffs on the last day is, when you look at it objectively, very impressive. Especially given the turmoil of the season.
Q - What are your expectations for next season in the Championship/Where will we finish?
A - Ask me again after the transfer window shuts, as it totally depends on who we buy and sell. With the current squad we'll finish no better than mid table. If Fawaz can back Billy to make some improvements, then there's no reason we can't reach the playoffs at least.
Q - Much has been said about the wealth of our new owners. Do you think they will spend their way to promotion, or adopt a more frugal approach in trying to achieve it?
A - I think they'll do a mix of both, based on the evidence of last summer. We brought a lot of players in but our net spend was relatively small, and the players we did buy on permanents were not lavish signings or overpriced a-la Jordan Rhodes/Matt Mills. On the recent poll I voted £5m-£7m, though I think it'll be the lower end of that range.
Q - Name a former Forest player you were most disappointed to see sign for another club?
A - Stan Collymore, especially given where he went. If he'd have had one more season here and we'd have been able to strengthen I reckon we could've won the UEFA Cup and finished high in the Premier League again.
Q - What's your opinion on Billy Davies and will he bring success to the club?
A - Billy's a good manager at this level, there's no doubt about it. If he and Fawaz can stay on the same page and work together then I think he can bring success in terms of getting promoted for sure. Beyond that, who knows? We've only got half a season with Derby to judge him on.
Q - In your opinion, was it the right or wrong decision to sack Sean O'Driscoll?
A - Right decision, wrong time. If Fawaz was as disgruntled with the performances under SO'D as it seems, then he should've sacked him after the Watford defeat. After he didn't do that then he should've stuck with him until the end of the season.
Q - New stadium, or renovate the City Ground?
A - New stadium. To get the City Ground up to the standards of modern stadia you'd pretty much have to rebuild all the stands anyway.
Q - If you could put one question or make one request to Mr.Fawaz Al-Hasawi, what would it be?
A - A request: Tell us more - as much as you legally and realistically can - about what's going on. It'd put a stop to so much of the rumour-mongering and sniping that goes on in the media and amongst fans. I appreciate that we can't know everything, of course we can't. But there's so much of what happened last year and what is doubtless happening now that has had no explanation. Now of course he's not obliged to tell us everything that's going on, but it would be so welcome for him to come out and say 'Right, this is where we are' and shut up all the speculation for good.
Q - Where do you sit/stand at the City Ground?
A - Brian Clough Upper, usually.
Q - Name the celebrity you would most like to meet.
A - I'm not a great one for celebrity culture, but I'd quite like to meet David Beckham. He always comes across as a likeable, down-to-earth guy, which is quite remarkable given his profile.
Thanks to Fritz for taking the time out to answer the questions. If you would like to take part, you can find a copy of the questions Here. You can follow Fritz on twiiter by clicking @fritzromanov .