The Vital Forest Fan Interview: Alex Willis
Q - How long have you been following Forest and do you remember your first game?
I was born in 1973 and started going with my dad around 1977/8. I don't remember the first game but I am guessing we did not lose.
Q - What are your most memorable moments as a Forest fan? Good and Bad.
Good - whilst European Cup success happened in my lifetime I was way too young to fully appreciate it. I would say the countless trips to Wembley in the late 80's and playing some free flowing and attractive footie in the process. I also went to Germany so see Forest Vs Bayern Munich in the mid 90`s which was a great experience. Bad - David Platt and League One.
Q - Since you have been following Forest, what would your best starting eleven be and who is your all time favourite player?
Van Breukelen, Gunter, Walker, Cooper, Psycho (C), Stone, Keane, Hodge, Robertson, Clough, Collymore.
Stan was probably the best player I have seen in a Forest shirt but Stuart Pearce is a clear favourite.
Q - What is your best and worst moment of the 2012/13 season?
Best - the influx of players and the feeling of optimism under Sean O'Driscoll's appointment at the start of the season.
Worst - whether it was the right or wrong decision I was very disappointed at the time that Sean O'Driscoll was sacked to be replaced by McLeish which was totally uninspiring.
Q - In your opinion, how have the new owners performed since taking over the club last July?
On the whole - I have to say pretty decent. Think back to the end of the previous season knowing we would have to wheel and deal to build a squad. Throw in the fact we lost McLeary, Anderson, Chambers etc. and the return of loanees such as Pep and we would have been really struggling. The number of managers departing and Boyd's non-signing weren't great PR but I really think we are in a far better place with the new owners than without.
Q - Best and worst away ground visited?
I always liked White Hart Lane as we usually won! Plough Lane was dreadful and I am not a fan of Watford's ground either.
Q - Who is your Nottingham Forest player of the season?
Chris Cohen - he is consistent, versatile and talented with it. I think Lansbury deserves a mention too.
Q- Which player(s) would you like to see Forest sign this summer (realistically)?
A ball playing centre half, some pace out wide and a striker who really is going to score 20+ goals a season.
Q - All seater stadia. Good thing, or a bad thing?
Generally good. However I like the idea of standing areas given increasing ticket prices. I enjoyed the atmosphere of standing in the old Trent End and still think there is a place for it if policed properly.
Q - What are your thoughts on how the team performed last season and how did it compare with your expectations?
They exceeded my expectations - I was expecting (possibly even hoping for) mid table stability. What is most refreshing is we have played football on the deck most of the time too.
Q - What are your expectations for next season in the Championship/Where will we finish?
We will be stronger I hope. I think the competition could be stronger with the sides coming down (not that this happened this season) - it all depends on how we strengthen the squad. I trust Billy to do this.
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?
I think the latter. Alex McLeish was not backed to spend at Christmas. Clearly some investment is required but Financial Fair Play may prevent us from 'stellar signings'.
Q - Name a former Forest player you were most disappointed to see sign for another club?
I was disappointed to see us sell Gunter and also Bamford purely because these were for financial and not football reasons.
Q - What's your opinion on Billy Davies and will he bring success to the club?
I suspect he is not very popular outside of Nottingham but he is a good man-manager and is tactically astute. He has a better squad which he can build over the summer so I would hope for success.
Q - In your opinion, was it the right or wrong decision to sack Sean O'Driscoll?
I was not happy with his sacking. All managers need time and I believed he was taking us in the right direction. I wonder if he was only appointed as a short-term solution given it appears McLeish wasn't ready to join allegedly and they needed somebody who could hit the ground running with the support of the squad. Now he has gone I wonder if Sean was possibly a little too concerned with the opposition and our defending was not brilliant.
Q - New stadium, or renovate the City Ground?
Either would be progress.
Q - If you could put one question or make one request to Mr.Fawaz Al-Hasawi, what would it be?
To put his hands in his pocket if required during the winter transfer window. I have been continually frustrated with our competitors activity and strengthening whilst we do nothing - this season's window was a farce.
Q - Where do you sit/stand at the City Ground?
Brian Clough upper.
Q - Name the celebrity you would most like to meet.
Many thanks to Alex 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. Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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