The Definition Of Insanity
Many moons ago, this concept was explained to me, which in brief can be summarised as ….
"Doing the same things every day, but with the expectation of achieving different results!"
A different movie based explanation of the same concept would be 'Groundhog Day`, i.e. stuck in the same day perpetually until something within ourselves changes for the good.
Nottingham Forest Football Club is my preferred (well not exactly preferred) example. Our beloved club has been the butt of media ridicule for years, primarily due to the extraordinary success that a remarkable management team brought to this provincial club.
"The former double European Cup Winners" have certainly seen enviable highs and plummeted to embarrassing lows - sadly, far too many to mention and equally, not far enough in the past to have the confidence to forget them. The three year stint in League 1 stands out as a very bleak period.
Unbelievably it`s 20 years since Brian Clough (in May 1993) was unceremoniously and emotionally (for me anyway) shown the exit door. Since then NFFC have had a staggering 15 permanent managerial appointments. The definition of 'permanent` is clearly subjective too in NFFC terms, with some tenures lasting days rather than months and the frequency of arrivals/departures increasing exponentially in recent times.
We also have Messrs Al Hasawi now installed as the new owners, tempting the 'faithful` with some grand designs on that third star and eventually resurrecting Billy Davies, the man now charged with the mantle of returning us to the riches of the Premier League (& hopefully beyond).
Having ambitions are all well and good, how they set about realising those ambitions is how they will ultimately be judged.
Presently the views of supporters are polarised, with unbridled optimism in some quarters, healthy yet cautious scepticism in others and, at present, a minority appearing unconvinced at best. That is a supporters right - you can never please all of the people all of the time.
The June news vacuum does not help as we all crave information about NFFC, whilst dissecting every comment, rumour, morsel of gossip and social media faux pas (both now and from months ago).
Referring back to the article`s title and the insanity that plagues us….....
Many managers have come and gone, the owners and players have changed, but the results (more specifically the ability to progress to the Premier League) have continued to be indifferent and unsuccessful - nearly is not good enough! Many managers (in more recent years) have commented about a 'cancer` within the club, so perhaps it`s this that has to change to allow us to move on?
So just what is this cancer?
It has to be something that has been relatively constant - given the changes elsewhere. Is it the way the club has been run or is it the result of 'fans` expectations, based upon previous successes weighing too heavily?
The high profile failures in backing managers when they shouldn`t and not backing managers when they should are well documented - there is a history of failed signings (even some that put pen to paper failed to realise they hype) and not forgetting some notable PR gaffs. We cannot change any of that though, so looking back is largely futile - that is, unless lessons are learned.
The very recent changes in the backroom staff may yet prove to be successful, as these were relatively constant in recent times, then again they may not, but either way it is far too early to comment on this.
Could WE (the fans) really be part of the problem though?
One thing that has remained largely unchanged is OUR support, yes faces may come and go, but arguably we are the foundations upon which the club are built - without us there is no club to support. We turn up in thousands, both home and away, indoctrinate out kids into the tribal following of the men in Garibaldi and spend our hard earned cash on merchandise.
It can`t be us, can it?
Personally, I think that we are both part of the cause and the cure, the two would seem inextricably linked - but, there is certainly no better place to be than the City Ground, in full unified vocal support.
It doesn`t feel that great on other 'least said soonest mended` occasions though.
The Al Hasawi`s may have fed the pipe dreams about that third star, but we do need to be realistic too - because with most football clubs Financial Armageddon is an ever present (with far too many examples of clubs trying to live the dream, but lacking financial prudence) - that`s my real worry, as I want a successful club, but more than anything I want a club built on firm foundations.
So, perhaps we may also need to change a little too, maintaining the positive support but with realistic expectations - otherwise, surely we can only continue to expect the same results or worse?