Date:Saturday July 28 2007
RedSmedDownUnder has taken time out from sunning his backside on the beaches of Perth, Australia, to do the latest in the Vital Forest Fan Interviews. Thanks to Smed for answering the questions.
Q - How long have you been following Forest and what got you started?
I started to follow the Reds around 1969. I would have been 8 years old, when some older kids, I knocked around with, took me to see Forest play Man City. We lost 1-0 to a Mike Doyle goal. I recall the likes of Ian Storey-Moore and Henry Newton lining up for the Trees. Previous to that my Dad, who incidentally has no interest in football, had taken me to watch the Sheep a few times. But once I had been to the City Ground I was hooked, and have been ever since, through thick and thin.
Q - What is your most memorable moment as a Forest fan? Good or Bad.
Hard to pick, but being at the City Ground when we picked up the League title ranks highly, a dour 0-0 draw with Birmingham followed!! Worst was being at the 91 Cup Final, it happened to be my 30th Birthday as well. I was so gutted I didn't speak to my Missus for three days!! She must have forgiven me 'cos she's still with me...Bless her.
Q - Since you have been following Forest what would your Best Eleven be? And who is your all time favourite player?
Phew this is a toughie!! After much brain wracking I've come up with this XI:
1. Peter Shilton
2. Viv Anderson
4. Des Walker
6. Kenny Burns
3. Stuart Pearce
7. Martin O'Neill
8. Archie Gemmill
5. Johnny Metgod
11. John Robertson
9. Stan Collymore
10. Trevor Francis
I am sure I could have come up with several different teams, all equally as good, leaving out the likes of Bowyer, Todd, Birtles, Woodcock, Withe, Storey-Moore and Silenzi (oh no he should have been in the worst XI!!!) was always going to be difficult.
My all time favourite, well being a keeper myself, I have to go for Shilts. I would have paid the admission money just to see him, in my opinion I would say that he was the greatest keeper of all time, and that includes all the pretenders to the throne since.
Q - What is would you say is the best goal you have seen Forest score?
Again I couldn't pick just one, so I have come up with a few for various reasons, so here goes and in no particular order:
i) Gary Crosby sneaking up from behind Man City's Andy Dibble, who was holding the ball out in front of him on the palm of his hand, and heading it out of his hands and sliding it in the net for a 1-0 win. Funniest moment too I would say!!
ii) Trevor Francis' European Cup winner v Malmo, basically for the magnitude of little Nottingham Forest conquering Europe.
iii) Robbos' winner v Hamburg the following year, a magnificent solo effort, a game also notable for being one of Shilton's finest performances of all time.
iv) The sheer power of Johnny Methods free kick against West Ham. It set Phil Parkes' gloves on fire as it screamed through his hands.
v) Des Walkers only goal at the right end!! A pile driver against Luton, who incidentally had Steve Sutton in goals for them, as he was on loan from us at the time.
vi) Psychos Cup Final screamer against Spurs, gave us so much hope, all to brief as the peanut Milford failed to send Gascoigne off for two of the worst tackles in Cup Final history, and the rest is well...you know!!
vii) and viii) Two Johnny Metgod free kicks in successive home games (not sure of the year). In the first game we had trailed Man Utd 0-2 at half time. After a Cloughie pep talk, we came out and pulled level. In the dying minutes we were awarded a free kick about 25 yards out, and to the left of the goal. Metgod curled the most delightful free kick, into the top right hand corner with Gary Bailey grasping at fresh air. 3-2 Forest magnificent. Two weeks later similar scenario, this time against Villa. Villa had led 0-2, same again we clawed back to 2-2. Dying minutes free kick 25 yards out, up steps Johnny. Could lightning strike twice?? You bet you are it did. This time Nigel Spink was left floundering, Go Johnny Go!! 3-2 Forest brilliant.
Q - Best away ground visited?
Bearing in mind I left Blighty in 1993, and having never returned, it would be a far harder decision today, with all the new stadium built in recent times. For me it had to be Plough Lane.......like hell it would!! What a sh!t tip that was. No, it had to be Old Trafford for the size and atmosphere. Anfield comes a close second, especially as the last time I was there was 2 years after Hillsborough. A game famous for a young lad called Roy Keane, remember him, making his debut. But also there was a tribute to those who died in the disaster. A minutes silence, followed by the entire Kop singing 'You'll never walk alone', with scarves raised above their heads. An incredibly emotion charged day it was.
Q - What are your thoughts on the proposed new stadium?
Bring it on. As long as it is not at the expense of the team, and we do not lose sight of the most important goal....the Premiership.
Q- Are you pleased with the new signings made so far and is there any other player you would have liked to have seen us sign (realistically)?.
So much happier than this time last year. I still think we need an experienced keeper as back up, and another striker. Who????? That's the 64 million dollar question.
Q - What are your thoughts on how last season ended and how did it compare to your expectations ?
Utter disappointment. I somehow had a bad feeling around Christmas that things were going to end in tears. Inactivity in the transfer market, plus some of the bull coming out of the CG after every setback. You just knew it was falling in a pile of you know what. Never fancied our chances in the play-offs from the get go. We hadn't been able to string two decent results together at that point. So to manage three good results was a bit much. Mind you after winning the first leg away at Yeovil, to lose 2-5 at home was nothing short of diabolical.
Q -Despite the new signings, are there any areas in the side you think need adding to?
As I said previously, we look weak in the goalkeeping department, Smiths OK, but where's the cover, and the competition to keep Smudges on his toes??? A proven striker as well. Especially as our forwards seem rather injury prone to say the least.
1Q - Where do you sit at the City Ground?
It's been 14 long years since I sat in the Main Stand, my last game being a 1-3 defeat against Norwich, in what was Cloughies last ill feted season. In the early years I used to brave the wind, and rain on the old open terraced Bridgford End. When I got a bit bigger, not to mention braver I graduated to the old Trent End. HAPPY, HAPPY DAYS they were too. It's the one thing I miss most about Blighty......freezing my nuts off on cold winter afternoons at the City Ground.
Once again, many thanks to RedSmedDownUnder for answering the questions. If you would like to take part, then email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date:Saturday July 28 2007
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