Forest – Post match
I wasn’t planning to write anything after the match, regardless of the outcome, as last weeks piece was more a “big picture” article. However, judging by the hits and messages we’re getting, a few people want us to throw our two penneth in. WARNING – the following article may contain strong Derby County bias and may be ironic in places. If you struggle with either, please don’t read on.
Here’s a few observations:
The sending off was a touch harsh but Blackstock did elbow Keogh full in the face. If you “accidently” kick someone on the knee, you will get a card and this was no different. The ref had to make a snap decision on the colour. A couple of things would have influenced his decision 1) In my experience, if you are constantly moaning and shouting at the ref, he’s not going to look on you sympathetically when you’re the offender. Blackstock was constantly in the refs face in the first half as he got bullied in his personal duel with Buckobauer. 2) The Forest players, mainly Reid, Cohen (like last year) and Blackstock were constantly badgering the ref to send someone off. Trying to get the ref to see malice in every blood and thunder tackle. Careful what you wish for fellas.
Although the sending off was a turning point, switching Hughes to the middle was equally important in my view. The Forest midfield remained the same after the sending off but the same four were completed dominated by the extra man. The main impact of the sending off was that Forest no longer had an outlet for their preferred “direct pass” (a.k.a. long ball) and didn’t do anything differently until it was too late.
Talking about game management, I think we’ve stumbled across a brilliant tactic to finally see out matches. Get your centre forward to do star jumps in front of the opposition keeper when he’s trying to kick it out. This wastes at least 30 seconds and then the subsequent booking argument with the ref wastes the same again. Do this twice and you’ve wasted a massive chunk of time at the business end of the game. Not advisable if you’re losing.
After the sending off, you could really see the lack of spirit in the Forest team that comes with throwing a group of individuals together. As much as I don’t like Andy Reid, he was probably the only player that you could tell was hurting from the situation, given his history with the club and area. You can debate the merits of individual players all day (and Forest have some good ones) but it still feels like we’re doing the right thing in getting a tight knit, affordable squad together.
Anyone else got any thoughts?