November 23, 2015 by notjustpumpkinbread
Where to begin. Again.
If you’ve made it this far, you won’t be reading a match report of Saturday’s defeat to Brentford. I’ve already written one of those for In The Top One. Click the link if you want to know what happened.
Instead, I’ll be throwing out a few thoughts, some observations and generally looking back at my day out at Griffin Park. I was there last season as well, but sitting with the home fans in the Bill Axbey Stand. Now, if you’re wondering who Bill Axbey is, well he was a life-long Brentford supporter who sadly passed away in April 2007 at the magnificent age of 102. To commemorate his passing, the club renamed the New Road Stand shortly after his death. A fine example of Club and Community.
My niece’s boyfriend is also a life-long Brentford supporter, but he’s got a long way to go before he reaches Bill’s milestone. So, he got the tickets last season, we went, witnessed Tyler’s stupendous goal and discretion got the better of me as I sat amongst the home support – but I was whooping and cheering on the inside. This season, he wanted to be in the away end – for no other reason than he’s a follower of football – but alas I was only able to buy one ticket, so he took his place amongst the Bees faithful.
He’s a very honest chap and after the match he was as bewildered as the Forest faithful as to how we didn’t get anything from the game. He also made a couple of good observations. Firstly, he thought Nelson Oliveira was a quality player. He liked his movement and his ability to create chances from nothing. Yes, I know the stats will say he didn’t score, but watching him play on Saturday would bare out those thoughts.
Secondly, while he noted that Jamie Ward would contest for every ball and (while in possession) showed a high level of committment, he was surprised how often he walked around the pitch looking somewhat disinterested; almost as if his frustration at not being able to influence the game was becoming a burden. It was an interesting view, as I did note during the Derby game that he seemed to look a little uneasy playing against his former club. Don’t get me wrong, I thought he had a good game, but to play in a game of that magnitude against your former club is going to have some kind of affect. A professional he may be, but we are still human beings after all. That Jamie Ward spark has only been visible in fits and starts and his season hasn’t really taken off yet, so perhaps my friend’s observation is not unfounded.
An appreciation of good football and not just a blinkered view of those you support is a good trait to have. Interestingly, in considering that very thing, it makes me question my own ability to give due credence to any individuals that have taken to the pitch this season in opposition to the Mighty Reds. I’ve seen us lose more than we’ve won, but I can’t honestly say there’s been a match-winning performance by anyone playing for the opposition. Is that an indication of our level of performance so far this season, despite our position in the table? Or is it just my Garibaldi Tinted Spectacles clouding my judgement?
Anyway, back to current proceedings. There I was, sitting in Row A on the upper level eating my cheese and onion pasty (it was passable) and drinking my Bovril (always good). A father and his son sat next to me, but being the unsociable southerner that I am, I didn’t engage in any form of conversation. It’s a trait I despise in myself, but one I have difficulty in overcoming. Fortunately for all concerned, the father asked me a question before kick-off and the ice was broken. He was a season ticket holder in the Trent End and had watched Forest for 50-odd years. What followed during the course of the match was a pleasantly enhanced viewing of the game as we made comment on various things and generally “enjoyed” the game.
I mentioned my blog – which both he and his son thought was a good thing to do (they haven’t read anything yet, so they could change their minds) – and the father made note that I could, of course, impart his words of wisdom in my writings.
“You’ll have to say something wise first” I replied.
There was a mantra that rang true throughout the game though, as around kick-off, my neighbour noted “We don’t and won’t score from outside the box.” We did both contend that David Vaughan had indeed done such a thing against Bolton, but it was a rare occurrence. Every subsequent shot that failed was appended with “outside the box” and a wry smile. This was by no means an irritant, for my fellow Forest fan was a delightful chap and my only regret was I didn’t ask him his name.
“Do you know who the best passer of the half-yard ball was?” he asked.
“No” came the inevitable reply.
“Ian Wallace” he said with conviction.
Ian Wallace! I hadn’t heard that name in years!
I like watching Forest play.
I’m fortunate that the people around me in the Peter Taylor Stand are nice people with a similar outlook on the proceedings.
The people I’ve interacted with online since I’ve started this blog – whether supporters of our great team or other teams – have been great to deal with.
I was also fortunate to spend a couple of hours in the company of a father and his son watching Forest playing away at Griffin Park.
This part of our lives – this pastime we undertake – is supposed to be pleasurable. Sometimes I think we forget that.
We’re playing Reading on the hallowed turf on Saturday. I’m a Forest supporter. I reckon we’ll win, I always do. The Beesotted blog asked me a few questions as a preview to the game last week and rounded it off with a score prediction. 1-2 was my answer. But we could have been on a run of zero wins in 20 games and I’d still have predicted a Forest win. But if we don’t win? That’s not even under consideration in my Garibaldi Tinted Spectacles world.
COME ON YOU REDS!!!