August 24, 2017 by notjustpumpkinbread
I’m feeling a bit hyper right now.
Whether it’s the thrilling extra-time win at St. James’ Park.
Or getting home to Hertfordshire at 3.40 am.
Or the latté I’ve just finished.
I don’t really know. It could be a combination of all three.
I’ve got that low-level hum running through my body that you only get when you’ve spent a considerable amount of time in a vehicle. Or maybe that’s down to Jason Cummings’ sumptuous second goal. Who knows?!?
What I do know is this.
I’m trying VERY hard to temper myself. Because I’m daring to dream.
Not of the heady heights of automatic promotion.
Nor the possibility of making another trip to Wembley in pursuit of a trophy we once could (almost) call our own.
No. It’s the dream (quite possibly turning to a reality) that this club, our club, is taking its first tenuous steps away from intensive care and onto a firmer footing.
Clearly, that remark made by Nicholas Randall, QC, in his open letter to fans on the 1st June 2017, was referring to the club as a whole. Now, I’m not privy to the goings-on behind the scenes, so I’m just referring to what’s going on with the football side of the club. But I’d like to think it’s relevant to all aspects of Nottingham Forest FC.
Five years of flip-flopping from one manager to another, in conjunction with little or no structure behind the team resulted in abject failure. That we now see clear and incisive decision-making at board level, together with a clear vision to build a team that will compete, with a manager who knows is supported, has transferred to the performances on the pitch.
Look, I’m not getting carried away. We started well with SP, had a great unbeaten period under DF and didn’t do too badly on the pitch with BD. But the difference with all of those is the stability among the playing staff (one loanee rather than 6 or 7), together with a hierarchy that clearly knows their onions and a support base returning in their droves.
There’s a feel-good factor around the club and I think that will continue even when result don’t go our way (as they inevitably will) as the season progresses.
Because we care again.
And we’re happy again.
And it matters again.
Do we all dare to dream?
In one way or another, of course we do. We wouldn’t be football supporters otherwise.
I’m sure Jason Cummings has had a dream of lifting one over an advancing keeper; maybe even against a club like Newcastle in their own back yard.
I’m sure Tyler Walker has dreamt of scoring the goal that won the game for Forest and put us in the next round of the Cup.
Then there was the dreamy quality of the ball over the top by Danny Fox for Cummings to latch onto. In addition to his dreamy beard, obviously!
Some people – mainly in the North East – refer to Newcastle as a slumbering giant – maybe dreaming of that one league title which has eluded them for the past 91 years. Maybe they even dream of winning this trophy – because they haven’t done that at all since the League Cup came into existence 57 years ago.
What I can tell you is, at times, they just looked like they were slumbering. Apart from Rolando Aarons – the scorer of their equaliser – who looks mustard!
We conceded early – again.
We played ourselves into the first half – again.
Was finishing the half like a steam train until that sucker punch of a second goal for Newcastle.
Contained the game in the second half ; with Benny covering pretty much every blade of grass – again.
Played the first half of extra time like we played the first half of the match.
And by the end got what we rightly deserved.
It was an outstanding performance.
I don’t really want to pick out individuals, but a special mention must be given to Benny’s performance as well as the contribution made by Jack Hobbs when he came on. I thought Joe Worrall was having a bit of an average game, and alongside Mancienne were looking a bit vulnerable against the pace of Newcastle.
When Hobbs came on for Dowell after 62 minutes, bringing Fox into the left wingback position, his positional awareness was outstanding. Sitting in the middle of the back 3, he just mopped everything up. No mean feat for someone who hasn’t had very much first team football this season and has seen no league action.
It was great to see Cummings grab a brace – the second in particular was a thing of beauty – and for Tyler to score the winner was sensational. Cummings was desperately unlucky not to bag a hat trick himself when hitting the crossbar in the dying moments of normal time. But, maybe that’s just as well. Because we got to witness the raw passion displayed by Tyler when he scored what would turn out to be the winner.
What a night.
What a game.
What a team.
What a club.
The Forest Faithful have got it right, you know.
“We’ve got our Forest back!”
COME ON YOU REDS!!!