Remember the date. Saturday 17th December 2016. For me, it was the day that supporting Nottingham Forest hit an all-time low. A farcical performance to top all that came before it.
In my 17-years as a season ticket holder I have seen some disgraceful performances from the Reds, but Saturday’s 2-0 reverse to Wolverhampton Wanderers was a different kind of disgusting.
When we have been bad in the past there has still been an ounce of effort, a desire to at least try and get back into a game. On Saturday I saw at least eight of the 11 men wearing red shirts simply throw in the towel.
Nicklas Bendtner was booed off the pitch on Wednesday night against Preston North End following an abject display. If anyone can possibly identify what Apostolos Vellios did that was any different at the weekend, then please drop me a note via social media.
The only players that looked remotely interested in the welfare of the football club at the weekend were the ones who have been nurtured at the City Ground.
Matty Cash is a trier, Ben Osborn is in fantastic form, whilst central defender Joe Worrall showed maturity beyond his years with his frank assessment of the team’s shambolic performance, when asked to speak to Radio Nottingham after the game.
Those three young talents were the only players who earn my praise from Saturday. They showed me that they wanted to play for Nottingham Forest and that they are not bothered about what they pick up in their pay packets at the end of the month.
Last year I wrote an article for a Forest fan site praising Matt Mills and I now withdraw every single ounce of praise that I ever put in his direction.
The ex-Bolton man returned for the second half on Saturday at the back of every other player, despite wearing the captain’s armband. Can you imagine Stuart Pearce or Roy Keane not leading his troops out onto the pitch for a massive 45 minutes of football?
Some reports have also suggested that Mills had a spat with a fan in the second period which is frankly inexcusable and I strongly feel that the time is now right to recall Jack Hobbs into the side.
After such a drab performance, it should be the captain who fronts up and addresses the media, yet it appeared that Mills packed his balls straight into his wash bag, opting to send out a 19-year-old kid to face the music instead.
Poor performances separate the men from the boys and whilst Mills acted like a big kid, Worrall rightly collected the plaudits for a refreshingly honest interview. Fair play to the youngster!
Nottingham Forest has lost its soul and the quicker the American investors complete their takeover of the club, the better it will be for everyone involved with it – including the ardent supporters who are forced to keep watching the same poor performances week in, week out.
I won’t spare boss Philippe Montanier any sympathy in this piece either and with each passing week, I remain unconvinced that he is the man to revive the fortunes of the club.
His signings in large have been abysmal, his tactical sense is non-existent, whilst his motivational skills also leave a lot to be desired.
I remain convinced that if Montanier needed a new door fitting in his living room, he would probably ring an electrician, such as been his knack of playing square pegs in round holes for much of the season to date.
With Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United to come over Christmas it is difficult to imagine anything other than two more defeats over the festive period, but it is the performance levels that need to change in the short-term.
As a Nottingham Forest supporter, I certainly don’t expect to see my team win each week, but what I do demand is that I see a team who are trying to win points for the football club.
Until the mentality of certain players changes, then I do not see results improving any time soon at the City Ground and our only hope is that some of the injured players, who are currently unavailable, can come back into the side and make immediate impacts over the next few months.