NOVEMBER 22, 2014


Reporting becomes a serious problem when a performance is so good it's difficult to pick out the best bits, so apologies if this sounds a bit random.

I think we could have seen something very special. For the first time this season we saw a properly effective team performance, where the individual parts were not only at their best but demonstrated an appreciation of each others' abilities and contribution. Partnerships developed, understandings blossomed, potential was fulfilled. As Hannibal Smith once said, I love it when a plan comes together.

There were reasons for hesitation, of course. The Manciennes/Lascelles partnership is definitely a work in progress, Darlo still does some daft things, and Wolves were distinctly average, but to dwell on these things would be churlish. Such doubts were rendered irrelevant by the crushing weight of victory.

The specialness came in the second half. The first half was oddly frustrating, mainly because Forest's threat was so palpable - Antonio's fearsome blast, Lansbury's wicked shot tipped onto the post, Fryatt's shot deflected for a corner. The potential was there, the players were moving forward with confidence, but there was always the nagging worry that Wolves might scab a goal.

In the second half, the potential crystallised into three goals, two of which were surgical. That was where the specialness came in - the composure of the build up play, the clean simplicity of the finishes. This was not the Forest which relied on rampaging runs and individual brilliance, but a settled, confident outfit in which players were reading each other's intentions and trusting each other's skill. After increasing pressure and a few more near things, Forest's first goal was like something from a fantasy training ground routine. Fryatt held the ball up deep down Wolves' right side, used Antonio as a decoy to free himself some room, looked up, played it back to Fox and made himself available for Fox's precise return pass. Fryatt to Antonio wide left, Antonio back infield to Fryatt, who spun and made a simple pass to Lansbury. Lansbury darted a pass towards Antonio, whose deft back flick found Fryatt, who had by now found space behind the Wolves' defence. Fryatt measured a perfect ball to Assombalonga who sidefooted it home. It was such a perfectly controlled piece of play combined with such intelligent movement that the Wolves defenders never came to grips with what was happening. They were probably a bit dizzy.

Fryatt's contribution was immense. How anyone could ever criticise this bloke's importance to the team is beyond us. Stress, a long time doubter, apologised later, and cheered along with the rest as the second goal, an oddly crafted header from Fryatt, looped into the goal. The third goal had me apologising to Stress for ever doubting young Osborn. The nipper pinged a ball out wide to Antonio (not the first time the two had combined). Antonio brought it under immediate control and side footed it towards the penalty spot, where something remarkable happened. With an almost telepathic understanding, two Forest players (Assombalonga and Burke?) crossed paths and dummied the ball, allowing it to reach Lansbury, who steered it home with spectacular ease. I don't think I've ever seen a move like it - what do you call it, a switch dummy?

Whatever you call it, it was a sumptuous piece of football from players who were so confident by now they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. We even felt a bit sorry for Wolves. But only a bit. Forest tortured them for a while longer and could have had a couple more, but three was enough.

So I think what we saw was special, not only in the performance, but in what the performance represented - the promise that this team really is gelling, really is finding its method. The least that can be said is that the players have set themselves a standard, and that standard is very high indeed.

(01) 09.08.14 FOREST 2 BLACKPOO0
(02) 16.08.14 BOLN 2 FOREST 2
(03) 19.08.14 BORMUFF 1FOREST 2
(04) 23.08.14 FOREST 4 READING LADIES0
(05) 30.08.14 WENDIES 0 FOREST1
(06) 14.09.14 FOREST 1 SHEEP1
(07) 17.09.14 FOREST 5 COTTAGERS3
(O8) 20.09.14 MEWO 0 FOREST0
(09) 27.09.14 FOREST 0 HOVE0
(10) 30.09.14 WIGGUM 0 FOREST 0
(11) 05.10.14 FOREST 2 DIPSWITCH2
(12) 18.10.14 CAERDYDD 2 FOREST1
(13) 21.10.14 WATFOR? 2 FOREST 2
(14) 25.10.14 FOREST 1 BLACKbum3
(15) 01.11.14 UDDERSFEEL 3FOREST 0
(16) 05.11.14 FOREST 1BENTFORD 3
(17) 08.11.14 FOREST 2NORRIDGE1
(18) 22.11.14 WONDERBRAS 0 FOREST3

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.