S E A S O N   2 0 1 9 / 2 0   M A T C H   R E P O R T S

SEASON 2019/20. AUGUST 2 2019.
GAME 1 : FOREST 1 WEST BROM 2

Well that wasn't a very horse pictures start to the season, was it Mister Pie?

Auspicious, Mister Stress. And Missis Pie and I had a very enjoyable holiday thank you very much for asking, even though the hotel insisted on putting hash browns on my breakfast plate when I had specifically asked them not to. But enough of my problems. Tell me about the first game match experience at the world famous City Ground, Mister Stress.

It was a disturbing experience to start with, Mister Pie. For a brief second I thought I was standing on my head, but I soon realised it was because they had swapped the dugouts around.

That must have played havoc with your nerves, Mister Stress.

It did, Mister Pie. But the game started and Forest came out like a house on wheels.

A house on fire, surely, Mister Stress. A house on wheels is a caravan.

And that's how they came out, Mister Pie - like a caravan. Houses on fire tend to be a bit static, I have found. So the boys in red went at their opponents like a caravan until young Mister Cash surged forward from right back to drive home a crisp shot at the goalkeeper's near post.

Which signified, no doubt, that Forest were on their way to being promoted as champions.

For a while, Mister Pie, for a while. Until the grim intervention of one Harry Janet Muric.

Who?

Harry Janet Muric is the young goalkeeper loaned to us by Manchester City. Sadly they didn't tell us that he suffers from Negative Gravity Syndrome.

Negative Gravity Syndrome, Mister Stress? I've never heard of that.

Neither had I, Mister Pie, until I made it up. Negative Gravity Syndrome has two effects. Firstly, the subject's atomic bonds loosen, so quite large objects can pass through him, just as the direct shot at him passed through his body and into the net for the first WBA goal. Secondly, what with gravity being reversed, the subject repels rather than attracts objects, which is what happened when a mishit cross managed to avoid him completely and loop over him for WBA's second. That, basically, was the end of the match.

So why would Forest play a goalkeeper who suffers from Negative Gravity Syndrome, Mister Stress? It makes no sense.

A cynic might argue that the loan contract spitulates that Muric must play, or the loan is off, or City stop paying most of his wages, or something.

Stipulates.

Spitulates.

Stipulates.

Spitulates.

Tell me about the rest of the match, Mister Stress.

Not much to tell, Mister Pie. It looked like nothing much had changed, despite the changes. The defence was average. Watson, charged with shielding the defence and instigating forward progress, sadly slipped into a coma after fifteen minutes. Silva began well but his influence became patchy. Semedo looked promising, Amoeba and Cardomah did what was expected. Lolley looked as if his mind was on other things. Grabban was just a weary ghost. There was very little to get excited about, Mister Pie. We are, sadly, the hash browns of the Championship.

So, Mister Stress, Forest's latest attempt to conquer Europe begins with a predictable cock up at the world famous City Ground. It is not, of course, the End of Days quite yet, but it sounds as if enough went wrong to suggest that little has changed since whoever last promised us the earth. One thing that has changed, apparently, is that Forest seem to have adopted the Head Coach/Director of Football approach, which means that if things aren't going too well, the coach can be replaced by somebody equally inept in a transition so smooth the players will hardly notice. You may have thought that this sort of thing had been happening for years at Forest, but you would be wrong. Previous managerial sackings have led to a chaotic restart and some frenetic recruitment, wheras now ...

Oh my God, Mister Pie, nothing at all has changed, has it?

Including, I suspect, your next declaration.

I'm going to kill myself, Mister Pie.

Of course you are, Mister Stress. Will you be throwing yourself in front of a bridge before or after the massacre of Elmand Road?

Probably, Mister Pie. Probably.


Will Stress kill himself again? What is the purpose of the potato based nonsense called hash browns? When will Worrall stop shouting? These and many other matters will probably be avoided in the next report.

SEASON 2019/20. AUGUST 10 2019.
GAME 2 : LEED 1 FOREST 1

I first went to Leed as a primary school pupil on a school trip and was punched on the nose by a bony ginger youth. I simply couldn't believe there were places on earth which bred such scummery. It hasn't changed much. The ground, the fans, the players are still as graceless as the mucky family in the next street with the burnt out car in their front garden. That's why they're called "Dirty Leed".

The media don't appreciate any of this, of course. As far as they are concerned, Leed are favourites for promotion. This was one of those games for which the script, involving a heavy Forest defeat, had already been written. Here's what really happened.

Forest's new, young and fairly useless goalkeeper began as he left off against WBA, mishitting a clearance and heading awkwardly near the edge of his area. The more weak bladdered Forest fans failed to see the funny side of having a circus goalkeeper and began calling for his head. Some people are never satisfied.

Leed began as they had left off when they last played football, by cheating. The first dive of the day came from Forshaw, who was touched in the penalty area by the holy spirit and went down looking for a penalty. The referee was having none of this. To be honest, the referee was having none of anything. He behaved throughout like a man who had bigger problems than pandering to a bunch of overpaid wankers, thus ended up being the best referee Forest have had in years.

Muric continued to flap about, but with slightly more assurance. Bamford failed to control a chest high ball because it was travelling at well over nine miles per hour, and it was at this point that we realised that this match was going to be a mess, just like most Championship matches. That's where the media keep getting it wrong. Their pre-written scripts assume a level of expertise which is seldom there, however frantically they pretend it is. Most Championship games are a series of fruitless events sewn together by mistakes.

The nature of the mess consisted of Forest defending resolutely by passing the ball to Leed players and conceding dozens of corners, and Leed cocking up every half chance that came their way. Semedo blocked, Muric punched, Hernandez dribbled a ball out of play, Bamforth squandered chance after chance, Phillips tried to cripple Silva , somebody kicked the ball out of the stadium. In the 40th minute, Forest got a corner. It was wasted. Watson foul. Phillips free kick. Muric catch. Bamforth blooper. Garbage. End of half.

The second half began more promisingly for Forest. The ball ended up in Leed's penalty area but seemed to disappear down a rabbit hole. A dodgy crossfield ball left the Leed defence vulnerable but Forest were collectively asleep. Adomah shot for the moon. Semedo was a cool head in a hot mess of potage.

The mess continued until Hernandez put Leed ahead with the cleanest shot of the match, followed by a dumb celebratory pose. At last, it probably seemed to the media, the match was back on script, but such conclusions were ignoring the evidence. Samba Sow and Amoeba were now on for Forest, the former adding yellow card grit, the latter beginning to cause chaos. It became clearer and clearer that Forest were not lying down, and Leed were becoming prey to self doubt. Even Watson fired wide, which at least proved he existed. Dawson headed a corner over the crossbar. By this time Bielsa was off his bucket fingering his piles. In the 77th minute Amoeba forced a corner. Dawson and Worrall came up. Leed defended the corner by losing their heads, and somehow the ball ping-ponged its way off Grabban's arm (Roofe like) into the net.

There were other things that happened after that, significant things. There were talking points galore, about penalties and luck and who played well and who didn't. But these things were all drowned by the sound of laughter, because Forest fans have a better sense of humour than Dirty Leed or the media or the mucky family in the next street with the burnt out car in their front garden. Ha.






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.