Whisper it quietly, but Forest could be on the road to success…
11:00 GMT, 7 September 2012
The preferred route to success for any football club would be sustained and steady growth.
Planned development with one eye fixed firmly on the finances.
I make no apologies for saying this again – just like the model that is currently being followed at West Brom. There is another alternative, of course.
You can throw money at it (Aston Villa). You can throw money at it and then watch as it spectacularly implodes (Birmingham City). You can throw a finance house's cash at it, fail, drop down two leagues and still lose money (Coventry City). You get the picture.
And then we have Nottingham Forest.
Looking up: Nottingham Forest have made an encouraging to the the new season in the npower Championship
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Nigel Doughty certainly threw his money at his favourite football club. Pretty much to no avail.
They couldn't get it quite right at the City Ground. If the manager was capable, (Paul Hart, Billy Davies) the players fell short. And if the manager was hopeless, (Joe Kinnear) the players fell even shorter.
And all the while the spectre of the director of football hovered over the manager. Was David Pleat a help or hindrance Should we spend money (Steve McClaren) Or not (again, Steve McClaren)
Mixed messages. Consequently, they just couldn't get it right.
Now the director of football has surprisingly disappeared, new owners have pitched up in the at Midlands and Nottingham Forest appear to be on the up again.
What struck the eye this week was a tweet from Nottingham Evening Post journalist Paul Taylor's tweet about the air of positivity encircling the club.
Eh Since when Since someone, somewhere took the decision to appoint a 'proper' football manager who certainly had done enough to warrant a crack at a club such as Nottingham Forest.
I took my annual break this summer just after the Al-Hasawi family assumed control.
After the excitement, there were names trotted out for the managerial post such as Glenn Hoddle. Ho hum.
Man in charge: New Nottingham Forest manager Sean O'Driscoll (R) has impressed at the City Ground
Then Mick McCarthy – who has an excellent track record for leading clubs from the Championship on a budget – was mentioned.
Eventually, someone, somewhere (and I have a pretty good idea who) might have said to the owners: 'Listen, results picked up when Steve Cotterill brought Sean in.
'The players liked his training. Why don't we bring him back'
Hey presto. Unfortunate for Crawley Town, I accept that.
I suppose it was meant to happen sooner or later, but finally Nottingham Forest have a manager with the desire and ability to put XI players on the pitch who, at the very least, will play attractive, winning football. He's a Black Country bloke. I just wonder if Wolves may rue the day… but that's another story.
I like the smell around the City Ground at the moment. It's about as enticing as a whopping Sunday roast. Whisper it quietly, but it could be Forest's time.
But just don't ask them how they've done it – because I'm not exactly sure they know.
Ireland highlights positive signs at Villa
The reports from St James's Park were encouraging. Most commentators agreed that Villa were more than value for their point.
But, speaking to a colleague this week, the line: 'I've never seen Stephen Ireland work as hard as that,' was spoken.
Ireland has his own agenda – winning a new contract – but if Paul Lambert can get the talented ones to run around for 90 minutes, then that's certainly a positive sign.
Roy's tale of booze and football is a must-read…
Red card Roy: Ex-Colchester star McDonough tells all in his new book
The name of Roy McDonough won't be familiar to the current generation of Premier League followers.
But, back in the day, the man who amassed the most red cards in English football… well, let's just say he has lived the life – as his new autobiography reveals.
McDonough, now in his 50s, grew up in Solihull, so his roots are firmly embedded in the Midlands and started off life at Aston Villa as a kid and made his debut in the Football League with Birmingham City.
But his career really heads into a nose-dive after he signs for Chelsea and his tales of life in the lower leagues with Colchester, Southend, Cambridge and Exeter – among others, certainly puts the 'win or lose, on the booze' mentality into perspective. And then some.
I've read a few sports' autobiographies in my time – Paul McGrath's was as harrowing an account as they come. Niall Quinn's was excellent. As was Roy Keane's – apart from the nagging theme of self-justification which began to grate towards the end.
But this, ghosted superbly by Bernie Friend, is a real warts and all tale of football, wanton hedonism and, as the subject himself freely admits, self-loathing.
My favourite line Probably when he asks his physio at Southend whether drinking 70 pints of Stella every week is suitable behaviour for a professional athlete…
'Red Card Roy' is published by Vision Sports Publishing