Progress Report: 14/09/2017

I started writing a piece before the Sheffield Wednesday game on Saturday about parallels with last season. I nearly revisited it on Monday to further point them out, but last night’s win at Sunderland has sort of blown this apart.

The excitement many had before the Leeds game was understandable with good form following such a poor season the one before. But it forgets that we had a similar bright start last season under Montanier. We had 3 wins out of 5 before the international break, and felt good. It was then after the break (and also crucially in part of what I was saying a visit to Sheffield Wednesday with a defeat.

Crucial differences are though we have already won away and more than once, which took so long last season. Getting an early away win gets that hoodoo off the back. We even drew against Rotherham away last year; such was our inability to close out away games.

We aren’t laden with unknown quantities. I was speaking to my friend at the Wednesday match last year when we bought on Dumitru saying “I’m just not sure what his game is meant to be… is he pacey? IS he skilful? Is he powerful?” (Turns out none of the above) and the same was with Lica. Lam and Kasami were largely unknown, Stojkovic was new to England. This year we know our players more, we know what their games are, their strengths.

The two recent defeats were against a team in Sheffield Wednesday who has been a fixture in the playoffs for the last few years and have invested heavily over the last few years. and in Leeds who are flying high. There’s no shame in some of these results. There is little point in reading too much into league position till 12 game sin. In 12 games you should have had a mix of good teams and bad teams. Before that is too soon.
But expectation is crazy again. We missed relegation last season by a whisker. Yet there are some who seem to think we are world beaters. I’ve seen numerous people suggest changing manager on Facebook in the comments sections of Forest updates. Who they think we’d get or who would be better, that’s something they never feel the need to qualify or expand on. It’s like they haven’t seen the last decade or so, and especially the Fawaz regime, that chopping and changing creates a mess. Fawaz especially created problems by always changing the manager, but it’s now created a norm for fans where if a few games don’t go perfectly they feel justified in calling for manager’s heads.

The players fans are getting on the back of are young experience players who will grow, rather than battle hardened veterans. I think abusing a young player is stupid. It affects their confidence so much, not that attacking any player in the cowards way on twitter, hurling abuse whilst knowing that the other party can’t really do anything to retaliate is ridiculous. But to young players is particularly bad.

I’ve spoke before at length about the abuse Ben Osborn gets. That is frankly retarded. It just feels like idiots online like to band together as it makes their odd views feel legitimized. Before hand in the stands they’d get shouted down. Now online they find others who agree.

The win last night means that in the binary world of the Twitter Forest fan everything is good again. The old adage you are only as good as your last result is never more prevalent than amongst the online community, who seem to react to each result with increasingly polar opposite reactions. A defeat means certain relegation. A win means the playoffs are a certainty. It’s like they forget the ebb and flow of a 46 game long season.

We are in 8th. That is better than par. I’d expect us to be mid table come the end of the season, and the longer we remain above that, the better. Young players will learn, and develop, and become better players. To get on Worrall’s back or Brereton’s as I have seen is not helpful. Those who consider themselves the free thinking rebels online, and I’ve seen them attack all other fans as sheep following a herd, so it’s a fair label, say that its fair play to get on players backs. That they only reason they are immune from abuse is that they are academy graduates. That’s far too simple. It’s that they are young players, and we have seen all too many flourishing carers rocked by confidence issues, not helped by the crowd.