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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Turls' Forest Decade Review

Last up in our reviews of the decade, Turls takes a glance back at how the Noughties have been for Nottingham Forest.

How's the decade been?

The decade has been nothing short of atrocious for Forest in my opinion. Not a single season in the top flight. Not a single thing to crow about - although you could argue that promotion from League One to the Championship was a happy time.

We've made two play-off appearances and been beaten disgracefully both times. The season we lost to Sheffield United was a good year but it's been all down hill from there.

Thankfully, the club looks like it is heading back in the right direction under Billy Davies so the next decade could be one of real promise.

Highlight of the decade?

Erm, give me a second on this one. It has to be the year we got to the Championship play-offs. Or when we hired Billy Davies.

I'll have to go with the play-off season because it was a team of promise and real ability - Michael Dawson and Andy Reid went on to play for Tottenham Hotspur.

Paul Hart had trained these players in the youth team and he was reaping the benefits as first team manager. We should have got promoted that year but a dodgy sending off in the first leg cost us big time.

Neil Warnock celebrates Forest's play off defeat to Sheffield United

Low point of the decade?

Relegation to League One followed by three seasons in the division. Becoming the first Champions of Europe to get relegated to the third tier of their respective division is not the type of record any football club wants.

How we didn't get promoted first time round I'll never know. Oh wait - yeah I do - Gary Megson. The guy was an idiot and seemed to blame everyone but himself for our crapness.

Did he ever stop and wonder why Frank Barlow and Ian McParland did so well when they came in as caretakers?

Forest's best manager of the decade?

It's a shoot-out between Paul Hart and Billy Davies and I think Hart has won it by a whisker.

He managed to get us to the Championship play-offs and, although you could argue we should have done better given the team, I think we over-achieved.

It was a tough league at the time: Portsmouth were spending money left right and centre, Leicester were a dangerous outfit, Sheffield United, Wolves and many more made it a difficult division to get out of.

It's just a shame it ended with a whimper.

Forest's worst manager of the decade?

David Platt? Joe Kinnear? Gary Megson? To have three abysmal managers in the space of a decade is embarrassing for Nottingham Forest, but to see them go on and manage at a higher level is embarrassing for the state of English football

Platt [left] went to manage England's U21's, Kinnear later became Newcastle manager, and Megson has only just been sacked from Bolton.

However, forced to choose between who was the worst, I'd have to go Platt. He started the decade, and century, in charge at the City Ground and it has taken nearly 10 years for the club to turn itself round after his disastrous reign.

You can't blame him for everything, but he is partly responsible for the financial problem - spending a shedload of money on a group of crap Italians will do that - and that's where all our problems started.

The guy was a tool of epic proportions and, as has been mentioned previously, he is a dismal manager with the tactical knowledge of a drunk cow.

Best Forest player this decade?

This is a tough one. Not because we had a host of great players. Not because we had no great players. Simply because whenever someone looked like they were playing well for Forest, he was then sold on.

Andy Reid, Michael Dawson, David Prutton, Jermaine Jenas. All good players who went not long after bursting onto the scene. For this reason, I've decided to give it to Kris Commons.

He isn't as good as any of the above but he served the club well for four years - three of which were in League One. He could have left at any time but he decided to stay.

He single-handedly, in my opinion, took Forest back to the promised land and for that, I can forgive him for moving to Derby. He may not have been the most svelte of players but neither was Matt Le Tissier!

Kris Commons - Turls's choice for Forest's player of the decade

Worst Forest player this decade?

It would be easy for me to reel off a list of crap players that were signed by David Platt, so I

Carlos Merino, Salvatore Matrecano, Moreno Mannini, and Gianluca Petrachi are just a few of the inspired signings that saw Forest take their first steps towards the abyss. However, I've chosen to cut Platt some slack.

So my nomination for worst Forest player of the decade goes to Danny Sonner. Having played 32 games for the club, all I remember him for is being an idle waste of space in the middle of the park who couldn't pass, shoot or tackle.

An absolute disgrace and typical of the level of dross that the club was fielding in the last decade.

Hopes for the next decade for Forest?

A lot depends on the antics of Billy Davies. He is renowned as much for his fiery temperament with the board then he is with getting Championship sides into the play-offs.

Can current Forest boss Billy Davies make the next decade a good one?

I think that with him at the helm, promotion will come next year. Can the club stay in the Premiership? Who knows. However, the ambition has to be to get to the top-flight and stay there.

A decade is a long time for a club of Forest's stature to be outside the top-flight and although not many people like our supposed "we-deserve-to-be-in-the-Premier League arrogance", few would argue that the club is a Premier League club in all but name.

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