“Did youse say something, Mark Arthur? I cannae hear ya!”
I must admit, I was dead opposed to Billy Davies the first time round, and ended up on the terraces merrily cheering him and singing his name. The recent goings on at Forest have left me not exactly bereft of caring, but somewhat detached, so it’s a sense of ambivalence from me that greets his re-arrival at the City Ground, but definitely one of interest.
He is a considerable improvement on the disastrous Alex McLeish, and will undoubtedly provoke an impassioned response from the crowd, a significant proportion of whom never quite managed to get over his removal in the first place (it’s undeniable that those that followed him were unmitigated disasters – so I guess it’s easy to point to a shit manager, and then complain that his predecessor was better irrespective of the non-existent relationship between board and manager).
But there’s a clean slate now – having sacked Sean O’Driscoll in a move for me personally that was more unfathomable than anything that went before, axe-man Fawaz took his metaphorical chopper (or a pen and paper – the pen is mightier than the sword, after all) to the board room and removed Mark Arthur and Keith Burt, both of whom would have been members of the dreaded Transfer Acquisition Panel. If you were to believe what you read, the arch-nemesis of Billy Davies fulfilling his potential at the club.
By the time McLeish had walked I decided that I’d quite like Billy Davies to come back. Not because I’m part of the fanbase who have elevated him to messiah-like status, but because he probably is the best short-term (and, to be fair to him, potentially long term) fix for us, but because the pantomime at Forest could explode in hitherto unseen ways should the combustible manager and the combustible chairman not work well together.
This season is pretty much a write-off regardless, it would take a monumentally appalling run to see us end up at risk of relegation, whilst the gap to the hallowed promotion places looks similarly insurmountable by anything other than an exceptional run of good results, the only option for signings is loans so nothing long term can occur in the transfer market – so I’m very much of a mind to sit back and watch what happens with mounting interest.
It’s a worry to me that the powers-that-be at Forest seem to take so readily to the likes of Twitter or possibly forums to gather their insight into what supporters may want – notwithstanding the demographic bias to either channel of communication, both mediums are rife with contradiction, fickleness, reactionary types and let’s not forget wind-up merchants – it’s a heady brew of confusion, that can only be made more open to misinterpretation if viewed in a second language.
Sensible the Wee Yin is dodging the bullet of taking on Sean O’Driscoll’s new charges this weekend, leaving Rob Kelly to look after the team on a caretaker basis until presumably he gets the bullet next week when Billy and his backroom team recommence their ‘unfinished business’ at the City Ground, hopefully the profligate bullets flying about manage to avoid John Pemberton and the good work he’s doing at the Academy.
How seriously or not he takes feedback from the Twitter hordes aside though, it’s clear to me as a fan these days that what Fawaz says goes – and either you get on board his train-set and follow the track he’s laid out for us, or you get off at the next stop and leave him to it. Given that I’m pre-paid up for the remainder of the season the only sensible course of action is the strap in and attempt as best as I can to enjoy the ride.
Certainly Mr Al Hasawi has been on a steep learning curve – the position he has manoeuvred himself into has probably left him with limited options at this juncture. If nothing else he’s enabled some rousing of the rabble which should see the atmosphere at the City Ground for the visit of Bolton, when Billy re-takes the helm for the first time, enhanced – and a chance for him to reflect and evaluate in the summer (which is probably what I’ll be doing too).
That’s of course if he and Billy can manage to get along until the summer… but for now it’s beyond doubt that Billy Davies is a Red, and that he hates Derby.