Monday, 20 October 2008

Calderwood on trial as Tractor Boys roll into town

The international break failed to provide a break in Forest's poor form so far since their return to The Championship. More neat, promising, but ultimately toothless play was followed by two defensive lapses and an inevitable defeat at Loftus Road.

The internet forums have been alight with anti-Calderwood sentiment since the QPR defeat and while the wider crowd (which always seems to be less miltant than the keyboard warrior hoardes) has yet to turn - two home games this week could prove crucial for CC's plans to revive his sides flagging fortunes.

The bedrock of last year's promotion charge was the Reds' sound home form and the City Ground must become a more plentiful hunting ground for points given the inability to pick up a single point away so far.

With Earnshaw and Garner unlikely to be ready to challenge Tyson and Cole it seems as though the major selection headaches will surround the goalkeeping and midfield starting berths.

I don't see the point of bringing in Lee Camp on loan to warm the bench so I'd throw him in and in midfield, if fit, I think Lewis McGugan has to start. His long range shots and dead ball ability bring a source of goals that is sadly lacking with Chris 'Good Engine' Cohen in the midfield. He should be a good foil for the robust Fletcher and McCleary and Anderson should be a danger down both flanks if allowed to continue starting roles.

Bennett could be set to miss out while the news is quiet on Perch's condition so it seems as though Chambers-Morgan-Wilson-Lynch could be the back line.

They will be faced by the tricky Spaniard Pablo Counago and Jon Stead, who will offer a tough test, but Ipswich are traditionally a side that, although talented, don't travel well from Portman Road.

For many fans the spotlight will be on Calderwood - his selection, tactics and reaction to events as they pan out across the 90 minutes will be important to try and conjure an all important three points.

A win will ease the perilous predicament at the foot of the table but a loss might just see the internet hostility transferred to the terraces - something that managers struggle to return from.

This blogger is old enough to have seen off a fair few Forest bosses over the last turbulent two decades and back in the mists of time a fresh face often used to seem the best way to kick start on the field fortunes. Bassett, P***tt, Hart, Megson, Kinnear etc have all had a ride on the Forest managerial merry-go-round but the changes have merely brought a glut of false dawns. I've no appetite for change (or indeed a clue about who could take charge if CC was sacked) and am more inclined to stick with him for now than some.

Clubs such as Coventry, Leicester and Southampton seem to change their manager every year and make absolutely no progress. In fact all three have got gradually worse since their relegation from the Premier League with the possible exception of the Sky Blues who look half-decent this term. I don't want us to fall into the cycle of appointing a new boss every year and having a squad in constant flux.

As the old cliche goes the 'grass is not always greener' and CC, having been backed by Doughty's millions, has to have time to try and prove that investment was not misguided.

Most fans will not give him much longer however and the Ipswich and Cardiff games will be crucial in deciding whether Forest can avoid being cut adrift at the bottom and whether Calderwood continues in the City Ground hotseat. No pressure then..................

No comments: