Monday night madness

A venture into the Forest.

This time it’s a Monday night, which means that at least they won’t spoil your weekend, just ruin it with the anticipation.

Nottingham Forest, or Notts Forest if you want to annoy them, are one of those clubs whose opinion of them can date you, a bit like saying who you think is the real Dr Who*. If you’re getting on a bit they’re Brian Clough, European Cups and it’s good to see them back at the top after years of bad ownership. Young whippersnappers will say “Who?”

It’s incredible to think that this is the first season this century that Forest have been in the Premier League. When you look at some of the unlikely clubs that have managed it, and you don’t have to look too far for some of the unlikeliest, avoiding promotion from the Championship must have been almost as big an achievement as those European wins. Before that they’d come up a couple of times and when they did it in 1994 they finished third, which is still a record for a newly-promoted club in the Premier League. They probably won’t do so well this season.

All those years ago Forest was one of the best away trips then they started restricting ticket numbers and a Monday night won’t make it any better. They’ve got about 143 new players and sold us Matty Cash a couple of years ago. Their manager signed a new contract in the week and should use some of the money to smarten himself up a bit, because he looks as if he could have get a job if Never Mind the Buzzcocks had done Shaun Ryder in the Identity Parade round.

No doubt Steven Gerrard will be able to scrape together eleven players and the right number of subs but just in case, if you’re aiming to be there early take your boots. If you’re one of the lucky ones you’ll be getting a win bonus as well.

*Jon Pertwee.