Are Derby County and Nottingham Forest heading in different directions?


Over the past few seasons Nottingham Forest have comfortably finished above their East Midlands rivals Derby County, but by mid September there is already signs this will not be the case this season. Since the appointment of Nigel Clough by the Derby board as a replacement for Paul Jewell in January 2009 the mission has been to reduce the high wage bill, whilst successfully building a team to achieve promotion.

The past two seasons for Derby supporters has been disappointing with bottom half finishes and no real visible improvement. Although with only 7 games of the 2011/2012 season gone, Nigel Clough finds his team sitting in 4th place with an impressive display over local rivals Nottingham Forest. The Derby County board made the decision after the unsatisfactory relegation from the Premier League, that they needed to appoint a manager that would gain respect from the supporters to allow time for the necessary changes to be implemented. Nigel Clough was the ideal man for the board to appoint as the work his father achieved gained him instant respect. I don’t believe another manager would have been given that amount of time to rebuild the club that Nigel Clough has, showing the Derby County board were clever in their appoint.

When the Nottingham Forest board were looking for a new manager after the departure of Billy Davies, they would have been looking for a manager that would be able to gain respect from the fans whilst trying to lower the wage bill and rebuild the squad. This makes the decision to appoint Steve McClaren puzzling as he has no prior link to the club and is still trying to repair his image after the England disappointment.

This decision by the Forest board is questionable, especially as they have seen their main rivals going about business in a clever way, by accepting a season or two of average performances to help ensure they move forward in the right direction. During the game on Saturday some of the fans demonstrated their frustration at the lack of funds and overall running of the football club.

When the two clubs met last weekend the difference in the two teams was clear, Derby were playing with passion and belief whereas Forest looked unorganised and suffering from a lack of confidence. Even though Derby were playing almost the entire game with 10 men after Fielding’s questionable red card, they still managed to keep Forest at bay for large parts of the game. This result leaves Nottingham Forest in the relegation zone increasing the pressure on Steve McClaren and the board which are responsible for the lack of new faces at the club as a result of not concluding deals.

The Nottingham Forest board need to think about the future of the club and question whether appointing a manager with a number of haters before the start of the season was the correct move to make, especially when they are wanting to lower the money spent. Over the next few weeks the manager and the board need to think about where they are heading along with discussing possible loan signings to help strengthen their small squad. On the other hand Derby County need to use their recent confidence and form to ensure a promotion push is achieved this season. are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “” to learn more.

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