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The In The Top One Review Of Forest's Season

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It's been good, more often bad, occasionally exhilarating but largely terrible. Daniel Storey, David Marples and Nick Miller try to sum up the 2014/15 season at the City Ground...

Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Player of the season


Daniel Storey: Has to be Britt Assombalonga. He is far from the finished article, but he excites me like no Forest striker since Marlon Harewood. Somehow that was 13 years ago.

David Marples: First of all, thank the lord it isn't just me who once thought that Marlon was going to be a world beater. Michail Antonio has carried us but it's been lovely to watch Ben Osborn flourish.

Nick Miller: I could be a colossal smartarse here and say Andy Reid, but my mother taught me never to be one of those, so I'll say Benny Osborn.

Goal of the season


DS: I'm going to plump for Antonio's goal against Rotherham. Pick the ball up in his own half, beat five men with power and pace, fire the ball into the bottom corner. Everything good about him in one goal.


DM: Antonio's goal against Fulham was pretty special - still not sure how he did it.

NM: Antonio against Fulham. The first touch of Bergkamp, the finish of Henry.


Game of the season


DS: Well... Derby away. The final glorious peak of a very trough-y end to Stuart Pearce's reign.

DM: Looking beyond Derby, I thoroughly enjoyed the early season win at Hillsborough: Lansbury scoring from midfield and Mancienne imperious. We eked out a victory despite being a bit lucky and I genuinely thought that performances and results like this were what successful seasons were made of. Turns out we were just a bit lucky.

NM: I'll get to Derby in a minute, but I really enjoyed Wolves away. Excellent win, terrific performance, Henri Lansbury was brilliant for one of the three times this season, and it looked like we might do something. Oh, the cruelness of hope.

Moment of the season


DS: Not just the Osborn goal vs Derby, but listening to the Radio Nottingham commentary time and time again. What supporting your local club should be all about.

DM: Again, Osborn's moment was special. But also, Antonio's winner against Norwich at home was a moment of pure catharsis. Pearce walking out on the opening day of the season coincided with me getting something in my eye. Jorge Grant slotting in at White Hart Lane was memorable too, as was Tyler Waker notching at Griffin Park.

NM: "The ball breaks for Tesche, left-hand side for Osborn, bit of space for Ben Osborn, towards the edge of the penalty area...the youngster goes ooOOOOOOOOONNNN....AND SMASHES IT HOME!"



Low-point of the season


DS: The 3-1 home defeat to Blackburn. That was when I realised Pearce was destined to fail. Before then I suspected, but that's when I knew. Horrible.

DM: I'm a bit slower than Dan. Similarly, the very next game after Osborn's winner against Derby saw us go to Fulham and utterly collapse in the first half. After the high of events at the Ipro merely days earlier, surely the team would click into gear and start to climb the table. Apparently not. If the final whistle at Rochdale told us something clearly wasn't right, the first half performance at Craven Cottage confirmed it.

NM: Pearce going. No matter the logic, we'll never have anyone that we care about and that cares about Forest as our manager again. That stuff matters.

Worst decision of the season


DS: Saying the decision to appoint Pearce sounds a bit wanky, even though it's what I think. So I'll go for any time that Michael Mancienne was put in midfield by Pearce. Makes me shudder thinking about it.

DM: Mancienne at left back in the final game against Cardiff is still irritating me, as is the selection of four loan players rather than starting our academy products. Matty Fryatt getting two decent goals chalked off against Leeds wasn't the greatest piece of officiating either. On a more personal level, my decision to drive up to Rochdale was a very poor one.

NM: I had a bag of chips before the Watford game at home, despite having quite a big lunch. Sat so heavily that I was really uncomfortable throughout the game, as I watched us get thoroughly outclassed. That, or not playing some of the youngsters in the last few games of the season.

Funniest Derby moment of the season


DS: I'm going to not play ball. I think they are now one of the best run clubs in the league, and it's pretty cheap for a club as synonymous with clusterfucks as us. But yeah, Keogh in the Team of the Year - silliness.

DM: Agreed. They've certainly got a few chortles at our expense recently. But since you're asking, Keogh needlessly sliding in rather than staying on his feet against Reading in the opening moments of their final game. As for Lee Grant...

NM: Well aren't you two boring. If you can't find solace in the misery of others, there is no hope for anyone. Toss up for me between the final day, getting to 92 minutes of their home game against Birmingham 2-0 in the lead, only to draw 2-2, and the own-goal against Wolves. Can you have three things in a toss-up?



Sum up the season in a sentence


DS: Newsflash: Turns out having an owner who seems able to upset everyone and everything in the club isn't the perfect recipe for progress, no matter how expensive the shit you throw at the wall.

DM: Excitingly mundane: The highs were very high but the lows, man....those lows were long and deep.

NM: The best thing I can say is that it's over.

Sum up the season in a word


DS: Predictable.

DM: Turbulent.

NM: Exhausting.

Sum up the season in a noise


DS: Just a long, weary sigh.

DM: That irritating and incessant voice that accompanies a vehicle reversing: 'This vehicle is reversing. This vehicle is reversing. This vehicle is reversing. This vehicle is reversing. This vehicle is reversing. This vehicle is reversing. This vehicle is reversing. This vehicle is reversing. This vehicle is reversing. This vehicle is reversing.'

NM: To end on a positive note, the sound of the Forest end after the Osborn goal. Never heard anything so primal at a football match. Magic.