Fun at Forest - Exciting at Ewood

27 December 2012 04:26
Yesterday was Boxing Day and today this report should all be about the feast of festive football on one of the biggest days of the football calendar. It might have been but for the subsequent goings on at Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers.

I'd just enjoyed a belated family Christmas meal while discussing the merits of our 2-0 win against Derby, the disappointing attendance, the poor following from Derby and anything else relating to the game and the results elsewhere.

I certainly wasn't expecting any Championship manager to lose his job but had I done so then my money would very definitely have been on Wolves' Ståle Solbakken who is not having the best of starts to his Molineux career.

They'd suffered an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat against bottom club Peterborough. It was the biggest win of the day in the Championship and actually lifted Posh off the bottom as waterlogged Bristol City took over after their home game against the Udinese franchise of Watford had been called off.

It was just a quick look at the television to check the scores and I was attracted by the yellow bar that read 'NOTTINGHAM FOREST SACK SEAN O'DRISCOLL'. Now hang on, I thought, they've just beaten Leeds 4-2 and gone eighth in the table, just one point shy of the play off positions.

I think it's common knowledge that I'm no fan of O'Driscoll's football but surely this wasn't correct.

It was. Those wonderful people ingrained in East Midlands football, the Al Hasawi family of Kuwait, had pulled the plug on a second manager since taking over in the summer.

They said they needed an iconic manager so when they dismissed Steve Cotterill and were then turned down by Mick McCarthy it did come as something as a shock when O'Driscoll got the job. Whatever you may think of him, iconic is not a word that comes readily to mind.

They changed chairman this month amidst rumours of the money running out and this decision was explained by the new chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi (and I thought I had problems spelling Banaszkiewicz).

"We cannot speak highly enough of Sean as a man. He was appointed at an extremely difficult time for the club and can count himself unlucky to have lost his job with the team just one point away from the top six," Mr Al Hasawi said.

He then went on to explain that the players brought in under O'Driscoll were taking longer to settle than they had anticipated. I bet they all feel good this morning with that supportive comment.

The chairman was quickly tweeting about speaking to a Premier League manager. Was it Wenger? Maybe Ferguson? No, the odds on favourite right now is Alex McLeish, he who took Birmingham out of the Premier League and then made a hell of an attempt to do the same at Aston Villa.

Sacking a manager at Christmas - what next? How about sacking one who has only been in the job for 57 days?

To put that into perspective, Sean Dyche has now been Burnley manager for just 58 days. Maybe he needs to be looking over his shoulder if managers are now going so quickly.

Then again, we are not Blackburn Rovers. We don't have an Indian matriarch by the name of Mrs Desai and neither do we have a global advisor to turn our club into the biggest circus since Billy Smart was around.

Yes, the big news is from Ewood again. After their latest defeat at Middlesbrough, where Lukas Jutkiewicz scored the only goal of the game, it was time up for Henning Berg, the former central defender who, despite failing to land the job at Bury, fought off stiff competition to land the Blackburn job on the last day of October.

A couple of weeks ago he lost his first team coach Colin Hendry who was promoted to assistant reserve team coach, and there were rumours that he might lose all his backroom team of Eric Black, Iain Brunskill and Bobby Mimms. There is good news for Berg, he hasn't lost them. They've all gone through the Ewood Park door with him.

It was the briefest of statements from the club this morning after Twitter and message boards carried the speculation. On confirming the departures of all four, they added: "The decision has been taken following a very disappointing sequence of results."

Just over two years ago I despaired at the goings on at Ewood. They'd been taken away from us in the 1990s by the Jack Walker money and now they'd landed on their feet with another big takeover by Venky's.

No matter what happens in the future, I'd like to take this opportunity right now to say a big thank you to the owners. Without them and the wonderful Mrs Desai we might never have heard of Agent Kean, there wouldn't have been a shabby Shebby. There might not have even been chickens on the pitch.

I never thought I'd have the chance to poke fun at them again but from the day they sacked Sam Allardyce, 13th December 2010, it has been wonderful entertainment for us. It's not ended yet. Shebby's still there and he'll provide us all with a few more laughs in the future, the very future he's there to shape.

On the day before we opened our season against Bolton, on a visit to Gawthorpe, Eddie Howe expressed to me how surprised he was that a lot of Burnley supporters weren't keen on having foreign owners.

Maybe he was already planning his trip home to work for the new Russian owner at Bournemouth. Who knows? I know my views haven't changed and the last 24 hours have strengthened them. I'll settle for a man from Nelson with a Polish surname.

There were some games yesterday. The results are below along with the usual stats and the next fixtures.

The Results Wednesday 26th December Barnsley 1 Birmingham City 2 Huddersfield Town 1 Blackpool 1 Bolton Wanderers 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1 Hull City 0 Leicester City 0 Bristol City v Watford - Postponed Middlesbrough 1 Blackburn Rovers 0 Burnley 2 Derby County 0 Nottingham Forest 4 Leeds United 2 Cardiff City 2 Crystal Palace 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Peterborough United 3 Charlton Athletic 1 Ipswich Town 2  


The Stats Biggest Win Peterborough United 3-0 v Wolverhampton Wanderers (away) Total Goals Scored 24 (12 home - 12 away) Player Scoring Most Goals2 Curtis Davies (Birmingham City)Billy Sharp (Nottingham Forest) Highest Attendance 26,670 - Nottingham Forest v Leeds United Lowest Attendance 9,191 - Barnsley v Birmingham City Total Yellow Cards 26 Total Red Cards 0 Most Cards in a Game Cardiff City v Crystal Palace (7Y) Ref: Phil Gibbs


Leading Goalscorers (League Only) 20 Charlie Austin (Burnley) - includes 3 penaltiesGlenn Murray (Crystal Palace) - includes 7 penalties 14 Luciano Becchio (Leeds United) - includes 4 penalties 13 Tom Ince (Blackpool) - includes 3 penaltiesJordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) - 2 with Huddersfield Town 12 Marlon King (Birmingham City) - includes 3 penalties 11 David Nugent (Leicester City) - includes 1 penaltyChris Wood (Millwall) 10 Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton & Hove Albion) - includes 2 penaltiesMatej Vydra (Watford) - includes 2 penalties 9 DJ Campbell (Ipswich Town)Troy Deeney (Watford) 8 Sone Aluko (Hull City)Craig Davies (Barnsley) - includes 1 penaltySteven Davies (Bristol City) - includes 2 penaltiesSylvan Ebanks-Blake (Wolverhampton Wanderers) - includes 2 penaltiesScott McDonald (Middlesbrough)Theo Robinson (Derby County)Billy Sharp (Nottingham Forest) - includes 2 penalties 7 Sam Baldock (Bristol City) - includes 3 penaltiesChris Eagles (Bolton Wanderers)Heidar Helguson (Cardiff City)Darius Henderson (Millwall)Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough)Pete Whittingham (Cardiff City) - includes 3 penalties


Hat Tricks  Date Player & Game 01/09/12 3: Pete Whittingham - CARDIFF CITY v Wolverhampton Wanderers 15/09/12 3: Charlie Austin - BURNLEY v Peterborough United 22/09/12 3: Glenn Murray - CRYSTAL PALACE v Cardiff City 22/09/12 4: Craig Davies - Birmingham City v BARNSLEY 23/09/12 3: David Nugent - LEICESTER CITY v Hull City 29/09/12 3: Emile Sinclair - Hull City v PETERBOROUGH UNITED 02/10/12 3: Charlie Austin - BURNLEY v Sheffield Wednesday 23/10/12 3: Marlon King - Millwall v BIRMINGHAM CITY 06/11/12 3: Glenn Murray - CRYSTAL PALACE v Ipswich Town 17/11/12 3: Jordan Rhodes - Peterborough United v BLACKBURN ROVERS


Disciplinary Record (League and Cup) Club Y R Y R Club Y R Y R   League   Total   League  Total  Barnsley 32 1 35 2 Huddersfield Town 42 4 43 4 Birmingham City 31 2 33 2 Hull City 28 1 28 2 Blackburn Rovers 27 0 27 0 Ipswich Town 30 0 30 0 Blackpool 35 0 35 0 Leeds United 40 2 45 2 Bolton Wanderers 45 1 47 1 Leicester City 27 1 27 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 29 1 30 1 Middlesbrough 30 0 35 0 Bristol City 29 0 31 0 Millwall 45 2 47 2 Burnley 44 1 50 1 Nottingham Forest 40 4 40 4 Cardiff City 44 2 46 2 Peterborough United 38 0 39 0 Charlton Athletic 36 0 36 0 Sheffield Wednesday 43 1 46 1 Crystal Palace 35 2 39 2 Watford 42 4 43 4 Derby County 27 1 28 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 1 23 1


Highest and Lowest Attendances Highest Lowest Att Fixture Att Fixture 28,707 Nottingham Forest v Derby County (30/09) 5,435 Peterborough United v Bristol City (18/09) 28,582 Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United (19/10) 5,633 Peterborough United v Blackpool (01/12) 28,229 Middlesbrough v Sheffield Wednesday (09/11) 5,997 Peterborough Utd v Blackburn Rovers (17/11) 27,437 Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday (18/08) 6,188 Peterborough United v Millwall (21/08) 26,684 Brighton & HA v Nottingham Forest (15/12) 6,348 Peterborough Utd v Huddersfield Town(23/10) 26,670 Nottingham Forest v Leeds United (26/12) 6,600 Peterborough Utd v Bolton Wand (23/12) 26,598 Sheffield Wed v Bolton Wanderers (22/09) 6,612 Peterborough Utd v Middlesbrough (08/12) 26,594 Brighton & HA v Sheffield Weds (14/09) 8,088 Barnsley v Bristol City (01/09) 26,455 Brighton & Hove Albion v Bolton Wand (24/11) 8,195 Barnsley v Crystal Palace (23/10) 26,402 Brighton & Hove Albion v Leeds United (02/11) 8,227 Barnsley v Cardiff City (24/11)


The Next Fixtures Saturday 29th December Barnsley v Blackburn Rovers Charlton Athletic v Derby County Bolton Wanderers v Birmingham City Huddersfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday (12:30) Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford (17:20) Hull City v Leeds United (12:30) Bristol City v Peterborough United Middlesbrough v Blackpool Burnley v Leicester City Nottingham Forest v Crystal Palace Cardiff City v Millwall Wolverhampton Wanderers v Ipswich Town

Source: Clarets Mad