Hello and welcome to GAA and Bored A Red as we welcome back our first three time guest. Collecting His Hat trick Ball is Reds fan podcaster, impressionist and comedian. Matt Ford, as we look back on the highs and lows of last season and ahead to season two in the Premier League. Matt Ford, hello. How are you?
I didn't realise I was the first hat tricker.
You are. I think there's people who are regulars, but you're the first three time individual interviewer.
Oh, wow. What an honour. Thank you. What do I get?
Well, I would say a signed mug, but it takes me a year to give them out. But if you want me to get Louis McGoogh and someone to sign a mug for you, then I'll do it.
I would actually. Yes, please. Thank you.
He's a lovely man.
Man, that goal. I mean, obviously he scored some amazing goals, but that free kick will forever be his place in forest history is secure.
And he's not a big guy. I think that would absolutely cement his legacy.
He's on here all the time. He's very clever about the game today. Either way, he talks from a player's point of view. So we love him. Right. You can't encapsulate nine months in one minute or two, but how did you find last season?
Wonderful. There was only a brief period where I did get worried that we were going to get relegated because most of it was just, oh, well, basically I thought we'd be fine. And oh, man, we're back in the Premier League and we're playing away at the Emirates and the Etteh ad and Old Trafford, and we've got Premier League patches on our shirts. So all that, I was still in a bit of a daze when it started to really dawn on us that, actually the system. The only time I thought we were going to go down was after Leeds away.
Yes, I was exactly.
The same. I thought, Oh, this is... And I was lucky enough to go to that. I just thought, Oh, this is terrible. They're going to stay up and we're not. So then when we go on that run and the Brighton Southampton Arsenal game, it was just like... I felt guilty for ever having doubt on us. But really, that was the only point at which I felt, Oh, no, I've been deluded all year. But apart from that, I just loved the whole thing. I thought it was great. And in the end, so many of those signings turned out to be excellent. So many great players. And obviously, the home form and atmosphere was just... There was nothing like it in the Premier League. And it's so cool that that was our contribution to have the best fans in the league that kept us in the league. And now we can obviously delude ourselves all over again and get all excited.
Leeds away must have been a double low point for you because I'm assuming you went with John Richardson, who's obviously a big Leeds fan.
Thank God I didn't. He couldn't go. Do you know what? The bit I remember more than anything was being in that away end, and it's that awful thing where you sense that as a group of fans, you're slightly overreached and we're all going to the lead times, where's your famous atmosphere? And then they score and then they all start going. And I was just like, oh, we brought that on. You almost felt like we tempted fate there. And it was just that horrible of all places to go and lose when they're right in your face. But yeah, I didn't go with John. He couldn't go. Which was a relief because he would have been the worst person to see his grinning face after that.
How did you feel about them going down? Because I know Forest fans don't like Leeds and Greg Mitchell, who's on this podcast, who told me to tell you that comedians play FPL, is it his favourite podcast? I love Greg. He was at that game and he loved it when Leeds went down because Leeds fans gave Forest loads of sticks saying you're going down with the Leicester or whatever it was. But then one of your best mates is a Leeds fan. So were you a bit conflicted about it or do you revel in the fact that your Premier League and his team's championship next season?
I'd rather it be that. Ideally, we'd have both stayed in the league because we've only ever watched Forest Leeds together in the championship or lower. So it would have been, from just a friendship point of view, it would have been cool. And you don't want your mates to be sad. But obviously, it's not like I've got any great love for Leeds. I mean, I respect their history, of course, but I wasn't too upset that they went down. They're not the easiest club to root for. But then, I don't know, in a weird way, I think they're a big club from a similar era to us. And I get a lot of pleasure out of the rival where you actually get to play each other. Like with the derby thing, I'm happy for them to suffer a bit. But sooner or later, I want us to play each other again because those games are great. So I guess it was a little bit more of that. I think the needle in a way, had we got to extend that for at least another year about both of us being in a relegation fight would have been quite satisfying.
But given, of course, given the choice, anyone but Forest and Leicester going down was great.
How many games do you get to? We were saying before we recorded how busy you are. How many did you actually make it to last season?
I got to six or seven last season.
About the same as me.
The League quarter final penalty shoot out against Wolves, which was great. And I went to Southampton away, our only away winner for the season. So I went to some good ones. Arsenal away.
You didn't get too many home games then? Is that a bit of a regret? I mean, the atmosphere was amazing at home. Is that a disappointment for you?
Oh, really disappointed. I think I went to Fulham Villa, Wolves. Did I get to another? I think there was another one slightly later on that I got to. But yes, if you're not going regularly, you do feel like a bit of a fraud, really, particularly when you grew up going all the time. And then you feel slightly removed from it, obviously, just so emotionally involved in it. But having to watch that Arsenal home game... Because the problem is, because I do a radio show on Saturdays, it's two till five. It's Saturdays are a write off, really. So then I'm always looking for those midweek games, and then I'm gigging. So it's just basically impossible a lot of the time. But that Arsenal home game where I just felt obviously just elated, and I really thought we were going to beat them. You could feel it in the air, I thought, before, but just so jealous of everyone there. And the Brighton game and then the Southampton game, you're like, Oh, my God. You could tell on the telly that it was the city grand that had really helped win those games. And as a fan, you just want to feel like you've played your part on days like that.
There's no substitute for being there, particularly when you know that you can make such a difference. So just obviously delighted to bounce around the living room when then the time was good against Arsenal. But equally this part you're going, I wish I was there. I wish I was there to celebrate a stay in the Premier League, but that's a nice problem to have. I'd always run for his do well.
I think I got really lucky thinking about it. I went to West Ham, which obviously the first home game. Brighton at home, which was probably my favourite ever watching a game just as a fan, not working. Wolves the shoot out, same one as you. Wolves in the league and maybe one other that was a bit dull. But yeah, I.
Got very excited. Yeah, the Brighton one looked phenomenal.
Do you think that atmosphere is sustainable, or will we get a bit blase about the Premier League and just expect to win games and it won't always be like this?
I don't think I'd be amazed if people got blase now. I mean, in a few years' time, hopefully. Again, what a nice problem to have if that becomes the case. But I feel like that intensity is going to last for a while. And I think if you can be that intense when effectively, overall, it's been a difficult season, imagine what it's like if we start to kick on and do well or get to the final of something or win something. So I think that's become the new personality of Forest and I think a new generation of fans. I've been thinking about this a lot because you talk to people who played and I'm sure you have them on this podcast, a lot of them will say, even those that won the European Cup under club, the atmosphere was never this good. Yeah, I do. Why is it? And obviously, I think it's... And we talked about this last time. I think the length of the weight is crucial in that it's all that pent up frustration and heartbreak. But I think a new generation of fans are more vocal. I actually think Forza Garibaldi played a huge part because there was a period of time at Forest where the atmosphere wasn't great.
In fact, a long time where the atmosphere wasn't great. It was just flat. I don't know. It's not like people from Nottingham are less witty, funny, atmospheric than people from Manchester, Liverpool or wherever. What is happening at Forest that isn't? And I think then for Sir Gary Boldy just really making that effort to create an identity and to create some noise and just, regardless of the result, regardless of what league we're in, regardless of who's the manager, we're going to do something. I think that just relentless drum beat gave these... And then obviously getting to the Premier League, Steve Cooper, all those sorts of things of what's really taking it through the roof. But I think they basically said, we're not going to allow the atmosphere of the city ground to dip below a particular level. And I think they've really helped just make people go, Why don't we just bounce around? Because then you watch other clubs. I think of Leeds who have good away support. I remember that Boxing Day game against Leeds where I think we've beaten 4 3 or 4 2, and they're all just bouncing around in the away in 4 2 days.
What? And then you go, Well, why can't we be like that? Why can't we just enjoy the day? And now we are. Now, Forest fans, I don't think there's any doubt at all the best in the league by a mile. It was really funny watching the Arsenal game on tele because they're all going on what an atmosphere. Tony Adams is going, Well, the emirates has had an atmosphere this year. And you're like, Has it? No way. I've been to the emirates, it's dead. I've got a lot of respect for Arsenal, but there's just no comparison at all. And I think a lot of fans of other clubs are really jealous of what Forest have done because they go, Oh, my God. That's what being a football fan should be about. I wish my club was like that. And it's hard not to obviously just want to be there all the time anyway. But when it's like that, you think, man, the city ground is the coolest place on earth. It's great.
Tony Adams was quite funny on that. It was a bit like interviewing a politician. They'd ask him a question, he'd deflect every answer back to when he played for Arsenal and we were really good. Much better than this mob.
But do you know what it was? I thought he couldn't hear. Okay, make sense. I got the sense he didn't know what the question was in the first place.
That's a political.
Excuse as well. Sorry, what was that?
Let me talk about my five priorities. So you said about the lowest moment of the season, I assume, was Leeds away. Was Southampton away the best moment because you were there, or was there something else where you were watching at home that still eclipsed it?
I think the Brighton game I think Brighton, Southampton and Arsenal, it's almost taken as a trilogy. Obviously, the Arsenal game. Actually, the best one I was at was the Wolves quarter final, the penalty shoot out. That was fantastic. And I just thought I played brilliant football and winning on penalties to get to a semi final was amazing. So that was probably in terms of the atmosphere that I was at the Wolves quarter final was. But I think the Brighton game was such a turning point and such a great performance. And I loved them all go, we're tied after the cup final. You're professional athletes. It's just a nonsense excuse. You got beaten by a better team and you couldn't live in the atmosphere. I genuinely think the atmosphere of the city grand, absolutely poleaxes players because they used to play in the Premier League. And I've been to other grounds this season. I've tried and I just love going to watch live sports. I'll go and watch anything. So I've been to watch West Ham play Villa with a mate of mine who's a West Ham fan. I went to Chelsea Man City. No stadium in England has an atmosphere anywhere near approaching what Forest have.
Just nowhere near. Most stadiums are full and dead. They've become, and in a way it's reassuring because you don't want them to be hostile places, but they've become... I think for a lot of people it's like going to the theatre now. And playing at Forest must just be such a culture shock for people. Oh, my God. We're not used to this. And I just think that has been the crucial as well as Steve Cooper, the great players we've got, I think more than any other club in any other time. The fans at Forest have been the most... I think you could literally point to points we've got as a result of that stadium and the behaviour of the fans inside it. I think it would be a... I've said this to John before. Someone needs to actually study this. It would be a fascinating PhD thesis about the effect that crowds have on players and on athletes. And I don't think there would be any better example than Forest this year. You could feel it through the telly at times or through the radio. I mean, you know what? When you're watching on the telly, I think it was the Brighton game, but one of those three, you could see that part of the Brighton glove stand on their feet for nearly the whole thing.
You're like, what is happening? Even people in the Brighton club stand are on their feet. This is brilliant. I think something really special has happened at Forest now, and I think it will really last.
I was in the Brighton club stand for the Brighton game, and I was barely sat down. I think that was probably because the man in front of me had done a significant amount of cocaine and was actually stood on top of his chair. I'm 6'4 and I couldn't see past him.
How that has crept into mainstream football culture is a whole other podcast, but my God. I've not seen.
So much of it, but I'm sure this guy, he hadn't been drinking. But anyway, don't get in any legal trouble. How would you have felt if we'd gone down? Could you have rallied your sofa this season? Because I know some Leicester fans. In fact, I was talking to one at the weekend when my daughter went to his house and we were chatting in the kitchen, as you do. And he's knowledgeable about the game. He's like, I'm quite looking forward to this season. We've got a rebuild. Connor Cody and Harry Wink's a good signing. I'm like, Yeah, they are. But if we'd been in the championship after all those years, there's no novelty value. Again, really, I'd have hated it.
I would have. I think it's different for Leicester. And even it's different for Leeds. Neither of them had to wait that long to get back up. And there were more than one season, obviously, Leicester. One of the Premier League and then folk up. So they've in a way, who cares? If you're a Leicester fan, I literally wouldn't care what happened next. You'd like you'd find ever is, who cares in a way? Obviously, you don't want to go extinct. But I think for us, it would have been hard. I'd still want Cooper to keep his job, and I'd be fairly confident that we'd come back up. But I think it would have been really, really upsetting to go through all that and it only last a year. And obviously at the back of your mind, you'd go, Oh, that was our one go.
Ever going to come back? So I would have ratted myself, but I think at the back that those dark doubts would have crept in. I think it just would have been so sad for the country if Forest would have dropped back out. I think there was a sense that people really liked us, partly because the fans and Cooper and the fact that the club backed Cooper and all those things. I would have been really upset. I'd have still kept the faith in everything, but it would have been really miserable to go down.
And that feeling after that Leeds game where you're convinced that you're going down, it's horrid. And also, I've never understood. I remember we've obviously been in League 1, but the last time we were on the brink before that Ipswich game, chatting to my agent, Oh, yeah, I'd rather go down to League 1. We can rebuild. That's not how it works. If you go down, it's harder to rebuild. You got less money, less people go, it's tragic.
You lose your best players.
Yeah, you don't rebuild. You dismantle. It's terrible. I think in a way, that's just something people tell themselves. In a way, they're just glad the pain's over. They're like, Right, I've got my decision. We're relegated. I can live with it. And yeah, we get to go to Plymouth and all these other places. And yeah, maybe we get a promotion season. They are kidding themselves because there's nothing as good as being in the Premier League. So no, I'd have been upset, but I would have still had total faith in Steve Cooper.
I think we learned two things last season. Firstly, if we'd gone down and come back up, it wouldn't have meant as much as Wembley. It would have meant a lot, but it wouldn't have had the emotional resonance. It just would have been like, oh, we're back in the Premier League, it opens all those doors. That's brilliant. And secondly, every Premier League win felt like it meant so much because it was so hard to get any win over the line. I don't think any win was comfortable. Leicester at home was probably as close as we got, but I know Harvey Barnes missed two big chances. So it was like an epic battle to win a single Premier League game, wasn't it?
It was. And it was obviously, I think as well about the start of the season, obviously the West Ham result was great. And then we went through that period where it was very, very difficult. And I think actually, I think we've learned a lot now and we're smart and obviously the team has gelled. So you hope that we don't go through it in that way again. But football is really hard and winning a game of football at any level is really hard. Winning the game in the Premier League. Think of the sorts of players we're up against as well. Even as much as we love and respect the people who play for Foraker, you're up against like Earling Harland and Harry Kane. These global level talent, it's a completely different level to what we played at last year. So the fact that we stayed up is absolutely, obviously credit it to the talent of the players and the manager and everything, but it's miraculous because to have been out of the league for basically a quarter of a century and then be up against this elite race of footballer that is on a different plane to the players we were playing against the championship the year before.
It's amazing that we've managed to get a draw at home against City, beat Liverpool, beat Arsenal. What a season. That's got to be... You know what's mad is? Obviously, the catalogue of forest history and the big seasons that I was alive for that we remember, like Littlewoods Cup Finals and FA Cup Final and quarter final of Europe and all that finishing third in the league. I think last season is one of the best seasons. The last two have been two of the best years it's ever been to be a Forest fan. It's been marvellous because actually everyone knew it was going to be hard. I think there was maybe a little bit of delusion before the season started where I might finish top half off. It was definitely like that madness that creeps in. But broadly, the fans were never deluded. Everyone knew that fourth from bottom was basically the gig. And the amount of pleasure that you still got in a season like that was unreal. It was great. It has to be one of the most enjoyable seasons ever. And that's mad, really, when you look at... But we're back and we've done it.
And now that we stayed in, and I love that interview with Marounais after the Arsenal game, where he's talking about trophies and things, you think, Oh, my God. Come on. Yes.
He's not lacking in ambition, which is great. Yeah. Always the back of my mind is it won't always be like this as well, which is a pessimistic thing, but I just can't see how it's sustainable. Hopefully, we keep progressing. What would you love this season? I'd love a boring mid table Crystal Palace season, personally.
Well, mid table would be mega pro. Mid table would be great because if you think of last season and some of those really great results we got, you basically... It'd be like that plus a couple more, it'd be brilliant. And then you could start to dream about your way for conference League or whatever, or maybe the League Cup or something like that. Mid table would be phenomenal. I just think it incremental. I'd happily just go one place a year for the next 10 years. Great. Just to be in the Premier League and hopefully not be in a relegation fight would be nice. Although obviously it's great for the adrenaline. But yeah, absolutely, I agree with you. Mid table safety and security and just get that sweet Premier League dollar rolling through the doors on an annual basis.
Which players did you fall in love with over the course of the season that you didn't already love? Like Joe and Ryan Yates and Bennett?
Danilo and Philippe.
I just thought... Everyone loves Philippe.
He is fit. He is pure sex, isn't he? He's just totally like every part of him. I think he's the most sexually attractive person each of us ever lived. When his hair is long, he looks great. When his hair is short, he looks great. With a beard, without a beard, he's just naturally gorgeous. And he's great at football is the crucial thing, obviously, from a forest point of view. Danilo, my God. Renan Loddy. Taiwan in the end, obviously. Think of the amount he scored and he was injured for half the season. It's incredible. So so many. The thing is, the more you think about the more you fall in love with them. But I think for Philippe and Danilo were just with the two for me that on top of the ones that I already... Obviously, Navas was incredible.
Is it still a bit mad that we a couple of years ago we were signing, frankly, bad players, and now we're signing a guy who's won three Champions Leagues and was, I mean, PSG is number two, but he's had the career he's had and Forest is signing him as a promoted team. It's still a bit mental to me.
Well, the Lingard thing was the one where you go, Oh God, maybe we're going to spend loads of money and do really well. And then Lingard obviously, sadly, barely, sadly for this point of view, obviously barely featured. But that was the bit where you go, Oh God, we're literally in a different league now. We are. We're in the Premier League and that in itself allows you to attract a different quality of player. But obviously the financial backing that the club have given the manager was on a level that I think people perhaps I certainly didn't expect before the season. And now I think, hopefully, that financial backing plus slightly shrewder recruitment. So many of their son in turned out to be fantastic. But who knows who we might get now? This is the problem. You're like, Oh, man. You drive yourself, or I drive myself mad with this because you go, Oh, we could... You start to convince yourself that you're going to get these megastars. Well, if Messy, I mean, he's never played in the Premier League. Yeah, I don't think, Well, he wouldn't get into the top four now, would he? So yeah, I mean, he wants to play for a club with European pedigree.
Maybe we get Messy. I can absolutely convince myself that we were going to sign Merced or Renaldo or someone of that ilk. But yes, Nava's was accepted. Obviously, Dean Henderson was great. But Tyreke, how could you not love Tyreke? Tyreke, Philippe and Danilo, I think, were the ones that... Of the ones that we signed in the summer that really, really stole my heart.
Yeah. I think the recruitment was good overall. There were a few dubs as a percentage out of 30 signings, I think they were far more successful than they might have been because there was a point where they were signing all those players where I thought, oh, this season could be a real disaster. We could really embarrass ourselves. And obviously it didn't turn out like that. But I think there was a sense the media, especially a section of it, were really, some of them were itching for the oil forest to fail, I think, so they could laugh at us.
Yeah. I mean, you can sense that. I mean, it did make me laugh when people got sensitive about it. We signed 30 odd players. We should expect to have the piss taken. It's an insane amount of players to have signed. I would see people getting really defensive about it. I was like, Don't worry about it. We signed a load of players. If they're good, great. If not, people like, We took the piss out of other clubs. That's part of life and part of football. But I think you're right. You could then sense that actually there were parts of elements, pundits or whoever who did then want it to backfire. And also I do think, I think you could slightly sense it, the Arsenal game. I think, weirdly, you almost get the sense that some people are a little bit jealous of what's happened at Forest. That for all the success that other clubs have had and for all... I was in a title race. There's no doubt that the city grandad had a better atmosphere than the emperics. And I think in a way, people feel sensitive about what that says about their club. They go, Well, why aren't we more into it?
Why have we basically become almost like a cricket atmosphere rather than a football one? I'm thinking, in a way, forest is like this reminder of what football used to be like. We're like this amazing throw back to an old stadium close to the pitch that is absolutely rocking week in, week out. I think in a way, people are a bit jealous of that because their view is, oh, well, football's gone like this. So it's just the same for everyone. And we've turned up and gone. No, it's not. You can still have that absolute emotional connection. You can still have a ballistic atmosphere in the modern era, in the Premier League. And I think in a way, they go, Why don't we do it like that? Why have we become boring? I think that's partly what it is.
You mentioned cricket, but Lord's long room is like Galatass ry away at the weekend.
Man, yeah, the wrong week to pick cricket as an analogy. I only got into cricket after the one day World Cup thing the other year. My whole life had always been a bit. I think if football is your first love and I was going to forest all the time as a kid and it's such an intense atmosphere. And then I go to Trump Bridge and you're like, Why is no one singing? Why is it so slow? And now I'm like, I have been a dick my whole life. I've missed out on these amazing things. And on the day of that final, everyone's going, Just watch it. I was like, I don't like cricket, mate. And then I turned it on on my laptop. I was backstage at a gig in bath. I was like, Oh, all right. If everyone's going mad for it, I was like, I immediately was like, I can't believe how good this is. How have I never appreciated the intense... So then I got... Yeah, I go and watch cricket all the time now. So I went to one of the days at Lord's the other day and then I went to a couple of days at the open.
I'm like, It's brilliant. It's amazing that nothing happens for ages and then something happens and it's massive. And Stokes has to be one of the greatest living athletes in any sport. I mean, he's phenomenal. The level of talent. And then the day I was at Lord's, it was nice. Not much happened. It was docile. And then you watch it, you watch that fifth day the other day when it's all kicking off. You know what really made me laugh about that. They kept saying, well, I think it's a lot of people who don't usually come to cricket have come on the fifth day because the tickets are cheap. And you're basically saying, Oh, working class people have come here. That's what you mean. This wouldn't usually happen at Lord's. Football fans. But the tickets were cheap and it's all kicking. Yeah. People like me have gone and they're chanting and it was great. I thought it was so funny. But even then, they're like an altercation. It's just some guy in an old school jacket going, You bloody cheating Australians. Compared to Fortw ater, that's so low level. Crickets. I've really become a total advocate for it.
And in a way, I'm like, Well, that teaches you something about life because you could always... Do you know what it's like when... I think at any one point in your life, most people would say they've got enough friends. And then you bump it, you meet a friend of a friend, you're like, Oh, my God, they're amazing. I do have room in my life for one more friend. And it's that thrill of meeting a new mate. And I feel like that with cricket. So then I'm like, Well, maybe I should try F1. Maybe I should try and get into golf. All these other sports have been a bit... No, you're shaking your head. No, maybe cricket is enough.
I love cricket. I can't get into it. I can't personally get into F1. I can't. And golf, I like the R ight of Cup because it's the rivalry. It's a bit like the Ashes. The Ashes is on another level. And you should give a shout out to Broad as well as a Forest fan. Monumental shit housing.
With the bat.
Taking on every ozzy.
You know what's mad is? For the Sheffield United semi final the season before, I was sat in front of him and Joe Root, and they are two of the nicest people I've ever met in my life. Like just genuine, the sorts of fellows... I said to my wife, the sorts of boys you meet at church, just impecably mannered, very sweet people. And there was a bit during that semi final where I think we're then winning on penalties. And I just heard Joe Root say to Stewart Broad, I think I'm just going to go and sit over there for a bit, if that's all right. Yeah, it's fine, mate. Just total gentleman. So then to see Brody wind up the Australia, this is absolutely brilliant. It was so funny. And obviously, it's so cool that he's a Forest fan and that he's from Nottingham because I would love it anyway because he's England and he's wind up the Osses. But that extra bit, you're like, oh, he's one of us and he's doing it. This is great. This is Nottingham Bants on the global stage. Wedge. Talking of which actually, I went to see Brucey at Glastonbury the other week.
Never seen him before. He's incredible. And he tried to get a Steven Cooper jacket. There were loads of Forest shirts there anyway. But I was gutted. A few people joined in, but he's obviously got quite a young fan base. It probably aren't all forest fans. They probably got a wider reach. And you're like, Oh, go on, mate. It's so cool seeing. I think with Nottingham, I always felt this growing up that I feel like we're underrepresented. In fact, you know there was that... I'm going off on all tangents here. There was a report out recently that if you want a peerage or you want to get a knighthood, Bighorn Nottingham is the worst place in Britain to be from. We have the lowest representation per head on the honours list. We just get totally overlooked. I know it's felt that growing up that culturally, I guess with Central tele there was a fair bit of stuff made. Nottingham now, it's this amazing big city. Actually, it's such a novelty when someone from Nottingham really, really makes it. Like Stewart Broad or Vicky McClough or Bruce Lee. So you're just like, it's such a big deal.
I feel so emotionally invested in Stewart Broad anyway, because he plays for England. But the extra thing of him being from Nottingham and being a Forest fan. The same with Carl F roch and the same with Lee Wood. When someone then does the global level thing, it's incredible because loads of people do it from London and Manchester and other places. I think it means more when they're from Nottingham. I don't know whether in a way... I don't know if other people feel like that. Be like, go on, mate. I almost felt like that was forest against the Ossies in the Ashes. That's us doing that.
I never thought of it like that. But Nottingham, going off on a tangent, I don't know what the population is relative to Manchester and Liverpool and Newcastle, but it feels like Nottingham should be on a par with them. Obviously, Birmingham is the second biggest city and all that. But yeah, it just feels like it's overlooked and underrepresented.
Yeah, I think so. When people talk about regions and things, when people talk about the north and it's always like Manchester, Leeds or whatever, no one really talks about the Midlands. When you're talking about culture and tele and the arts and things like that, it's always either Scotland or the north or Wales. Nottingham gets completely squeezed out in that conversation.
Yeah, unless it's St Meadows.
That's it. But that's why he's so important. He basically put the Nottingham accent on tele. So he's played a huge part in I think him, Forest. You can see a way in which actually this leads to a total transformation of the city. Nottingham becomes a real boom city for a while. All the elements are there and having a Premier League football club. Someone told me once, I don't know if is true, but if basically Forest stay in the Premier League, or if this was before we'd even got there, having a Premier League club is one of those metrics that businesses decide whether to locate in a city or not. Certain hotel groups will locate there or certain employers. Forest being in and staying in the Premier League could lead to just a transformation in the economy of Nottingham, which would be great. I don't know how I ended up talking about this, but basically, I wish I could go to more games.
Let me ask you one challenging question that came up on our live shows and it was the one that you thought of, it's probably the hardest to answer. We all want Steve Cooper to be manager at the end of next season. We know football is a cynical game. Do you think he will be or not?
Oh, yeah, I do. Yeah. I think, I mean... Well, I think... Okay, I don't think we'll... Right. I don't think we'll be in the same level of trouble that we were last year. I hope we're not. So on that basis, if you're not in a relegation fight and he's incrementally building, we're doing a bit better, then yeah. I don't know. What have other people said?
When you just look at the turnover of managers. There was so few who retained. I think people are optimistic. As long as we start well, if we don't want to tempt fate, but if we lose one of those first two home games and we're as bad as we were away, then it's not going to be a good start. But after that, the fixtures ease up nicely till December. I'm still confident we'll do well. As long as the owner's ambition talks about trophy, it's like, if the owner's ambitions are ahead of what the fan expectation is still, and it makes you wonder. But he stuck with him last season by hooker, by crook, obviously scurried around. But that's what every owner does.
Well, it'd be irresponsible not to, wouldn't it? The worst thing would be to sack a manager and have not even thought about the replacement.
Oh, yeah. He don't end up with Dean Smith in charge. No offence to Dean Smith.
Man, that was bonkers. I mean, it hadn't worked for about five years. That was so weird of all the people. Also, we've basically had everyone. You go through the role call of the people that we've had over the last 20 years. We've basically already worn out all our goals, I think. I think you will be the manager. I can see Cooper being here for a while.
I hope so.
I don't want anyone else. That's also the thing is I don't want anyone else to be a voice manager. They're not my real dad. Do you know what I mean? My dad now. Anyone else would feel like a step dad or your mom's new boyfriend.
Next time you meet Steve Cooper, don't shout, You're my real dad.
Love you, dad.
Also, as a serious football point, he should have learnt loads of lessons from last season and be a better manager. He was already a great manager, I think. And having Steven Reed back, that's good news as well. He's a really good coach and a really good guy. Having him back on the staff is a big boost on the right track.
Yeah. And Cooper is a really talented manager. And him keeping it in the Premier League with the amount of players he was given and who knows how many of them he actually wanted. That in itself, how he wasn't nominated for Coach of the Year, I actually thought was outrageous. It was a phenomenal job that he did as a manager last year. In fact, it was such a difficult gig and he did it. And you think somebody some of those results and some of those games. My God, what a talented man. People always look at the top end of the table, obviously. But I just thought, Imagine what he could do. Imagine what he will do once things are more focused and targeted and he gets players that he wants and all that thing. And when the investment is sustained over a prolonged period of time, my God, what he's done is phenomenal. He's one of the best managers in the league in terms of absolutely incredible, really. Really, when you think about it, what he did was exceptional last year and the year before, obviously. But then to keep us in the Premier League, you can't doubt that guy's ability to get us up in less than a season from the bottom of the league to almost the top and then keep us in the Premier League with that mad transfer window and everything and to figure out who his best 11 were to outwit Liverpool City Arsenal.
My God, he's incredible. He's got to be one of the best managers in the league.
Yeah, I would think so. He should have been a contender for manager of the year, although Gary O'Neil was and he got sacked so keep him under the radar.
I mean, it'd be England managing, actually. This would be the problem. The other problem, there was a point this season where we're going, oh, Liverpool are looking at him or Spurs are looking at him. You're like, Oh, my God. This has gone the other way now.
We've got a struggle to keep him. When Brighton lose to Zervi, Cooper's going to be on their list and all that stuff, I'm sure.
I would hope that he would. It does feel like there's something a bit more than just a manager at a club relationship here, doesn't it? I can't believe he's ever had this relationship with any other fan. I don't think there are many managers in the world that have had the relationship he's had with the Forest fans.
True. I would think so.
That's got to count for something. And it's Steve, don't leave.
Changing tack for the last 10 minutes or so. When I was arranging this with you, and you confirmed, and I was just listening to, I've become obsessed with films to be buried with, a podcast with Brett Goldstein. I've listened to tons of them. And I've listened to the one with you. I was listening to it just about when you said you'd do this. So I've shamelessly ripped off some of the questions.
So Brett Goldstein, if you don't know, co wrote Ted Lasso, and he wrote a brilliant show called Shrinking on Apple. Have you seen either of them?
I've seen a bit of Ted Lasso, but I haven't seen Shrinking. I haven't got Apple tele.
So it's one of those things where I've seen a bit of Ted Lasso, obviously. But Brett is phenomenal. He's been a comedian for a long time. We've known each other probably 15 years. And it's almost like that thing about people from Nottingham. It's so cool when someone you know really, really makes it. And he's like, conquered the World. Isn't the Marvel Universe now?
Yeah, he's in the next door film. He's like on.
Sesame Street. He's one of the nicest people I've ever met.
He's brilliant. Was he just like, I don't know what the word is, a jobbing comedian on the circuit? He wasn't the household name before Ted Lasso, was he?
No, but he was always doing films on the side. He was always making films. He did a film called Super Bob about basically an average Joe who had super hours. So he was always making films and doing those sorts of things. And he got his break. Great. It's really cool. You want it to happen for nice people, don't you? And he's one of the nicest people in comedy. But his podcast is brilliant if people haven't listened to it, films to be buried with.
Yeah, it's great. And Ted Lasso and Shrinking and Great. So films to be buried with, the premise is you've died and he asks you about your life through film. So I've shamelessly ripped it off with a few forest questions.
One of the questions is the film that means the most to you. So who's the forest player that means the most to you personally?
Of the current squad?
No, of any time watching Forest.
Stewart pierce, beyond anything. I don't think anyone will ever come close to how he made me feel. And I think anyone of our generation or older that... I don't think anyone who saw him play for Forest. There's nothing else like him. It's such a unique and you talk about emotional connections with fan base. No one really had it like him as a player. It was just he had everything. He was a really good footballer. He was hard as nails. But he would control that Coliseum single handedly pierce, beyond any... And I feel so emotional about him. I get soppy when I think about pierce. I cry for him. You just need sympathy, doesn't you? Stewart pierce, you're like, Oh, man, that penalty. God, I would have loved to have seen him lift the FA Cup for Forest at Cup final. I think that's partly what it is as well. Maybe this is just like a soppy thing, but it's not the perfect story. Me, it's an amazing career and it's phenomenal. By any metric, he's a highly successful individual and a total legend for Forest and for England. But the fact that it's a bit more of a complicated story.
It's not on back page. It's not one of the glamour players, did it the hard way. It was still like a sparky when he was playing for Forest. And they're the elements. It's a missing the penalty that allows them to that moment in Euro 96. Those wrinkles in the story are what make it great. I just think pierce is just a fascinator by him. I find such an interesting person. I think he's hilarious, man. Do you know him?
Have you come to know him at all?
I've met him a few times. I don't know if you'd remember me, but it's been a f everyone talks about plugging something he's on, he's always very generous. I'm just in awe of him. I don't know how... Obviously, at places like that, they used to work him with X pros or whatever. But PS is just on such a different level anyway. It's almost like meeting a former Prime Minister or something. Once you've played for England that long and you're that much of a national figure, you've crossed over into something else. Obviously, when you meet someone like that, you just want them to like you. You don't want to think, I hope Stuart pierce doesn't think I'm an idiot. And he may well do. And that's his right. Maybe he's right.
Who is the player that you love that other fans don't think is particularly rubbish, but is a bit of a cult hero to you that would be... Pierce is quite an obvious great player. Is there someone else, a more under the radar player that you came to love?
Oh, wow. I think that will be fairly obvious. I genuinely think Andy Reed is one of the best footballers I've ever seen. I think he's one of the best players Forest has ever had. And obviously he was adored at the time. But he was, I think he's one of the most exciting players you've ever had, Reedie. Just just absolutely incredible. I think I put him in the top three people I ever saw play for the World. Top five. Maybe that counts. I mean, all the others would be fairly obvious. I loved Wown and Stone and C olley Moore and Van Holly Dog. I'm trying to think if there were any... I don't think I understand football enough to spot the ones that no one else would spot, if you know what I mean. I always like the fairly obvious ones. Gary Crosby was great, but I guess everyone liked him. But I'm trying to think, the problem is obviously there's periods of time where the squad turnover is just so high.
Yeah. You're not going to say Jared De Shere or the...
Andy Reed's my favourite forest player I've seen live. Not that he's the best, but he'd be up there. He's so talented and so gifted. Did. Brilliant. He's one of those that would get you off your feet, especially the first spell when he was younger. He was actually deceptively quick because he's always been stocky, but he could still run a full back. So, yeah, he was really good.
I've never seen him on the bench as well.
He's still there. And you can't help but feel that some of that reading magic must rub off on them somehow that he's got such a talent that it must somehow transmit. Do you know what I mean? Well, if he's there, maybe we're going to play football the way he likes, the way he played it, that really entertaining way.
Love it when you see club legends around and about in the dugout.
Last two. Is there a player who you would just really disappointed? I don't want to say the worst because that's a bit harsh, but a player you had really high hopes for and then they were rubbish that springs to mind. You can't say John Joe Shelby because he still plays.
Well, I think I remember when we signed Carvalho and there was all that fuss around him.
Watched him play and you were like, Oh, it's club record signing. And I think because of the surname, you're like, But signed Carvalho? Not that Carvalho. It doesn't matter. It's called Carvalho. 30 million quid or whatever much it was. You're like, Wow. And then he could do little tricks and things, but it quickly became apparently like, I don't think he's good enough. I don't think he's very good. I think it's all for show. I just remembered actually, why did I not say Morgan Gibbs Wyatt earlier when we're talking about new players?
My God. I mean, he's off the scale. You know what it is with him is I just accept it feels like he's been at Forrest forever.
Is incredible. He's got to be one of the best players we've had for years. And God knows what you will go on to achieve in an England shirt. Morgan Gibbs Wyatt is the head of the chunker, the best on earth. So sorry, where was I then? Yeah, Cal Valio. And it was obviously, wasn't up to it. Manager after manager after manager was like, This guy's not good enough. So that was a bit like, We paid all this money. Maybe sometimes the ones that are the most expensive aren't the best players. I guess it would be like going into a restaurant and just ordering the most expensive bottle of wine, regardless of what you were eating and whether it was good or not.
You were like, Oh, yeah. Sometimes the cheaper ones are better, actually.
Do you remember Adama Dea Carvey? He's mine. We got him on loan from Huddersfield. And there's that one touch that sums up a whole era of forest when his first touch canons it out for a goal kick about 60 yards because he was quick. I was like, Oh, this is the one winning that sum up an era of five or six years where we were terrible.
He reminded me of there was a quote about... You know when Usain Bolt was trying to become a professional footballer for a bit? And someone said of him, and Deo Carvey reminded me of that, said he had a first touch like a trampoline. It was such a funny way to put it. I guess Deo Carvey was like that.
Last one. Football's ended. There's no games being played anymore. Climate change has wiped out the world. There's a ripping off films. There's one DVD you can watch for a forest game over and over again. Which game are you choosing? Oh, God.
This is going to sound out, well, I guess for just the ending, maybe the playoff final, just to... It was more. I would just watch the last six minutes, the final whistle, and then just 90 minutes of the celebrations.
Because that was actually a terrible game.
That's one of the worst games of... P ossibly the worst game of football I've ever been to. It was crap. But anyway, we need to relitigate the... But oddly, the game that has always stayed in my mind was we beat Crystal Palace 3 2 in 94, 95. I just remember it being like an end-to-end brilliant game of football. Colin Moore scored the winner towards the end. Obviously, there are bigger games with higher stakes, but that's the game that I remember. Maybe I would pick Leon or Bion Muniq just to watch a channel score. Maybe the 1991 FA Cup Final just to see Piers score at Wembley and all that. I've chosen some quite bad had.
Perhaps there's some emotional resonance with you that made you pick them. I don't know.
I think they're games that proved to be big, weren't they? So even if you lose them, you're like, we're in the FA Cup final.
The same way that I would rewatch Luke Shaw's goal against Italy, even though I know we lose. That moment itself is ballistic. Piers scoring against Spurs going one in up in an FA Cup final feels bigger than winning the League Cup in a way. That's bigger. I'm going to go Forest QPR. Forest QPR 3 2 in the '94, '95 season. It was just a brilliant game of football. I remember at the time thinking, This is great. This could go either way. And then Conor Moore got that winner at the end. You're like, man. So yeah, is that a shit?
Sorry. Is that a bad choice?
No, I don't think so. I had an answer, but I was thinking, what would I pick when you were saying it? And I'd probably pick some random poor heart game when we beat Stoke. Was it 6 0? And Haywood scores 4 goals in the first half?
That was incredible. Yeah.
Because of the football we played that season.
That was great. I'm in so many games that season. Maybe actually, if it was one from this season, maybe the Brighton game.
The Arsenal at home. If it had to be from this season, the Southampton game at home.
That was too stressful.
That was mayhem. Great fun, man. We're the best. We're the most entertaining team in the world.
My other game would be the semifinal second leg against Sheffield United because that was a great game. It was, yeah. And it had the outcome.
It was a great game. It came until 60 minutes in.
But if I know the result, I could watch it again and again. In fact, I've watched that shoe out again and again, to be fair.
Oh, yes. Sorry, I thought you meant that.
Not that one. Oh, God. No, that was my... I couldn't watch that again. That still talks to me 25 years on. No, 20 years on.
Yeah. Oh, God. That would have worked. Yeah, the Sheffield Atlanta Semi Final. My God. That penalty shoot out.
Yeah. That's a great choice.
Sheriffs' Night of Bramble Lane is the lowest I've ever felt as a fan. Worst than losing to Yeovil and all that. That Sheffield United game is the worst. I hated that Warnock team.
Yeah, it felt like an injustice that.
We'd have won that one. We felt morally right. The universe doesn't want this. Where are you, God? But then that's why Wembley meant so much. That's why staying up meant so much is all those days, all those crap times. Now it's our turn to be great.
True. You've been very generous with your time. Is there anything you want to plug before we go of yours?
Oh, I'm doing the Edinburgh Festival with a new stand up show called Inside Number Ten. So I know lots of people who listen to this will go to the end of a festival. So come and see that stand up show about the news and politics and stuff with some impressions and a bit of football stuff in there. I think that's it. Just Google me, follow me on Twitter.
Well, for as long as you can.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it feels like it's imploding at the moment.
I think so. I think so. Right. Thanks very much to Matt. We'll be back on Thursday or Friday with some general transfer chitchat. And then next week's guest is David Phillips. So have a good week. Matt Ford, thank you.
Very much. Cheers, mate. Pleasure.
And we shall see you soon.