Chapter 909: Nothing to Do with Forest
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
After the case of the “death threat”, the Nottingham police increased the security around Evan Doughty and Allan Adams under Evan’s request. He became the laughingstock of the whole European footballing world——There were not many club chairmen who received “death threats” from their own fans through the history of European football.
He did not receive any strange envelopes with bullets, blades or white powder after that. However, both his and Allan’s offices were already flooded by condemnation letters from the furious fans.
Evan Doughty’s public letter had completely infuriated the fans.
What did he mean by “it’s time to forget about Tony Twain? What did he mean by “It’s time for a new glorious chapter”?
This guy knows nothing. Tony’s the one who brought us all the glory. More importantly, can we just forget about all the good times just like this? It has only been two months and you’re saying that we should begin on a new journey, do you think everyone is as heartless as you? After more than a decade, there are still people who are thinking about Brian Clough. We have reasons to believe that more than two decades later, Tony Twain will still be in our minds!
And you, Mr Evan Doughty. When you leave your post as chairman, how many people will still think of you? No… There may be many who’ll still be thinking about you, but it won’t be because of any “good times”.
To distract the fans and to allow the fans to vent their anger through another channel, Nottingham Forest Football Club quickened their forays in the transfer market. Because of the turmoil previously, they have already wasted too much time. They were in the last place of the preparation battle between them and their main competitors for the title.
If their target for this season was really the league title, then they had to make full use of the following ten days——The English Premier League would begin on August 19th and Nottingham Forest had to play in the Community Shield before that. As Forest won the treble in the last season, they would be playing Arsenal, who was second in the league, in the Community Shield.
Just when Forest was still searching for suitable new blood, they lost another important player.
Nuri Şahin’s agent had come to an agreement with Bayern Munich and Nottingham Forest had agreed to the transfer. This transfer would give Forest eighteen million pounds in transfer fee.
Pepe and Şahin left one after another as though the Forest fans were watching a live rendition of “Dynasties”. They had reasons to believe that they would be witnessing departures like these very frequently in future.
On August 5th, Victor Moses transferred to Middlesbrough for a transfer fee of eight million pounds. He did not have many chances to play during his five seasons with Nottingham Forest, instead, he spent most of his time on loan for his development. His original plan was to stay and fight for his place in the team, but he lost confidence in the club during the past two months and decided to leave.
On the next day, Nottingham Forest made the announcement of an “inspiring” transfer.
After an exceptionally difficult negotiation, Nottingham Forest finally had an agreement with Inter Milan for the transfer of their star striker to England’s treble winners. The transfer fee was thirty-five million pounds!
Mario Balotelli, also known as “Super Mario” in Italy, was the most talented young player in Inter Milan in recent years and were touted to be the Inter Milan’s hope for the next decade. However, his relationship with the new manager, Zola, had always been rocky after the departure of Mourinho and he had been asking for a transfer.
He had intended to move to Manchester United, where Mourinho went, and Manchester United did make an offer for Balotelli as well.
But Evan Doughty, with an urgent need to salvage some reputation amongst the fans, intercepted and made this “willing” transfer complicated. Eventually, Nottingham Forest beat Manchester United through the power of money as Manchester United was unwilling to pay the massive transfer fee of thirty-five million pounds. Inter Milan rejected Manchester United’s offer of twenty-four million pounds and accepted the offer from Nottingham Forest. Therefore, Balotelli could only accept this result that was akin to “breaking up an affectionate couple” and “submit” to Nottingham Forest which did not have a good reputation recently.
However, he did not show any such emotions during the press conference. He still praised the team for winning the treble and declared that it had always been a dream of his to join such a great team.
The anger that the fans had for the club were reduced a little with the joining of Italy’s golden boy and there were obviously lesser letters greeting the mothers and wives of Evan Doughty and Allan Adams that were delivered to them.
As time went by, the amount of such letters would only get lesser. When the new season begins, the fans would focus their attention on the matches and not many of them would be interested in spending their time to go against a coward. However, Evan Doughty had better pray that the results under Flores would continue on from the high bar set by Tony Twain, otherwise what awaited him would be an even more intense storm.
If the results were good, there would be no problems even if there were one. If the results were bad, there would be a problem even if there weren’t one.
Twain was still paying attention to Nottingham Forest. He had no choice but to do so. In the planned name list for England, Nottingham Forest’s players played an important part in it.
He would be watching the Community Shield match at the new Wembley Stadium to examine the performances of the English players of both teams.
When paying attention to this team, he did his best to not criticize Evan Doughty in the newspapers for his wastrel behavior. If he had done so, he would have been acting beyond his authority and it would not be fair to the new manager of the team. He did not want to interfere with the actions of the club and he reminded himself that he had nothing to do with this team anymore ever since he rejected the second offer from Evan Doughty.
The new season was about to begin, and he had to devote himself into his work, there was no time for other thoughts.
There would be people from Nottingham who would pay attention to the fate of Nottingham Forest.
He had a problem then——How to face George Wood when the next match for the national team came.
He heard from that old codger Billy Woox from the phone that Wood was very unhappy with him. If he did not handle it well, it would be the fuse that might separate the national team. In Twain’s plans, George Wood was definitely an integral part. Just like in Forest, he was going to build everything around Wood.
If Wood did not cooperate because he was unhappy with him, then Twain would be in big trouble…
Twain wanted to meet with Wood to have a chat before the Community Shield but Wood rejected him as he needed to “focus on preparing for the Community Shield for now”.
Twain frowned——Was this a terrible premonition?
The Community Shield was a test for the new manager, Flores. He had to submit a satisfactory test paper, or he would not be able to have a good life in his future managerial career. He was facing a bunch of picky Nottingham Forest fans who had been spoiled by that Tony Twain guy for the past decade.
Being the champion and victories were their tradition.
But Flores was still not the leading character in this game.
When Twain appeared on the stands, the cameras kept going towards him and the commentator as well as guest pundits kept bringing the topic to him.
“Watching a Nottingham Forest match from the stands, this is probably Tony Twain’s first time, isn’t it?
“No, no. This is nothing foreign to him. You just have to check how many times he had been sent to the stands during his reign as the Forest manager… Ha!”
“George Wood is giving a solid performance, let’s take a look at Twain’s expression… Hmm, he is not showing anything on his face at all…”
“Arsenal has scored! A beautiful goal and it only took four one-touch passes to completely dismantle the Forest defensive line! The camera is back on Twain and he’s talking to the England assistant manager, Des Walker beside him. Ah, I apologize, I was just thinking of his reaction if he was down at the sideline…”
“Nottingham Forest has equalized! A header from Mitchell! This is an attack that had a very typical Tony Twain style… Ha, the camera is back on Twain again and he does not look particularly happy… Ah, he’s now the England manager and he has nothing to do with Nottingham Forest anymore. Looks like Flores continued to use Twain’s tactics to ensure the stability of the team…”
“This is very normal. He had only taken over the team for a few days after all. There are many things that he’s not familiar with, and the safest method for him was to use the tactics that the team was most familiar with. Kerslake must have been a big help to Flores… He’s an impressive assistant manager and I heard that Tony Twain approached him when he was constructing his coaching team but he rejected it… Ah, the camera is giving Twain another close-up!”
There was someone who made a useless piece of statistics after the game. During the match that lasted 94 minutes, the camera gave Tony Twain in the stands 11 close-up shots and four other shots that swept past him.
The match eventually ended with a victory to Arsenal. Nottingham Forest, which had just endured a massive personnel change, was still able to give Arsenal a run for their money in the first half, demonstrating their treble-winning capacities of last season. The score after the first half was 1:1 and Forest showed their strength by equalizing less than five minutes after Arsenal scored. At that moment, it was as if Tony Twain’s Forest team was still there——The unyielding spirit was still going strong.
However, the team felt like they were sleepwalking in the second half as they lost their will. It might be because the players were unable to maintain their form due to a lack of regular training recently, or it might be because the players lost their will to fight after thinking about the doings of the club in recent months. No matter what, Forest’s performance was boring against Arsenal’s attack.
Arsenal eventually scored two more goals in the second half, winning the match by a 3:1 margin and getting the first trophy of the new season.
The Forest players who lost the game seemed to not care about the results either. Their minds were wandering as they shook hands with their opponents, exchanged jerseys, then walked off the pitch.
And on the stands, there were many Nottingham Forest fans who were unhappy with this result. They gathered around and started to bombard Evan Doughty and his “lackey”, Allan Adams, with vulgarities.
In the VIP box, Evan Doughty was shaking hands with Arsenal Football Club’s chairman, Peter Hill-Wood with an awkward look on his face. The old Hill-Wood gave him a light pat on the shoulder while saying something, probably something to console him…
In fact, Hill-Wood was indeed consoling Doughty, “It’s okay, it’s just a Community Shield.”
When he was leaving the VIP box, he told people next to him, “Nottingham Forest is done. This calls for a celebration, we’ve lost our most competitive opponent.”
Then he laughed and left the VIP box.
Evan Doughty remained rooted to the spot as he stared at the field down below, nobody knew what he was thinking then.
Tony Twain and Des Walker walked out from the stands and they were stopped by many reporters at the hall. The reporters wanted Twain to tell them what he thought about the match.
And Twain’s reply was very official——
“It was a good match, Arsenal deserved to be champions. Walcott had a very good performance and he deserved to be the man of the match. Of course, Wood had a decent performance as well, unfortunately the team was not on form and it brought him down…”
The reporters were not happy with an answer like this as they did not come to listen to such bullshit.
“Nottingham Forest was hit by a scandal some time back, what do you think about that?”
“I’m not the manager of Nottingham Forest, I’ll not give any opinion about this,’ Twain replied with a straight face.
However, the reporters did not care about Twain’s declaration. They continued to bombard Twain with questions about Nottingham Forest and they did not believe that he would keep quiet.
Honestly speaking, Twain had quite a lot to say about the things happening to Forest deep in his heart. As for comments, he had a lot of them, but they were all personal comments, it would not be nice to let the others know about them.
Pierce Brosnan was still the one who helped him get out of this situation, “Can you give your comment about Flores?”
Twain made use of this question to get out, “Flores is a very impressive manager. He proved his capabilities when managing Valencia. I wish him good luck and I also hope that he can last longer in Forest…’
What he said had double meanings.
Twain and Des Walker made their way out of the crowd and left hastily after answering this question.
The media would probably not continue to ask him such questions after some time. Everyone had to accept this fact——No matter what became of Nottingham Forest in future, it had nothing to do with Tony Twain anymore. Twain had begun a new journey after contributing the most precious 11 years of his life to this team.
Good luck to him.