I have always been intrigued by the increasing importance of the apparent, second match in football – the competition of who had the loudest, more passionate set of fans.
If you enter the Twittersphere now, fan bases are under almost as much scrutiny as the players themselves – ‘thought Macclesfield Town fans were a bit quiet tonight’ – yes mate, that’s because there was only 40 of them who could make it down to watch them lose a 4-0, midweek game away at Exeter.
It’s a fascination, which has almost become tactical.
As a young, Forest fan, I was always anxious during games that our fans were being out sung by the away end, which I must admit seemed quite a rare occurrence when sat in the safety of the family stand.
Looking back on my years of attending games at the City Ground, there a few sets of fans though which I can truly say contributed, or made for a fantastic atmosphere.
Obviously the Geordies, are one of the first to spring to mind with a loud, travelling backing – as I’m sure they will for a number of football fans around the country – no matter where they go, they always seem to pack up an away end.
Further South, West Ham were always well backed, vocal and had a habit of making me whistle ‘forever blowing bubbles’ for the next few days.
As much as it pains me to say, Leeds United fans have always added to what is an already feisty affair, when we go toe to toe on Trent side – the Don Revie v Brian Clough feud still very much at its front.
One of the most memorable sets of supporters I have seen come to Forest, was Portsmouth, who travelled up on the last day of the season in the 2011/12 campaign.
Despite already being relegated, the club being in financial turmoil and actually losing the match, they sang constantly throughout the 90 minutes and made the City Ground their own.
Obviously rivalries bring a whole new atmosphere in their own, where traveling supporters and home fans go up an extra notch, to create a cauldron of noise and tension.
Trying not to sound too bias, particularly as we are facing them on Monday evening, however I have never been impressed by Derby’s travelling contingent.
If their annoying bounce, which you can see replicated on Justin’s House on CBeebies, is now what makes a ‘stellar atmosphere’, then I am done with football.
Similar could be said of Leicester’s drum man and plastic flags at home, however their away fans did tend to contribute more than Derby in my opinion, during their days in the Championship.
My opinion is not obviously as far stretched as many more experienced City Ground dwellers, whilst my ability to make home games from the other side of the road is not giving the most up to date view point – however, I felt impulse to shed light on a subject, clearly on the top of many fans’ tongues.
Obviously, no matter how much we may credit the opposition fans, we all know nothing beats the travelling Red Army!
Picture Credit: Nottingham Forest