Notts Forest Fans Rail at Leeds ‘Cheats’, But Strangely Quiet on Their Own ‘Evil Genius’ – by Rob Atkinson

The City Ground Nottingham – home of hypocrites

Football, as befits this country’s national sport, used to have standards. Now, it seems, the Beautiful Game is more about double standards. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in the city of Nottingham, where hypocrisy and sanctimony walk hand in hand wherever Notts Forest fans gather, with an overarching sense of holier-than-thou in every nook and cranny.

This past week, Notts Forest fans have been throwing their hands up in disgusted horror and emitting shrill squeaks of protest at the nature of Leeds striker Kemar Roofe‘s late equaliser against them at Elland Road last Saturday. Roofe seemed to hold his hand up and admit the goal may not have been strictly legit, but that has failed to pacify the outraged “Tricky Trees”, who had plainly never before witnessed such infamy and unfair play.

Or so you’d have thought, given the depth of their apparent disgust. A few of the City Ground bright boys even logged into a live stream of a Leeds United U-23s game from Thorp Arch earlier this week, simply so that they could be seen in the live comments, in full-on j’accuse mode, howling “cheats!” at bemused United fans watching the game online. That’s going out of your way to make a point, actually logging in to a second string game. It borders on obsession. Surely, they must feel they have a solid grievance and a steep elevation of moral high ground.

And yet… and yet… check out this YouTube clip of Darius Henderson‘s late equaliser against Middlesbrough a few years back. Surely that can’t be handball? It really can’t be – because, if it were, those highly self-righteous Notts Forest fans would remember it, and then possibly forbear from casting “cheat” aspersions on others, lest they might appear to be hypocritical humbugs

Certainly though, the Darius Henderson equaliser does appear to be a far better example of a blatant handball than Roofe’s, which was more of a clumsy lopsided tumble compared to Henderson’s classical punch. And some Forest fans certainly do seem aware of this less than glorious episode in their history – indeed, Henderson is referred to tongue-in-cheek as an “evil genius” in some quarters of the “Tricky Trees” online world. Why then be so up in arms about Roofe’s more innocuous effort – unless you are indeed the most blinkered variety of hypocrite? It’s a puzzler, right enough.

Incidentally, talking of punches, try Googling “Dawson on Jansson” – for a damning tweet which may show another incident in the Leeds v Notts Forest game where the away side appears less than wholly innocent. This little cameo should be considered alongside any claims that Pontus Jansson actually raised his hands to Michael Dawson (who, let’s face it, deserves punching as often as possible).

Going back to that Henderson handball goal against Boro, though, certainly the opposition manager on that occasion was in no doubt that his team had been cheated out of victory. “I didn’t need to see the replay, for me it was enough to see the reaction of my players,” he said. “I’m sure it was handball because my players told me it was through their reaction on the pitch.“ The Middlesbrough manager that day, so incensed at Notts Forest’s dishonesty and cheating, was one Aitor Karanka. I wonder – whatever became of him?

Perhaps the Notts Forest fans bleating online, as well as former Leeds and Forest skipper Kenny Burns, of whom I wrote yesterday, should take some time to reflect on both of the incidents highlighted here, and possibly agree that only he who is without sin should cast the first stone. Or, to be less piously biblical about it: stop lobbing stones when you’re living in a bloody great greenhouse, you utter hypocrites.

I’m sorry to speak intemperately. But it’s as clear as clear can be that Notts Forest fans are bang to rights here for cant, humbug and hypocrisy – and there’s good reason to suppose that even their manager, when he thinks back to being cheated by Forest in his Boro days, might just agree with me there.

24 responses to “Notts Forest Fans Rail at Leeds ‘Cheats’, But Strangely Quiet on Their Own ‘Evil Genius’ – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Mmm I wonder if the ball was on the other hand so to speak they’d be bleating so much . No doubt they’d have been crying if it was us wasting time like they were. Let’s face it Rob any other team would be laughing at getting one over on dirty Leeds. Unlucky notts 🤣🤣


  2. Tim Campbell

    I’d normally wax lyrically with all the grace of the Bard himself, but in reality all that has to be said is SHIT HAPPENS, GET OVER IT TWIGLETS!!🙄


  3. Life is LUFC

    I just sat and had a good giggle through that little lot Rob, how right you are to draw their attention to their own mistakes…..lest they forget.
    You just love getting the wooden tops name a little bit wrong……Notts ha ha ha. To cap it off your less piously biblical sentence had me laughing out loud.
    However in that picture you captured where Leeds had scored that goal the wooden tops were cheering and celebrating…….were they not, or were they having a tantrum about some injustice or other?
    Keep them coming Rob:-)


    • I think I might have done this one to death now Susan, but it’s been such fun. Thanks again for the kind words, it’s nice to think of people having a laugh (in a good way!)


  4. Rob, I’m a little miffed at the foul and abusive language eminating from most of the Forest players at the end of the game, remember Pontus being fined for saying one everyday naughty word, rather than the fowl tirade coming out of Mr Dawson’s mouth, yes it wasn’t directed at the Sky cameras but nonetheless loud and clear to all viewers, where are the EFL with their prehistoric logic now?


  5. Patrick Joseph Hogan

    Why stop there Rob? Hypocrisy in this sort of case can be flexible.

    I hope the included link works. It shows a certain Real Madrid player (Raul) doing a ‘Maradona’ and blatantly and purposefully punching the ball into the net of our beloved Leeds under David O’Leary in the European Champions League. The connection? One of the avid bunch of players celebrating was none other than Karanka. Hmmm…

    I don’t like to Leeds to win by cheating but I think it would have been a bigger travesty if we’d lost to Forest; especially after what happened against Brentford.


  6. Go on get one for yourself son

    The sermon according to the reverend Rob nice one Sir you nailed the hypocrisy to a tree in Sherwood Forest.


  7. Paul Murfin

    How dare you Rob ! Don’t you know that they have won 2 European cups ?


  8. Spot on Rob. Yes I can fully understand how Forest fans are feeling having got so close to stealing an undeserved 3 points having got away with 2 very valid pen shouts for Leeds in a matter of seconds against Clarke & ironically Roofe.
    How they can bang on about Roofe not owning up beggars belief however as no player ever has or ever will own up to a handball. As Kemar rightly said it’s up to the officials to decide any infringements & in whether ball to hand or deliberate. Perhaps Forest fans should just reflect on those 2 strong pen shouts that went there way and one can only guess at their levels of outrage had they suffered our current run of 53 games without a pen.


  9. Ken Jarvis

    Fair Play Rob,

    I mentioned that Forest handball incident on a Nottingham site afew minutes ago that’s screaming for VAR to be introduced after Roofe’s little indiscreation..

    Pity VAR wasn’t brought in after that handball, then all the Brentford incidents would have been corrected on the day, the elbow on Chris Wood at Reading, the assault on Berardi’s face against Rotherham, Christ, the list of Leeds injustices is bloody endless.

    I think VAR is your only man for Leeds United because certain incidents just can’t be airbrushed by Sky Sports during the game & then suddenly reappear on Sky Sports News hours later crucifying our great club while allowing others to walk away scoff free..

    Keep the humour coming as I enjoy your articles big time MOT


    • Cheers Ken, and well done to you for inflicting an inconvenient truth on the Twiglets. I’d love to see their reaction. I’m not wholly convinced by VAR so far, there’s still too much latitude for human fallibility. Also, the fact is that these incidents are funny – unless you’re on the wrong end of them. As I’ll admit we all too often are.


  10. Ken Jarvis

    OMG Rob, i’ve just seen the Henderson handball – he scooped it into the net.

    For everyone out there, seeing is believing on You Tube.

    Selective Amnesia is what these so call football supporters have – remember certain incidents but completely forget similar incidents (down the years)


  11. Congratulations on finding a YouTube clip of a Forest handball! However, you completely miss the point. The Cheating Leeds badge was presented to you for the Revie Years by the greatest manager you never quite had! However, as you say sh** happens but in Leeds’ case its recurring and on last weekend’s performance you certainly have not got the quality or depth of squad to sustain a promotion challenge.
    Another false dawn at YellandRoad?
    So in the interest of balance perhaps you would inform your flock as to why you got the reaction you did.
    As for Jansson he clearly finds the Championship beyond his talent based on all the fights he picks to deflect his shortcomings?
    Looking forward to spoiling your New Year at the home of Championship football


  12. Great research Rob. Shows up Burns etc with all that overblown self righteous guff he spouted out. Congrats to Burton as well for taking the League Cup seriously and spanking the silly twigs . MOT


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