Nottingham Forest would take on Manchester City Sept. 15 in an away game. On Sept. 17, they returned to their home ground to play the Champions League game against the Scottish Premiership champion, Celtic.
The league game with Manchester City was attention-grabbing because of the two-year-plus feud between the two teams. Bendtner was Manchester City's main striker and an unassailable main force. He did very well in Manchester City. Although the team's results did not improve much, he personally benefited a lot from the transfer. The United Arab Emirates boss could fire managers but would not fire a striker who could score goals for no reason.
Ashley Young did pretty well at Manchester City too. He was basically the main winger. Even though he left the Forest team, his assists per season still ranked among the best. It was a model example of "gold shines everywhere."
The Manchester media once ridiculed Tony Twain, stating, "He sold a good player just like that. Does he really think he's the king of Nottingham Forest? The megalomaniac!"
The good performances of these players were in stark contrast to the decline in Nottingham Forest's results over the past two seasons. During the six months Tony Twain spent recuperating from his heart attack, there were media outlets that expressed congratulations to Bendtner and Ashley Young for "escaping" Nottingham Forest in time.
But, every dog had his day. After those two seasons were over, Nottingham Forest was back in contention for the title again. This time up against Manchester City, Twain did not want to lose even if it was an away game.
Before the game, the personal feud between him and Bendtner was brought to the table again. Twain felt that the media was being tedious. Why was the same boring old gossip being talked about again and again?
"Every time I play against a team wearing red, I get invigorated," Bendtner said in a pre-game interview.
Some people said he was trying to win favor with the Manchester City fans because the Manchester United team wore red. More people believed he was obliquely referring to Nottingham Forest. After all, he was already secured in the Manchester City main striker position. He only had to please the fans when he joined the team. Was there a need to use this time to show loyalty again?
Twain's response was silence. He did not waste his breath with a traitor that had left. That would be a loss of dignity. It was better to use the actual results from the game as a weapon to fight back
It was his man, Gareth Bale, who stepped forward unhappily and hit back at Bendtner. "He should have thought about where he would have been without Nottingham Forest. Maybe he would be a substitute player at Arsenal and keep clamoring to transfer if he did not get a chance to play."
The ridicule was deep and smacked Tony Twain's style. Bale followed Twain for so many years and was good at glib talk. He was no longer the nervous young kid who followed Ashley Young and went to the Dutch brothels.
George Wood was not involved in the war of words between the two teams. He was busy discussing his new contract with the club.
Having gone through AC Milan's incitement, Twain recognized the need to negotiate a new contract with Wood and give the team and fans confidence. So, he threw Billy Woox, whom he did not want to see the most, at Allan Adams and let the two foxes negotiate the renewal.
It was said that if the new contract was successfully signed, George Wood would play for Nottingham Forest until 2015. He would be 29 years old at that time, and his retirement from the Forest team was just another new contract.
This contract would greatly enhance George Wood's package in the team and cement his current position as the highest-paid player on the team. This time, neither Allan Adams nor Twain was going to be stingy with his salary. No matter what, George Wood was also the World Cup's fourth main player. His reputation was not the same after the World Cup. If they did not make a heavy investment, how could they make Wood unswervingly stay there and reflect the captain's extraordinary unique value?
Insider information stated that he would be offered a hefty contract of 130,000 pounds a week, possibly on the same level as Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, Liverpool's Gerrard, and other world-class star players.
Wood's goal for entering professional football was achieved. He was paid 120,000 a week and now had a contract of 10,000 more than he had imagined.
No one on the Nottingham Forest team objected to George Wood's contract. Everyone knew what he meant to the team. As the team captain, core of the midfield and flag-bearer, he deserved a contract that surpassed the wages of the rest of the team. Everyone also understood clearly that if they wanted to emulate George Wood's signed contract at this level, perhaps the boss would put him up for sale after he considered it carefully.
George Wood's renewal negotiations started from the matter with AC Milan. The two foxes, Allan Adams and Billy Woox, haggled for several rounds and finally settled every word and punctuation on the contract. Two days before the match against Manchester City, Nottingham Forest officially announced it.
"In clarifying the rumors about his connection with AC Milan, Nottingham Forest's team captain, George Wood, has proudly signed his name this morning on a new five-year contract. He will continue to play for Nottingham Forest until June 30, 2015."
Wood and Twain attended the press conference together for the renewal, during which Wood seriously and earnestly expressed his loyalty to all Nottingham Forest fans.
"I will play at Nottingham Forest until I retire, even if it is unfortunately relegated," he said.
Twain gave him a gentle pat and said, "Don't say anything inauspicious, George. How can the Forest team be relegated?"
The pair's intimate gesture made the reporters in the room laugh. The performance also dispelled any rumors that Wood and Twain were at odds.
Afterward, Pierce Brosnan wrote in the article about the renewal, "After half a month's wait, all the Nottingham Forest fans can finally take a breath and have a good night's sleep. They do not have to worry about waking up to read in the papers that their team captain has gone to faraway Italy. George Wood has promised to play here until his retirement, and he has expressed his love for the team. The story from the summer became a farce, and we have reason to look forward to the day George Wood retires from the Forest team!"
Twain's decision to announce the success of the club's contract with Wood ahead of the Manchester City game was also well thought out. He wanted to send such a signal to all his opponents, especially Manchester City, that Nottingham Forest was certainly still united internally and the opponents had better not take advantage of the situation to stir up trouble.
The flag-bearer's contract renewal with the team also greatly boosted the team's morale and confidence. No one would be harassed by the tabloid reporters after training. Everyone only had to think about how to win the game.
Twain undoubtedly did not forget to continue unleash his best psychological offensive. It was not against the younger Bendtner but against the team's manager, Kevin Keegan.
"I really, really, really feel sorry for him. I used to think the manager of an English football team was the hardest thing to do. I now realize my mistake. The Manchester City manager is! Look at the first words from his predecessor, Mark Hughes, after his dismissal. 'I can finally get a good night's sleep!' It's pathetic... A manager at Manchester City can't sleep well. Actually, Kevin wanted to leave that place, didn't he? He's in a tug of war with Manchester City now, and Manchester City's the one tugging the rope. Ah, who's the sorriest man? I bet it's not Kevin Keegan. Who am I supposed to sympathize with?"
Manchester City had a poor record the previous season. At the start of the new season, they lost the Toto Cup and qualification to compete in the European competition for the current season. Coming up empty in results was unforgivable for the Manchester City boss, who had invested at least 300 million pounds in the transfer market in two years' time.
If it was any other team, the club would not hesitate to fire the manager. Or, some managers themselves would take the initiative to resign when they could not stand the pressure. The situation was unique at Manchester City.
Keegan's refusal to quit had a lot to do with the contract he originally signed with Manchester City. After Mark Hughes left, Kevin Keegan's high-profile return to Manchester City, where the club valued his reputation and coaching ability in English football, gave him a worthwhile contract. He received an annual salary of 3.8 million pounds. It was almost on an equal footing with Ferguson and Wenger, the two legendary Premier League managers.
The contract was signed for four years, and it had only been one year. If the club was going to fire Keegan, it was fine except that they would have to pay the three-year salary of 11.4 million pounds first.
Keegan had a good temper and attitude. He was not a fool who had a sudden heart attack due to excessive pressure and collapsed on the sidelines of the field. As a result, he was properly installed in the position. Whenever the Manchester City club could grit its teeth and pay the salary of more than 10 million pounds in one go, he would leave immediately.
He had done the calculation. How could other people not know? Everyone was an insider, so basically no one mentioned those hurtful words. As the saying went, "do not hit people in the face while beating someone up."
Twain did not care. With his big mouth, he just spilled the beans whether what could be said or not without filter. When Kevin Keegan heard his words, his face immediately darkened.
A manager's loyalty to a team had a direct impact on the team's morale and fighting spirit, as well as performance. Twain understood the principle, so he must have deliberately yelled it out.
Every manager was aware not to think of the professional players as too smart. If he tried to manage these players like they were adults, he would be badly battered and find out that it was still best to manage them like a parent and treat them as children.
The players often had a blind faith in the manager. They were willing to believe in the actions and manners the manager did on a daily basis rather than consider whether the statements or practice were reasonable.
Although Kevin Keegan produced poor results that created a mess, he relied on his good old man's style of management and interpersonal relationships. Even though his relationship with the senior management was not good, his prestige within the team was quite high. Every player listened to him. Every time news of the club's top brass being unhappy with Kevin Keegan's results came out in the media, there would be players who stepped up to defend their manager, saying that the club should give the good manager enough patience. Keegan had proven his level in his previous coaching experience. All he needed now was time. A club that always changed its manager could not solve any problems.
Roping in the locker room was the most effective way for Keegan to contend against the club's top brass. Now, Twain's words were clearly about dividing the cohesion between him and the players. Such a move could be said to be ruthless. To be more malicious, it would not be too much to scold Tony Twain as mean, despicable, and shameless. As a peer in the same profession, how could he try to destroy another person's livelihood?
Twain did not think the same. He and Keegan were unrelated and not friends. What did Keegan's life and death have to do with him? It did not matter that he exposed someone's scars for the sake of his victory. He did not bear any psychological burden at all.
His remarks indeed caused a stir in the media. Kevin Keegan had to come forward and refute the rumor. He said that his stay at the club had nothing to do with his salary. It was because he loved Manchester City and wanted to lead the team out of trouble.
A reporter tactlessly asked, "If the results continue to decline, will you consider taking the initiative to resign?"
Keegan frowned and thought for a moment to sidestep the topic. "I never think about what has not happened. I'm a firm believer in the future of the team and things haven't become bad enough."
In the end, he did not say he would resign voluntarily. Twain's words caused a lot of trouble for him. Kevin Keegan was furious.
Carl Spicer ridiculed Twain on his show, saying, "I dare to wager with Tony Twain this time that if Keegan were to appear in front of him now, he would roundly beat him up!"
They soon met.
In the fourth round of the league tournament, Nottingham Forest challenged Manchester City in an away game. Kevin Keegan did not have to beat Twain in private. He now had an above board chance to beat Twain. In a pre-match interview, he even lost his self-control and repeatedly stressed, "We will definitely win! Definitely!"
Twain's response was calm. He only said, "He's mad."
What was the result of the game? Caught up in Twain's psychological warfare, Kevin Keegan had no time to study how to contend with the Forest team's tactics. Meanwhile, the impact of Twain's words on the Manchester City team was as if a stone had been dropped in an otherwise calm lake. Perhaps it was not big, but ripples and changes had taken place and were gradually spreading.
Questions were raised within the team about their manager. Their performance in the game lacked concentration.
Twain's team seized the opportunity to pursue Manchester City relentlessly and battered them in the away game. Bendtner tried his best to change the result with his own goals, but under the Forest defenders' split defense, he looked isolated and overly selfish. As long as the ball was at his feet, he rarely passed it out.
Twain wanted to seize on Bendtner's impatience to take revenge and take him out of the entire Manchester City offensive system. The individual ability of the imbalanced and impatient Bendtner simply could not stand up to the Forest team's rear defensive line.
As for Ashley Young? He was the unluckiest. He did not even make the squad list because he was too excited the day before the game during training and sprained his ankle.
In the end, Nottingham Forest easily took a 2:0 away win over the chaotic Manchester City team. Ibišević did not make the starting lineup for the game. After confirming that he had returned to form, Twain gave the chance to the other strikers who had sacrificed their starting positions in previous games, such as van Nistelrooy.
Van Nistelrooy did not score in the game, but he assisted in the team's second goal. His goals coring rate had declined as he became older, and the number of his injuries increased. None of the strikers in the Forest team could certainly be compared to his all-roundness. With him around, Nottingham Forest would have plenty of options when they struck the 30-meter zone in the front field. Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.novelhall.com for visiting.
The two goals were scored respectively by Şahin and Žigić, who replaced Eastwood in the second half. Twain used the aerial master to blast open Richards' defense and smash the ball into the net midair. The ever-strong Richards was knocked aside. The goal looked really powerful.
In the post-match press conference, a reporter asked about the two managers' pre-match spat. Twain laughed until Kevin Keegan really wanted to pounce on and punch the scumbag like what Carl Spicer had said.
Twain said, "I think I helped Keegan and Manchester City solve a common difficult problem."
Two days later, the Manchester City club announced that Kevin Keegan was released from his contract. They paid Keegan a three-year salary of 11.4 million pounds in one lump sum.
"We thank Kevin for the work he has done for the team over the past season and wish him good luck."
It was a simple statement to bid farewell to Keegan. After losing so much money, the Manchester City club did not want to show any "warmth" and "feelings." They drove Keegan out of the Manchester City Stadium's gate like he was the plague.
Twain never lied. He did help Keegan and Manchester City solve their problems.
A busybody did a calculation. This was the third manager to step down after a game against Nottingham Forest because of Tony Twain.
The first was the unlucky Real Madrid manager and Brazilian, Luxemburgo, who resigned on his own the day after losing the game to then-unknown Nottingham Forest at the Bernabéu. The second unlucky person was the famous Mourinho, who left after he tied the game with Nottingham Forest amidst the continued poor results in addition to the conflict with the club's owner, Roman Abramovic. The third was the current Manchester City manager, Kevin Keegan.
If the initial disgraceful departure of the Forest manager, Collymore, was counted, as well as McClaren, who was constantly cursed by Tony Twain as "more appropriate to be an assistant manager than a manager" the moment he took office, then the figure made five..
The Sun commented in a half-serious and half-joking manner, "This guy is a peer killer!"