The excellent "Through the Seasons before us" has an article on "The Blame Game" - who is at fault when looking at our current predicament. I'm pleased to see that most of the blame is laid at Mark Arthur's door.
It's a strange thing, is corporate culture. Most organisations that are small enough (so that the workers recognise the board when they walk in the office) take on the character of the people in charge. The rest of the staff either go with the flow or are replaced by people who are on the same wavelength.
I've recently had experience of this myself - my boss (laid back, friendly, can talk his way out of anything) has been moved "sideways" and replaced by the previous head of HR (in your face, gets things done, takes no shit). And the shockwaves are being felt. The affable, "it will get done tomorrow" people are handing in their resignations. Our customers are thinking twice before trying to blag free stuff off us. Profits are up. Fun at work is down. As a "get things done" person I'm liking it, but many are not.
Which leads us back all the way to Mark Arthur and Nigel Doughty. Forest's problems go back a long way. Some would say it was down to Scholar, Wray and Markham. Others blame Fred Reacher and the "gentleman's club" board - if only they had sold to Sandy Anderson instead of taking the cursed coin of Irving Scholar (forgetting that the "Anderson" bid was actually financed by one Nigel Doughty). Personally, I blame Paul Gascoigne. If he hadn't done that tackle in the Cup Final then we would have won, Brian Clough would have resigned on a high and our Martin would be leading us to our fifth or sixth European Cup triumph (ha, take that Scousers!).
But there are two patterns I see over these many years of decline. One is players who don't care. The second is dour managers.
The first is easy. There is only one reason to join a club on the way down and that is the bulge in your wallet. Our wages are four times higher than the average in our league (I read that somewhere but I can't remember where, so it may be false) - yet I can barely remember any games where we have looked like our players are worth that extra cash.
The second is also easy. The board wants someone cautious. Someone dour. Who won't go overboard with excitement. The lessons of Joe Kinnear run very deep. Who won't go overboard with cash. The lessons of David Platt run very very deep.
So don't blame Calderwood. The problems run deeper than he probably realised and even Sgt Major Megson couldn't get close to sorting them out (because they start at the top, not at the bottom).
Don't even blame the players. If someone offered you bags of cash, bottles of Courvoisier and the board let you get away with murder what would you do? Professional pride? The wrath of 20000 angry East Midlanders? Who cares?
Unfortunately, that leaves only one area left to change. And seeing as we are unlikely to find a replacement for ND (Vladimir Romanov anyone?) ...