It's the hope and expectation, after all, that kills you. Whether it's Cloughie's chance to win the FA Cup, relegations, play-off debacles, players on strike or off-field 'events', experience has taught us not to get carried away.
That's why I'm worried about any talk linking Martin O'Neill with the annual vacancy at the City Ground.
Martin O'Neill for Forest? Worth a call, says John Roberston. #nffc https://t.co/QVGb2ooCNW pic.twitter.com/w7KuFLMoTD— Mike Sassi (@MikeSassi) March 24, 2016
For him to take the job, some very big hurdles would need to be overcome. Firstly, O'Neill would have to want to jack in his current job with Ireland after leading the side to the Euros in France. In doing so he'd forego a shot at qualifying for the World Cup in Russia too.
Then, if and only if he doesn't fancy the World Cup, we'd also have to hope that O'Neill is something of a footballing romantic. Although things didn't end too well at Sunderland, O'Neill's record in the domestic game does not suggest that he'd have to go back to club football with a side treading water in the mid table of the second tier (at best).
We'd have to hope that he's got a similar pair of prescription strength Garibaldi-tinted specs that we all sometimes don and that he is sucked in by the chance to return us to success from roughly the same state in which Clough found us in the 70s.
We'd have to hope that that fairytale would be enough to blind him to Fawaz's paper thin club structure and the spending limitations (even if the embargo is lifted) we face.
Kenny Burns says the feeling in his gut (no jokes about Kenny's gut please) is that O'Neill is an unrealistic prospect and I'd have to agree. I don't think sentiment is enough on its own and, let's be frank, Martin is too good for us.
Kenny Burns: sentiment won't be enough to lure Martin O'Neill back to Forest as boss #nffc https://t.co/thDvRnUp8z pic.twitter.com/NaIR4tcAwn— Nottm Post Sport (@NottmPostSport) March 28, 2016
Of course John Robertson is right. We should 'give Martin a call'. You never know if you don't pick up the phone but I suspect it'd be a fairly short and fruitless conversation.
My worry is that, having flirted with the idea during this grim post-Sheep international break, whoever we do eventually get might feel like an almighty let down in comparison. When Ian Holloway or Steve Clarke come riding into town the collective sigh of disappointment will be even greater having dared to dream of O'Neill.
Part of the reason the O'Neill story lasted, I suppose, was because it was at least more positive than some of the alternatives. A couple of overseas names - men who seem to be a) cheap, b) failures elsewhere and c) used to owner interference - have been floated. I'm gritting my teeth and hoping these are just people who have applied and aren't serious contenders.
Beyond that Nigel Pearson remains the bookies favourite. He's from Nottingham, has had success at this level and is available which, to be honest, is probably all that those odds are based on. Barring the odd bit of bizarre behaviour on the touchline and that 'ostrich rant' he's actually shown himself to be a smart manager and laid the foundations for Leicester's current title push. He has also been linked to the now-vacant Villa job though and, interestingly, wouldn't come with the team that surrounded him at the Crisp Bowl, making him both a diminished force and likely to hold out for something better. If Mick McCarthy and Neil Warnock can turn us down then Pearson might also resist our advances.
Second favourite is Nigel Clough who seems destined to appear in the running every time the vacancy is available (every Feb/March). Is there an inevitability about Clough Jnr's return to the City Ground? He's apparently engineered a clause in his Burton contract that would allow him to talk to the club if approached. It seems a little odd that he's that interested in Forest to me. Of course talking and agreeing to come are not the same. He does have a chance to take his current club to the Championship and carry on the building job he began years ago and that might seem a better prospect than jumping into the Fawaz firing line.
Nigel's record suggests he'd bring through young players and could hunt out bargains if we're still hampered by FFP. But, post-Pearce, do we really want to return to another club legend? (That's how he should be viewed too, not as an ex Sheep boss). I'm uneasy about both that and the fact that Nigel seems someone for the long term. This post, as we all know, doesn't have a long shelf life.
The trouble is, who else? Neil Lennon is third favourite but seems broken by his Bolton experience and joint third favourite is a certain William McIntosh Davies. Anyone know much about him?
Mind you, even Ricardo Moniz is only 20/1 which suggests that the bookies are as baffled as the rest of us. It's a list ridden with unrealistic ideas, failures and unsuitable candidates. Like Alan Sugar's Apprentice contenders.
Still, whatever happens, I certainly won't be dreaming of an O'Neill fairytale. That will only, surely, end in nightmares...