French, ferocious and an insatiable love for Nottingham Forest Football Club. Three small statements that perfectly sum up former Reds midfielder Guy Moussi.
Speak to the ex-Forest man for more than a couple of moments and you will grasp just how much the club that lies close to the banks of the River Trent means to the Frenchman.
Now 32-years-old, the industrious midfielder played 136 times for the Reds, becoming a mainstay in the team as Forest reached the Championship play-offs in successive seasons back in 2010.
Quite bizarrely Moussi hasn’t played much football since departing the City Ground in 2014 and that is something that he would like to change, if the project and club was right.
In an exclusive interview with Football League World, the midfielder said: “I am still fit and I can play football. That said, I will only get back to playing if I feel that the environment and people are football minded and not business minded.”
It is when you mention the Reds that Moussi’s eyes light up, just as a fan of the club would, he shares a passion that is seemingly genuine.
Billy Davies was the man who guided Forest to successful play-off campaigns and the strapping midfielder speaks extremely fondly of the Scottish boss.
Moussi said: “We had a good team spirit and it was really just a group of young lads playing together.
“Davies had a huge impact on us. He made us focus on the anger to be the best you can be to become the next superstar of the Premier League. He genuinely was that motivated and his style really had no limits.”
Moussi signed for Forest upon their return to the Championship in 2008 by then boss Colin Calderwood and it was a journey that he was more than happy to embark on.
He said: “David Friio was a scout at the club at the time and at first I didn’t really know a lot about Nottingham Forest, although my family soon told me that the club was really big.
“I was linked with a top club in France but that move never came off but once I had a look around Nottingham and Forest itself I was more than happy to sign for the football club.”
Whilst Moussi obviously won’t get the same accolades among supporters as say John Robertson or Stan Collymore, his no nonsense, hard-working approach to the beautiful game was appreciated in abundance and the rapport he built up is something he cherishes.
He continued: “I am always in Nottingham now and have some very good friends in the city. I absolutely loved my time there and I class myself as a big fan of the club now.
“The memories I have are something that nobody will ever take away from me and I was lucky that everyone at the club made me feel so welcome. It was a great period in my career.”
Having played for the club at such a successful time in recent history, Moussi struggles to single out a defining moment that he considers his favourite, although the 1-0 win over Derby County – the club’s first ever at Pride Park – is evidently fond.
On the occasion, he said: “There is a famous picture of me celebrating with the supporters after the 1-0 win at Derby County.
“It was an important game and we were chasing the top six at the time, fighting to get automatic promotion. The game was a great test and we handled the occasion brilliantly.”
Moussi still follows Forest closely and he has been intrigued with the events at the City Ground over the last couple of weeks.
On this season, he said: “I think that Mark Warburton had a lovely philosophy on football but sadly results were not as good as they should have been.
“Aitor Karanka is a great choice as the next manager. I remember playing against his teams and they were solid defensively and impressive going forwards.
“A lot of talk around the club is based on the Premier League, but we haven’t been in the play-offs since I left, so let’s get there but let’s do it step by step and start reaching the top six more frequently first.”
Moussi still stays in regular contact with some of the players he played with at Forest and is a regular attendee at home games.
He said: “I still go to the City Ground, of course I do, when I am in Nottingham I always take a game in. I love Nottingham as a city, it’s really fantastic.”
Moussi’s passion for the football club oozes through and whilst he probably won’t be considered a legend at the City Ground, he will go down as something of a cult hero among those of a Forest persuasion.
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