Forest set to end Gardner’s Forest tenure..

According to the Stoke Sentinel, Forest are bizarrely in the midst of agreeing terms to pay up Ross Gardners contract in order for him to join League One rivals Port Vale permanently – surely he should just be agreeing terms with the Valiants and moving to them to pay his wages?  Oh no, not at Forest where we piss money up the walls seemingly!

I for one will be sorry to see Ross go, particulary in the light of us being so dreadful in midfield lately – whilst never likely to set the world alight, I remember a keen and hardworking player who I had thought could have a future with us.  If the stories are true, then that will be the end of our association with the two former-Newcastle trainees as James Beaumont was released earlier in the month.

If these outgoings are making way for incoming players, then I can deal with it – but currently this transfer window and immediately before the old revolving door seems to be operating in only one direction – outgoing, I want to see some players coming in the other direction too!!

Forest in releasing good news shocker!

I posted a depressing preview for the Charlton game, so it’s only fair to comment on something a tad more positive occuring in the murky world of Nottingham Forest.  Official text messages have been despatched confirming news that will presumably hit the official website soon, and whilst it’s not the new signing that we are all desperately awaiting some hint of, it’s still good news!

Gino Padula has had his contract terminated with Nottingham Forest – I must admit, when we signed him I thought it would be quite amusing to have a long-haired Argentinian playing for us.  Those kind of raw materials are the kind of things that cult heroes are made from – but alas, he proved to be well, a bit shit really.  He will be remembered most fondly in a Forest shirt for a slide tackle that took out Gary Megson on the touchline, and very little else.

The only galling thing is that presumably Forest have paid off his contract in order to get rid of him, but well, it needed doing.  Fair well, Gino, you crazily rubbish footballer!

Forest vs. Charlton Athletic FA Cup preview..

We go into this cup game with me very low on confidence of us causing an upset; when the game was drawn I was reasonably excited, not a “huge” game by any stretch of the imagination, but a chance to upset some struggling Premiership opponents – at the time, with a hapless manager in charge, and of course, a possible reunion with former Forest player Andy Reid – all in all, a no lose situation for us really.

Since then it’s transpired Reidy is injured thus won’t be playing, and Charlton of course have sacked hapless Reed and installed Alan Pardew as manager, since then we have gone on a dreadful run of league form – culminating in a 5-0 spanking at the hands of Oldham Athletic on new years day.  It’s not exactly enough to fill you with confidence, now is it?

It’s not all going Charlton’s way though – they’re not allowed to field Scott Carson in goal, they have injuries to aforementioned Andy Reid, Marcus Bent and Hermann Hreidarsson, and Osei Sankofa is to serve a suspension – although if you cast your eye down their squadlist, it’s hard to imagine our plodding defenders getting much change from the likes of Hasselbaink, Marcus Bent or Rommedahl!

Forest have a few absentees as well; John Thompson is cup-tied, which is a bit of poor planning, Nicky Southall, Danny Cullip and Sammy Clingan are suspended and influential (well, when he feels like it) Kris Commons is still out with injury.  Wes Morgan has recovered from illness in the nick of time, but it will certainly leave the Forest side looking somewhat unfamiliar, with a probable return for the maligned Julian Bennett either as part of a back three with Breckin and Morgan, or perhaps as a left back should we employ a back four (I wish!).

Charlton have a surprisingly good record against us; historically they would’ve been the least favoured team too more often than not - last time we met in 2000 Smoulderwood was sent off for two bookable offences, and none other than John Terry was a second half substitute for the mighty Reds; despite being down to ten men we equalised an earlier Charlton goal from the penalty spot – Accrington ‘super star’ Alan Rogers winning the penalty that Bart-Williams converted.

All in all, I’ve lost all hope of an us causing an upset in the light of recent performances – and to be honest, would question whether we really need the distraction of a cup run when our league form is a stutter.  I foresee a comfortable win for Charlton, and just hope that the scoreline isn’t too embarrassing – because even though a full league separates us, I would still expect us to put up a good fight, but that could be an expectation too far.

Lawsy to settle old score with Psycho!

This article on the Times website made me chuckle a great deal – I have cherished memories of seeing Laws and Pearce comprise our uncompromising fullbacks, and in these days where team spirit seems to involve going into Nottingham to get arseholed and lairy it’s refreshing to read about the kind of shenanigans the players I grew up watching used to get up to.  Laws words make the best reading, here they are:

“Stuart’s like a hand grenade,” Laws, who roomed with Pearce during his playing days, said. “He pulls the pin out and then walks off. He seems to set everything up — a joke, a wind-up — but never finishes them off.

“We had a great team spirit at Forest. We used to socialise together, go go-karting, airballooning, you name it. He’d get me to do the organising because he knew I’d do it thoroughly and get people involved. He also made sure I got held responsible if anything went wrong.

“Unbeknown to the gaffer, we went paint-balling against Notts County once and Nigel Clough came back with a twisted ankle after falling out of a tree. To this day, Nigel doesn’t know who shot him. I know Stuart Pearce was holding the gun — but has yet to take the blame. I got absolutely caned by Brian Clough because it was me who organised the event.”

Cracking stuff – it’s nice to know that there was a more wholesome time when the players went off and did wholesome things behind the manager’s back!  He went on to say nicer things about Pearce; which I’ll end with – it’s so nice to read comments from these two as they were up there as two of my all time favourite Forest players.

“You could tell he had the credentials for management and he’s done a fantastic job at Man City. It’s not so long ago he was being talked of as the next England manager; not long after, he was being talked of as the next for the sack. But he relishes every moment,”

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