It’s a pretty ill-kept secret that we were in talks with Andy (or Andrew) Cole; Smoulds himself confirmed as much unusually prior to announcing a signing, so I was pretty confident it was going to happen sooner or later, as he’s usually very reticent to name names – even when the rumours point strongly to a particular target – so it wasn’t a surprise, but nonetheless a pleasant announcement.
A local lad, Cole needs to introduction to football fans at all – he shot to prominence when banging in goals during Newcastle’s rise to the top flight, in a career that started at Arsenal before a premature move to Bristol City; almost a goal every other game saw the Geordies snap him up for just shy of £2million. In 70 appearances for the Toon Army he banged in an amazing 55 goals.
In 1995 he moved to Manchester United for a then British record transfer fee, and was a key figure in their treble-winning side of 1999. After this halcyon period he went on a journeyman phase taking in Blackburn, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth and latterly Sunderland, who released him this summer enabling us to pick him up for a free transfer. Last season he was loaned to Burnley where he bagged 6 goals in 13 games.
Certainly at 36 years of age, it is undeniable that we won’t be seeing a player at his peak, very much in the autumn of his playing career – but nonetheless, we have acquired a bona fide pedigree striker, and what he can’t produce on the field any further could easily be compensated for in the influence he can have on our other strikers on the training ground.
So welcome on board, Andrew. I’m pretty excited about the prospect of seeing him in a Forest shirt; whilst perhaps not expecting him to play in all our games, I’m confident that provided with the right ammunition there’s no reason why he won’t be able to continue his knack of being in the right place at the right time to bag a few goals for us next season, and hopefully provide invaluable advice to his fellow strikers as the season goes on.
To switch from our latest incoming to one of our outgoings, Kris Commons has finally spoken in public about his move to the evil place; indeed, aside from coming across as a bit dim, and attempting to drop his north Notts accent, he has also provided an insightful prediction that Jewell’s men are set for a disastrous time next season (silly boy!). I still think he’ll have a convenient injury when it comes to his new team’s visit to the City Ground.