Are the Reds still playing catch-up? I think so.

ned_billyBilly Davies’ latest words in the press have had me pondering a bit.  Much like many Forest fans I know or have read comments from, I’ve been somewhat blown away by the quantity and potential of the signings we’ve secured so far.  It would be a downright lie to say I haven’t gotten really rather excited at times, p’raps not as much as some have – but then I am a grumpy sod.

Generally I then regain some semblance of reality, and modify my expectations to be a bit less ambitious.  Not that my expectations really matter!  However, I think Billy raises a good point – I’ve seen talk of playoffs, Victor Chandler of course enhanced that by offering free season tickets should we win the league – hell, I opened an account and placed a bet on the said same event for a double-bonus should it happen!

But Billy’s right, I think.  Last season we went into the Championship criminally ill-prepared, our squad was not only below the standard required in terms of quality, we didn’t have sufficient quantity when the injuries and suspensions started to bite.  By adding the loanees brought in to steady the ship as well as adding the likes of McKenna, Rajewski et al has – potentially – caught us up.

Of course, it’s in Billy’s interests to manage our expectations – should the season not start in rip-roaring fashion he will be only too well aware of how fickle we are, but I don’t think this is just an arse-covering exercise.  Given that he still wants to add to the squad – clearly a left back is on the agenda with a move for Fox, with supposed links with Mattock, and with a bit fat vacancy at squad number three.

I’ve often said – to some reasoned criticism – that I’d be delighted with a safe mid-table finish.  Of course, I wouldn’t want Billy to be saying things like that, though.  Watching some of our shortcomings in finishing off chances against Notts County was a useful reminder that there’s work still to do.  Unfortunately I can’t make the Stoke friendly, but hope to see the side sharpened up against Birmingham on Saturday.

Hopefully with those one or two signings Davies has been hinting at!

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11 Responses

  1. Hi there, I’ve been following this blog for some time now and I’m very impressed with the quality of articles I read so thank you for that. I was wandering what you think would be Billy’s preferred starting two upfront and in midfield, I think those are the two areas that we are particularly strong in now, do you think Adebola will be effective starting like he did against Notts County I’m just a little bit concerned regarding the long ball football that might result.

  2. Hi Andy, thanks for your kind comments!

    I think Adebola has more to his game than just having the ball lumped up to him, indeed, whilst I’ve seen him flick the ball on effectively etc – he’s seemed more effective with the ball at his feet.

    As for who would be his first choice – who knows? I suspect Billy will be looking at his opponents and possibly tailoring his striker options depending on that – what with Tys and McGoldrick being deployable as wingers/midfield.

    In midfield I can’t see past McKenna starting most of the time when available, which gives us Cohen, McGugan and Majewski fighting for a central spot, and the likes of McCleary, Anderson, Tyson and McGoldrick around for winger spots…

    I’m fascinated to see how he opts to make use of his new riches of squad!

  3. Just a little comment and not to be pedantic, his name is Majewski.

    Nice piece and have to agree, play offs is the target for us next year and with Mills to sign tomorrow and a left winger/left back/AN Other centre half we may just fight it out at the top!

  4. Jesus! I dunno what’s wrong with me, I have a real mental block with his name! I’ve found myself typing Madjewski more than once too.

    It looks like I’ve concatenated his first name and surname there – must mean it’s bedtime! I might just edit that comment first, though :-)

  5. nffc – another great article and I share your “excited realism”!

    I’m going to the Stoke game tomorrow – as I live near Stoke I just have to, but will miss Brum due to holidays. However, the excitement got the better of me, so have tickets and am planning to go to the Reading game.

    That said, despite a daft bet with VC and renewing my sponsorship of JB’s away kit, I will be delighted if we finish between 5th and 8th this season with perhaps some excitement in the Cups.

    I really do beleive that promotion to the Prem would be too early and I wouldn’t want us to replace Derby as “the worst ever team”. Of course, if we were to get promoted I would be cheering as madly as everyone else – the perils of being a football fan!

  6. Nice article mate although one thing I’ve noticed on various sites, blogs, and forums since Billy Davis’ comments about us only playing catchup is that, as you put it, “ Last season we went into the Championship criminally ill-prepared, our squad was not only below the standard required in terms of quality“.

    From my recollection this wasn’t the feeling as we went into last season… so sure we’d only just made it back up however we had managed an excellent defensive record that in all truth I don’t think none of us saw performing as bad as it did in the Championship. It was clear to everyone that the area to be addressed was up front and there in we bought the most prolific striker at this level in Earnie, an up and coming prospect in Joe Garner, an experienced pro in Andy Cole (and lets face it, we all thought he’d do alright), and then we strengthen the midfield with Moussi, who after our pre-season against Everton and opener against Reading left us thinking “yeah actually we’ll be alright, maybe mid-table or above”.

    I agree that Billy Davis should play down expectations to an extent but with 4 of the 9 we’ve signed having never played for us before I still think that there should be the expectation that 6th place isn’t going to be out of reach. Especially when you consider that Majewski could be a diamond in the rough, Moussi is highly rated by Billy Davis following his previous comments that made it sound like he could be Forest’s Viera, and we’ve more goals and experience in McKenna, McGoldrick, and Adebola.

    Should we still manage to sign Mills and another centre back or left back then I believe we will be on our way to a top 5-8 finish.

    As for promotion to early… is there such a thing?! The answer is no, there most certainly isn’t!! The income, renewed interest in our club, and the experience the young squad we have would get would springboard us onto the next level regardless of whether we came straight down.

    PS. Keep up the good work on the site, I know quite a few people who regularly check it for match insights to games not attended :)

  7. By chance anyone out there got 2 tickets for Reading available which they now cannot use ? I know they are on general sale on Saturday but according to the ticket office it is unlikely any will be left.
    many thanks

  8. The bookies arent usually far wrong and skybet currently have us as 8th favourites to win the league at 18 – 1, which I think is about right. Derby and Leicester are both 25-1 so we are fancied more than both of them!

    I do hope that someone has told those thugs from Stoke that this is a pre-season FRIENDLY. They have some big nasty lumps in their team and do seem to enjoy kicking lumps out of the opposition!

  9. If we land a top six spot, I’ll be bloody delighted. In the championship, you need a manager who’ll be in their faces before each game, at half time and after each game, sticking it up them. We need this kind of urgency aswell as good players. We’ve been far too pedestrian of late and need an adrellalin rush. Lets hope Billy can fire them reds up. see Red Billy, see Red.

  10. Trust me, if something bad happens it will not be Billy’s fault and he will tell us why. If something good happens it will be all down to Billy and how great he is with such a shite team!!! He is a walking pr machine. But to be honest he is not the only one. Many managers now spend all their time spinning. I am confident though, my only concerns are that we need another defender, I hope garner gets a chance as I rate him and getting 2 tickets for reading away!!!

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