Billy takes to panel-beating?..

Billy Davies is a red, he hates Arthur!*

I missed Mark Arthur’s interview on Radio Nottingham before the match, but caught Billy at the end.  Apparently the gist of Mark Arthur’s comments were the very familiar soundbites around not being held to ransom on signings – and apparently that we only had three serious targets (Shorey, Moses and Pratley with a side-order of Bale until Tottenham’s injury situation).

A similar situation to previous January windows I suppose – and in a way I admire the club for not being ripped off as many teams are in these situations, and indeed, sticking to their policy of improving the squad rather than making knee-jerk signings.  I’m very surprised that Shorey was our only lead at left-back as it became increasingly apparent that Gareth Bale was increasingly featuring in Harry Redknapp’s plans.

Now fast-forward to post-match and Billy Davies doesn’t quite sing from the same hymn sheet.  I will start by saying one very important thing – everything that Billy says to the media is to be taken with a massive pinch of salt (and I think he wouldn’t mind me saying that too).  That’s not to say I don’t believe him – just that he plays the media quite cunningly, and it wasn’t surprising to hear him not exactly following the lead of the chief executive.

The second thing to say about Billy’s interview was that he didn’t sound like he was agitating to me, just an honest appraisal of the situation.  He started with Majewski, who he claims he withdrew to the bench because his head wasn’t in the right place because of uncertainty over his future – he intimated he wasn’t aware of the state of negotiations to make his move to the City Ground permanent – something Billy said both he and the player wanted.

I couldn’t help but think back to ‘Oh, Wes Morgan/Guy Moussi is injured and a doubt for x game‘ type comments we’ve seen from Billy only to find the player not only starting the game – but clearly at a high level of fitness and not injury doubts at all.  Billy likes to play little games like this, and perhaps this is another one – at least I hope so, not to take today’s result away from them, but we missed Raddy’s vision in midfield today.

His second comment was around the left-back situation – it’s clear to everyone (aside from the usual idiots in the stands) that Perchy is in an uncomfortable position, covering left-back.  It will become apparent to our opponents too.  Billy sounded frustrated, and interestingly said Cohen himself was resistant to being pushed back there (which I can understand, as he’s becoming very effective in midfield).

Now, on the face of it there’s lots of cause for concern here.  A star player unsettled – a difference in story between the board and the manager, but I think if you look through the obvious then this is probably reasonably quite calculated.  Certainly the club will clearly be disappointed with their January business, as we were last season, and they’ll know the fans are too.

Personally I think that Mark Arthur – every message board’s favourite pantomime villain – is taking a hit for the club, giving Billy the opportunity to rally the fans behind him as the sorely-put-upon manager, with a threadbare squad.  Which is a reasonable position for him – he gave the panel targets, they weren’t acquired – so that’s Billy’s side of the bargain met.

However – I do think some sense of proportion is required.  We certainly do lack a left-back (and a left-winger in my opinion), but we are where we are in the league on merit, and the loan window opens soon – so it’s not exactly wrist-slitting territory just yet, which some phone-ins or internet forums might suggest.  Perhaps being incommunicado as the window closed has helped me retain perspective.

I don’t think that things are quite as up in the air as Forest are making it try to appear though.

* Tongue-in-cheek caption alert!

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24 Responses

  1. I´m sure Raddy expected the deal for him to be concluded now.
    I thought we had first option on buying him at the end of the season and the fee..One and a half million ,had already been agreed.
    If that´s the case and Nigel is holding on to his money for another few weeks to save a bit of interest,then at least the player can be told everything is set up on a 3/ 4 year contract..whatever so he knows where he is.
    I was glad to hear the final whistle today !!

    • I’ve heard lots of rumours about a first-refusal but don’t recall ever seeing it officially confirmed… if it is indeed the case you’re right – we’d be fools to do business now IF we have a cast-iron agreement in place at the end of the season…

  2. Raddy’s agent has told him, he can get better wages else where..FACT…board need to move fast

  3. Why would we be fools to do the deal now? Saving a few pennies at the risk of destabilizing raddy or opening the door for someone else to snap him up seems crazy to me. Hopefully billys comments are designed to put pressure on club to seal. I’m not as distraught as some by lack of signings but I would be if we don’t seal the deal with raddy

  4. The other issue is wages. Raddy is being paid as per his contract with Polonia which, I am led to believe, is a fair bit lower than other Forest players, especially 1st team regulars. So he desperately wants the move sealed now. So an insider told me.

  5. My concern listening to M’ arthur yesterday , is he drifts into making comments about the footballing side in terms of getiing the type of players we need , etc and the mistakes we made with journey men in the past under Kinnear and Megson etc ….. like he is a football expert or something …. WELL HE ISNT …thats Billy’s job !.
    Arthurs job is to make sure the pies are hot ! and
    guess what THEY ARENT .
    Doughty needs to dismantle the aquistions panel
    and he and Billy should do the deals . Arthur needs to be put on a performance plan around the temperature of the pies and this means he should check them regularly before each game …..

  6. I’m not so worried about lack of transfer activity, but signing Raddy on a permanent contract must be the club’s priority. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes and like the article says, take what Davies says with a pinch of salt because you always get the feeling there’s more to it than meets the eye.

    Let’s remember that although adding a couple of new players can be a bonus, this squad we have has lost 1 game in 20. We need to stay behind them, and I see it as maybe a bit disrespectful to them that people are making such a big deal out of not signing anyone.

    Good result yesterday, not the best match i’ve ever seen but that’s what makes a successful team winning frustrating games like that. We’re not going to have it all our own way. Keep it going Forest.

  7. redrob,
    Fantastic! That made me laugh out loud…I couldn’t agree more. Well done to the lads yesterday…it’s going to be a hard fought promotion push methinks.
    Come on you REDS!

  8. If we dont sign Raddy, someone needs taking out the back and shooting.

  9. I was watching Raddy during half-time (obviously before Billy’s interview) and he did not act like someone whose head was in bits because of contract negotiations. In fact he looked as happy as I’ve ever seen anyone, without a care in the world. My brother even commented “subs shouldn’t be so happy, especially if they’ve just been dropped”.

    So I would definitely take anything Billy says about his contract with a truck-load of salt.

  10. I agree with your article nffc and redrobs comments are superb that made me chuckle.Raddy has caught the eye of most in this leage and maybe the premship too.I think billys trying to squeeze the board to tie him pronto.and so he should hes a cracking player.

    However i do think forest lack ambition and my fear is that in the future we may lose billy as i think arthur is limpwristed and doesnt know football.

    Billys a football man and he is in the clough/ferguson mould speaks his mind is a real fighter.However he is a wide boy and a glaswegian of course my mrs is a glaswegian and i tell you nothing gets past her.

    I think we stand of the brink of something great and billy probably feels the lack of ambition from forest and thats where the frustration comes from.

    U reds

  11. I don’t think Forest have lack of ambition at all. All season Billy has been stating it would be too soon to get promoted, and of course our squad depth in terms of numbers back up that statement.
    But, Billy seems to be able to motivate these players into playing football regardless of what position they normally play in, so for me, Billy is underrating his own ability, he is the best manager since god, he has the same ideas and motivations on the pitch as Cloughie did so I’m not bothered if we don’t succeed this season,
    Forest don’t need to rush into signing anyone that could potentially cause financial issues for Nottingham Forest

    Patience grasshoppers! Forest are on the March, but Rome was not built in a day..

  12. Without doubt Billy is playing mind games with the media and using Radio Nottingham especially to put some pressure on where he feels its needed. I hope it doesnt bite him on the ass with Raddy though because it may have alerted the wolves to his possible availabilty.

    I understand the need previously for the Aquistions Panel following the Fat Platt debacle but I think Billy’s signing over the summer SHOULD have proved to the Chairman hes no shop egg when it comes to buying decent footballers.

    So disband the AC and give Billy a budget (which wont financially cripple the club) and let him do with it what he sees fit.

  13. We have never been in a better position to go up since Harty led us,team matters should be left to Billy.NDset Billy on to do a job why tie his hands,off load Pleat and MA.If we do go up 30 million quid from SKY awaits us,Raddy is a young kid that can only get better if ND dont sort it ,clubs will be queing up to offer him a contract,please dont let it go tits up when we have done brillint so far.

  14. Lynch should be given a chance at left back instead of Perch. He is left footed and did very well there in the second half of last season.

  15. why does the board hamstring Billy? hes a good gov. results have proven. Give the man some slack. Give him some money and let him manange the football club. I would hate the think we got so close and internal squabbling cut us down.

  16. Red rob is spot on.
    We know what dennis wise did to newcastle !
    We don´t want pleat to destroy our Club !!
    Let him continue with his dreary comments on his beloved sky t.v. and clear out from Forest NOW !!
    There is only Doughty and arthur who see fit to let you stay and get paid to interfere in the affairs of our club.
    We need to back Billy now . !!!!!!!!!
    At least let him choose and recruit his own loan signings coming shortly !

  17. You all need to cut them some slack on the Raddy deal, as it may well be his agent is demanding 30k a week or something ludicrous, we just don’t know. Also the lad is still at the club, he hasn’t signed for anyone yet. Wherever he is moving he is still a Forest player at the moment so his “head not being right” or whatever is purely his own fault, remind him he’s meant to be a bloody professional!

    However, having just one (bit rubbish) leftback at the club is a joke. Perch tried hard against Wednesday but never looked comfortable, and he’s not a fullback for me anyway.

  18. Agree for the most part dr horse, I think his agent will be filling his head with all sorts. And those forest fans who think there is some sort of “first option” clause in the loan agreement need waking up too! If he signs, great, if he doesn’t then at least we will have had him for a season. Bigger clubs than us will be sniffing, thats for sure.

    IMO Perch did okay on Saturday. Its not easy for a right footer to play on the left. Gunts never looks particularly comfortable when he’s played there before.
    More worrying for me is BD saying that he’s asked Cohen to play there but he refused to. More mind games? Cohen is my favourite player, but I thought BD made the decisions, not the players?

    One final point on the left back issue…we had 3 at the start of the season. Heath never got a chance, although I felt he had potential. Davies clearly doesnt rate Lynch, otherwise why play “square pegs” etc, and don’t get me started on Bennett. League One at best.

    Anyone else feel that Sheff Weds played better when Michael Gray was on the left…..?

    • I strongly suspect that Billy does make the decisions and is using Chrissy as a pawn in his argument (and in fact Lynch). My brother and I both commented that Chrissy seems very much like a team player, I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t play left-back if asked (even if he would prefer, erm, right midfield).

      To me, it is just Billy playing games. Whether it is a wise move or not remains to be seen.

      NFFC, I find your “Marthur is taking a hit” hypothesis very interesting!

  19. I like to think that BD knows what he is doing but I have concerns about highlighting that our star player and the man who makes us tick, is only with us on loan and is unsettled will only lead to him leaving the club. The nationals all pick up on this story and you can bet there are plenty of people sniffing around him.

    I also really wish Billy would leave the ‘nigel kneeing incident’ alone. Nigel is hardly in the Roy Keane mould and it’s not as if Billy was hurt. Just leave it alone now, it’s embarassing!

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