Gypsy curse for former Gills pair?

An unlucky week for players who’ve moved from Gillingham to Forest in recent seasons – this weekend former Forest striker Marlon King – now with Watford – has been sidelined for the rest of the season after what was thought to be a routine bit of surgery uncovered more problems. Yesterday the unlucky Kevin James – still with Forest but on loan at Grimsby – has been taken out of action with a dislocated shoulder in the Mariners game against the MK Dons.

I must admit I find it tough to have much sympathy for King, he certainly proved to be poor value for his transfer fee whilst at Forest, and upon leaving promptly demonstrated again what a gifted footballer he is – but Kevin James, I suppose, was brought here and has attempted to get his career on track. He’s never impressed me in a Forest shirt, so I was hoping he’d get a loan deal and impress, and move on permanently, he’s staying at Grimsby for the duration of the loan, apparently, but will have little chance to play.

If there is a curse on players with Gillingham to Forest associations, then it might have Nicky Southall and even Neil Harris quaking in their boots somewhat, bear in mind that Adam Nowland (on loan to Gills from West Ham before he joined Forest) broke his leg recently, Marlon King’s knee and now Kevin James’ shoulder – if the rumours are true maybe this will hasten Nicky’s return to Gillingham to try to counter the evil? Let’s hope not!

Tyson a true inspiration..

Much like everyone, I suspect, I was heartbroken when Tyson fell down and didn’t get back up again against Bradford on the opening day of the season. To read after that he’d be out for months I was seriously upset, and feared for the effect such news would have on our chances for promotion. Nathan was quite quick to comment in the press how eager he was to stay fit, and to try to do everything he could to recover quickly, but that’s scant consolation when your leading striker is consigned to the sick room for several months!

Every few weeks he’d be featured on the Forest website, and always exuded positivity, even when still in a leg brace the striker was talking of coming back much earlier than the projected December/January date we were initially told – he talked of how he was still working hard in the gym on what he could to keep in shape, and how he was staying positive – after all, this was the first serious injury he’d endured.

A few weeks ago we’d all heard whisperings he was running again and unaided by any kind of brace, and only last week he was back in training and due to feature in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Northampton, in which he did indeed feature – for 25 minutes of action during which he apparently took one or two serious knocks without any ill effect. In training afterwards, Smoulderwood noted that Tyson had joined in and was “banging in the goals as though he’d never been away.”

This prompted the manager to decide on friday to call Nathan to see how he felt about a place on the bench against Brentford – whilst I had my reservations about rushing him back, I’m starting to consider this a managerial masterstroke – we know only too well by now that Brentford are poor, very poor, so it is reasonable to assume that we shouldn’t have too much trouble beating them – and what better way to lift the squad and fans than by having Nathan unexpectedly on the bench, and indeed, on the pitch and showing he’s clearly pushing hard for match fitness.

My admiration for Nathan’s dedication and fortitude to get himself fit and back in action weeks before he was due to is huge, and credit also to the Forest physio and coaching team for their part in helping him back to fitness, and finally, massive credit to Colin Calderwood for the man-management of him. There can surely have been no better way to reward the hard-working Tyson than to include him on the bench as soon as possible, it must give the young lad a tremendous lift that this hard work was worthwhile – and psychologically speaking it sends out a very powerful message to our League One rivals.

In an era where footballers at all levels of the professional game hit the press for being self-important primadonnas it is fantastic to read and see a young man hit with a setback and work his arse off to overcome it. I’m thrilled for Nathan and for Forest that he’s starting to work his way to full match fitness so soon, and feel that his attitude and forthright singleminded quest to get back playing as quickly as possible is a shining example that many footballers could do well to look at.