If you like to gamble, I tell you I’m your man..

I found a handy summary of betting odds for the Salisbury City vs Forest game at the weekend; and I must admit, I’m a bit disappointed!  Should cynical Forest fans plan on betting on an upset to compensate for the embarrassment of defeat, then you’re looking at about 6/1 – with Forest the obvious favourites at 2/5.  Even if you were to get a bit cleverer and go for a draw at half time, with Forest eventually triumphing then you’re looking at 10/3.

All in all, I’d be wanting a lot better odds to make up for the humiliation of losing this game; particularly since it’s televised for all to see!  For a summary of the various permutations and options available to any hopeful  bets then click here for the view from the local Wiltshire paper.  For the crazy man on the LTLF forum who tries to tempt people to bet on a 3-3 scoreline for every Forest match, then unfortunately the odds aren’t listed on the article, so you’ll need to check your bookies for that one!

Can’t say I’m a particularly big gambler on football, sometimes have a quid or two on the first scorer or correct scoreline and suchlike, but I don’t really have much of a gameplan so rarely win much – the nearest I ever came to a tactic was betting on Matthieu Louis-Jean to score first in every match, because you ended up with odds of about 80/1 or something mental – I don’t think I ever won though.

Is the council at Scarborough fair?

Liquidation, administration, financial difficulties – certainly a subject that, whilst not dear to the heart, is only too familiar to East Midlands football; and indeed, particularly Nottingham as Notts County almost went under not all that long ago.  Forest, of course, have had their own well-documented fiscal problems, solved by an excellent youth academy and a benevolent chairman, the Sheep are still grappling with a debt, and Les-da cheated their way out of theirs, thus unleashing harsher punishments on subsequent teams with financial difficulties.

So spare a thought for poor Scarborough – they are on the verge of folding, and are actively trying to pay their way to get out of it, but are encountering problems with their local council.  Basically, they want to sell their ground to a property developer to raise funds to both relocate, and clear their debts – unfortunately the local council have a covenant in place on the land which states it must be used for sporting activities – which seems a bit silly, because if they enforce it, the club will fold.

They’re in a whole world of problems on the pitch, with an enforced relegation and a ten point deduction due to financial issues – I must admit, it’s maddening to hear of regulators and bureaucratic lunacy preventing a small club from trying to proactively solve its own problems – so if you follow this link, you will find the full story and also a link to a petition, please sign it and help out Scarborough in their quest to maintain their existence.

Apologies firstly for the crap headline (it was meant to sound a bit like ‘are you going to Scarborough Fair?’ – it patently is a bit rubbish) and that the post isn’t about Forest for any of you picking up this story on news feeds or aggregators, but I do feel it is something relevant to all supporters of football.  Thanks to Gareth for dropping me a line with the link.  Sign the petition, it’ll only take a minute or two, and then pass it on.

Carlisle hint at a January bid for Grant Holt…

Carlisle are the latest team to throw their hat in the ring in the battle to court Grant Holt; whilst on paper that would be a silly move for him – given that he’s already turned down Bristol City, and has stated his desire to stay at Forest and fight for his place, there’s likely to be a pull for him as Carlisle is his home town.  Whilst currently settled in Nottingham with his missus and a child on the way, wider family being close by particularly with a new young ‘un around will undoubtedly prove tempting.

How much first team action Grant gets between now and January I think will prove pivotal to this; presumably Carlisle – whose manager, Neil McDonald, has already confirmed is in the market for a striker in January – will be aware that we accepted a bid of around £300k for Holt, and if opinions at the City Ground haven’t changed, would accept similar from the northerners for our top scorer. 

Carlisle United’s captain, Kevin Gray, has even commented to the press that he’d love to see Holt join them in January, so I can see a bid definitely coming in – I really hope that whatever issues lead to a transfer bid being accepted in the first place have been resolved by January, as I’ve not really been convinced by either Holt or Smoulderwood’s subsequent comments to the press about it – but I don’t want to see Holt leave, I think he’s a valuable asset and is a different kind of striker to the others we have in the squad.

It’s probably all just rumour and conjecture, but I can’t help but think that Grant wouldn’t dismiss a move back to his hometown as quickly as he did a move to almost-Wales a few weeks back.

Forest vs. Bristol City preview (JPT)

Smoulderwood is almost certain not to risk Junior Agogo and Danny Cullip, both of whom pulled up with hamstring injuries in the weekend victory over Millwall.  The seriousness of the injuries is as yet unclear, but frankly if there’s any small risk then it isn’t worth it.  I imagine he may also decide to rest Paul Smith and give Rune Pedersen a run out, although depending on the complicated “must field six players who’ve played in the majority of league games” rule, Colin may choose to rest other key players.

Nathan Tyson must be a reasonable bet for a starting place, and I’m sure Grant Holt will also fancy his chances of making the starting eleven.  So far it’s a competition that Smoulders has taken seriously, fielding often more than the required six players – and Bristol City are definitely the biggest challenge we have faced yet in the tournament, indeed, I would suggest they’re the strongest team left in it aside from Forest.  So get these out the way and – so long as we avoid complacency – then reaching the final isn’t a realistic aim.

We have met Bristol City not all that long ago, of course, when a Nicky Southall freekick was enough to secure a 1-0 victory for the mighty Reds in a hotly contested battle with the carrot-crunchers.  That game took place in a firey atmosphere, with just the Main Stand open and a few hundred (if that) fans from Bristol nestled in the away end, I can’t see that being quite so prevalent this time around – I imagine the proprietors of Amici’s on Radcliffe Road will be relieved!

Gary Johnson, the Bristol manager, recently said the league was far from over – shrewd bloke, isn’t he? Coming out with that in November!  Of course, he’s right – but a decent win in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy over who I still consider to be our main league rivals would be no bad thing; it would keep our unbeaten run alive, and put a sizable dent in their confidence.  Ultimately, we’ve proven we can beat them once – we can do it again, but it wasn’t exactly a comfortable win in the league – so we need to have our wits about us.

Award-winning Smoulderwood..

Colin Calderwood has picked up the football award in the East Midlands sporting awards – the smouldering one netted the gong for both his work in getting Northampton Town promoted, and of course the work he’s begun with a subject much dearer to our hearts; taking the mighty Nottingham Forest to a commanding position in League One – a nice early Christmas present for the Forest boss, who accepted the award in person.

On accepting the award he spoke of the Forest job as an opportunity to potentially manage at the highest level – hopefully he means with Forest and not as a stepping stone to greater things! (That’s certainly how it came across – so fear not!).  It does just go to show that to step straight from a successful campaign with the Cobblers and begin what looks like becoming another with the Reds is no mean achievement – well done Smoulders, may it be only the next in a long line of awards!