Commons signs… for the FA!

Kris Commons is making like a journalist, he’s bizarrely started writing his own column on the FA website; which is a great idea. The Internet has really opened up as a medium for budding writers to get their message out to the masses, well it should be, this site is an example of it, so giving players the opportunity to do so is a good move, I think, if a little contrived.  But it could be an interesting weekly window into the world of Kris.

His first article focuses unsurprisingly on the FA Cup, given our game with Salisbury tomorrow – he writes about his past form in the tournament, which of course includes a hattrick in the previous round against Yeading, and a brilliant performance against Tottenham Hotspur a couple of seasons back.  He also talks of his childhood support of Forest, including a trip to the infamous 1991 FA Cup final, it’s a nice read.

Certainly the invitation to email a question to Kris, with examples such as his best friend in football, or the music on the team bus (surely they all have iPods?) is means that the column is probably targeted at starry-eyed youngsters, but it’s a really good way to reach fans without trying to fleece cash out of them for programmes and suchlike.

Lawrenson in talking crap shocker!

I’m glad I missed ‘Football Focus’ earlier; I understand the reasoning for pushing the giant-killing thing into overdrive, I mean, it’s what this cup is all about – admittedly, many would not consider a League One team a giant anyway, usually that is saved for the third round when teams from the top two divisions enter, isn’t it?

But could the BBC please have kept the clueless Mark Lawrenson away from the lead up?  For a start, Mark, it is NOTTINGHAM Forest, not Notts Forest.  You know this, you know it well because we knocked your beloved Liverpool out of Europe all those years ago, remember?  And as for your comments about “we wouldn’t televise it unless we thought there could be an upset”, well no shit, Sherlock!

I think I could put up with it if it was any pundit other than Lawrenson – he makes my blood boil.  I’m hoping he will be in the studio tomorrow so that I can listen to the commentary without feeling the need to through a brick through my television.

Trigger: Don’t make me go to Gillingham!

Apparently fearful of being linked to a move back to the Pikeys, Nicky Southall has spoken to the local media about wanting to remain at the City Ground until the end of the season, and beyond!  The comments came partly from Forests’ policy of not renewing deals until the end of season – which makes sense, given that our aim is to step up a league and not all our players will be able to hack the next level up.  Although I think Southall can, for one season perhaps.

Trigger had the following to say:

“I don’t want to leave the club.  I want to finish off the job I set out to do when I joined and get promotion. And then I want to be a part of that set up. Who in their right mind wants leave a club like this?  We’re top of the league, everybody is chasing us, everybody wants to beat us. That’s what brought me here – the expectation level.”

“I’m playing for my future,” he said. “A club like Nottingham Forest can discard players at will and it keeps you on the edge. To get the best out of anyone you’ve got to be on the edge.  I want to prove myself and hopefully if we get promotion contribute in the Championship.”

“It would be nice if I could get my future sorted out in the next month – before Christmas or in the early part of the New Year.  As far as I’m concerned, at my age – I’ve got a young family – I could go out next week, get a serious injury and would have nothing to fall back on.  That added bit of security from a contract helps your peace of mind.”

“It would also be a reward for what I’ve given to the club in the last year and a half.  I think you need experience if you are going to go up a division.  I’ve played at that level as well as the Premier League, so I know what to expect.”

Bless him – I think Southall has been an exemplary example to our younger players, and certainly has more to offer on the pitch.  If he has aspirations of coaching then he’d be a good character to have around beyond his playing days too – it’s amazing what the threat of a move to Gillingham can provoke in somebody!

Salisbury hotshot to return to face Forest

Matt Tubbs (Tubbs!) is back from suspension and is likely to face Forest in tomorrow’s game against The Whites.  I thought the name was familiar, and it wasn’t just from ‘the league of gentlemen’ – he was up for player of the round for the first round of the FA Cup which, of course, was won by our very own Kris Commons.  So clearly he’s one worth watching out for, particularly if he has his dastardly husband Edward on the sidelines too!

Ahem.  Away from League of Gentlemen references, Salisbury had us watched against Bristol City earlier in the week, so they’ll have a few ideas about how to cause us problems given some of the shoddy defending in that game, however I expect us to change our starting lineup to address some of those problems – and if Agogo is fit to play then that will give our attack a very different dimension too, so here’s hoping they haven’t factored that in!

Inevitable pretentious broadsheet guff..

Usually these pass below my radar since for most of my life Forest haven’t been involved in these stages of the FA Cup, so are not pitted into quite such David and Goliath style battles with sides like Salisbury, but reading through the articles (listed below) did make me wonder why they just couldn’t preview the game instead of filling paragraphs with tenuous journalistic flotsam – I suppose it’s great media coverage for the likes of The Whites, so the more column inches they fill the better, but still!

Here is this morning’s rogues gallery:

I think what is more annoying is that they are billing us as some footballing titan, when normally their coverage of League One or below is little more than a paragraph if you’re lucky – frankly, I’ll be happy if we can just get past this game with a little bit of dignity, and get back to our dayjob of being the underdog again!

Smoulds: “we must overcome stage fright”

Smoulderwood has acknowledged that the only reason the BBC have opted to cover our match against Salisbury City tomorrow is because they want to see them overturn us. I’m sure there’s not a neutral fan in the country who wouldn’t, either – I know I would if I wasn’t a Forest fan, the lure of the blatant underdog is quite a powerful one after all! Given that we’re six points clear at the top of the highest league currently playing in the competition, we shouldn’t have any problems on paper.

But football isn’t played on paper, is it? Smoulders said: “The cameras are only there because they want an upset. Our record in TV games is dreadful and if we want to become a good team we are going to have to win a TV game at some stage This is the time to start. We know why the BBC have chosen this one. It’s not because of our record in TV games – it’s because it’s a non-league side against Nottingham Forest.”

Of course, confidence is good – and we should be confident, but he does allude to the need to avoid complacency too; whilst Salisbury City will be happy with this game as a “money shot”, they’ll certainly not grumble at getting through and the prospect of a tie with the likes of Manchester United or Chelsea to further swell their coffers. From our point of view, whilst the ‘glamour tie’ would be great, I would rather us get a decent Championship side – so that we can test ourselves against the kind of standard I hope we will face next season. Or failing that, Derby would be a laugh 😆