Congratulations to Grant..

I almost forgot in the excitement of the Crewe game (arf) that Grant was indeed confirmed as the player of the season – just as I predicted!  He’s described as an overwhelming winner, with Perchy and Wes making up second and third places respectively – also very well deserved.

It must be a sweet reward for Grant, who has struggled to win Smoulders around as much as the fans it seems – he’s had to battle against difficult to understand ‘rotation’ policies, being dropped randomly despite good performances as well as attempts to flog him to Bristol City – all in all, Grant has overcome many of these factors to be our top goal scorer this season.  So well done Grant, now make sure you get on the scoresheet during the playoffs!

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Sod Wembley, let’s concentrate on Yeovil!

It’s understandable how there’s a lot of Wembley talk going on, indeed, the prospect of a trip there is a really really compelling one.  But there seems to be a worrying attitude amongst the fans, and even hinted at by Luke Chambers in his post-match interview at the weekend, that somehow that’s where we’ll end up – because we got “the easy draw” in the playoffs.

Of course, the conspiracy theory lovers suggest that we drew on purpose, knowing that Bristol were uncatchable and Blackpool were winning.  I presume that the two Crewe defenders who cleared our shots off the line were in on this little conspiracy, and indeed, Scott Dobie’s accuracy of shooting must have increased tenfold if he deliberately picked out the post after beating the keeper with his shot late on in the game!

I’m sure – like most of us – upon finishing and seeing the results the players were probably at least a little glad we ended up in fourth.  Oldham, wobble in form or not, would represent a tough opponent – and having them either tire out, or be tired out by rampant Blackpool is no bad thing.  Certainly before the game I’d singled out Yeovil as the preferable opponent.  But don’t read that wrong – I’m not saying easy – I’m saying preferable.

Having made the trip down to Huish Park earlier in the season, it certainly wasn’t a walk in the park and we were quite lucky to walk away with three points – which was rather a character of that time of the season for us – and whilst at our place we deservedly beat them, I think if there’s any danger of our players taking these two games for granted, then we’ll be in a lot of trouble and might well not get that trip to Wembley so many people are already talking about.

You see, a 5th place finish and a playoff tie against Forest is a massive success for Yeovil, I doubt many fans were expecting to finish there – so it’s huge credit Russell Slade who’s picked up Gary Johnson’s side and carried on the momentum.  This means there’s very little pressure on them, you see, even if they lose to us – they’ve not really failed.  If we lose to them, the media and our expectant fanbase will consider it a failure (and I would too!).  That equals pressure for us.  A lot of it.  Forest haven’t played well under that so far.

So, if you see me writing misty-eyed about trips to Wembley before the semi-final fixtures are over, then pull me up on it – because I don’t think we should be thinking about it until we know we’re there.  It is an exciting prospect – it is for me, and I’ve been to Wembley before (well, the old one) – for the younger fans who’ve never had a chance to see Forest there it must be incredibly exciting – but let’s curb that until we know we’ve made it…

Forest-inspired music: part twelve

Right you lucky people, having just about recovered from the excitement of the weekend, it’s about time we had another one of these babies to cheer you up! Our good friend from an earlier track, Njaal Helle, is back to serenade us – and this time, rather than Forest being his Rock and Roll, this time he’s gone all disco on our asses, which is quite entertaining, if perhaps not sustainably listenable!

Rather than simply being his rock and roll, this track spiritually proclaims that Nottingham Forest is in his very soul! I suppose this would probably be a reasonable approximation to how many of us feel about Forest, but whether or not we would choose to express this feeling of belonging in the form of cheesy disco music is another matter entirely – I hope! But still, you can’t fault the guy’s commitment to regailing us with different types of Forest-inspired music!

So here it is, Njaal Helle once again with the disco-tastic Nottingham Forest is in my Soul. Take it away Njaal…