Blades, Best and Grant confusion..

The first friendly announcement has been made, and it’s our old friends Sheffield United.  Of course, it remains to be seen whether the same vitriol will be there now Neil Warnock has stepped aside to be replaced by Bryan Robson.  It’s an odd choice given the frequent ill-feeling between the two sets of fans, and naturally despite recent relegation the Blades fans still very much have the bragging rights over lowly us.  I wonder whether it was a Capital One inspired idea, since they sponsor both clubs?

The game will take place at Brammall Lane on 4th August (a Saturday), and since it’s a pretty easy trip up the M1 it could be quite an entertaining day out, with delightfully witty banter about the miners’ strike sure to make an appearance (sic).

The other couple of bits and pieces are continued reports linking us with Southampton striker Leon Best.  Best is a Nottingham lad, and it will amuse Derby fans no end if we were to sign him given his shambolic performance in the Saints’s playoff date with the sheep botherers, and he seems to divide opinion amongst the Forest support as far as I can tell.  I’ve not really seen enough of him to have an informed opinion about his relative merits or otherwise.  Certainly he banged in plenty of goals for Yeovil whilst on loan – but that said, they have a creative midfield!

And for one potential outgoing comes a potential outgoing – there’s mixed reports about Grant Holt, some sources are suggesting a move to Carlisle is all but done, whilst others quote their manager as not wanting to sign ‘just anyone’, and another still suggests they’ve had a bid rejected for him!  So who knows what the hell is happening there?  The body language of Smoulds gives the impression he wouldn’t be sorry to lose Grant, and of course if there’s anything in the Best rumours there’s a ready made replacement being lined up.

Common sense prevails and season ticket prices are reduced..

Season ticket prices are finally here, well, they were here earlier today when I was otherwise engaged – but thankfully the powers that be have seen sense and reduced the prices, varying from around 5-10% compared to the prices last season.  Of course, I’m pretty sure that the price increase last season was considerably more than this for most areas, so we’re still paying more that we were when we first entered this league, and indeed the Championship before that, but it’s certainly a positive step in the first direction.

So just as I’m always ready to be critical of official decisions the club makes that are wrong, I think congratulations are in order for this one.  As I allude above, it is a matter of common sense, but with our current regime that’s not always something we have been able to take for granted, so it is welcome common sense!  Those fans who spoke of renewing only if a discount was offered may well be appeased, and hopefully some of the “I’m definitely not renewing!” types will be swayed a little more to ensure we continue to enjoy a fantastic average gate for this level.

I’m not falling over myself to suggest that this decision was made for our benefit solely, I’m sure the club have been gauging the mood of fans on message boards or phone-ins and have rapidly come to the rather obvious conclusion that some kind of gesture and incentive to win back favour with us.  It will, however, be very disappointed if I’m not similarly pleased with our activities in the transfer market and our performance levels next season.