Outgoing imminent this week?

Smoulds was inevitably evasive in his post match interview today, although a little more open than he often is.  He seemed to suggest that there is likely to be a player leaving over the next week before the transfer window closed, as well as refusing to rule out somebody coming in the other direction.

The rumours on the boards suggest Scunthorpe have expressed an interest in one of our strikers (surprising, they’ve hardly set the league on fire this year!), although as for which striker, nobody seems to know.  Grant Holt seems the favourite amongst the theorists, given his previous almost-leaving incidents and apparently poor relationship with the manager.

Times of transfers are incredibly frustrating for us mere fans – whilst I understand that you can’t just snap your fingers as a manager and bring in players of a sufficient quality to improve the squad, the problems in certain positions to us have been so blatantly obvious it does make you wonder why we haven’t been more aggressive in the transfer market.

Look at Leeds, as a case in point, they couldn’t sign players until right before the season started – yet they have a keen squad with players for every position, which we just don’t quite seem to have right now.  Certainly injuries play a part of this, but the idea of having a squad is to be able to absorb injuries.

So keep an eye on the news feeds this week, and wait for the inevitable rumour-mill furore as the transfer window draws to a halt.  Certainly if we let a striker go, I’ll be very unhappy if we don’t sign at least one to replace him, preferably two really.  It would be nice to have some cover for the right wing whilst Davies is out, wouldn’t it?


Heartbreak for Forest as Lucky Leeds’s run goes on..

Nottingham Forest – 1
Leeds United – 2

I was ready to write Smoulds’ obituary at half time today, because in the first half I thought we were very poor indeed – and made Leeds look a lot better than they were, in a rather scrappy first half were the Yorkshire side certainly performed more effectively than the home side.  There were apparently two shots on target each in the first half, but I can’t really recall ours being particularly clearcut – as it was, the first goal for Leeds was excellently taken by Tresor Kandol after good work from Beckford.

Beckford and Kandol in the first half left me feeling jealous about what I wanted to see in forward play from the Reds.  Tricky, pacey and always finding space with tricky runs – similarly to us though, Leeds struggled to feed them with many chances – of course, it would transpire that a limited number of chances would prove enough.

Dennis Wise – not my favourite football character – does deserve some credit on this showing, his Leeds side were not the best I’ve seen even in League One on this showing, but they had passion and drive, and considering he built the squad on a shoestring in about three weeks, it does rather raise question marks around our expensively assembled one, over a longer time period.

The second half was more about Forest.  It took less than five minutes for us to level, scoring our first goal of the season.  Clingan was felled around 35 yards out, Commons struck the freekick vaguely goalward, deflecting of Alan Thompson which I think makes it pretty much an own goal – meaning we’ve not actually scored ourselves yet this season!

Perchy touched the ball wide when he should’ve done better – indeed, in the first half Perchy should perhaps have done better when his shot was cleared off the line too.  Commons had one blocked from around 6 yards after Grant nodded down, by which point the Leeds fans were looking rather nervous as Forest were piling on the pressure.

Tyson was introduced for the still-unfit-looking Agogo, but Leeds started to push forward again.  Tys threw himself into a couple of challenges suggesting he’s not too nervous about any injury recurrences.  Tyson then created our best chance, he hared down the right and crossed for Bastians who turned and basically missed an open goal – before turning he could’ve set up Grant Holt quite easily.

But alas, there was to be a suckerpunch for our inability to convert our chances as Carole passed Lennon, and a deflected shot headed towards the back post where the unmarked Beckford was on hand to bury the ball into the roof of the net to the delirium of the travelling Leeds fans.  So whilst we were hard done by, we were very much the architects of our own downfall – but the positive second half showing made me reappraise and feel a little less negative about all things Forest.

A word on the Leeds fans, the loudest we’ve had here in ages – I thought on the whole they were brilliant, definitely louder when winning and quieter after our equaliser, but which fans aren’t?  There were a minority of pondlife who chanted derogitory things about Brian Clough, but then our own morons responded with interest by chanting about Istanbul.  Some of their tattooed fuckwits spent much of the game having a staring competition with some of our own morons, but aside from these minor infractions, I thought the majority of the 3,483 were a credit to themselves and the club.

And so we’ve mustered a fairly pathetic 2 points from a possible nine – although that is the same as Manchester United I suppose.  The second half performance gives me heart, as does Tyson’s return – but we really must learn how to put that ball in the onion bag, but certainly the quality of football in the second half shows promising things, long may this continue.

Whilst Leeds will feel rightly pleased with their tremendous start to the season, I would advise caution to their followers given our own experiences of solid starts to a league campaign here – but given the shitty time their fans have had lately, you can’t really blame them for celebrating.  At this rates it’ll only take them about 6 more games to have more points than us!

Forest vs. Leeds United preview..

I’ve kind of dispensed with regular match previews, because frankly I was falling into the habit of just trawling injury news, recent form and all that guff – and well, you can get that information elsewhere so there’s little point in me repeating it verbatim.  However, meeting Leeds in the league, in division three, is worthy of a little reflection – and kickoff is less than two hours away.

Both sides have fallen from far better times – admittedly our descent has been somewhat quicker, although of course Leeds spend a fair chunk of time in the second tier whilst we were still with Brian Clough at the helm.  It is interesting to see what can happen to two teams who’ve been horrendously financially managed in relatively recent history – Forest paid the price by ‘going legit’ and selling players, Leeds tried to bend the rules, and end up at the same level, albeit with an additional levie of 15 points.

Both sides shot to greatness thanks to men from Middlesbrough, oddly.  Don Revie’s Leeds side – despite having a lingering reputation for being less than honest – were a dominant force in English football throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s.  And they could play too, let’s not forget.  Revie went on to manage England, and was replaced – for 44 days – by a certain Brian Clough, who rather rubbed everyone up at Leeds the wrong way and was promptly dismissed.

This dismissal enabled us to have a period of greatness, because – reunited with Peter Taylor – Cloughie came to Forest, flush with a payoff from Leeds that he described as “setting himself up for life”, and well, we all know the rest of the story.  So we have a bit of earlier common history with Leeds too – and a similar status, arguably Leeds are the ‘bigger’ club if you fixate on such things, but whilst we all know both clubs are where they are on merit, it’s still a pretty huge fixture for League One to be staging.

Leeds have made a really positive start to the season, whilst still being inevitably on negative points, they’ve already shaved 6 points from their deficit with wins away at Tranmere and at home to Southend.  Both games involved late winners for Leeds (although against Southend they went on to score further goals), so longevity certainly seems to be the watchword with this side.

Forest, of course, haven’t even scored a goal!  On the flip-side we haven’t conceded either, and I would expect one – if not both – of these runs to end later today.  With news of Nathan Tyson potentially making a bench appearance, this will give us a lift – he scored in the reserves midweek, which is a great sign.  Yet we seem no nearer to seeing Arron Davies and Chris Cohen in the side, which is a disappointment.

Dennis Wise didn’t really live up to his name with his amateurish managerial mindgames before this fixture, but as long as his team are walking-the-walk he can get away with talking-the-talk.  He’s basically been talking up the pressure on us, in our third season at this level, certainly that’s true – but it’s been true for two previous seasons too.  I don’t think that playing Leeds makes this any greater or otherwise.

Smoulds has been typically conservatively cliched, speaking of desiring a win within our first four games, and if you include the Chester City cup game, this is game number four, and we haven’t won yet!  He quite rightly points out that a win against Leeds will make our start to the season look a lot better, so let’s hope that tactically he’s got it in him to help deliver that without any of his nonsense tinkering.

So anyway, I think today will be close – the atmosphere should be electric, so here’s to a good well-fought match, of course I’d like a Forest win, and more than anything I’d love for there not to be any reports of clashes between the Forest or Leeds’s idiot element.  And with that, I’m off down to the City Ground!  YOOOOOOOOOU REDS!