Odds and sods..

I’m really enjoying this almost close season but we’re not involved in it, certainly from an on-the-field perspective, anyway!  Leeds booked their place at Wembley for a final date with either Doncaster or Southend tonight with (shock, horror!) another late goal at Carlisle this evening.  On balance, they deserved it I think.  Whilst Carlisle offered plenty at Elland Road, the Cumbrians were found lacking on their own turf and Leeds persevered to grab a well earned late winner – so unlucky Carlisle, I think I might nip down the bookies and have a bet on a late Leeds winner at Wembley.

The transfer rumours and nonsense continue to circle and we’ve, largely centred upon a certain Robert Earnshaw.  Did he have talks with us?  Did he feck off on holiday?  Was he really seen mowing his lawn in Bramcote?  The truth is, I haven’t a bleeding clue, and frankly I’ve given up trying to find out.  Trying to get the inside scoop on transfers only ever seems to lead to looking foolish, so I’ve opted to wait it out and just see what happens.  Smoulds has said he wants to move quickly, and when he’s said that in the past he generally hasn’t, so we’ll see!

Fans of Earnie’s former clubs I have spoken to seem to have mixed reviews, there are persistent suggestions of attitude issues, and a fondness for drink, which is consistent from numerous unconnected friends of mine who follow Derby, West Brom and Norwich.  Most agreed he’d bag goals at Championship level, and at least one Derby fan out there was man enough to admit he’d be gutted if he were sold to Forest as he could see him doing well here – so we shall see, as ever, the appraisal of football fans is nothing if not inconclusive.

The ‘will Commons go to Derby’ saga doesn’t seem any clearer either; whether he’s put his house on the market or not doesn’t really seem to swing the suggestion either way in my book – so again, I think I’ll just wait and see.  It is frustrating at this time of year, but I’ve learned from years past that so much shite gets touted across the internet (not least here!) that it’s best not to believe anything until it’s confirmed via official sources otherwise you’ll just end up with egg on your face!  It’ll probably take about a year to sell his house given market conditions, anyway!

I was thrilled that Paul Smith picked up the golden glove award though – he’s been an invaluable contributor to our results this season and comes in for an outrageous amount of stick from certain quarters; amusingly the very next announcement on the Official Site was that Smoulderwood is after a new goalkeeper.  Of course, it was merely comedic timing – I completely agree that, much as I rate Smith, we do need to have credible competition for him, and loaning out the youngsters to get them some experience is a sensible move.

Bunn from Northampton again seems to be the media’s keeper of choice for us to target – ably assisted by the Northampton Town PR machine desperately trying to bump up his value by revealing we’ve apparently bid a number of times for him in the past, but some way short of the staggering £1m valuation they seem to place upon him.  I rate Bunn, and would welcome his signing, but spending that much on a ‘keeper who is basically going to end up on the bench would seem somewhat fanciful.

A preseason friendly with Sunderland is a decent move, I think – a reunion with Roy Keane and Andy Reid as well as a decent standard of opponent to pit our new-look (hopefully!) squad against; given that they were promoted last season and managed to survive their first season back in the top flight, it should give us a good indication of our progress and certainly areas for improvement.  Whilst I despised him at his time of leaving, I do have many fond memories of Keane so it will be nice to see him back at the City Ground, and I’m sure I’ll muster a round of applause for Reidy too.

The latest rumour I’ve encountered (literally seconds ago) was that The Daily Mail are linking us to Sheffield United’s James Beattie.  With a supposed price tag of £4m!  Normally I’d write that off immediately as bollocks, however the Daily Mail, according to Football Transfer League are the most reliable newspaper source when it comes to Forest rumours (admittedly still with a hitrate of 2 out of 7 rumours correct, but still!).  Needless to say he’d be an excellent signing too.

Isn’t the summer break fraught with frustrations?!  I’m off back into semi-hibernation until something actually happens, I think!