Forest can’t Clingan to Sammy..

This has come as a bitter disappointment to me; today Sammy Clingan has agreed to sign a deal for two years at Championship rivals Norwich City once his contract at Forest expires at the end of the month.

There had been lots of speculation linking Sammy to fellow East Anglians Ipswich Town, and to Queens Park Rangers too – but it’s the Canaries who have captured his signature in their first signing of the season, and it represents the third significant departure from the Reds after Commons and Agogo have both moved on since promotion just over a month ago, with only Earnshaw coming the other way.

Whilst I’m yet to panic, it does concern me that our players are being lured to teams who – on the face of it – shouldn’t be any more tempting a proposition than we are.  Of course, if suitable replacements are secured then that’s fine, but it’s always worrying when a transfer window starts with rather one-way traffic.

Sammy tends to get mixed reviews from Reds fans; personally I’m a huge fan of his contribution since he’s been with us.  For us his energy has largely been deployed as a combatitive holding midfielder rather than the forward-bursting role he plays for his country.  I’ve seen him referred to as ‘Sammy Sideways’ and ‘Sammy Centre Circle’, which I feel does him a massive disservice.  He’s been excellent at breaking up play this season, and to me I think he’s a massive pair of boots to fill.

Upon the capture, Norwich manager Glenn Roeder said:

“I’m extremely happy to secure the signature of Sammy Clingan. He is a player we watched a number of times during a successful promotion season at Nottingham Forest last year. We felt that he was the driving force in their midfield and we look forward to him continuing his career in an upward curve with us.  He is a Northern Ireland international with lots of experience. Having met him he struck me as having the drive and motivation that I’m looking for in my players.”

Sammy himself declared Norwich a ‘big’ club compared to Forest’s mere ‘good’ club status, it doesn’t bode so positively for Forest that he singles out the manager and facilities as his motivation for choosing to move on.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining a big club like Norwich City. I’m leaving a good club, Nottingham Forest, to join Norwich and I’m really looking forward to trying to get them promoted to the Premier League.

“Once I had spoken to Glenn Roeder and viewed the fantastic facilities at the Club it was an easy decision to make. I knew of Glenn’s managerial reputation, working with big name players in the Premier League and hopefully he will help me become a better player too. I was very impressed with what he said and his plans for the future – it really caught me and now I can’t wait for the first game.”

Of course, players have to talk the talk when they sign for a new club, but I am left very disappointed that he clearly felt that Forest couldn’t compete with Norwich in these areas.  Forest now have a job on their hands to find credible replacements for three key players from last season, arguably they have done so for Agogo by buying Earnshaw, but boy oh boy could we do with some incoming signings to ease everyone’s worries.

Good luck Sammy, except against us of course – I for one have appreciated your contribution to our success last season, and I’m sorry you didn’t feel it right to stick around to take it on a step.  Smoulds and co.  get your fingers out and get some signings made!