Forest’s worst kept secret confirmed…

Andrew Cole match-worn Forest shirts - rare as rocking horse shit!

Andrew Cole match-worn Forest shirts - rare as rocking horse shit!

 

Andy “Andrew” Cole is no longer a Forest player, having had his contract terminated by mutual consent, some days after the rumours of such things happening surfacing all over the place.  Having failed to score in eleven appearances (five starting places) the striker has agreed with the powers-that-be at Forest to go their separate ways after yet another veteran signing for the Reds goes a bit awry.

Of course, the cynics amongst us might look at the signing, on the eve of Season Tickets going on sale, as a slightly suspicious one – although Cole had been on loan at Burnley from Sunderland last season at our level and by all accounts done okay for the Clarets.  Rumours that Nigel Doughty had stepped in immediately to remove Cole were countered with rumours of his apparent inclusion in the squad to face Crystal Palace – which he subsequently wasn’t.

Ultimately I suppose we’ll never know the reasons for Forest signing him nor why things didn’t work out as planned – but I guess that begrudging admiration is due to both parties making an expedient decision to not let the situation linger, and get it resolved.  Although I had never really considered Cole much else than a backup striker once our injured lads were back, it does leave us rather light on the striker front – and I imagine considerably lighter on the outgoing wages front (that said, I bet he’s had a pay off!).

It’s a rather ignominious end to a glittering playing career for him; after hearing tales of wanting to see his playing career out playing for the side local to him growing up, I think even the staunchest cynics amongst us were secretly hoping for the fairytale ending of him banging in the goals for us.  Alas, it would appear the career planning of Andy “Andrew” Cole will ever be remembered for being a year or two out of sync, so by the time it was time for the magical ending alas his legs had gone.

Fair thee well, Andy “Andrew” Cole; I fear that you were – from Forest’s point of view – only ever a vehicle to sell a few more season tickets.  I’m not sure what your motivations were, but given your career to date I find it hard to imagine that you came here not wanting to bang in the goals for us – so I wish you all the best in whatever you choose to do next.

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Dignity lacking from down the A52..

The two faces of Kris Commons - from badge kisser to mud flinger...

The two faces of Kris Commons - from badge kisser to mud flinger...

It’s inevitably interesting observing things in the build-up to the first meeting between Derby and Forest in competitive fixtures for a while.  How elements of both sets of support start to puff out their chest with bravado and lose all sense of rhyme and reason, and the inevitable soundbites from players from the two sides start to air as well as the countdown continues. 

This article including a soundbite from a certain Kris Commons has been riling some fans, I just think it’s quite amusing.  You see, he makes antagonistic and derogatory comments about the Reds – a team he largely enjoyed good times with, let’s be honest.  But it’s Earnie who makes the headlines, someone who commanded a sizeable transfer fee, and frankly handles himself with a bit of dignity, which is nice as he’s representing our club.

Now given that league positions make us firmly the underdogs, it could be a case of being gracious in the face of possible defeat.  However, being a gracious victor is a more noble and subtle act – one I wouldn’t expect the likes of Commons to understand.  It gets me thinking about the numerous Derby fans I know, many of whom rank amongst my friends and they tend to fall into two distinct camps. 

The first – and majority – are regular decent folks, who happen to have gone hideously wrong in life and winded up supporting the Rams.  The second group are fairly low in number, but they’re consistent in their desire to:

(a) Proclaim Derby as ‘a bigger club‘ (whatever that means, often using phrasology like ‘The cream of the midlands’ – well, I’m lactose intolerant so that makes you a mere irritant!).  D’you know what?  If it makes you feel better, go for it.  Certainly on league placings and attendances they are certainly ahead of us.

(b) Accuse Forest fans of living in the past – they will do this by, during present-day based conversations,  reminding us that we won some European Cups, which hadn’t come up in conversation before until mentioned by the Derby fan in question.

 (c) They will desperately try to lay some kind of claim to Brian Clough.  Not only did he live in Derby during his time managing Forest, he was a Derby fan, and liked the club better, and thought Derby fans were great and Forest fans were idiots.  Yes, of course he did.  That’s why he stuck with us for 18 years when during his time managing us he could have walked into any job aside from the one the FA were in control of.

Which is the main reason I found the Brian Clough Trophy idea quite distasteful.  You see, I don’t really have a problem that he decided to live in Derby whilst managing us, I don’t even care if he ‘preferred’ their club to ours.  It is irrelevant, but to this group of Derby fans it is imperative to validate themselves and provide some sense of security to overcome their inferiority complex.

For what it’s worth, if any of them are reading, I think the clubs are similar in size, we’re both provincial clubs who historically occupy similar levels when averaged out.  We don’t live in the past – you obsess over our past because, frankly and understandably, you’re jealous of it.  Had your board not sacked Clough you probably would have had it instead of us, in your shoes I’d be jealous too.  And finally, I don’t really care who Brian Clough preferred, nor am I interested in tittle-tattling over his memory – I’m happy to consider him a legend for both sets of fans.

Now Commons has clearly encountered a number of this type of fan and is playing up to them, of course he will have encountered our own less thoughtful element too – but nonetheless, he has a lot to learn if he thinks burning bridges so publically are ever a sensible idea.  Earnshaw, on the other hand, handles himself with professionalism and dignity, which is to the credit of the club – and also earns him the headline on a Derby-based article, rather than the freebie midfielder shooting his mouth off.