Right, I’ve had some ponder time. Mainly I wanted to reflect on being concerned about the dischord that is clearly present backstage at the City Ground – however, before I get on to that, I found one of those holy grail things – a match report from a neutral. You see, I know from reading my reports that I’m biased as hell – as are most ‘fan’ reporters – and newspapers generally are too, well, crap. But this chap is a footy fan, but not a Forest or QPR one. Interesting – and reassuring – reading.
Anyway, being homebound whilst Forest were on their travels I had Radio Nottingham on – and both before AND after the game Billy saw fit to mention the transfer acquisition panel. And he did so with minimal provocation from BBC’s Robin Chipperfield who was conducting the interview. Whilst he didn’t openly criticise it, his comments – to me at least – were underpinned with a more barbed sense of bitterness.
Personally I tend to side with John McGovern’s comments on air before the game – Billy Davies ultimately is the man responsible for achieving the aims of the board. He will certainly be the one that gets the chop if things continue to not go well, and the transfer committee – the same committee who were in place with the former manager – will remain in place. Now, my memory isn’t short enough to understand why Nigel Doughty has installed a number of checks and balances.
Two words, David and Platt. However, it feels like we’ve created some kind of bureaucratic nightmare that allows our opponents to steal a march on us when sealing the deal for targets. I’ve heard at least one alarming example of this – a target had discussions, agreed in principle, then delayed (by Forest) at the last minute only for another club to pop in ready with a contract all ready to be signed. It’s no wonder he felt more wanted by the other club.
When Davies is identifying targets and putting them to the panel, and they aren’t signing them, then it’s hard to be too harsh on the manager. Simplistically people say “Well he’s spent £5m+, what more does he want?”, but whilst it can sound like whining, he is right when he says he’s getting Forest up to standard for this level – something which Smoulderwood really did. It’s just ironic that defense-strengthening – something Smoulders ignored completely – is proving difficult a level higher this time around.
If David Pleat ‘having more time on his hands’ means he can get his finger out and do his part of the acquisition committee quicker – then great. But certainly Forest need to slicken up their activities in the transfer market otherwise we will continue to miss out on players. Given some of Davies’ past signings (particularly for Derby) I can understand Forest’s caution – but let’s not make the poor fella operate with one hand tied behind his back.
In other news (okay, rumourville), apparently Earnie is attracting the interests of Newcastle. Much of this seems to be borne from Smoulders ‘scouting’ him – given the fact he managed him for a while, that seems unlikely! The rumoured price of £3m would seem ludicrous – I would want more if we were to sell him, and I would prefer to keep him. Meanwhile our search for a defender has apparently seen us look to Stoke for Sonko, as well as Harley from Watford (and Dawson from Spurs on loan? Surely not!).
One former target we were looking at has undergone a horrific ordeal – West Ham United’s Calum Davenport was attacked in his home, stabbed in both legs and requiring emergency surgery. His mother was also attacked in the same incident. Whilst it is early to say, it is being reported that he may not play again. Naturally my and I’m sure everybody else’s very best wishes go to him and his mother during their recovery. Two men have been arrested, hopefully the bastard responsible is caught and punished.
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