A series of shock slogans and mindless token tantrums..

A slightly over-dramatic headline, but I couldn’t resist the CRASS reference!  Twitter, the forums etc. have been a fairly angry place for Forest fans of late.  It was predictable really (and indeed, was predicted by me!), and in some ways leaves me questioning my own lack of complete outrage at another transfer window ending without the Reds doing business.

I am disappointed, of course – talk of kicking on, Mark Arthur telling us how much the likes of Whittingham and Pratley wanted to sign, rumours of all manner of things some of which I half fell for, I can see why people are talking of being mis-sold season tickets, why people are angry – why this new blog has publicised a very long letter he sent to Nigel Doughty to question his motives as our owner.

Despite all that I can’t really buy into the rage – and I’m not for a minute criticising those that have, plenty of my regular commenters (who I don’t know, but kind of feel like I do) offered similarly dissenting views on my earlier blog today, and I respect their as well as any other Forest fan’s views if they are well thought out.

I’m also in agreement that the wall of silence from the club is very frustrating for us as supporters, it’s something I dipped my toe in trying to address with a predictable lack of response.  Forest have always been pretty bad at this – indeed, when Mark Arthur did break the board-level silence on transfers he’s ended up with a considerable amount of egg on his face.

I suppose the bottom line is though, we’re Forest fans – we wear the badge, that’s our job.  If people genuinely believe a change is required at the top then the only course of action I can see that you could realistically take is by voting with your feet.  I don’t imagine many would want to do that – but seriously, if you really don’t like it, don’t go.

That’s not meant in a ‘you’re not wanted here’ point of view, just that all the complaining and debating and posting-on-forums in the world isn’t likely to change much.  I have no idea what Nigel Doughty’s agenda is, but I don’t quite see him as the hate figure many seem to, although I wonder how much of that is kneejerkery in the face of immediate disappointment.

If there’s a serious groundswell against the current regime then boycott, organise some action – because my experience of trying to get answers by emailing, blogging, tweeting or foruming is that they will certainly not be forthcoming.  I imagine the next announcements will be a near-infuriating revelation that the loan window will open soon, and that Premier League teams will be confirming their 25 man squads soon.

Which does beg the question, if (and this is NOT a rumour or based on any knowledge) we were to secure a couple of awesome loan signings would that quell a certain amount of the unrest?  I can understand why people feel the way they do, but to me it still rather smacks of over-reaction – for now – but then I am a fairly chilled out kinda guy.

Blimey, two rambling pontifications in one day – I do apologise, but I suppose if the bastards won’t give us any news to talk about we have to make our own!  I’d be interested in your thoughts too via the usual means… is everyone frothing-at-the-mouth angry or are a few more folks disappointing-but-getting-on-with-life?

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D-day?

There’s about 5 hours of the transfer window left as I type, and it becomes abundantly clear (as if we didn’t really know) that Forest appear intent to either rely on loan signings or, well, just not bother to strengthen the side that has yet to muster a win yet this season.  Naturally this will be met with differing degrees of dismay from the fans.

I usually try to be a bit moderate – by no means do I think anybody at the club is ‘out of bounds’ in terms of criticism, but often people can be drawn into fairly ill-educated stabs at pointing the finger – I at least like to attempt to have some foundation before levelling accusations, which is what makes these transfer windows very difficult.

Some people predict relegation, nuclear meltdown, a further global recession and a famine across Nottingham if we don’t sign several players – I don’t see it as quite that bad, but if Billy and the club’s stated ambition is indeed to ‘go one better’ than last season then it’s clear to me that we do need to add not just depth, but strength to our squad.

Our lack of wide options contributes to what many saw (self-included) as a poor performance from McKenna at the weekend – when he’s not fully fit under pressure he needs easy outlets for passes, that would usually be a wingers job.  The trouble is, we don’t have any wingers – so he’s left with the hopeful chip or poorly placed pass.  Wingers also provide chances for strikers.

In Dex and Earnie we have goalscorers – indeed, Earnie has managed to fashion himself three woodwork-bound efforts this season already – when he scored it was thanks to a goalkeeping error.  We’re not creating enough chances for our strikers – whilst I admire both his and Dex’s workrate in tracking back to be involved, we want ’em in the box on the end of crosses.

Perhaps this particular transfer window is compounded by Mark Arthur’s clumsy comments about the targets of Whittingham and Pratley.  Very uncharacteristic for Forest to be so forthcoming with their plans, and perhaps it isn’t surprising then to see that these plans appear to not be coming to fruition (although Mark Arthur did also say Forest were prepared to play the waiting game).

Having said all of that – the perception that we have taken some kind of backward step is perhaps taking it too far.  We certainly haven’t made much of a forward step – the addition of Bertrand is very welcome, and making Raddy permanent – but I don’t see a much more intimidating Championship than the one we faced last season.

Newcastle’s role has probably now been picked up by heavy-gamblers Cardiff, there’s isn’t an obvious ‘West Brom’ (maybe Middlesbrough, but they don’t convince me).  Outside of that is much of a muchness.  This season we don’t have the ‘unknown quantity’ element we had at times last season, and so far teams have found it fairly easy to contain our play.

But then we started slow last season too.

So let’s not be too downhearted – I really wanted us to strengthen too, desperately so, and was almost drawn into some of the rumour-mongering that the mischief-makers of the Internet have been peddling.  If nothing else, this summer has been a lesson in who you can and can’t believe – and basically, my conclusion is you can’t believe anyone!

Of course, a little bit of me is publishing this prior to the deadline closing in the hope that some surprising news this afternoon makes me look silly as Forest snag the stellar signings that Billy (and I agree with him) feels he needs to deliver Forest’s ambitions this season – but well, I’m pretty confident when I press the button I won’t be made to look too foolish…