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…
Filed under: Thoughts |