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…

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35 Responses

  1. Been waiting for this update all morning..

    I can’t help but think our 3 glorious draws and hard luck defeat so far this season will also be hampering efforts. If we had made a flying start and confirmed the bookies predictions more players may fancy us, but as we have failed to do that and merely met the more realistic fans expectations we might not look like the Road to the Premiership team so many were expecting..

    That said I hope those at NFFC PLC prove us doubters wrong and pull off a last minute shock or two.

  2. Don’t forget that this is 2 such windows of opportunity that the club have failed to take advantage of…

  3. I too am still hopeful that something is going to happen before 18:00 this evening, but…..

    I am VERY disappointed in the Acquisitions Panel during this transfer window and the last. I am beginning to think that Forest are being over-ambitious in their targets and clubs in the Championship simply will not deal with them at all. Maybe it’s time that the club invest in a bigger scouting network and look at foreign shores for inspiration…? Or perhaps even improve the academy…?

    I have no hope at all that Forest will sign any Premier League players during the Loan Window, as Billy has stated he doesn’t want to bring in Loan players for a promotion push.

    It’s going to be a hard season this time around and my expectations are for a 12th placed finish, at best. Please prove me wrong Forest….

  4. From Guardian football writer Daniel Taylor on Twitter: “Spoken to Man United and, as expected, they won’t be deadline-day buyers today… Check call with always ambitious Nottm Forest reveals zero expectation of new signings. No Pratley, no Whittingham.”

    “Always ambitious”?????????

    😦
    😦
    😦

    • re. “Always ambitious”?????????

      think that was more a tongue-in-cheek comment, to be fair

  5. Anyone else think that the board have had it with Davies?

    Take last season for example , the board forked out a reported £500k for the loan of Boyd , who featured twice / three times..

    He could of been the difference we needed for the final play off push had he been given the opportunity , instead of sticking with Tyson who in my oppinion should hardly feature at all in the first team , he’s useless.

    Billy was banging the drum about signings , he was given Boyd by the board and never used him??? why?

    Look at the lad since he’s gone back to Peterbrough , yes it’s a different standard but he wasn’t given a fair crack of the whip at Forest , he even went on to say he wanted a permanent move…

    I’m not defending the board as such but i think Davies has a lot to answer for and too be honest , i for one am sick to the back teeth of reading the same moaning interviews on a daily basis about how we need players etc etc.

    You’ve got the left back you sooo badly wanted , fair enough it’s not shorey but we were never gonna get him anyway – the rest of the squad is the same that finished 3rd apart from Perch and Garner who didn’t feature anyway – so my advice for you Davies is work with what you’ve got and quit the moaning

    • Boyd looked very unfit and poor in 2 of the 3 occasions used. I think there was a clash of styles – Boyd used to being a big fish in a small pond, Billy not prepared to use anyone that doesnt work their ass off.

      I was disappointed as anyone that it didnt work but I couldnt argue with Billy in the end

  6. Billy makes a good point. we overachieved last season and without the forthcoming signings, we wont do so well this season…. fact.
    Boyd should have been given a better crack of the whip, agreed. But Billy is the best manager in this division. The board are just pissed cos he tells em what we all know. Christ, buy acouple of decent players and prove the ambition to “go one better”. At the moment i feel like ive been blagged by ND and the board. Dont they realise that an outlay now, to get us into the prem would pay off ten fold, even if we went straight down again. Cardiff may be cheating fookers, delaying payments when they are due, but they clearlysee the benifit of getting to the top flight, and have gambled even in there sorry state. I will tell you what, WHEN they go up to the prem, they will be laughing all the way to the bank, forest will be wondering why the hell they didn’t have a little flutter on themselves.

    • “forest will be wondering why the hell they didn’t have a little flutter on themselves”….they won’t even be bothered mate.

      ND and MA are primarily concerned about keeping the club going and run as a “business”. This means they won’t ‘gamble’ unless absolutely necessary. The money spent last summer was done to appease the Manager and keep the club in the Championship, hence why it was spent. Any other spending has to be fully justified with a Business Case and Cost Benefit Analysis by Billy, Pleat etc. and that is probably why there was been no additions for the past two windows. No-one can justify either paying the transfer fees being asked or the wages being demanded by the players (and agents).

      I think Forest are trying to emulate Crewe under the great Dario – run as a business, spending only what is absolutely required, nuturing young talent as a unit and eventually with some luck the team will get promoted to a higher division (the Championship in Crewe’s case) where some real money can be earnt. I am affraid the fans are going to have to be VERY patient….

  7. The bbc has a text from someone saying they have seen fat boy commons in the car park of the CG… probably bollox but quite a funny thought…

  8. armchair, commons was not at the city ground he could’nt get past md’s, subway,burger king,greggs and pizza hut at prideless park……….if we dont sign anyone this transfer window then i can see a repeat of the paul hart days when we got to the playoffs then never invested the following year and decended into lg one,i feel i have been cheated out of my season ticket money and for what? a season of struggle………….pleat marfur and co should f**k off!!

  9. […] the original post on Through the seasons before […]

  10. stuck in north yorkshire seaside resort only me mobile for comfort,,,,

  11. 5 minutes to go and nothing, absolutely nothing. It feels like getting exams results, you know deep down that you’ve done crap but you hope against all probability that there might be some good news, but no…. you were right all along.

    Very disappointing. Like frustratedRed says, it feels a lot like Paul Hart’s spell. For all the musings about Whittingham, Shorey, Pratley and the other undisclosed 7 players on billy’s list, not one. Are the scouts to blame for not looking further afield, is Billy to blame for being so pushy…maybe. But the lack of signings when every teamsheet at the back of the program screams “We’ve got no depth in our squad”, the powers that be don’t say, nor more importantly, do anything.

    Forest till I die of course, but the head stone will read “Here lies Pachuca Red……and he’s bloody annoyed!”

    U reeeds!

  12. Simple equation: To go up you need to be strong on the pitch, and strong off the pitch.

    We’re strong on it, but weak and ineffective off it.

    Here we are with 4 players injured / suspended (not uncommon – a third of the premiership clubs already have as much and more) and we can only just field a full bench.

    Its a repetitive game looking at the length of squad lists on our matchday programmes – seeing the other teams stretch about 10 players further than our own.

    Having said all that, I understand Billy trying to put the board off waiting for the premiership cast-offs, but I have to say we’d be mad not to get in there and get some of the best of them.

    We’ll be playing the mascot soon at this rate!

  13. mmmm I think the board and Billy look at loggerheads after this – Billy’s constant media comments about signings etc versus the silence and inaction from the club are difficualt to reconcile as a Fan .

    ALL WE WANT IS STRIAGHT TALKIN’ . I for one (and I’m sure im not alone ) am sick of spending hours trawling papers and webpages hoping for the best but then fearing the worse …for finally three fifths of ++++ all to then happen. put us out of our misery is all I ask Billy and Marthur to do – we can all accept the truth ….

    Anyway – I think all is not lost – the prem teams will be offloading loads of players soon to get to their 25 squads – so we need to fill our boots . but go on Billy/Marthur dont leave us in suspense – tell us if this is or isnt the plan so we can get on with our lives !

  14. why dont the board or billy just tell us fans the truth,instead of stringing us along like this…all day we sit reading papers and trawling the tinternet and for what?f**k all teams like pompey cardiff fester sheepshaggers etc seem to be able to sign players but not us.if they told us they are not signing anyone we can do something else with our lives,oh they would’nt though would they because then people like me would probably think twice about renewing season tickets at £400 a time..fed up now……..!!!!

  15. Well ~ assuming no “eleventh hour, 59 minute” deal was done, will the next bit of news be BD’s departure for pastures new?

    Sofa King stressfull being a Forest supporter ;-(

  16. You can put all the positive spin on this you want or look at it with the glass half full mentality if you like.  However, the bottom line remains that we now have a weaker squad than the one that wasn’t strong enough to see it through last season. We still have significant weaknesses in key areas and whilst I accept we at least have Bertrand now, it’s only a 6 month loan; he could go before the end of the campaign at a critical point (sound familiar to Shorey)!

    I do not see this as progress and it does not matter to me who/what is to blame.  The Club as a whole has not shown the ambition that we were promised. However, we have been here so many times before, why should we be surprised. I also think many other fans are feeling let down and this was perhaps behind the discontent shown at the weekend. I didn’t like that behaviour either, and won’t condone booing players, but sadly I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it. 

    Frankly, I feel let down and expect this to be a long frustrating season.  Not happy at all 😦

  17. basically the tem picks it’s self. there is no competition or preassure on other players for places. just like on saturday the team were just going through the paces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Well did you really expect anything to happen before the close of the window? I can see a mixture of results forthcoming, and then a sudden change of management – the board will sack Billy and bring in Martin O’Neil, then support him in the January transfer window. We have enough on the pitch to do ok, but with injuries, no depth.

    I don’t support the boo-ing, I didn’t go to the game, but it’s not really on fourth game into the season. We have to cut this out, and support the player, the manager (although I have slated him) and trust in the board to do the right thing.

    Nothing more we can do now, so let’s all get behind them and make the best of what we’ve got. Look at Blackpool last season, not a team covered in household names, but a manager getting the best out of what he’s got.

    You Reds (from London granted!)

  19. No wonder ND isn’t splashing the cash, just found this – “Candover Partners has begun a period of exclusive talks with Doughty Hanson, whose co-founder, Nigel Doughty, owns Nottingham Forest Football Club, about the sale of Equity Trust, which provides trust and fiduciary services to international clients”.

  20. I just cant understand why Forest were so completely ‘besotted’ with Pratley and Whittingham, surely there must have been other targets who were affordable both in fees and wages who would want to come and play for Forest.
    As always with Forest the communication to the fans is very poor, in any other businesses treating your loyal customers so poorly would mean you would lose them. Howvever the owner and other board members know true Forest fans have no alternative option. Like many comments already on this site I ask the powers to be at Forest please keep the fans informed, if no signings are likely PLEASE TELL US, I am also fed up of trawling web sites every half an hour to be disappointed.
    I am sure Billy Davies will be very unhappy indeed.
    We need to strenghten to improve on last years 3rd place, I am begining to think mid table is realistic and will probably happen. I hope we play some good football along the way and beat you know who.
    Its a shame because we could have had an outstanding chance of the top 2.
    I suppose its a slight comfort that at least we didn’t sell anybody today!! (It is after 6pm)

  21. Always respect your blogs and report writing nffc but on this occasion i dont agree with the moderate views.The comments to a man above show how frustrated most of us fans are I also feel a bit let down by the current AP

    I cant believe we havent even bought 1 decent player apart from a loan its not good enough no matter what way you look at it.We will struggle this season and we already are struggling.

    Davies must be sick as a parrot privately hes working with his hands tied to put it bluntly.

  22. I like many others put there hard earned cash up front in buying season tickets 800+ quid,ND tells us he has saved the club from going under,how far have we come since this bloke took charge,ok so he puts cash in,i wonder what the true amount that has been taken out,we had 3 great years in Div 1 and just scrapped out thanks to Donny and Carlisle F&&&ing it up,BD is the only decent thing this man has done since he took charge,now he wont back the man,to finish 3rd last season was beyond our wildest dreams,yet still no backing.The club has lacked ambition for many many years,and while this man remains in charge i fear it will not change.

  23. PS WHAT ABOUT THE 5 YEAR PLAN………….MORE BOLLOXXXXXX.

  24. what the ==== is going on down there ?

  25. WERE SERIOUS ABOUT PROMOTION!! ARE YOU !!

  26. I can’t believe Nottingham Forest have not signed any other players today, I always thought there’d be a chance of us getting some extra playing staff in – but we’ve done nothing. Other championship clubs have been moving players in & out for the past few weeks but not Forest. I really think that we are now an unattractive club for a player to move to because of all the behind the scenes shenanigans with the AP & Billy. Let’s just hope we strike short term gold with the loan market – not ideal I know but it’s all we’ve got now !!!

    If we do any better than 12th this season it’ll be a miracle with our current numbers

  27. Supporting Forest has become particularly painful over the last few years & although my loyalty will remain, I am so dissapointed by the clubs lack of honesty right up until the end of the transfer window. They have strung supporters along & created false expectations that they quite clearly never had any intention of fulfilling. We understand that the financial climate is difficult & we do not demand that the club spends huge sums of money but to not bring @ least one player in is utterly ridiculous & inept.
    To actually weaken the squad and undermine the manager to such an extent almost makes Billy’s position untenable. Just as Harty was sold down the river, add Billy to the list. How much longer are we going to passively accept the contempt that the club appears to feel for it’s supporters. Whether it’s being serious about promotion, or refusing to acknowledge the supporters wishes to be positoned behind both goals, it is apparent that the loyalty shown by the supporters counts for very little in the corridors Trentside. Ambition and indeed competance, appear to be dirty words on the banks of the Trent.

  28. i just hope now that doughty or his lap dog marfur have the balls to come out and tell us fans why we have not made a single signing?as for booing mckenna he was playing shit and as done for a while now,he is not the player alot of forest fans think he is.if he was not fit as billy said,then why play him?oh is it because we have a small squad with no depth? this stinks!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Protest against the board being set up outside the city ground, on saturday before the Millwall game, have a look, and join if you want to attend. We have power in numbers, we have a voice so lets use it!!

    • Would need to know a little more about the nature and aims of any protest before commenting further.

      Is it just going to be people shuffling around the carpark with no real sense or why they are there – does the movement have any specific aims for its’ actions?

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