Is Forest’s transfer sluggishness paying dividends?

It’s that time when the transfer window is  starting to creak closed – and so the rumours go into overdrive.  I’ve long since opted to try my best not to rehash them, because – well – frankly often when I have passed on information I’ve heard in the past it has turned out to be wrong – and, frankly, I’d rather just wait until Forest confirm whatever’s happening.

Certainly I’ve not bothered reading much into Billy’s “let’s see what the next day or two brings” type comment to Robin Chipperfield – you see, aside from the assumption that deals are imminent for the mighty Reds, our wee fella has plenty of things to be cheerful about.

2011 has seen Forest register an impressive run of results, and despite the mythology surrounding our own fans around the strength in depth in our squad, I can’t help but notice a number of managers commenting on the kind of quality we have on the bench.  Not only are we starting games with a line-up that can cause any side in this division difficulties, we have players waiting in the wings who can come on and make a difference.

Cotterill said it after we beat Portsmouth at the City Ground (unsurprisingly really, he could only name four subs!), although I couldn’t help but think that was a bit rich coming from someone able to call on the likes of Kanu, Utaka and Lawrence, to pick on just three of their squad who showed real quality on the pitch.

Nigel Clough, amidst his rabid-foaming after either of our recent wins against them pointed at some fanciful figures at how much we’d spent on players, but did have a reasonable point that we had players on the bench to change things.  Earnie came off the bench to net the winner at Pride Park afterall.  He not only had a bench full of second-rate players, he had to start with them too!

The latest manager to do the same was Bristol City’s Keith Millen – after the game he too said the same kind of thing.  Yet perusing most of the notable Forest forums our fans seem to be clamouring like ants after a mound has been kicked for us to be signing players from here, there and everywhere.

I can sort of see why – it’s exciting to sign players, of course – and oddly we do seem to be ‘getting by’ with players playing in positions you wouldn’t expect them to thrive in.  Lynch has stepped up admirably to fill the left back berth, we still seem to have an extra central midfielder and only one winger at any one time, and we’d be a bit screwed if certain players picked up a suspension or injury…

… but it’s kind of working.  It’s kind of working, I think, because of the increasingly evident team spirit our squad seem to have.  They are a very tight group, they work for each other – they seem to care.  Would that be the same if we hoovered up every loan, free transfer or even paid-for transfer available just to get some bodies in?

I’m not sure it would – indeed, Billy Davies – much more calm and good natured in recent interviews – does talk of the need to make sure that we get the right players in.  He doesn’t just mean players with the right ability, but the right character to not upset the dressing room spirit he’s engendered in his players.

That isn’t to say I wouldn’t welcome sensible acquisitions before the window closes, of course.  Some clarification over players out of contract in the summer would be nice for the fans – although the recent performances of Nathan Tyson, Robert Earnshaw and particularly Guy Moussi would suggest that playing for a contract isn’t necessarily doing us much harm!

Down the A52 it looks like ex-Red Kris Commons is heading north of the border finally, to don the green and white hoops of Celtic having audaciously priced himself outside of Rangers’ spending power!  Ultimately he seems to leave teams beneath the one he left them for – Stoke soon overtook us when we signed him, and as he leaves Derby they must strain to look up the league table to us.

Once the deal is done have a bet on Rangers to win the Scottish Premier next season as he sends Lennon’s Celtic into decline, where of course he’ll be joined by his former team-mate Kelvin Wilson, who the Reds seem keen to keep hold of until the end of the season for cover (when he doesn’t have a mystery ‘injury’ or ‘illness’).

I wasn’t really sure where I was going with this when I started – it’s very much a stream of consciousness mingled with observations.  Basically I suppose it’s a warning of sorts against the kind of panic that always ensues at this time of year.  Certainly if you were to hand me a Bertrand or a Shorey I’d be delighted (with no disrespect to Mr Lynch)… but well, things ain’t so bad as they are, are they?

14 Responses

  1. We need a left back for sure. Lynch is exacly what Billy said his is in his pre match interview last night i.e . a young promising left sided centre back.

    All the UBE chat last night was of Betrand again but saying Chelsea and Forest have agreed a price but can’t agree payment terms. Fingers crossed.

    I’d like another midfielder, someone with a bit more creativity but I guess good ones are a bit like rocking horse shit so I suppose i won’t get my way on that.

    I do think Billy was teasing a bit with his “next day or two” comment but then again, maybe not! He’s a tough b*stard to second guess sometimes!

  2. Good article mate made me think ….and I agree with your observations.Football can be a very cruel game tho as we are all very aware of and Feb is a very tough month for us. We will be tested with injuries and other things so a couple of decent bodies in will do us no harm at all.

    As for fat boy well lennon and Celtic are welcome to him and Wison they are both dropping down a level in my opinion.

    U reds

  3. I too have been impressed with Lynchy, and was happy to hear some of the faithful shouting words of encouragement to the lad. However, I still can’t help thinking we miss Bertie going forward. He’s not quite the class of Shorey, but then he is still a young man and I do believe we’ll see bigger things of him in the future. Billy, Sign Him Up!

  4. A great post NFFC, completely agree with your musings. In view of the competition this year, Forest must boast one of if not the richest set of forward men, even bearing in mind Blackstocks injury. A creative midfielder would help, someone like dare I say it Pratley but as you point out, the team are working very well together and with current form, they could just be peaking at the right time. We always want new players, it adds an extra sense of hope that a new player is going to add to what is already turning into another very good season for the reds. Yet from day one, I thought Forest finally captured a manager who could build a good football club. At this level he is one of the best, a manager to believe in. I’d like to think he wants the kind of players that will help forest. If he can’t get them, nobody can really complain where the boys are at present, 1 point off second with a game in hand (away to Scunthorpe). I’d be very happy with 5th at the end of the season and a good run to take into the play offs. U reeeds!!!

  5. It’s a good point, well made NFFC. We’ve got to go all out for promotion this season and give Billy what he wants. He is clearly doing a great job and should be rewarded with a new contract offer himself!

    Re left back, in additional to the impressive Lynch, we also have Jules waiting in the wings, although he will perhaps go out on loan again. As too you would expect Joe Garner, especially with another striker arriving in the form of Findlay.

    Our time is coming once more. In Billy we trust!

  6. Given it seems we are after shorey, that casts doubt on anything being close with bertrand. We also seem to be after mills, the ex donny centre back at Reading. Why would they sell to a rival? And given je is currently captain, he’s not coming to warm the bench, so who do you drop? Chambers who has scored AA many goals as any of our fit strikers? Or wes???
    I agree we need some depth. Qpr have just signed another bus load on loan it seems. Still, less than a week now til the window closes and we can get back to normality

  7. I believe we should look at getting a couple of players on loan. Possibly step in for Ayala off Liverpool if Derby don’t get him, and also have a look at an MLS star seeing as their season is up and they are all clamouring for loan moves. I think the loan system needs reworking howevere. Look at Cardiff, 7 loan players. They are a club with terrible finances, yet they are allowed to sign the likes of Bellamy (6 mill) , Koumas (2 mill) , Ramsey( 5 mill+), Emmanuel-Thomas (described as a future England player) , Keogh (2 mill), Olofinjana (1.5 mill) plus one more. They are mostly multi-million pound players. We are very lucky to be as close as we are to them considering we have a big disadvantage.

  8. It’s also worth noting that one of the stated aims of the Transfer Acquisition Panel, or whatever it’s called today, was to ensure that the **character** of the players brought in would fit with the existing squad. On that front it seems to be working.

  9. Agree totally nffc.
    We seem to have a real team spirit within the squad, you’ve only got to watch how they ALL celebrate a goal!
    Billy has fostered that mentality, and they all seem to want to please HIM.
    Interesting on Tuesday when he told McCleary to warm up, Garath wasn’t ready and was fiddling with his boots. Well, Billy went nuts, shouting at him, and all but dragged him out by his collar! Then in the 2nd half Lewis never tracked back and again Billy had a right go. Lewis shrugged and actually said the words “what do you want me to do??”. I never heard BDs response, but within half a second Garath was warming up again!
    Lewis then promptly dived into a 50-50, then made another tackle and a few moments later pulled off a lovely piece of skill opening up their defence.
    The point is, Billy knows how to get the best out of these players, arm round the shoulder or rollicking.

    I hear Lesta have taken van Arnholt, so Bertie wont be coming back and if we cant get Shorey back we just trust in Lynch to do the business, or Jules.

  10. I wholeheartedly agree with your point; very good post.

    I’ll translate it for my blog.

  11. Its uncanny the similarities between us at this stage last year. No left back, still chasing Shorey. (Waste of time in my opinion, he doesn’t want to come) And as Rahoul mentioned, character is playing a big part in the signing of a player. However, the difference, and its a pretty big one is the way the players play for each other and the club now. Especially when it isn’t going all their way. Lynch has come in and done well. He’s wanting his chance and wanting to step up just like McGugan earlier in the season. We’ve got to be pleased with that. Its a shame Billy doesn’t think Bennet is good enough, maybe he isn’t but he’s better than what we had this time last year.

    The worse case is we don’t sign anyone. But its not nearly as bad as last year. 2 new quality faces would be fantastic but I’d rather no one than bullshit players making up the numbers and disrupting the team spirit.

  12. good points NFFC , we are definiltely a stronger unit than this time last year and closer to the leading two
    last year we were always trailing Newcastle and WBA.
    Some players are noticeably playing better Moussi , Chambo , Mcgugan, Tys , Dele and maybe only Raddy and Cohen are below last year but not by much – so overall we are stronger .
    But and its a big but – we are so far blessed by injury free and no suspensions – we probably need one more in my view and that is a left back as per last year .

  13. @AD_BC

    NFFC is growing better without any signing, for they are the typical “manager team”, a team in which the work of the manager is really appreciable: they become tactically better every match, they become mentally better every match (lots of late goals, lots of matches won by one goal, great decrease of “omg I’ve stupidly lost the ball in the midfield and they’ve scored”, so typical at the beginning of the campaign, a team almost always attentive and focused), some youngsters or not so youngsters are really improving, and backup players always ready to go and play well.

    You can ever buy some good player, if you’ve got the money, but really good managers are a sort of gift.

    “I’d rather no one than bullshit players making up the numbers and disrupting the team spirit”: pure gospel.

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