West Ham United vs. Forest preview..

Let’s start with something positive – our youngsters are 7-1 against Wigan in the FA Youth Cup fourth round.  Bamford has scored four and there’s still twenty odd minutes to go.  Perhaps the future isn’t so bleak after all?  And now, let’s drop back down to earth by contemplating the weekend’s fortunes of our senior so-called professionals.

Our next probable defeat will come at the hands of West Ham United at Upton Park.  Whilst the motivation of labouring our way out of the drop zone and perhaps salvaging a bit of personal pride ought to be motivation enough for our lads, Sam Allardyce’s side have the opportunity to claim the top spot that could be theirs with a third successive win in the league.

The only absentees for Big Sam are the longish term injury victims of Guy Demel and Matt Taylor, both players have returned to training with the Hammers, but aren’t likely to be fit enough to be risked against us.  Well, let’s face it, they probably are – but given the other options at their disposal it would seem an unnecessary risk!

We are without Chambers, who serves the second game of his three match suspension, and are still missing Wes Morgan, Chris Cohen and Ishmael Miller through injury.  Tuds is likely to feature again, and perhaps after his ill-conceived Twitter tantrum Matt Derbyshire might have talked himself out of an opportunity to prove himself to be something other than the lightweight diving sod that we’ve seen so far. (I wish I’d screen-capped his tweet too!!).

Of course, we do have the former-player factor in our favour – Marlon Harewood of course left his first spell at Forest to hook up with West Ham United back in 2003.  He netted a goal every two and a bit games for them, admittedly at a time when youth was still on his side and he could last a full game, but y’never know!  If we play anything like we did on Tuesday though we’ll see the kind of shoe-ing that West Ham dished out at the City Ground back in August.

I would be delighted, as ever, to be proven wrong – but I can’t see much past a comfortable win for the home side here unless Sean O’Driscoll can have a really fast impact on our moody squad, or indeed the supposedly interesting news that Paul Taylor has been teasing his followers on Twitter over that might transpire tomorrow.  Maybe Stan Collymore is going to come out of retirement and roll back the years working under Frank Clark once again.

Hmm. Maybe not.  Frankly, a point here would be a delightful surprise – three would make me a little bit delirious!

Patrick Bamford: Scored more goals tonight than any of our senior players have managed all season

In the meantime the youngsters have just netted their eighth goal against Wigan courtesy of Osborn.  Well done lads, I might forgo my season ticket in future and start following the youth team!  Sorry, make that 9-1. Bamford with a fifth goal – that’s indicative of a real winning mentality right there – so many goals up but still wanting more.  The senior players could learn a thing or two from our youngsters.

They’ve scored more goals in an hour than the first team have mustered in thirteen matches.  Full time score was 9-1.  Take a bow, lads, that really is excellent.

He’s Derby-sure to get in trouble..

Sean: Not famous for hoof-ball, which is a start!

First I suppose I should welcome Sean O’Driscoll to Forest – I’m quite pleased with his arrival.  He might encourage a few of the team to, y’know, try passing it along the floor to their teammates occasionally.  Certainly he’s used to trying to make silk purses out of sow’s ears – and with not a particularly high level of investment.  Hopefully he will also provide a bit of support to Cotterill too who, despite being very much in my bad books, does cut a rather loan figure at the moment.

Back on to the prompt for this post – I think Twitter on the whole has been more of a curse than a blessing since it because uber popular within the football fan and player community – and out-of-favour Matt Derbyshire is demonstrating exactly why at the moment.  Obviously Cotterill was quite quick to (rightly) moderate his squad on Twitter – Matt today has directed his followers to a third party to hand out abuse to the manager on his behalf, it seems.

If you check out the person in question, Scott Parsons, he’s basically been posting a tirade of abuse aimed at Cotterill for having the audacity to not pick Derbyshire.  A player who, you may agree, has not exactly demonstrated prowess or a decent work ethic (aside from his efforts at diving) when he has been given a chance in the side.  I happen to agree we’ve seen too little of him, but perhaps some of these comments his friend has been posting for him indicate why.

This is indicative of serious dressing-room unrest, and for a player to signpost things like this against their manager is potentially very damaging, and might well betray wider-spread ill-feeling.  With rumours of transfer requests going in, it doesn’t seem unfeasible does it – although who would want to buy these players on the basis of unprofessionalism like this coupled with below-par performances is difficult to guess.

Whilst much like many Forest fans I too have levelled criticisms at Cotterill, I do acknowledge we’re kinda stuck with him – and he’s kinda stuck with at least one player who is openly undermining him.  Then he wonders why he isn’t getting picked (in addition to his cameo appearances of swan-diving to the floor under little or no contact from opponents).

Say what you like about the dreaded transfer acquisition panel, under its’ slow machinations we didn’t bring in many players to the fold who seem the type to stir up trouble and discord like this.  Another layer of factors that are making times at Forest doubly hard.  Wind your neck in, Derbyshire, knuckle down in training and prove to the manager and us that you are worthy of your place – because no bugger is going to want to buy you in a hurry.  More’s the pity.

Whatever reservations I have about the gaffer, it is increasingly apparent that the ‘don’t give a shit’ attitude that we perceive from the stands amongst our playing staff is very much alive and well, which is frankly shameful.  Where is your pride, some of you?  You are supposed to be professional athletes and are earning a handsome salary for the privilege – how about you start acting like it?