Wes Mor-gone…

Wes: One of those players you never thought you'd see in another shirt

I’m pretty sure the first time I saw Wes Morgan play for Forest was in a pre-season friendly at the City Ground whilst he was still a youngster.  He put in a thunderous tackle on a similar-unfamiliar Rafael Van Der Vaart which left the Dutch midfielder without his boot on one foot.  I think this was back in 2003, unfortunately the Forest website doesn’t seem to show friendlies on its’ retrospective fixture lists, so I can’t check.

Since that fledgling appearance we saw him undergo the ordeal of being a stand-in leftback under Paul Hart, before eventually cementing his place in the heart of defence to the point where he’s amassed over four hundred appearances for us.  His departure makes Paul Smith our longest-serving player if my calculations are correct – obviously the fact Wes is a local lad and a bit of a cult hero, well, it makes it sad.

Having said that – a fee of up to a million quid for a player who is out of contract in a few months is sensible business.  Alas, it would appear sensible business is the name of the game at the moment for Forest (of course, more sensible business would’ve been attending to his contract earlier, and NOT signing a plethora of more highly-paid primadonnas but hey, ain’t hindsight a wonderful thing?

For Wes I’m actually pleased – he’s stuck with us for a long time and just as, with the advent of McClaren and higher wages, he must have been looking forward to a new contract to reward his loyalty and commitment.  To be overlooked until the era of Doughty walking out and Cotterill’s cost-cutting kicked in must have been a real kick in the teeth.  He deserves the opportunity to go and earn a chunk of cash before his career begins to decline.

Of course, it’s a sad indictment that a mid-table Championship team with perhaps an outside chance of sneaking into the play-offs is deemed a better bet than we are – but at the moment it’s a difficult assertion to deny.  As such, I wish Wes all the best and will certainly give him a decent reception should he ever line up against us.  To be named in the Championship team of the year by your peers is high praise indeed, so he will be missed.

If Forest fail to use this move to fund at least incoming cover for the departure of Morgan then we really are up the proverbial creek without a paddle.  Chambers – hardly a ‘safe pair of hands’ this season is suspended for another game, Cunningham picked up an injury, Lynch is surely only a game or two away from his next injury… hmm, soz Gunts, looks like you’re on your own in defence.  That’s if we don’t sell you, too.

In other news Notts County apparently want to extend the loan of Kieron Freeman.  Hopefully we tell them to get bent!  We could do with him as cover for Cunningham given the lack of numbers we have in defence!