Following a summer of upheaval at Nottingham Forest, the season is finally about to kick off.
New owners and eight new players have left fans itching for the season to start, anticipating a great ride.
The fresh approach from the Al-Hasawi family, and their willingless to spend money has been welcomed. They key point being though, they’ve spent money in the right places, largely thanks to the shrewd appointment of Sean O’Driscoll as boss, who is reluctant to splash the cash to an unimaginable extent.
With the money available, it would’ve been easy for Forest to spend unwisely, plucking for Premier League players who quite frankly, haven’t got the inner desire to perform for the club. The new arrivals have been solid Championship players, and individuals who have played at a higher level, and yet to prove themselves.
Simon Cox being a prime example. Performing admirably at Swindon Town, knocking in goals on a weekly basis, he was a recognised name. Having moved to West Brom, he didn’t really establish himself as a striker in the league, meaning the opportunity to prove himself at the highest level escaped him. Cox has something to prove, and is reaching what should be the peak of his career.
Cox needs Forest as much as Forest need a 20 goal contribution from him, and that should show in his performances.
The two biggest signings of them all, Jamaal Lascelles and Adlene Guedioura. Lascelles represented more than just a young player signing on for 4 years. With reported interest from Spurs and Arsenal, it showed he has a wise head on those young shoulders.
Many individuals may have attempted to turn Lascelles head, but he stayed stubborn and stuck by Forest. An indication of where he thinks the club is heading, and he wants to be a part of it.
Adlene Guedioura. Forest supporters can’t say his name without wanting to pinch themselves, in shock that the permenant deal has been completed this summer. To say fans were excited, wouldn’t be doing the emotion everyone felt justice.
Dan Harding, Danny Collins, Daniel Ayala, Sam Hutchinson, Simon Gillett the other names to arrive at the club. Not headline names, but men that get the job done, and get it done efficiently. O’Driscoll wanted to buy good characters. The fact they are very good players too, make it a recipe for success.
Forest could’ve done what fellow East Midlands team, Leicester City did, when they first caught sight of money. Signings that got the headlines, and were a disruptive influence on the dressing room. In August 2011, when Leicester took a 2-0 lead at the City Ground, things were looking fairly bleak for The Reds. One event turned the game. The event could’ve been prevented, but so could the disastrous collapse of the Leicester team afterwards.
Kasper Schmeichel got sent off. John Paintsil had a strop. The small amount of spirit there was, was rapidly torn apart. Forest went on to score twice, and Leicester were left investigating their failures. If they analysed well enough, they would’ve realised the failures that occured on the day could be put down to one one thing.. The summer transfer market.
Leicester are still catching up and recovering from their Sven summer spending spree, attempting to put a new look on their side.
Forest have avoided that.
They have a side for the here and now. They have players young enough to gel into a promotion chasing squad. They don’t have any bad eggs. Players with something to prove, that believe in O’Driscoll’s methods, who enjoy his style of management.
Last season the mood was doom and gloom throughout. From around 15 games in, the feeling spreading was that everyone wanted the season to end. Players looked unhappy, and that reflected in their performances. Fans were resigned.
Now we have happy players. A happy manager, delighted with the squad he has at his disposal, with money to spend for additions if necessary. The feel good factor around the club now, spreading from the mood of our new owners on Twitter, down to the fans, can’t be matched by any team in the league.
Promotion a possibility?
No Nottingham Forest fan should expect promotion this season. If you do, kindly drop your season ticket in the River Trent and turn around.
A gentle flirt with the playoffs should be the aim. Anything more would be a welcome bonus.
If every fan remains patient, and singing from the same hymn sheet, our club will be a joy to watch.
@will_forest to get in touch via Twitter.