Pre-season preview

1 Aug

And, we’re back.

So, what happened since May? Any big football news? Is it a game still played by 22 men whose outcome is measured by how many times one of these groups of 11 men kicks the round thing into the other 11 men’s goal? It is, you say? As you were then…

Since May, I have been mostly sitting in a darkened room rocking back and forth like a weeble and forsaking any pleasures such as ice cream and sun in favour of alcohol and a deep sense of existential angst…what is life without football? I even gave a hitherto unprecedented time and attention to The Confederations Cup and wholly enjoyed all pundits constantly bemoaning the lack of unity, shape and cohesion from Brazil, even as they ripped Spain apart. Oh for such disharmony at Forest…

One of the highlights of pre-season for me is the FourFourTwo season preview pull out. That needs contextualising. I used to subscribe to this magazine way back in the mists of time but their reliance on press junkets for interviews and insistence on peddling football hooligan literature got the better of me and we parted less than amicably; call it creative differences if you will. However, I am a sucker for the preview in which every team is covered, usually in the form of an interview with a fan. Even more tragically, I like reading back issues to see whether the ‘one to watch’ player identified by each fan did indeed turn out to be ‘one to watch’. Invariably, they don’t. (If you are sighing and rolling your eyes at this, you are obviously new to my work since the depths of sadness were clearly established in last season’s blog. Keep up.)

So, in time honoured tradition, here is my very own FourFourTwo season preview:

Keep an eye out for. New signings Djamel Abdoun from Olympiakos and Jamie Patterson from Walsall. Both should provide much needed width. Of the current crop, Henri Lansbury and Adlene Guedioura have the ability to boss the midfield against any opposition.

Best away fans. Leeds and Wednesday always bring a fair few. We are also developing a bizarre corporate friendship with Doncaster Rovers. Good to see them back.

Best away ground. The Valley. Been twice and won 2.0 on both occasions. Good pre match pub and we seem to make a lot of noise in the away end.

Worst away ground. Easy to knock Leeds and Burnley for being like a trip back in time but I’d take those over identikit away ends like Reading, Bolton and Leicester any day of the week. And twice on Sundays.

Tips for away fans. Most pubs around the ground are home only but seek out the Larwood and Voce (south of the Trent) and the Meadow Lane club (north of the Trent).

Local hero. Chris Cohen is now firmly in the hearts of most supporters after 6 years here. Nice to see him take the captain’s armband.

Biggest villain. Some would go for ex-players such as Luke Chambers or Lewis McGugan but that seems harsh to me. Lee Camp has not enhanced his reputation one iota since leaving for Premiership football after a season and a half long cob on. Michael Brown is still frowned upon for his Leeds and Sheff Utd associations (and his downright dirtiness on the pitch). Jamie Ward and Luciano Becchio always, and I mean, always, score against us. From within, Dexter Blackstock and Dan Harding are the scapegoats when things turn bad (as they are somewhat prone to do); a shame since Harding always looks like he is really trying and despite being a Dexter fan, he has been shocking on the pitch for the last 6 months and looks utterly bereft of confidence. That enough for you?

Opposition player you secretly admire. Chris Burke, David Nugent and Tom Ince spring to mind as they have caused us problems but for most, Wes Morgan is still highly respected around these parts.

Who will you miss? Although some are glad to see the back of him, citing a lack of application, Lewis McGugan and his ability to produce something special will be missed. Watch out for him belting in a cracker from long range against us.

Best chant last season. Our rousing rendition of ‘Mull of Kintyre’ pre match is pretty special. For comedy value though, I still like, ‘He’ll eat you alive, he’ll eat you alive, he’s George Elokobi, he’ll eat you alive’, from his loan spell the previous season.

Where will you finish? Billy Davies almost guarantees you a play-off place in this league. Oh yeah, and glorious failure in the play-offs. Same again.


One Response to “Pre-season preview”

  1. Phil Lengthorn August 7, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Considering the opening game was a victory, I’d have thought a report would have been up here pretty quick!?

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