No More Heroes

4 Aug

It’s been another one of those days in the recent history of Nottingham Forest Football Club. Not in the sense of a promotion or relegation decider, but rather in the sense of transfer activity and signs of discontent behind the scenes.


I have just listened to the interview with Stuart Pearce on Radio Nottingham and although I generally dislike doing such a thing, I have to agree with everyone else in the view that it is a pleasure to have him back at the club as he speaks with such honesty and candour. It is difficult to disagree with his vision for the club and one genuinely feels that it is in safe hands with his emphasis on the importance of the youth/academy system, scouting set up and the personality, as much as the ability of a player. It hardly needs stating that this is a world apart from the previous regime.


And there’s usually a ‘but’ these days, a lingering unsettling feeling, a knot in the stomach, a bitter taste that creates an empathy with whoever it was to whom Lloyd Cole was referring when he wrote a song about ‘Mister Malcontent’ all those years ago.

The fact remains that the club has done business without the permission and support of the manager, the guy who coaches the players and picks the team. I don’t for one minute think that it’s time to mobilise the troops and spend evenings scrawling on bed sheets anti Fawaz messages like, ‘DOWN WITH THIS TYPE OF THING’. Nor will I be tweeting my own views to Fawaz on the matter: this sort of thing really doesn’t help. Furthermore, as Stuart Pearce himself stated, he isn’t going to do a runner as a result of such occurrences, he strikes me as being quite long toothed when it comes to the dealings and machinations of a modern multi million pound entity that is a football club.

Although disappointing, I can actually live with the idea that we have sold two young players to a bigger club. This happens all the time and in some ways, it is a marker of success for the Academy that the club has done so; it’s maybe even something to be proud of. Also, lest we forget that, depressing though it may be, this is arguably the main function of the Academy at Nottingham Forest.

Now before knickers go and get themselves in to a twist, obviously I would much prefer it if Darlow and Lascelles were to reach the pinnacle of their careers with us. And obviously, I feel that the fee reported is lower than might have been expected, even if we get to keep them for a bit longer. Of course, the child in me kicks and screams and feels the injustice of it all and cannot comprehend why anyone would want to leave the club to play for another when we coached them, looked after them, gave them a chance and supported them. But only the mean could begrudge them such an opportunity in life. Like you, I’ve experienced the anger of favourite players being sold in the past (insert your own names here but Steve Hodge – on both occasions – was particularly painful). It hurts. It always will.

Selling players happens all the time. Selling young players that you have nurtured and developed happens frequently too. And yes, selling young players that you have nurtured and developed for what you feel to be for an unfair fee also happens. I can just about come to terms with this, especially at a time when a quick glance at the squad suggests that we are actually well resourced in the goalkeeper and defender areas. For me, it is the hint of disharmony and lack of unity between the owner and manager that concerns me. As any others have expressed tonight, there will only be one winner in a popularity contest between these two people – let’s hope this road is the one not taken.


But whatever the outcome, contrary to the title of a certain Stranglers song, there are still some heroes out there. Take a bow, Stuart Pearce. I am, dare I utter this, feeling a sense of pride in supporting a club that has this chap at the helm.


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