We’re now at the point in the summer where we’re closer to the new football season than the old and so the speculation about who’s going to challenge for the title and who’s likely to struggle. One of the main things that people base those predictions on is the signings made and the staff appointed by any team.
What is worrying me is that after a less than impressive managerial appointment in Steve McClaren, the prospects for next year haven’t really improved from that low point. McClaren has come out with lots of nice soundbites, about his ‘vision’ for the team, his hopes to bring players through from the youth squads into the first team and the importance of signing a few experienced players to compliment the talented youngsters we have at our disposal.
We’ve only made one signing and it’s one that’s left me fairly undecided; resigning Andy Reid is an interesting choice, I like him as a player and still remember him offering some real moments of magic during his first spell at Forest, but there are some serious issues with his fitness both in terms of stamina and being injury prone. If McClaren can get him fit then I’m all for the signing I guess, Reid has a brilliantly cultured left foot, capable of passes, shots and crosses that are Premiership quality. Like with the new manager, I think the jury is going to have to remain out for the time being until we can see whether Forest are going to see the Andy Reid that justified being half of an £8m transfer earlier in his career, or the one who has gone from team to team in the past couple of years without really making an impression.
We’ve let McKenna and Adebola go to Hull and I agree with both decisions, they are two players who have been good servants to Forest for the past two seasons but who are definitely past their best; McKenna especially looked poor in the second half of this season, short on fitness and ideas.
McClaren seems keen to convince Earnshaw and Moussi to stay, wanting to offer them both new contracts. I definitely want to keep hold of Moussi because despite being injury prone, whenever he was given an extended run in the team he started to look like a real high quality player. Earnshaw I’d keep but only if he takes a pay cut; as I understand it he’s one of the highest earners at the club and frankly last season’s performances don’t justify that, he seems to have lost that clinical poacher quality to his play, being far more wasteful than usual, making watching him a frustrating experience and relying on him as our main goal scorer a risky proposition.
We, like every other promotion chasing team in the Championship, are being linked with plenty of players and it’s always hard to tell which ones have any degree of truth to them, but I hope we really are going all out in an effort to sign Maynard. If we get him, Reid, a decent left back and an experienced centre back than I’d consider that a good summer’s work and put us in a strong position as we approach the new season.
I've been listening to these guys a lot today, they feature quite heavily in a film i watched last night, 'Going the Distance', which i'll probably review tomorrow.