Wednesday, 20 July 2011

How Many Centre Midfielders Do You Need To Change A Lightbulb

In many ways reality can often be a disappointment when compared to the various fantasies and alternate realities we embrace on a regular basis.

Take my experiences with the football team I support, Nottingham Forest, this afternoon. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon playing on football manager, one of my many addictions, and I was enjoying guiding Forest to the third consecutive Premiership title, with a 4th consecutive FA cup final and a 2nd Champions League final to look forward to. The team is full of world beating stars and exciting young players.

Then I close the game and I’m faced with the real world. A world where Forest were 1-0 down in a pre-season friendly to Northampton (we’re now winning 2-1, but it’s hardly thrilling either way) and we’re being linked to George Boateng as a dramatic new signing. I have nothing against the 35 year old midfielder, he was a really good midfielder several years ago, but I don’t really see what he’s going to offer to us. He’s being signed (at this point it’s not been 100% confirmed but it looks likely to be completed in the next couple of days) in addition to Andy Reid and Jonathan Greening and I can’t say I’m overly inspired by the signings. Reid and Greening are really good players, but they’re central midfielders and that’s arguably the position that least needed strengthening.

We already have Cohen, Moussi, McGugan and Majewski who play there, all of which I really rate as players, so I can’t help but wonder why we need another 3 central midfielders. Especially when you consider that we still do not have a left back other than a youth team player who isn’t ready to be relied upon. We’ve also lost Earnshaw, the striker who has arguably been the most consistent striker we’ve had, which isn’t really saying all that much. We need a good consistent goal scorer, a left back and an out and out winger, preferably left footed.

Then again perhaps McClaren’s master plan involves us playing 2-7-1 and just passing it around in midfield for 90 minutes without actually getting anywhere, just boring other teams into submission.

Maybe though I’m just being pessimistic and cynical and in the next couple of weeks Boateng and co will be joined by some good, exciting signings. If not I can always escape back to Football Manager, where Forest are one of the best teams in Europe and the fans are treated to displays of footballing quality week in week out. It’s what the game is there for.

Today's song is from Elbow's 1st album, one which is really under rated and full of great songs that deserve a lot more recognition than they've got.

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