Corry’s Verdict – Survival Of The Fittest

As I approached Wembley stadium prior to the Championship play-off final in May it hit me like an uppercut from Leigh Wood, sure, it was the same postcode but a vastly different arena to the one I’d watched Nottingham Forest in some thirty odd years ago.

And, going into our first Premier League game against Newcastle in twenty-three years it’s a similar rhetoric. It maybe the top flight of English football but you’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve never been there before, if this were a movie it’d be The Godfather part III.

Something that feels very real is the excitement of locking horns with the country’s elite, Europe’s for that matter. Manchester City were two divisions below Forest during our last Premier League campaign but are now one of the best club sides in the world, they may soon be joined by Saturday’s opponents given the investment of their super rich owners.

So, before I put the fear of God into you all and write us off it’s comforting to remember that we have excellent owners and an outstanding manager. The investment in the playing staff has been fantastic and there is real hope that we can avoid relegation with the players at our disposal. I won’t bore you with my take on every acquisition because it’s already been done by several others.

What has impressed me most about some of the signings we’ve made is the professionalism behind them, take for instance the replacement of Brice Samba and Djed Spence who were absolute fan favourites. In times gone by the club have been blinded by sentiment and lacked the professional touch but that is certainly not the case of late. Henderson fits the bill perfectly and we all know how hard it is to find a decent keeper, albeit a loan signing. As for the void left by Spence, a youngster chased by some of Europe’s elite, it was clinically dealt with. I was over the moon at the procurement of Neco Williams. The Welshman is adept at both right and left wingback roles and has Premier League and international experience to boot. I commentated for Wales v Belarus in a World Cup qualifier last year and was blown away by Williams during his side’s 5-1 victory that evening. He won the man of the match award ahead of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey too.

Whilst pre season was lack lustre it means naff all in the grand scheme of things, results do not matter and all that does is fitness and the shape of the side. If you require any tangible proof look no further than Newcastle United in the summer of 2009, having been thumped 6-1 by Leyton Orient during pre season they went on to win the Championship.

My only real concern heading back into the promised land is the lack of game time the new recruits have amassed, given the sheer volume of signings it’s been almost impossible to bed them all in. But, as I alluded to earlier, we have an outstanding manager and I trust him implicitly.

The season ahead will be unbelievably tough, there will be many defeats but our amazing supporters, together with this squad of talented newcomers can certainly prevent us going straight back down, therefore I predict a 17th place finish with anything else a pleasurable bonus, and fingers crossed, the Premier League, we’ll be here to stay.

Steve Corry

*Article provided by Steve Corry (Nottingham Forest Correspondent).

*Main image @NFFC the Forest players in training ahead of the season start.

Leave a Reply