Forest’s Dirty Dozen
The summer saw Forest yet again throw money around to assemble their latest crop of mercenaries and hired guns. Going against all theories of good financial management in football, the Red Dogs have managed to find a group who are almost all on a downward trajectory in their career and on premium wages with little resale value. Up to half the team at any one time are borrowed. The policy left them in financial tatters last year but instead of learning, they’ve just found some other mugs to bankroll it.
Here’s our introduction to this summers Dirty Dozen of new signings.
Signed for Wolves initially on loan before making it permanent and becoming rubbish, not even getting a game in an awful Premier League team. Joined Forest on loan, played well enough to clinch a permanent but was benched for the last outing. A mate tells me Wolves fans were amazed at the seven figure fee paid.
A signing who embodies Forests policy. A player nearing 29 who has done the Championship rounds. Saw his stock rise by playing a few matches for Southampton last season and earnt a last pay day on the back of the exploits of better players.
Often described as a utility player, Halford is a mediocre full back, centre back, right midfielder or striker. Most managers give him a go at each before working him off to another desperate soul. The ultimate Championship journeyman and poor mans Rory Delap (complete with long throw).
Nigel Clough clearly rates Cox judging by his comments in the press recently. Unfortunately, every West Brom manager in the last three years hasn’t. Before this season, Cox had 10 league goals in 3 years. He may be a late developer but he’ll have to be, he has yet to score regularly outside League One.
Another journeyman wringing out the last few years of an average career. Has been a peripheral figure wherever he’s been for the last few years but has now landed the Red Dogs captaincy. An apt choice.
The sales pitch says “starred in two promotions in the last two years”. The truth is that neither Norwich or West Ham rated him highly enough to sign him for the Premier League and he started less than a third of games for each. Well on the way to becoming the new Mark Randall.
We know Ayala. Very good on the ball but implicated in many a calamitous defensive performance. Follows the trend of players judged by their club to be not good enough for the Premier League providing a short term sticking plaster for the Dogs.
Oh, you can only imagine the hilarity and merciless footballers banter when AVB told Jenas that he was being sent to Forest. The ultimate humiliation for a player who’s decent career is now quite clearly entering its twilight years. Forest meanwhile are paying £15,000 a week to get someone else’s player fit. Have I said “short-termism” too many times yet?
Hutchinson came back from football graveyard to sign an 18 month contract at Chelsea after previously retiring. He hopes to emulate the success of John Terry and Ryan Bertrand who also had loan spells at Forest. Eight months into his contract he signed a season-loan loan deal at Forest which should take him neatly to the end of his contract.
Like Dan Harding, a player Nigel Adkins doesn’t feel is up to the Premier League. Having lived his Premier League dream for about 10 minutes, Sharp has come to the East Midlands, an area he rejected earlier this year when Leicester were interested and he was poorer. Not got a great record at clubs who average more than 6,000 fans.
One of the few players who hasn’t come down the leagues, Gillett was released by League One Doncaster in the summer. After doing the tours on trial, he was thrust straight into the Forest team. In the last match (versus Palace) he kept both Moussi and Guedioura on the bench, which says a lot about why Forest continually bleed money.
He must have experienced a feeling of déjà vu when he arrived at the City Ground – a bunch of Premier League mercenaries, many on short term contracts. He thought the Doncaster nightmare was behind him but still has visions of Pascal Chimbonda in gold studded pants.