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Everything posted by Jourdan

  1. Aren't you getting ahead of yourself a little? Look at their regular starting XI. Seven of them were already at the club last season and two of those seven - Cash and Worrall - are Academy products. How much scouting was required to unearth Michael Dawson, who has been playing in the Championship in four of the last six seasons and was at Spurs for a decade and is also an Academy product? How much scouting was required to unearth Jack Robinson who was an Academy player at Liverpool and had been doing the rounds in the lower reaches of the Championship for five years prior? What about Ben Watson who has been playing at this level or higher since 2002? Or Lewis Grabban who was a proven goalscorer at Championship level with four different clubs before he joined Forest? Lolley, I'll give you. No-one would have imagined him having the impact he has had coming from a mixed spell at Huddersfield. But who would you have signed for Derby at the time? Grabban, and that's it. As for the new boys - Silva, Samba, Semedo, Sow, Ribeiro and Ameobi et al - how can any firm conclusions be drawn on their impact, positive or otherwise, after 8 league games? Samba is getting rave reviews, who else? Let's see where Forest are 25 games from now before we hand the awards out.
  2. Best I would go for Tomori because of his sheer growth as a player over his spell here. Tomori came here largely unheralded and left as one of our best players, winning the Player of the Year award in the process, and now he is a starter at Chelsea. Honorable mention for Alberto Bueno. He made a team with Robbie Savage in it watchable. Worst There have probably been worse players, but in terms of the buzz and what we expected upon arrival through to eventual impact, Kazmierczak under Jewell was quite the let down. Stern John, Danny Graham, Leon Best were all poor. But did we really expect anything else?
  3. If Cocu is going to persist with 4-3-3 with the current group, Martin should be the centre forward. He is more of a natural fit. I like Marriott and I think he can work in a 4-3-3 but for that to happen consistently, it requires a much better front six than we currently have. You could see Marriott working well if you inserted him into the Leeds starting eleven, for example. The same too with Brentford, Fulham and WBA. But for us right now, I think we would have to completely change system to get more out of Marriott. 4-3-3 will leave him too isolated. 4-4-2 will expose the midfield. So I think 3-5-2 with Martin and Marriott up top is your only option, and I am not sure Cocu is at that point yet. I think if Martin continues to impress, Marriott will be an impact player off the bench.
  4. Derby 3-1 Birmingham Lawrence FRGS
  5. Roos Bogle (if fit) - Keogh - Clarke - Lowe Bielik Holmes - Knight Jozefzoon - Martin - Lawrence
  6. I had us down for 5th at the start of the season, and I see no reason to revise that opinion yet. There is so much time left in the season and so much time for us to improve. I think the next 6 games will tell us everything we need to know about this team moving forward. On paper, it’s a run of games where we should win 3 at a minimum, and if we play to our potential, we are capable of winning 5 maybe even 6. We definitely have to improve if we want to finish in the top 6, but we are still very much in with a shout. Cocu just has to settle on his best eleven and let it gel, then hopefully we’ll see improved performances and improved results to boot.
  7. I think it is easy to forget that both of these players were playing League 1 football last year. Yes, they were two of the best players in the division, so we probably expected their transition to Championship football to be rather straightforward, but it is fair to say that that is much easier when you are coming into a settled side and you have a clearly defined role. Neither of which has been true for these players. Clarke has been hit and miss, but he probably needs the Tomori treatment. Tomori was poor when he first arrived but Frank kept the faith. We need to stick with Clarke and allow him to grow and flourish, even when he goes through spells of playing poorly. It'll only damage his confidence further if he is in and out of the side like he has been. We need to decide what Bielik's best position is. If it's midfield, we need to keep him there and get the balance of the midfield right and we'll probably see what we paid £10 million for 15-20 games down the line.
  8. The funny thing is that some people will be thinking that Martin has saved Cocu’s bacon and kept him in a job for another week. That is how deep the rot is, in some people’s eyes. It seems like today we got a huge slice of luck, the same luck that seemed to elude us in the home games v Swansea, WBA and Cardiff. I think one win could really make all the difference, just to settle everyone down and let Cocu take a breath and reset. Win next week and we’ll probably look a totally different team by the end of October. People have suggested Cocu doesn’t know what he’s doing and that he’s out of his depth. I feel differently. I feel like you can compare it to a boxer in a fight. They say all the best laid plans go out of the window once you get hit in the face. Cocu was probably expecting a feeling out process and being able to study the opponent for a few rounds and see what might be effective going forward. Instead it feels like Cocu has been abruptly clipped behind the ear and dropped with a punch he didn’t see coming. And the opponent has been relentless ever since - raining down punch after punch. That feeling out process quickly becomes a fight for survival. But Cocu knows that round by round, he can inch his way back into the fight. Will Mel throw in the towel? Chris ‘The Cut Man’ Martin hopes not.
  9. Could this be a turning point in the season? Chris Martin is slowly earning Cocu’s trust. This can only lead to something good.
  10. Leeds 1-2 Derby Waghorn FRGS The footballing equivalent of a RKO out of nowhere.
  11. Hernandez is dangerous, but personally I think it's Phillips at the base of midfield that makes them tick. He was at the heart of everything when they thumped us 4-1 last August.
  12. Granted, it's only five games in, but I hope it's a sign of things to come. I just love how Pukki - a unheralded free transfer from 15 months ago - is taking all of the headlines away from their expensively assembled and heavily talked-up collection of duds. You make an interesting point, but ask every Villa fan and official you know and they will tell you that the play offs made no difference and that the club and Dean Smith are so shrewd and have been preparing for this since the year dot and this £130 million is money well spent. I know two Villa fans and they are two of the nicest guys you could wish to meet. But there is more than a whiff of arrogance coming from the rest of the club that makes them entirely off-putting. The club haven't really positioned themselves as plucky underdogs, and for that reason, I hope they rack up 40 points and finish 18th while Norwich and Sheffield United both survive on 41.
  13. I think you've definitely picked up some impressive results and certainly if we had got similar results, our fans would be feeling just as excited and encouraged. Picking up 8 points from those first four away games is probably 8 more than even the most optimistic Forest fan anticipated. Let's see if you kick on. There are always one or two teams that emerge from the pack and surprise everyone. Could it be you? I only saw you v WBA on Sky and you looked bright for 20 minutes only to then go on and self-destruct. Obviously you've gone six unbeaten since then, but it's that regular pattern of self-destruction that stops us from worrying. It's happened year on year since 2011. I mean you've had two of the daftest owners in football and 12 permanent managers since King Billy left for the first time - can you blame us for not worrying? If you are still in contention in April and Lamouchi is still in charge, that's when the whole forum will be getting twitchy. But until then, we probably won't take too much notice. As you say, there's such a long way to go!
  14. Absolutely delighted to see Norwich and Sheffield United wobbling the apple cart. I am confident both teams will stay up. Plenty of fight shown by both teams already. I am also enjoying Villa’s charge into Europe hitting the buffers already.
  15. This could happen, absolutely. We’d all love it to happen. But we are Derby, let’s not forget. Do we deserve nice things? 😂
  16. I see what you are getting at, but sometimes you just need a gimme, a pick me up. Over the years, teams have been on barren runs where they couldn’t win for toffee. Derby would roll up and be their pick me up. Who will be ours? I say it’s the worst time possible to play Leeds because of our polar opposites in form. Yes, losing to Leeds is no disgrace but it could be more damaging than we realise. Our need for that pick me up is becoming greater and greater. Another meek surrender of a performance and that run might threaten to spiral out of all control. Whereas if we lost to Leeds in December in the middle of a good run, the setback would be easier to recover from. In the Championship, there are no guarantees, but I’d feel more confident if it was Luton away next up and Leeds nearer Christmas. Leeds with Phillips, Klich, Hernandez and Bamford et al seem too good for us at the moment, but let’s hope we rip up the script.
  17. To be honest, I am nervous for Cocu. The fan base is largely impatient. The owner is historically impatient. If we lose on Saturday, that’s 1 win in 8 league games and no win in 7 league games. Suddenly the next game - what would normally be a routine home game in September - takes on massive significance because we are at risk of going 5 games without a win at home and that run being extended to 8 games without a win, and potentially ending up in the bottom 3 at close of play. One would hope that even if we do continue to struggle well into the autumn, cooler heads would prevail and Mel would show that he has changed and become more patient. What concerns me is that I don’t think Mel’s patience has been genuinely tested in recent years. Rowett went 8 games without a win and survived, but he was working from a position of strength. We went from a position of overachievement - gunning for automatic promotion in January/February - and our slump took us through to April, at which point the more realistic goal of the play-offs remained viable and within striking distance. Lampard’s worst run was 4 games without a win (including ugly defeats away at Forest and Villa) but Frank was also in a position of strength - protected by the widely perceived improvement in style of football and of course, memorable performances in the cup competitions. As it happens, we beat Wigan at home to get back on track and set ourselves on a strong run towards Wembley. A few more unfavourable results for Cocu and what is protecting him? The fans are not particularly enamored with him, the style of football hasn’t excited anyone except Forest fans. If things don’t pick up, it could be a testing few weeks for Mel.
  18. I've not been a fan of the Rooney deal from the very start, and as time goes on, it looks worse and worse. Rooney joined us because in the last 5 years we have been a competitive Championship club. That's the attraction. He wants to be a part of something where there is a tangible end-goal. The play offs, promotion to the Premier League, etc. I'm sure he doesn't want his career swansong to be the battle for 12th. Think of it in the same way that Terry joined Villa. Did he join simply to play football? Or did he join with the expectation that the club would be seriously pushing for promotion? The early signs are that we will struggle to compete for promotion, so how wise is the Rooney deal looking right now? Of course, we could and should improve. But if we do not, I think we are going to look back and wonder if we could have done things differently. If Rooney was only ever going to join in January, was it wise to invest so much of our time, energy and resources into getting the Rooney deal over the line in August? Efforts to strengthen other areas of the squad more immediately looked like an afterthought and half-hearted in the extreme. Cocu is a professional. I imagine he would have taken the whole Rooney sideshow in his stride. The only way I can see it being an issue for Cocu is if he was promised some quality signings to come straight in during the August transfer window and in the end he felt short changed. In which case, his issue would be with the club, not Rooney. If Cocu has been undermined in any way, it's by the club and the club only. The Rooney sideshow could have rolled into town in November when Cocu had his feet under the table and the club had appeared to be fully recovered and moved on from the original sideshow - Lampard.
  19. I want to believe in us. I want to believe that we'll see a stirring performance that kickstarts our season. I want to believe Cocu will deliver a tactical masterclass. I want to believe that we'll pull a performance out of the hat. I want to believe our luck will turn and we'll catch Leeds cold. On Friday, I made a prediction that we'd somehow beat Leeds and go on to win eight in a row. One win could lead to seven more - that is the kind of season-changing impact a win on Saturday could have. But if you sit down and reasonably dissect this game, it appears that it couldn't have come at a worse time for us and the prediction I made looks positively King Lear-esque. A stable Leeds is a dangerous Leeds. I don't blame anyone for fearing for us on Saturday, because they are everything we don't want to come up against right now. They are organised. They are supremely well drilled. They are aggressive. They play with confidence, commitment and desire. They dominate possession. They open teams up. They press and win back the ball well. They attack and defend as a unit. Their system is settled. Their style of play is settled. Every player knows their role and is trusted to perform it. It is a genuine team, a team playing in the manager's image, with players entirely invested and on board with what the manager wants. It was frightening how quickly and how smoothly the Leeds players embraced Bielsa's philosophy just weeks into his tenure. We've all been waiting for the bubble to burst. But a year on, and they have kept the same manager, the same group of players, the same philosophy, and look stronger and more evolved for it. We have gone in the complete opposite direction so far and I'm not sure we are settled enough to put in the determined, organised and crafty performance this game requires. If this game was in November, I think we would be competitive. But I think it'll probably be a case of too much, too soon for us. Cocu is still weeks away from figuring out his best eleven and then maybe months away from getting it to work effectively. At Huddersfield, we were able to put in the classic away performance. At Brentford, we failed spectacularly. The signs are that this game is more likely to be a Brentford 2.0 rather than a Huddersfield 2.0. But the fact that this is pretty much a nailed-on home win will make any potentially positive result we get that much sweeter. King Lear costume at the ready. 😂
  20. The opportunity is there for Forest, but you could say that for Blackburn, QPR, Preston, Birmingham, Swansea, Charlton and any other unfancied team who can put a decent run together. Leeds, West Brom and Fulham are the favourites, the teams that carry the X on their backs, but in the early weeks, we have seen they can be easily negated or frustrated. The Championship proves every year that you don't necessarily require a team of stars to succeed, but a manager with a plan and a vision and the players who are ready and capable of buying into it. Forest have made a good start, but a start is all it is. Last season, they looked like they were in contention and then imploded from January onwards. They still have plenty to prove before we cast envious glances down the A52. Fortunes can change very quickly in this division. It wouldn't surprise me at all if we were above them going into the first East Midlands Derby of the league season.
  21. Hear me out. I didn’t see the game tonight, but from the other games I’ve seen, we have been reasonably unlucky to go six league games without a win. Cruel and fine margins. We should have beaten Swansea and West Brom, for example. It also sounds like we deserved more tonight too. I just suspect one win might be a turning point in our season. One game where everything falls for us just might lift a weight off the shoulders of the players and the manager. We are the archetypal confidence team. A big win and we could look a completely different proposition.
  22. Anyone else got a feeling we’ll somehow beat Leeds and then win 8 in a row?
  23. Time to bring on Martin and Jozefzoon...
  24. Pickford TAA - Gomez - Maguire - Rose Henderson - Rice Alli Sancho - Kane - Sterling When everyone is fit, that’d be my team. Southgate’s problem could end up being that he will have too many choices to make and not enough players claiming the shirt as their own. We have an exciting side, a promising side, but not what you would call a settled side where everyone knows their roles and we function well from 1-11. In my mind, you can get away with that when the opposition is Kosovo, Bulgaria and Montenegro. It’s a bit harder when you up the ante. I think Southgate has done a lot of good, but the one criticism I would make is that even accounting for injuries, caps and call ups are too easily handed out. You could make a case for Trippier or Walker over Trent, for Stones or Mings over Gomez, for Shaw or Chilwell over Rose, for the whole midfield three to be changed up, and for Rashford over Sancho. And that’s just the starting XI. It’s good to have options and competition for places, but sometimes it can make a manager’s job harder. If only Pickford, Maguire, Kane, Sterling and let’s say Henderson (given his experience) are certainties for the XI at this stage, surely this shows the team is still very much in transition and we can’t expect too much. June will come around very quickly and that leaves us with very few genuinely competitive games to figure everything out. These qualifiers are a world away from France, Portugal and the likes. Do I think we are primed for a creditable showing at Euro 2020? Yes. Do I think we’ll win it? No. For me, we need another two to three years for these young players to really bed in and for the team to develop a genuine sense of identity. There are still question marks over half of this team.
  25. I think for the sake of restoring confidence and momentum, tonight’s is a game we have to just dig in and find a way to win. We win it and knowing us, it will probably set the tone for a good run. Anything else and 5 games without a win in the league becomes 6. The longer that run goes on, the more difficult the games that follow seem to look, especially when you are in a rut and the archetypal ‘confidence team’ like we are. Cardiff, Birmingham and Luton at home and Charlton and Barnsley away are all winnable games when we are on song, but it depends. Will we see a different team to the one that closed out August? We are capable of winning 5 out of the next 6 and we are probably just as capable of making hard work of them too. It will be interesting to see if Cocu has benefited from the international break and got the players more accustomed to his demands.
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