VitalWatford Preview - Forest
Before the big kick off, VitalWatford editor, Dr Watford, tipped the Tricky Trees to do pretty well this season - even suggesting angry lil` Billy Davies` men might be in with a shout of pulling off a bit of a Play Off shock!
Here in VitalWatford Towers, we don`t particularly like the Forest gaffer (after his pre and post match hissy fit about the state of the Vic`s pitch last year) but we have to admit he`s bought well this summer bringing in over 135 new players during the break!
Forest`s 08-09 team of Mr Averages has been somewhat reshaped with some proper Championship experience and some decent talent as the merry men stole from the poor and gave to the rich.
The capture of new skipper Paul McKenna from Preston seems a bit of bargain at £750k for a man with a 'been there, done that` t-shirt stored in his locker whilst dragging lively winger Paul Anderson from Anfield seems a shrewd move.
Poland`s bright young midfield 'on loan` thing - Radoslaw Mayewski - seems a good asset…and not just on a double word score on the Scrabble board either!
But, it`s upfront where the Tricky Trees have invested heavily. A forward line now featuring Blackstock, Adebola, Tyson, Garner, McGoldrick and the ego that is Earnshaw offers pace, power and er, Dele`s sharpened elbows so goals should come from Plans A, B, C and even Plan GBH!
There should be sufficient firepower to shoot them into the play-offs if the gaffer can keep them all happy. The question is, can the men at the other end of the field keep them all out? Even Billy Davies reckons his backline is not yet 'settled`.
Wes Morgan, Luke Chambers and Chris Cohen are steady but ain`t Des Walker and, whilst VitalWatford think the £1.75m purchase of Chris Gunther from Spurs is again another strong buy, Camp Lee (signed from the Not so Super Hoops) might have his work cut out…
…you can see why the City Ground gents were so keen to snatch Matthew Mills fron Donnie (just a shame he was lured by that right royal shower at Reading). Hell, there`s even a rumour they are about to sign Calum Davenport on loan.
The thing is when you spend big, expectation rises to new heights and the Forest faithful will not be content with another scrape with relegation or even a bottom half finish. Davies reckons the Baggie defeat on Saturday was 'a very good benchmark` showing that the management team expect to be in the mix come May.
There are a few things that could hold Forest back though - employing David Pleat as 'a footballing consultant` being a big one.
Angry lil` Billy Davies also needs to learn when to keep his mouth shut. He knows this league inside out but spends too much time moaning… at officials, at the opposition and even at the state of Forest`s Academy - suggesting "there`s not enough quality coming through" Surely talented defenders Lewis McGugan and James Perch (can you smell fish?) would argue that til they`re 'red` in the face.
Still, the Hornets have a half decent record at the City Ground - despite losing 3-2 last time out, shipping 7 in a cup game some 22 years ago and a couple of 5-1`ers in the 1980s!
That said, after dominating WBA despite a 1-0 loss (Cohens knee cap claiming an OG), a credible opening day 0-0`er at the Madjeski and a 3-0 Bantams bashing in the Cup, Nottingham`s new Red army seem to have enough artillery to cause Watford some more heartache.
No doubt Braveheart Watford boss Malky Mackay will want more commitment, more passion and more courage…. But all we want is 3 points and, here at VitalWatford Towers, we can`t seem them coming at the City Ground.