Much has been written and discussed about the reasons why last season’s promotion push did not finish with the glory we had hoped for.
Our form away from home faltered and we failed to cope with a buoyant, organised and ultimately deserving Blackpool side. These facts are indisputable.
Other reasons, excuses, focus on other areas – failure to add to our squad during the January window being a favourite.
The left full back position has long been an area that caused debate and the arrival of Nicky Shorey on loan from Villa solved that problem. Attempts to secure his signature failed and we moved into February using ‘square pegs in round holes’.
For the first part of the season, whilst Julian Bennett is away developing his fitness at Palace, we have secured the services of Ryan Bertrand from Chelsea and, I believe I speak on behalf of a number of Forest fans, he certainly looks to have the quality needed to ultimately fill the boots of Ashley Cole.
He is composed on the ball, is able to tackle with great timing and determination and he can also utilise his ability in the attacking portion of the pitch.
Unfortunately it would appear that he is certainly a future Chelsea star and indications seem to suggest, much like Shorey, the round peg we need will not be staying as long as we may like.
Away at Preston we witnessed the potential of another ‘round peg’, this time home grown who himself has been through various other clubs, including Manchester United I understand, only to return.
Lewis McGugan was a regular under previous managers but has become, at best, a ‘bit part’ player.
A fans’ favourite, he was able to change the pattern of play so quickly and with such ease but his potential and ability were being seen only fleetingly. His two strikes, both great finishes, turned the result at Preston on its head and gave us our first away win in so many months.
McGugan is now in competition for a place with Radoslav Majewski, the club’s only permanent signing of the summer having finally secured his long term future following a season long loan.
Will this season prove to be the polishing of the diamond that could turn into one of the key elements of future Forest teams. Here’s hoping McGugan can finally meet his true potential and the gem becomes invaluable!
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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