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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful

I wrote a few weeks ago about the signing of Louis Laing for me were just the kind of thing the club needs. Coupled with Veldwijk it showed a new transfer policy. Rough diamonds.

We now have made this a hat trick, with Roger Riera now he's signed and sealed. Why is this exciting? Well because this new angle could pay dividends after the Davies approach is the past and previous regimes where we signed Premiership fringe players for extortionate wages.

If you think of most of our successful transfers they always encompass something of the risk. Youngsters with something to prove. The ones that fail are the supposed ready-made senior transfers. There are exceptions to that rule, but by and large where a player comes good with Forest it's not a marquee signing.

There are those that say Davies ignored young talent, focussing on big transfers. That’s not fully correct, as it was him of course who brought us Paterson who was a bright spot in an otherwise ultimately dismal season. And not every signing was the managers. But Fawaz getting excited about a player and then them ultimately failing to shine.

But if you put a player on a high wage who doesn't settle you are saddled with them. And a lot of our signings take time to bed in. Previously this has seen expensive players languishing on the side-lines. And it's not just the Algerians. It's Miller, Its Derbyshire, Its Greening.

Reid is an anomaly in this, but then he's come back, he knows the club. The rest essentially came here not for Forest, or even for their career, but because we paid the most. And that’s then when laziness and complacency creeps in.

For me this goes back many years. Players who feel they have either nothing to prove, or that they have achieved all they can. So signing youngsters is hopefully going to go the other way. They still have ambition, they want to show they are a good player, and they can progress, either with us, or using us as a step (and we need to be honest, we are a stepping stone)

But we can't just populate the squad with kids. You can't win anything with kids. So it's key to hold on to them, so they mature with us. To have a core group together for a few years, who grow together, play for each other, care about the club, and not just be another club in a history of pay days.

So if we are looking around England and Europe for players who might just not have made the cut and top flight, but just really need a run of games to prove themselves then we are proving quite astute.

The top flights are cut throat, where it's difficult to blood a youngster because the stakes are so high if they make a mistake or take time to settle. These were often also reasons cited for Laing's release at Sunderland. And so quite talented youngsters get released.

I get very confused by people on Twitter and Facebook getting annoyed at this type of transfer policy. These are the kind of people who want huge flashy marquee signings. But most successful sides at this level don't have them. Leicester and Burnley didn't rely on star names. Derby built their side around fairly cheap promising players. Buying 25-30 year old highly paid, "star" players hasn't worked for us for whatever reasons. As I said if its complacency, or just a lack of commitment, I'm not sure. As for fully fledged foreigners, that has really been a failure. The ready-made player doesn't adapt, and as Moussi said in the French article we featured last week said, too many senior players creates problems when they aren't getting game time.

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