Sunday night, thanks to Fox Sports Some Channel or Other, for the first time in several seasons, guess what I got to do?
That’s right: actually watch Forest play!
I may have had a sportsgasm. I won’t try to deny it.
The first game of the new season, the first time we’ve been promoted in almost a decade, and thanks to Fox’s one-game-a-week coverage of the Championship, I got to see the boys in red take on the 2nd-level might of newly-relegated Reading. And what a fist they made of it, too: despite injuries to 4 of the 5 strikers in the squad, and bookies odds that had us marginally better value than the return of Jesus, we ran, harried, held and passed our way to a well-earned draw with a team mooted as one of the very heavy guns of the division. What’s more, we did it with style: I had expected lump-it-and-chase football, but we kept it on the ground, maintained possession (over 70% of possession, by game’s end), and apart from one magnificent save from keeper Paul Smith, held our much more fancied opponents to a game of desperate lunges and hopeful shots. Survival football is one thing. Stylish, European ball play is a much finer one, and we played football.
Robert Earnshaw, on whom I had bestowed grave doubts, was a dynamo up front, his constant movement and darting runs a genuine disturbance to the giant Reading centre backs, and young Frenchman Guy Moussi is already looking like the find of the season: if he maintains that kind of imperious form, what chance a Premiership approach come January? Quick message to all Prem teams: fuck off. Young Lewis McGugan was a constant threat, involved in everything until a silly booking…. for a team with all but two players under the age of twenty five, we played with poise and steel, and that as much as anything gives me hope for the long season ahead.
Do I sound excited? Am I babbling? Do I resemble a sad fanboy finally getting to bask in some sunshine?
Picture my happy face 🙂
Swansea next, and on the form we displayed on Sunday, don’t discount us having three points in the bag by game’s end. Come oooooon, you Reeeeddddsss!