Date:Tuesday July 8 2008
Since Nottingham Forest were promoted back into the Championship in early May, it has all been pretty bright on the banks of the Trent. The fans have been captivated however, with the signing of the Premiership's 2nd all time goalscorer, Andrew Cole.
The man who made his name firstly for Newcastle, and then for Manchester United after a then record £7 Million transfer, has returned to his city of birth, by order of his deceased grandfather. Before he passed, he asked only one thing of Cole, to play for his boyhood club. This week, he has fulfilled the promise he gave to him.
Everything at The City Ground at the moment is full of optimism, especially now since a proven Premier League goalscorer has joined fellow new signing Robert Earnshaw up front. Forest is Cole's 12th club, and most probably his last. At 36, he has signed a 12 month deal with the Reds, which may well see him to the end of his career. Last season, on loan at Burnley, he scored 6 in 13 appearances. If he can come back with a similar ratio in the next 12 months, I'm sure the fans will be happy with their new signing.
Cole joins many other Nottingham-born and self-proclaimed Forest fans in the team. Players such as Lewis McGugan, Kelvin Wilson, Julian Bennett and Wes Morgan, have all become fans favourites, because of their local roots, with Cole's reputation, it may not take long for him to receive the same sort of adulation from the fans. There doesn't seem to be many other reasons for him to join the team, apart from money. Although, Cole himself has gone on the record and stated that the offer on the table from Forest, wasn't the biggest or best he received. Does this go some way to prove that you can take the boy out of Nottingham, but can't take the Nottingham out of the boy?
The chances of Cole increasing his Premiership goal tally are incredibly slim, but the chances of him scoring another 20 plus goals this season are looking good. The midfield behind him has been strengthened despite the loss of Kris Commons and Sammy Clingan. Frenchman Guy Moussi has been brought in, has been Liverpool starlet Paul Anderson, both straight replacements for the outgoing midfielders. Obviously, the only thing perhaps not on Cole's side, is his age. At 36, he may find it difficult to sustain his fitness throughout the season, and may not get into the team ahead of the likes of the aforementioned Earnshaw, and Nathan Tyson.
Personally, I back him to do a decent job next season, in which will most probably be his last. It's about time that the Forest fans had another cult hero up front though. Before it was Jason Lee with his 'pineapple' on his head, since then there has been Pierre van Hooijdonk, until he went on to sue the club for an unpaid loyalty bonus. David Johnson was a legend for a season, until he broke his leg against Sheffield Utd. Perhaps this is the time for King Cole to strut his stuff, and fire Forest back to the big time?
Date:Tuesday July 8 2008
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Stats: Bolton Wanderers v Nottingham Forest (Tuesday August 19 2014)
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Stats: Tranmere Rovers v Nottingham Forest (Thursday August 14 2014)
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