Gentlemen, welcome to the treadnavigation. Welcome to Garry Borde Red Live. And Noing & Forest are still in the Premier League.
For coming. It's great to see so many of you here. It's a bit scary that there's so many of you here, but I think Fletcher's used this and Jemmy was used to playing at Wembley, but I'm a bit more unsure. But great to see you all here and introduce the panel. First of all, BT Sport, BBC broadcaster, Reds fan, Darren Fletcher. And former Red striker Nigel Jemsons. Jemmo, are you ready for the new season already? Are you excited?
Absolutely can't wait. It's the worst six weeks of ever in between the season ending and the season starting. But I'm disappointed we're not getting any signings out at the moment. It's a bit quiet at the moment, but we'll build into it.
Signings. Well, maybe not quite that many, maybe 28 this year, something like that. Do you know what, though? This year it feels like that we're now legitimately a Premier League team. That when you get promoted, you've almost got to stay up, I think, for a season to then really belong. But I think now you can sit there with your shoulders back. Your team is a Premier League club. You've stayed up, you're looking upwards rather than down. We've all got high hopes that we can make strides forward this season. The team can be better, we can pick up more points. So I think it's a great place right now. We're all excited about the new kit. What's it going to look like? Which players are going to come in? But I think for me, there's just real optimism about what the next 10 months can be like when the season starts. I'm really, really up for this, really optimistic and think we'll do well.
What is doing well, for you? What's a realistic stride?
I think at the beginning of the last season, I did think we'd finish two or three places before half table. So maybe 12th. I think we're going to certainly be looking at that this year now. We've had a season in the Premier League, we know what it's all about. The players have experienced the speed of the game. Everything that goes with it. So if we can get 12th to 10th, I think that'd be a great season for us.
I think if you look at the Premier League now, the three that have come up have got more to do than the three that came up last season in terms of staying in the league because I think the teams that came up last season made it, in my opinion, the strongest Premier League from top to bottom that we've ever seen. The three teams that went down would tell you that. In a lot of years, all three of them would have stayed up. When I look at the league at the moment, I look at the teams in it and I'm looking for what I think that Forest could try and strive for this year. I look at Brentford last season and I look at Brentford the season before. Brentford were in a lot of trouble heading into to January, their first season in the Premier League. They'd had a decent start but they dropped off and then they got Christian Erickson and they ended up staying up in the Premier League a couple of places above the bottom three and everything was fine. The question then was, well, what can they do in year two? And I think if you look at Brentford player for player, you would take a lot of our players over their players.
It's a really good comparison. But they were able to be, what, 20, 25 points better in year two than they were in year one, finish just outside the European places. And while I don't think we're going to be pushing for Europe next season, I think Brentford are a really good benchmark that if they can do it, why can't we? I think that's going to need Steve Cooper to grow as a manager as Thomas Frank did. I think that's going to mean that the team don't need to make as many mistakes, particularly away from home. Individual errors were so costly last season, but you can deal with that. And I think they gave up something like 23 points from winning positions, which is quite a lot by any stretch of any Premier League season. So if they can stop doing that and manage games better, then you would expect with a decent summer transfer window that they would be quite significantly better than they were before. Just think the way they would have been in the Premier League last season. They'd given up half the points they gave up from winning positions. Then you're talking about being a mid table group then.
So I think this is a group of players and a manager and a management team and certainly ownership that will be looking up rather than down. And I think if you look at that Brentford comparison and go and analyse them player for player, there is no reason next season why Forest can't make a similar type of jump if they do the right things over the course of the summer.
One of the players I want to talk about around the transfers then is Brendan. There's so much talk about him. I remember a week ago, tempted to say, no chance he's going. He's saying it now still. There's lots of talk around him though, Jemmy. What would your advice be to him at this stage of his career?
Brendan's a great player, listen, we all know that, and he's had a terrific season. Huge potential. Everyone's got a price. I don't know what that price is that the football club want for him. But you look at people like Brentford, I don't see that as a forward step. I see it as a sideways step. So for Brent to leave this football club where he's adored, his family's here, he's got his dad here and his mom and he's played on a regular basis, he's got to be looking at a top six, seven club. Otherwise, there's no point in going. We're on the up now. He's got a good manager behind him. The crowd adore him. I think at this moment in time, he's played for Wales. He's got to have another season at least before he can think about going. But unless, like I said, this offer comes in that the club want to invest and put back into the squad.
When I saw it, I thought somebody was taking the mickey. So if Anthony Gordon costs what? 55 million. How can Brendan Johnson be 30 million? Go and compare the stats. Go and compare what Brendan Johnson has done as a Premier League player compared to Anthony Gordon. Go and look at the ages of the two of them, the profile of the two of them. If you're if anybody wants to take Brendan Johnson away from here, they've at least got to get to Anthony Gordon's money from Everton to Newcastle. And if they don't, then I think the club would be absolutely mad to even entertain it. He's a very talented player. The most valuable commodity in any Premier League team, and it pains me to say it with him sat next to me, is goals. But he will back me up on that. And if you've got a player in his first season in the Premier League that gets you double figures and he didn't play all of the matches, then you've got a player with huge potential. And I think, A, that'd be silly to get rid of him in any circumstances right now. But the offer that came in from Brentford, I think, was at least 25 million below what you'd even have to get to to think about it.
And look at how inflated prices are at the moment for players. West Ham, 120 million quid for Declan Rice. Now, I know he's a good player, but he's not scoring you too many goals. Brendan Johnson's a man that can affect a game and win you a game. And I just thought the offer from them were laughable. I think if a club like Nigel says he's a top six side and they say, well, look, there's a bit of 50, 55, can we have a conversation? Then there might be an obligation to do it. But where it is right now, I think it's a disgrace and they shouldn't even entertain it.
Do you think Brentford are just testing the water to see how their lives? Is it a straight no, we don't sell at any price?
I think that's probably where they are. I don't think Brentford are going to sign anybody for 50, 55 million. So I think they've got more time. Nick Brendan Johnson for 30. And I think if the owner looking how ambitious he is, he's probably not even taking the call, I would suspect. I can't see that happening.
So if West Ham come in with 50 million.
Well, there's a different conversation, but I think you've got to get... Every player's got a price, as you say, and I agree with that. But it has to be Anthony Gordon. As the is the starting point because there's such a lot of similarities between the two, even though Brendan's been more successful than him in the Premier League. So there is almost a precedent set. So I think you've got to come in with a realistic offer. And that offer has to be Anthony Gordon as a starting point and then probably a bit more than that.
But if he's going to go forward to a better club, looking at the people in the Premier League, taught them he was the only club, really, that would take him.
And then you look at them, they re signing Kulishevsky, they've got Son, they've got Kane. He's not guaranteed to play there. I don't think that's a great fit at the minute. I think he's better off having another year at least here and hopefully longer because the crowd respects him. He's just bought a new house. He's got a huge connection to the club, having come through the academy. And I don't think too many players at the minute are looking to get out. I think the players actually want to be here. And I think the main part of that is that let's not beat about the bush. There is no team in the Premier League when the players walk out in their home stadium where they get the welcome and love that you give to the players game after game. And I think that resonates with all of them. I think it matters to all of them. And I think particularly when you're a local lad, you want to experience more of that. I'd be very, very surprised if Brendan Johnson's knocking on the owner's door and saying, you know what? Done a season in the Premier League.
I fancied being somewhere else. Based on the fact that he's grown up around the city, come through the academy, I think he wants to be part of the next stage of the journey. I'd be astonished if he leaves this summer.
Astonished. Totally agree.
Does it end with him signing a new contract potentially, Fletch, do you think?
Well, if that's what it takes to make him happy. But I think, you know, what one thing Forest have to be now is realistic. We can't just start handing out new contracts to everybody when the risery bid comes in. I don't know what his contract status is. I know he signed a new one not that long ago, and I know the sticky gets some inside the dressing room that his wages compared to everybody else's. So I think he's doing all right at the minute. I think he could afford to buy everybody a burger here tonight and be okay tomorrow morning when he wakes up and not regret it. But if that's what it takes, what I would like to think the Forest could do is build a core group from within the players that they've got now. And that would be eventually extending Brennan, extending Morgan Gibbs White. If they sign Dean Henderson, then you've got a goalkeeper then for the long term and you can give a decent contract too. Joe would be another one. Get the core of your team, Ryan Yates, and then add real quality to that. Go out in the transfer market.
Last season it was about numbers. This season needs to be about quality. Identify the areas of need and bring genuine Premier League players in. Play players that can really help the club get forward. Then all of a sudden you've got the basis, you've got committed players, you've got a club then that started to be built from the bottom up with really solid foundations. And then who knows where this place can go from there.
When you look about them generally, what do you think they need to go to that next level?
I still think we need quite a few players, if I'm being perfectly honest. We certainly need a goalkeeper, if not two. You look at the right back situation, we got Auree and Niko Williams, which I'm happy with those two. So I think we're right on that position. We need a left back. I'm not sure Toffler will stay. He's a good squad player, obviously. But with Loddie going, I was a big fan of Loddie's. I thought he did fantastic this year. I don't know what's happening with him, whether he's going to come back or whether he's looking for Champions League football. But that's down to obviously his representation. Midfield. Obviously, there's a couple of places in there that I think we could do with. I thought Man Galilad towards the end of the season was outstanding. Danilo has gone to another level and I think we're going to see more of him. I'm really looking forward to seeing this year's Scarpa. See what he has to offer us this year because once he gets a good preseason, he's belt, I think he's got something to offer. But we certainly need a couple more in there, I think in there.
And certainly, I think we need another striker. Teemur obviously did fantastic towards the end of the season. Is he going to get his 15 Premier League goals next year? Hopefully, he will do. But I think we need an experienced player there that knows the Premier League inside out and then. Chris Wood obviously hasn't done it yet. Maybe another winger. But there'll be a few people going out. So it'd be interesting to see at the moment being linked with all these foreign players. But I'd like to see some English based players.
I think I'd like to see a real top class central midfield player coming. I think I'd like to see another top class centre back coming because I look at Philippe, Philippe is magnificent. But there was a man at the end of the season who was being held together by bandaid plasters, couldn't train, but he was out there every game playing at such a high level. But I think they've got to start to manage Philippe's minutes a little bit, the age he's at, the wear on the tyres. Nia Kata was a slow burner, but by the end of the season, you could see how good he was. Joe in the back three as well, they were a really good group. But I think after that, you've then got a drop off. So I think I'd like to see another one come into that room to make that group better.
I said to Art there, F litch, if someone's got to go because you've got Bolly there, you've got.
Scott McKenna as well. But I don't think I don't think the thing... I don't think Willie Bolly is going to play that many either. I mean, the sniffers are bored, the two of them, and you sit there and walk around like the tin Man in the car park. I think the thing with them is you might get a full season out of the pair of them combined. I don't think either is going to play 38 Premier League games, are they next year? I just don't think they're built that way at the age they're at. So I think you're going to need that just in terms of being really good game after game. I'm a little bit different to you and I want to get stuck into you a little bit about this because you've got great knowledge of this position. When Tyler Allen, he came last year and you saw him for the first time, I think we all thought, Blimey. How much? What's he been doing to get 14 goals in Germany? But as the season went on, I think the best thing that happened to him was he got injured and he went out of the team and maybe had to think about it and came back a better player.
Some players now have just got the knack of scoring goals and he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. And he became a better finisher, a more clinical finisher as the season went on, culminating the goal against Arsenal here, which I thought was a fantastic finisher in the circumstances.
Well, we had a conversation about that and I was saying he was very lucky.
You were, yeah, exactly. And you scored loads of lucky ones. They were telling me when I came in tonight. So you would know about that. But what do you think his potential could be? Because he looked so raw, but I think the coaching staff that got down there can hopefully make him a better player.
I think it's that first year syndrome, where you come into a Premier League and it was difficult for everybody to start off with. And like you said, excuse me, he came in and we all thought, what we signed here, it was gangly. But like I say, he got injured, he came back, his was a big plus for me. It was a battery round and his endeavour, his commitment. I can't remember which team it was now, but he came on and he put himself about it and the fans warm to him. And I think ever since then, there, since he's been loved by the crowd and obviously the fans, he's got his rewards for his hard work.
I think the thing with him is if you're a centre back and you're going through a list of players that you want to play against in the Premier League, he's quite low down because he's not always completely sure about what he's going to do. So I don't quite know how you know what he's going to do. He's a really bright player in terms of being in the right place in the penalty area when it matters. And then those physical attributes that he has, the size, speed, strength, and that determination to try and get and use it all when he gets the opportunity. It must be a nightmare for a centre back to play against.
It does. But I think sometimes the way we played, it was very difficult for him because he was up there on his own at times.
But he was also on the left, if you think about it. When he got back in the team, he played centrally a lot more. And then you started to see Tyreke. I could never understand, I'm not a coach, but I could never understand why he played wide, as wide as he did in that early shape, because he always seemed to be uncomfortable in the position that he was in. But when he came back he played down the middle, played where he played in the Bundes and he looked way better than he did before the injury.
I think there's more to come from him, don't get me wrong. I think he could do with some help up there, someone a bit closer to him. Everyone knows how good Morgan Gibbs White is. He's a phenomenal player and we're lucky to have him. But obviously he plays a deeper role and I think he had a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, Morgan, that either himself or Brendan had to score the goal because no one else was chipping in and he tried to do a bit too much at times, Morgan. So I think now once he's had this self full season under his belt, he will become better. But I think the game, I think it was Brentford away, I think when Tyreke came off and I think everyone after about 55 minutes thought, why have we brought him off too soon? Because he put himself about and he does put a shift in and I think we missed that. Again, it's like, say, everyone get a good preseason under the belt and we'll see what happens from there. Chris Wood, he's got a point to prove whether he'll do it or not, who knows?
Do you think he fits in, in the way that Cooper wants to play? That's what I was going to ask you about. Does he have a future in this team, the way it plays?
When he was injured, I actually thought Chris would be a good sign because I thought he'd put himself about. With the two winger s we put crosses in, he'd get on the end of them. But it's not happened for him. He scored the goal against City. Was it Man City? I think it was. But he's probably been a bit disappointed himself. But again, it's that new sign. He's got to come back now. He's got to get out the blocks because he's got to prove a little bit for the money we spent on him.
One of the topic I wanted to hit on before the interval was Gary Brazil.
But he just started.
No, you've been talking for...
They've been sat here in the sun, roasting. Now you got to look at.
The interval already. But you've been talking for 25 minutes. Sorry. Gary Brazil is moving on by all indications. I mean, Jemma, you know him well. You were saying before we started, you played alongside him. What would you say about him as a man and what he's contributed?
Yeah, I've known Gary since I was 16 years of age, played at Preston North End. He was a a great player. Obviously, we lost a bit of contact over the years since then. But he came to the football club, gave him the opportunity to work in the academy, work with people like Brendan. And he s been a fantastic service. I think we're talking was it 10, 11 years he's been in the football club. Brought a lot of players through the academy into the first team. But again, the club looking for a fresh face, somebody to just freshen things up again. No one's ever going to doubt the work he's done. But like I say, sometimes you got to freshen things up. So whether that's the case, I don't know. I'm not going to get into too much politics for what happens behind the doors. But it'll be sadly a miss. But Forest will.
Move on. That means he knows more than he's saying that. I was devastated when I saw it. I'll be honest because clubs have got a real knack of surviving. Clubs find a way to survive. And I think one of the ways that our club found to survive was Gary Brazil. And I think the players that Gary brought through the academy that we were able to sell over an extended period of time, I think helped keep this club afloat. I don't think that should ever, ever, ever be forgotten. And the fact that they were able to get into the Premier League and stay there, it was based around players that were academy players, the core of the group, the leaders in the dressing room, the players who came through the academy. The big voices in there now are Joe Warrell, Ryan Yates, Brendan Johnson. They're the dominant characters within that room. What Gary identified early was that he wanted certain type of traits in human beings, not necessarily the best footballers, but he wanted traits in human beings that he felt is what you need to take on the pitch. And I think the work he's done has been absolutely astonishing.
And we went through a period of time under the new ownership now where financial fair play was being scrutinized. And Mr. Maranakis had to be careful the way that he did it because he was being scrutinised as a championship owner more than most. And the fact that they got a young player from the academy most years to sell, that was another way that they could get through the financial fair play because they'd sell a young player, put that money back into the pot, use it to regenerate the team in different ways. I was really disappointed to see him go. My own son's been in the academy since he was nine. He's going into the under 15s now and Gary's been a constant presence throughout. And the academy system down there is absolutely tremendous. It's a real good feel good factor down there. They've just been brilliant. I hope he goes on to something that he wants to do, but I'll miss him and I think the club will miss him. And sometimes you don't realise what you've got until they're gone. And whoever comes in to replace him has got a big pair of boots to fill.
Not only that Fletch, he was always there. He was reliable and he was someone that the club could turn to. Did he have two caretaker managers?
Well, he smashed Arsenal R ight up, didn't he? In the FA Cup that day. That was brilliant.
How important is some stability in the structure next season, Fletch, you've seen two recruitment teams in one season. That's not sustainable, is it?
No, it's not. I think what they have got now, they've got very stable ownership. From what I gather, a NPR cost was number one and Forest came to be number two. Now Forest are a Premier League team. I think that's reversed itself. And I think the priority for ownership now is the club here. For obvious reasons, the financial benefits of being a Premier League club, the crowd that have turned it into such a one-off experience for people when they come. So I think we've got stable ownership, which is important. The rest of it just needs to settle down. I don't really know Ross Wilson, who's coming as the director of football. I don't know a lot about him. We can all look at it and pick through the minutiae of what a football club looked like. But the greatest manager that our clubs ever had used to say, provided we win at three o'clock on a Saturday, nothing else matters. Now, I know they don't play very often at three o'clock on a Saturday anymore, but you know what he means. If the first team on the pitch is winning games consistently in the top division, then the rest of it tends to fade from view.
And I think that's the important thing. I think where I would like to see them be really joined up is in the recruitment because there's always a part of me that thinks last summer was a variety of people having an input into what the players should be and I think now they're in a position where the best clubs, the successful clubs, have a particular type of player that they want to go and recruit. And I think if that's more joined up from this point on, then the club will only benefit. So I think that's the area where I'd like to see it really settle down. Recruitment become very structured in terms of who's got the final say, which people are having the input. And I think that just gives them a chance to be a lot more successful in terms of the players that they buy. And by the way, last season wasn't bad. It was good enough to keep them in the Premier League. We've got to remember that. But I think if they want to now go for three or four players this summer, then they need that joined up approach behind the scenes to make sure they get them right.
Going on the recruitment fledge, I don't know how many they've got in that team of recruitment people, but how much of a say, in your opinion, should Steve Cooper have? Has he got the final say? Because obviously people have said that he wasn't one of his signings, etc. Is he there just to coach the players and make them better and make them fit in? Or is he going to pick his own players? How does it work?
Look, I'm not in there sitting in a meeting, so I don't know. But you have an owner now who owns a club in Greece. Now, the structure over there would be coach coaches players. Technical director buys players for the coach and the coach gets given the players, there's your players. We know the ones you want. This is the way you're going to play. They're the best ones to do that. Now, you go and coach them. Because I think when it comes to foreign ownership, they think that the coach is more expendable, that the talent recruiter is equally as important as the coach, but they tend to change coaches more. I think in an ideal world here, the owner of Forest would like a more European structure than he's maybe got at the moment because that's what he's used to and that's what he's been successful with in the past. I don't know whether that suits Steve Cooper. I don't know whether the process at the moment is the way that everybody wants it, but I think it will ultimately get to that European system where you have a high class recruitment team providing players for a high class coach and it works that way.
I think that's what they'll ultimately get to here.
So are you trying to say then that the recruitment team will pick the players that they want, regardless of who the manager is. So if they, for example, and I hope this never happens, they sack Steve Cooper, the next manager come in, he'll have the same players to deal with because they're the players that the.
Recruitment team wanted. But I think they would then recruit the manager that fits the way the team are going to play. If you look at Manchester City now, if Pep Guardiola leaves, they just can't go out into the marketplace and bring in any old manager to manage that group because they're built to play Pep Guardiola football. So they've got to look at someone like Michal Arteta or maybe Luis Henrique, someone that's been coaching the Guardiola way to come in and have the continuity to do it. This is the way it is. It then means that your managerial shortlist is shorter, your players shortlist is shorter because you're very joined up in the way that you do it. And I think a lot of the clubs now are going down that route. If you think about it now, the players that Manchester City sign tend to come via cheeky Begueristain and Soriano in there. They tend to pick the players. Yes, he has a say. Edu is very dominant at Arsenal in terms of the players that they sign. Fletcher at Man United is the same. He's the technical director of pick a lot of players.
So it's not a rare thing. It's what everybody's starting to do. And it's a very American system, isn't it? Where you have a general manager and a head coach and the head coach doesn't make the draft picks, the general manager does. And then the coach coaches the players. I think ultimately you'll get a situation here that looks a lot more like that than the old fashioned British method of, I'm the manager, I'm going to pick the players and I'm going to coach them because there's so many things to do now. I think it takes the pressure off people.
Yeah, you see at Villa they've just brought in Monty to work with Emery Abney. Last topic before we take a break, you've touched on it quickly. Is Saudi money going to change the game in the next year.
Or two? I think it's changed it already. Somebody said to me the other day, what they're doing at the moment is that they're signing the superstars now. And then when they've done that, the next wave will come in. So I think there's a real chance that when you next see Jesse Lingard in a football kit, it'll be in Saudi Arabia. Because where else is he going to get the wages that he wants after the season he's just had? And Golo Kante knows that he can't play every game now for Chelsea because of his injuries. But he can go to Saudi Arabia and earn way more than he gets at Stanford Bridge. Karim Benzema knows that at the top level in the Champions League now, his days are probably starting to fade out. The best ones are certainly behind him, but he goes there and earns what he earns. I think it's going to have a massive impact on football. I think Gary never made the point yesterday on the radio. He said at some stage, Leeds are going to have to take sanctions against players moving over there to safeguard what they've got in their own country.
So there's so much money over there, they could theoretically buy the Premier League lock, stock and barrel if that's what they wanted to do. So I would think there are quite a few clubs at the minute who are worried about the traffic of players between the Premier League and Saudi Arabia at the moment. Unless you're Chelsea, where Chelsea have worked out that they can just get rid of everybody who's crap on massive wages, the Saudi's will take them and all of a sudden they're back inside financial fair play at the click of a finger. Coincidentally. Yeah, it works well for some.
If you're a player, though, this position... I mean, the lad from Wol's ne.
Bis in idem. Unbelievable.
26 years of age.
He's supposed to be going to Barcelona.
He was linked with Liverpool. Unbelievable. 26 years of age. Is that the right move to go to Saudi Arabia at this point in time, this career?
It depends what you're motivated by. If you're motivated by the green, get yourself off. If you want to win a trophy that matters, then you've got to stay and play in Europe. I understand it for players at the back end of the career. That's what I find it. This has always been the Harry Kane thing for me. Why does Harry Kane want to play at Tottenham season upon season to score goal after goal? Surely at some stage you want to win something somewhere. And the likelihood of doing that at Spurs is remote. And I've always questioned his mentality, but maybe there are more players like that now than there ever has been. That it's an economic situation that they're in. I just think back to some of the players I work with when you were playing and the managers that were around, it was all about winning medals and trophies. It seems to be a lot more geared now about pounds, shillings and pence in a lot of cases, doesn't it?
With Harry Kane, though, now, do you think he's more motivated about individual records than actually winning team trophies? Because he's got his eye on obviously the England scored as many goals as they can. The partnership to obviously top score against Shearer. Is that motivated enough?
Well, I think if two people walked in the room and Ryan Giggs stood there and you're only judging Ryan as a player and Harry Kane's over there when they both finished and you said, Well, there's Harry Kane. Look, all time Premier League goal scorer. Because forget the international stuff, whoever he plays for is going to get that record. And there's Ryan Giggs who's won nine championships, five FA Cups, the Champions League. Which career do you want? You don't want all time scorer. Alan Shearer gets left off most all time Premier League teams for Thierry Henry. People say, Well, you can't put Shearer, but he scored more goals than anybody else. It has to be about winning things. All right, individual records are fine, but you've got to go and win trophies, surely. I mean, you think about the lads who won the European Cups here. You you can never take that away from them. There would have been players individually back then who did more than them, but you can never take that away from them. That writes your chapter in history, doesn't it? You've got to be motivated like that.
So what's keeping it atop them then?
I've got no idea. He must be mad. He must be mad.
I will take the interval now. Just give Fletch and Jemma a big round of applause, if you could say kind. Welcome back to part two. Please welcome to the panel, Michael Temple.
Greg's a bit worried he's going to be booed. Please don't boo Greg Mitchell.
Shamed into a lemonade.
Just before we get into the questions, a big thanks to Temps for giving us the Carrager shirt. Big round of applause. Big thanks to Haley for selling all the tickets, which raised £183. So f you add that to about £500 for SwitchUp Knot, which is a cause close to Fletcher's heart. And about £500 for T reetops, which is a cause close to Gary's heart. And obviously, thanks to all of you for raising all that money. Going to create some great causes. First question just says Chris Wood or John Joe Shelby. And I don't know what for. Tim?
Well, look, it's Chris Wood for me. I still think he's got a bit of a part to play. You probably heard my piece last week about John Joe Shelby. Wherever he's going, I'll drive him myself. And I don't think I'm alone in holding that opinion because people are born with or without talent. They hone it or they choose not to. But there's a choice about effort and intensity. And watching those clips of John Joe Shelby choosing not to defend still boils my blood now. I was never, ever going to be anywhere near that level. But whatever level I'm playing at, I'm going to try. I'm going to try hard. And I just think on so many instances, there are a spell of goals conceded in his time in the team that could have been avoided through graft, not through skill, not through anything other than wanting to defend. Philippe's got that in abundance. Wazz's got it in abundance. For me, what John Joe Shelby did in terms of the lack of effort in those games was unforgivable. He came out of the team, he stayed out of the team. I can see exactly why Cooper didn't have him anywhere near the set up in the final weeks of the season.
Was going to... Jamal, I'll.
Back everything that tem says there because we played in a Vets game about two months ago on a mud bath and he played against me. And the first minute he fucking clattered me so hard and he didn't give a shit.
Nigel, listen, that's true. It is true. Give him a clap. Give him his minute. Come on. Nigel Jamsion is an annoyingly good footballer. Even at the tender age of 67, he can still pull balls out the sky. He's got an amazing touch and I did. I nailed him within 30 seconds. And I regretted it because he...
I've got cramp.
He got up and he used a few naughty words at me but then 10 minutes later at a corner, he always remembered that I'm pretty generous with a cricket ticket. So he gave me a kuddle and he said, Tim, it's okay, aren't we mate? Yeah, we're fine, Tim. We're fine. And then at three in the l ove, he went off with a hamstring train. And I still haven't asked him if it was genuine or not. But Nigel Jamsons can still play football.
I think coming into Nottingham Forest, what the fans expect is 100 % commitment. If they don't give that, it doesn't matter about the technical ability of the player or whatever, but they need to give 100 % when they wear the Forest shirt. And if they give that, then the fans will love them. If they don't give that, then they're going to be on the case. I'm not saying he hasn't. I'm sitting on the fence because I work here on match days. I don't want to lose my job. I love it. But listen, for me, it certainly going to give more.
Who will be your surprise player of the season from the current squad next year?
It's always going to be Ryan Yates because he's always going to have haters. So he'll just keep improving like he always does. The ultimate professional, one of the best professionals we've had at the club for many years. Is, if players can live by how he lives by, then we're going to do well. No, I.
Don't think he's a surprise. I don't think Forest win too many football matches when he's not on the pitch. So he's not a surprise to me at all. I think people look at Ryan Yates and they're really keen to tell you what he can't do. But I think if you look at what he does do and try and find another midfielder in the Premier League that does what he does, you'll take a long time trying to find him. I think the one that might surprise us next season is our number nine. I think he's got more goals to come. I think he's settled in quite nicely. I think we'll stop thinking about him as a project next season and start thinking about him as an authentic nine. I just go back to your question about wooden Shelby. I think if the club makes the progress that I think it will make, I think the answer is neither because I don't think ultimately either of them will be fit for purpose if they get the recruitment right this summer.
There's a couple of questions along the same theme, one is about pressing and one is about formations. I think they fit into a similar style of play. Obviously, Jemma, it was pretty defensive towards the end of last season, a case of needs must. What's the evolution of the team next season for you?
Think with the formation, they got stung a bit early doors considering quite a few goals. I think obviously with the goal difference as poor as it was towards the end of the season, they were a bit scared of getting done again by quite a few goals. The formation listen, when you play Manchester City at home, you can't go gung ho just flipping go for it. And the game could be over within 10 minutes. City could be thrilled up. So what they did do is they sat back and made it hard. You could see the hard work that they put on the training ground. The gaffer obviously got them there working together and it worked. They sat back and try to get people on the counter attack and you've got to praise them for doing that. Now that works for the top teams, but at home against the lesser teams, I think we should go out and attack and score the goals. But certainly for certain games, I think the manager got the tactics right and I can't question his formation.
This is a big bugbear of yours, tempts through the season in terms of pressing. It has to change for you, you think?
Yeah, it does. If you want to kick on. But looking at the way the fixtures are shaping up this year, we're going to start the season with a back five away, right? I was talking in the break with my friend down here. It's an implausibly tough start on the road. So any plan Steve Cooper has been working on to make us more of a front foot team, to increase the press, to let Brendan Johnson see more of the ball, requires different opposition to those games we got on the road first few weeks. So to Gemma's point, yeah, we have to be deep and compact and we have to play on the counter to have any hope of living with them. There was a game Man City last year, right? We played Lingard Gibbs White Johnson up top and tried to play long ball. We have to have a game plan which suits the opposition and the players that we've got at our disposal. I know that the style needs to evolve to Fletcher's point earlier if we are going to kick on. I just can't see us doing it in the early weeks on the road.
Interspersed with that is two very winnable home games which are going to be huge high pressure games for Steve Cooper because he's a Premier League manager, so he's got no job security. That's a fact. He has to win those two home games. Is he going to do it with this evolutionary, expansive style? I'm not sure he is. I think it's probably from game 8, 9 onwards where hopefully we're going to see Steve Cooper's new style, the style he wants to play. It is frustrating at times because we all think we should be fourth, 12th, wherever. But yeah, I do want to see us get on the front foot. But let's be pragmatic. We've got to get something from those away games.
The run of games we've got isn't brilliant, but I think we're getting the top teams at the right time because they've had a lot of international still play football even as we speak now. They're going to be tired. They've got new people coming in, so that's going to take a bit of time. So we're probably getting the right time for me. So yes, we'll probably sit back. Two, if we are going to sit back and we're going to work as a big team, does Brendan Johnson come into the team then? Because as much as I love him in all his art, I think that is the one weakness in his team that he needs to probably work more off the ball when we don't have it than when we have the...
I probably would say no, he stays in the team, but then when we dropped him at the back end of the year, we played well and got results. So Jorry's out for me. I think Brendan Johnson needs to stay and have another 10 goal season if we're going to kick on. I'd pick him, but I understand why Cooper didn't at the end of the year.
I think when you talk about style, first and foremost, there aren't too many teams in their first season in the Premier League when they've come from off the basis forested to get through the playoffs that find their identity year one. It's about survival. It's about throwing the names in the air. It's about trying everything. And he did try everything last season, the manager, every system, every permutation. And by the end of the season, he'd managed to land on the back five with people sitting, scoring goals on the counter, and it worked for him. I'd be very surprised if that's the identity moving forward, but it goes back to the point I made about the Brentford progression. Really early tonight. At year two, you then start to recruit players that then give you, eventually, the identity. I don't think Forest's idea, ultimately, is to have everybody behind the ball and try to nick a goal on the counter attack. I think they hope to evolve now into a team over the next season or two that's got the confidence to take these matches to opposition who are supposedly superior. So I think this is just part of the process that we shouldn't be too concerned about what last season looked like or what the early weeks of this season looked like.
But I think by the end of this season, the identity needs to be set. The 11 needs to be known. Everybody needs to know what the best team is, the best way to play is. And at that point, you can really start to kick on. I also wasn't too worried about... We always seem to get thrown possession stats whenever Forest play. 17 %, 21 %. I mean, possession is the worst statistic in football. Manchester City's possession is fine. But if you look at a lot of teams with their possession, they knock the ball about that between the centre backs and the goalkeeper numerous, numerous times, never score a goal because of it. But they've got 65 %, 70 % possession. It doesn't matter. But I think it's all about evolving now into a team that knows its identity, round pegs in round holes. It's all part of the progress and the development. And I'm pretty sure over the next season, you'll start to see that come in. I wouldn't be too worried about it.
Who's the first name on the team sheet then? Arsenal away.
If he's fit, it has to be eight because you've got to go fight fire with fire at Arsenal. You need someone that's going to run around their midfield and get the ball off them. So I think we'll need more than one. I think two or three might be enough, though, but I just think it's got to be him. I think if he's fit, he has to play. In the current this current Forest team, the way it is, he has to be in it. Now, if over the next two or three seasons, they can sign three world-class central midfield players, then you might have a different argument. He might then struggle to get in because you're going to then control the ball in the middle of the pitch. At the moment, we can't do that. So you need someone to either make it uncomfortable for the opposition when you haven't got it, or at least try and get it back for you. And he's one of the best in the Premier League at doing that, not just the best in our group. So I think at the moment we enter the new season and he is an automatic choice.
If he's fit, I'd have him, especially in all those away matches, he's got to be fit for those.
Is that why we didn't see the best of Froy Lefret Fletch? Not dominating the ball. Your favourite player? Well, one of two favourite players.
I've been here nearly two hours and that's the first F reuler mention. I haven't.
Mentioned a man, J oel Dennis yet.
I don't think he fitted last season's Forest team at all in any way, shape or form. I thought in possession he was too slow, I thought his distribution was too negative, and they seemed obsessed with him being in the team. Now, I've seen him play for Atalanta in the Champions League with better players around him, and he looks an entirely different player. He goes to play for Switzerland and he plays in an entirely different way. I'm not necessarily sure that the problem is totally Rimo Froylor, but I think in this incarnation of Nottingham Forest, he doesn't fit. But I think if you've got two players in there who are better, if you had a midfield of Perera and Pallini at Fulham with Froyler in there as well, nobody would be complaining about Rimo Froylor. But he needs to be in a team who's got the ball and has the ball and he gets a thousand touches and everything goes through him. Then he's a very competent player. But in last season's team, he simply didn't fit.
Is that the same for Emanuel Dennis, Jemmy, that was a criticism of him. Does he fit in this team?
No. I think for Dennis, I think on his day, it can be unplayable, but even then I think he doesn't know what he's doing. I just think for myself that, like Fletcher said, the club are going to move on and I just think it will be a place for requirements. I just think we're going to get better people in now and the club will move forward.
All you say in his defence, if there is a defence, and that is he's an attacking player who scores goals in a team that didn't generate many opportunities. Now that can be down to him, but it's easy to play that position in a team that's creating five or six good chances a match. And Forest didn't do that. So I think playing that role was difficult. Brendan was different because he got that searing pace on the counter attack to get you away. So I've got a little bit of sympathy for him, but I've always got a problem with a footballer when I look at them and think, Your talent is so much greater than your performance. And that's what bothers me with him. I think he's a better player than we get to see. And I can imagine that he must go on the training ground and bam everybody Monday to Friday. And then the game kicks off on a Saturday and you think, Where was the fellow from Thursday morning? And that's what I think disappoints me about him. I think there's so much in there, so much talent in there. I watched him rip Real Madrida apart for Bruges in a Champions League match and anybody would have taken him on that performance.
So it's in there. But how you get it out of him is something that many managers, not just Steve Cooper, have found impossible to do on a consistent basis. I think it's a shame because I think the very best Emanuel Dennis on a consistent basis could be a really big impact player at a club like ours.
I mentioned before about Scarpa, someone that I'm really looking forward to seeing preseason. But where do you see him fitting in? With Mugg gives White playing further back in there with Scarpa, you've got Danilo, you've got Man Galile, you've got Gates in the field. Without let anyone else coming in. The question was over Danilo to start off with, and he's just gone, Wow, that's been magnificent. So where do you see him fit in there?
I think he looks to me, he doesn't look a starter for me in the system. There's a role to play probably off the bench. I think one thing they've got to look at next season is if you play Brendan Johnson off the right and you play Tyreke O'Hurley through the middle, what's wrong with playing Morgan Gibbs White off the left? Because these systems these days are starting so fluid that players might start there, but they don't eventually be there. When you think about Messy at Barcelona, he always started in space from a wide position and came into the centre to do his damage. And a lot of players do that. And I think Morgan could do that. That then gives you an extra body in central midfield. In games that you think you can win, you can then maybe play Scarpa as a 10 behind your number nine and use him in that way against weaker opposition. But I think, again, this is just how this team is going to evolve. And I think one of the big challenges for Steve next season is where Morgan Gibbs White plays in the team because he's an absolute certainty to start every match we play.
He's our most naturally gifted player and probably our best performer. But I think they had a problem last season over being solid enough in central midfield to not get done through there. But then also enough creativity in the team when they got the ball. And I think his big challenge this season is what shape he puts out there and where Gibbs White fits into it, which will ultimately show you what else he's got. Then you can maybe get Brendan in from the start and he's not going to be on the bench like he was last season because you can have that strength behind him. So these are challenges that the manager will be relishing, I'm sure, because he's such a fertile mind and he loves a challenge like this. He'll be working really hard on it and he'll be wanting to be better himself next season than he was. He'd be really happy by the fact they stayed in the Premier League, but he wants them to be better than that. He works a lot of hours down there. I'm happy I'm pretty sure that he's trying to put all these pieces together to make sure the jigsaw fits by opening day.
Yeah, we saw last season it's a squad game when you have so many injuries in our squad. One of the questions is where would we have finished without all the key players getting injured, Greg?
I really dislike Brentford. Everything about Brentford, their fans, everything. I think we'd be close to them. I do. I think 14 injuries, the amount of 26 points or something him from winning positions, some ridiculous stats that we will sharpen up on next season. We'll be tighter at the back. We're a little bit more forward now to Nilo plays and we're not going to concede that many goals for starters or we're not going to lose that many games in the 94th minute or things that make me cry when I think we're going to go down. I genuinely believe every team gets injuries, but the injuries we had this season needs to be looked at and I know they will be. But we will be a lot higher with a little bit more.
Less injuries, obviously, and being a little bit more sensible in the last five minutes of a game. We will. We'd have been.
A lot higher. But that's a progression, isn't it? Because if you play year one in the Premier League, it can be a shock to the system. The last five or six games, they weren't doing what was costing them so badly in the opening 33. It seemed to take a period of time for people to realise that you've stepped up a league, whether you've been playing abroad or whether you've been playing in the Championship. This is ruthless. And I think a lot of players will come back, hopefully for preseason, better for the experience. So you would naturally think that those mistakes that were being made, lots would be eradicated because mentally they'd be stronger. They know where the danger is. They know how these games can swing. So I would think as a group, you'd expect them, wouldn't you all, to be better in that regard?
Yeah. And the other thing is as well, although our first eight fixtures don't look like it, I do think it's a weaker league this season. You've got your lootings come up, not so much Burnley, but Sheffield United, they're spending 20 million pounds.
Great company can't play that football in the Premier League. League. He cannot play that football in the Premier League. It's fanciful to think that he can.
I just think as well that we're not going to be that team that go away now and we lose 6 0 to Man City, we lose 5 0 to Arsenal, we lose 4 0 to a team that got relegated, which was hilarious, by the way. I feel like we can start on much a higher pedestal this year. The away games are horrendous when you look at them. But we pick up one or two points from those first four away games, win our first two home games, and we're suddenly a team that's not being worried about. We're a team that hopefully next season we're not going to get spoken about a lot because we're just going to be in that classic crystal palace position and just forgotten about 12, that would do me.
Well, great for the podcast that.
You know. You won't be on the overlap with that attitude. Good. The most asked question is where will Forest finish next season, Greg? So I'll ask you that now.
You said seventh, didn't you?
Yeah, well, I think we'll win the League Cup. Does that.
Get us a European League?
We'll do something that just scrapes us into Europe. I want a Moldovan away game.
But hang on, did Lee say we'd be seventh.
This year? Nineth.
Nineth this year? You want us in Europe?
Well, yeah, but we can do that through a cup or something like that.
What about you, Temps? Where are they going to finish? The voice.
Of reason. It's that bloke here that said Greg's like the fellow off the fast show, just says everything's brilliant. Things for us to go to steam every one formula every week. He also said I was a typical LinkedIn surfing. I'll see him at the bar afterwards. I'd love 12th. I think what Palace have done as a model of solidity, of having players that can come in when Zaha is out, there's others come in and maintain the style and the way that they play, they have. They've gone under the radar and their fans get a bit jittery if they're 11th or 13th. They've owned that position. I'd settle for that and for me, that would represent success. But as would 15th. This is the World League. This is the toughest League in the world. The biggest problem with the Premier League is you have to play against other Premier League teams. It's impossibly tough. I was stressed after that West Ham game. It was like watching a Wimbledon tennis match. The pace, the accuracy, the athleticism, the size of these boys. I would love to be above 15th. I think they'll represent an excellent season. Greg had to take a couple more tablets to get himself through the week.
But a top 10 finish still feels implausible is the word I was going to use. That might be unfair. Leeds did it. They did and now look at them and now look at them. I'd bite your hand off at 12th. I'd be happy with 15th.
Who's got the shitshite crying this season after Brie Samber left.
Flae play's good. Yeah, he's brilliant. I think it's Yatey. Yatey. He's the one that winds everyone up, doesn't he?
You need that in a team, though, don't you? You need someone who's a bit of a sometimes times.
Of course you do. People react in different ways, don't they? Jürgen Yates, he winds people up. You wouldn't have thought so off the pitch. He's such a lovely lad. But on the pitch. He's just a winner, isn't he? He just gives his heart and soul to the football club. He likes to wind people up, doesn't he? And get on the ball. Every time he falls down, he always grabs the ball. For some reason. I don't know why he does that. It's always a foul. So I don't know how many times he'd be done for handball or not. I don't know. But yeah, I think he's the one there. But I have to say, we talk about the centre backs and all the time. How good was Joe Warrell for the last eight, 10 games? I'm fortunate that I see quite a bit in his professionalism and his attitude when he was in the team, around the lads and obviously on the bench. It was unbelievable. I don't feel as if he should have been dropped in the first place, but that's on my call. But when it came in for the Liverpool away game, from then to the end of the season, he arguably got to be in the top two players.
Performance wise, from then to the end of the season. I thought it was unbelievable.
Can I just answer this one as well? And it's a player that our own fans would probably say as well. I think Jesse Lingard, as much as he didn't play, I've never seen a player play for Forest who's wound so many opposition fans up in my life, especially West Ham fans. But yeah, on the pitch, to be fair to him, he didn't get the game time. But off the pitch, on that sideline, every single game till the very end, just kept doing it, kept winding them up, kept getting behind the lads. Even though he knew he was not going to be with us next year. I know he didn't have.
The game time. Fletcher's coming off his long run at you in a minute.
You've got to respect that. In the modern game as well, when kids are enjoying them.
I'm looking out there, we got some passion in the room, right? How much did we pay Lingard last year? You could have got a party planner for about £100 a week to do exactly the same thing. Got the.
Followers on TikTok, though. That's what it's about.
Listen, when you've got a player who's on that wage, if all we say at the end of the season was, wasn't it great to wind people up from the touchline? We know we got them all wrong there.
It sounds like.
I'm right. That's a real bugbear for me. And when I talk about the recruitment being joined up this year, I don't want another one of those mistakes because you can count the good games he had on one hand. Tottenham is probably the only one that really sticks into anybody's mind. And by the end of the season, he looked heavy, he looked out of shape, he looked sluggish when he came on. And he was the one that should have had a really big impact. And he was lucky last season that others ralled around him. And I think for all the Jay Lings and I'm going to sell my clothes and I'm going to try and be cool. He let this club down last year because he didn't do what he was brought in to do. And there were opportunities when the club needed him and he wasn't ready for that. And I think this season they can't go and take a punt like that on a player like him. There are players in there that fit what we're doing, the demographic, what the manager wants. And I don't think when you look at it through any set of eyes, he fitted in any way, shape or form.
And he was the biggest disappointment for me all last season was him. I think you.
Have to put your egos away, don't you, when it comes to recruitment? Because that was a bit of an ego signing, I think. Bringing in Jesse, who's a name, I guess.
It's a good point, but we've got to be better than that now. We don't need ego signings now. We need proper signings. Plays are going to fit what we're going to do. Sit down with the manager, ask him how he's going to play, what does he need, round peg in the round hole and away you go. Then your team gets better. And the best ones, the ones that progress, Brentford, Brighton, do exactly that. They're not taking a punt on Jesse Lingard. They're going and buying a player that they know will do what they're buying, fits the description of what he is, comes into the team and adds to it. And then that player adds to his own value and away you go. And that's what they've got to start doing now. Not going down the route of players like that, I think.
How important as well was the value of Yates and Warhol and Johnson and players of that age who can help build a team together when you've got 30 new signings. Cooper did a lot of it, but it it could have been an absolute plus couldn't it? The season, really.
For want of a better phrase?
We don't normally swear, but it could have been.
It's just past eight o'clock now, so I think you're moving towards the time when you can use that. Look, that is and was all last season a ridiculously tight group. Jemma will back me up on that. A coffee in West Bridgeford would involve 12 or 13 of them sat around the table having a natter, having a laugh, being together. When they stayed up, everybody was out for two or three days, different people's houses. They were a very, very together group. I think it was a real testament to them as individuals and to the management team as well. There's so many times in a situation like that, you start to see groups fragment. Little cliques develop here and there. It's not my fault, it's him. It's not my fault, it's the manager. The manager's done this. Or group of players, I should be playing and he shouldn't be in. They stay together completely through the whole of last season. I think it was when the really hit the fan towards the end of the campaign. It was what got them through. It's the reason why they could be like they were against Arsenal on that memorable day.
One will never forget when they get the win to stay in the Premier League. So they're a very, very together group. Joe takes his role as captain extremely seriously, keeps the lads together. Temps will say they're often down there at the cricket and there's a whole host of them just sitting back, not having a drink, just watching the cricket, having a day, being together, bit of food in West Bridge for before they go. And it's so rare in modern football. If you go around the Premier League, there aren't too many clubs that are happy to socialise and be around each other like this group was. And it was a really special part of what they were able to achieve last season. Of course, helped by the managers, got this open door policy. If you got a problem, you can go and speak to him. He's a very easy man to be around as well. So it just fitted what they were trying to be last season. And it was so important to what they ended up achieving at the end.
On that note, F lech, the gaffer didn't get involved too much when people stepped out of line. He left it to the senior players like Joe. They had a committee and they'll deal with the punishment. And what they did was the players who stepped out of line probably had to pay for the whole club, although e had the whole squad to go out for a meal, which kept them all together, but they had to pay for the meal. So it was a great way of player standing together and being one. But it was also him as a fine to pay for the bill at the end of the night.