Just when you thought it was safe to talk positively about Nottingham Forest, they sell our brightest talent in the blink of an eye.
Unless you have been on Mars; you’ll no doubt have heard about Oliver Burke’s departure from Nottingham Forest at the weekend. However; I will embellish on this fiasco later on in the week.
So let us rewind to Saturday when everything was a bit brighter and even I refused to be negative! Leeds United were the visitors the City Ground and under the stewardship of Gary Monk looked a tricky tie on paper. Just like ourselves, Leeds have an absolute maniac running their club and this is coming from a former pro Fawaz writer. It’s no surprise that both clubs have identical records since their respective tumbles from the Promised Land that we call the Premier League.
Leeds have had an indifferent start to this campaign under Gary Monk but you get the feeling that he will turn it around anytime now, luckily for us that time was certainly not 5.45pm last Saturday. Forest started brightly against the Yorkshire men and forced some early corners, Oliver Burke almost netted one of them off Lansbury’s whipped delivery. The home side did indeed take the lead by virtue of an identical delivery; Pajtim Kasami exploited the same defensive frailties and blasted home from close range with ease.
It was fantastic to see Stephen Henderson have a solid game too; despite the odd flap here and there he was on hand to produce a cracking save to prevent a Leeds equaliser. He also plucked a couple of dangerous crosses safely from their intended targets.
Speaking to a couple of Leeds fans, it soon became evident that they had a real problem defending crosses and corners. Forest punished them in this manner once again to go two goals ahead in the second half. Damien Perquis hung in the air like Michael Jordan before planting an unstoppable header past Rob Green. It seems more than just a coincidence that the reds were utilising every opportunity to get the ball into the box, if this was indeed tactical nouse by Philippe Montanier, then hats off to him. I’m still not sure about him but he’s certainly not boring, that’s for sure!
I even thought that we might achieve our first clean sheet of the season, but the home defence, manager and goalkeeper cannot be held responsible for Leeds United’s goal in the 83rd minute. Kevin Phillips scored an absolute beauty of a free kick, from all of thirty yards out.
The familiar nervous grumblings began to echo around our famous old stadium soon after the Leeds goal; a predicted score line of 4-3 carried itself from the Trent End to the A block, accompanied by a wave of nervous laughter. Well; on previous evidence, you’d be a brave man or woman to disagree! Unbeknown to the remaining supporters in the ground, they were about to witness a moment of history in added on time at the end of the game. In the same way that those stragglers who witnessed Des Walkers only ever goal did, the Forest fans were treated to a swansong from Oliver Burke.
The young genius weaved and powered his way from the left touchline before finishing from the tightest of angles past Green. If this is the last we ever see of Oliver Burke in the famous red jersey, then it was a wonderful way to say goodbye. You could compare it to Carl Froch’s last ever punch in professional boxing; a career defining moment that will live long in the memory.
It is beyond comprehension that the club have allowed such an amazing talent to go at the first sign of any real money, especially after we offloaded Jamie Paterson in the same week. As I said at the beginning of this piece, I have LOTS to say about the Burke transfer but not just now. As the Irish like to say “A windy day is not for thatching”.