Nottingham Forest have completed the signing of Jonathan Greening from Fulham for an undisclosed fee. The 32-year-old midfielder has penned a three-year deal at the City Ground and becomes Steve McClaren’s second signing since taking over at Trentside. While the Forest supporters will be pleased to finally see a new face at the club, no one is breathing a sigh of relief just yet and they’ll be eager to see further additions to the squad. There has been no fewer than nine departures at the club this summer, with Andy Reid the only incoming player so far, so it’s little wonder Forest fans have been urging chairman Nigel Doughty and chief executive Mark Arthur to sort out some new players for McClaren.
Most Forest fans were very disappointed to see Billy Davies sacked after the Scot saved the Reds from relegation in 2009 and then guided his young side to successive playoff campaigns. Everyone wants to see stability at their club and there weren’t many who put the blame for Forest’s failure to secure promotion on Davies. He made no secret of his feelings on the Acquisition Panel at Forest and was regularly calling on the board to give him new signings. In the end, the board ran out of patience and decided to replace Davies with former England boss McClaren. Even if they were not in agreement with the Forest hierarchy, the fans have welcomed the new manager and will give him tremendous backing come the beginning of the season. But since axing Billy Davies, the board seem to have been doing their level best to prove him right while Steve McClaren has found he is facing exactly the same problems in bringing in new players.
Greening should be a good signing for Forest, adding much needed experience to the midfield, particularly as club captain Paul McKenna has joined Hull City. But, further additions are desperately needed if Forest are to mount any kind of promotion challenge. Forest’s failure in the transfer market in recent seasons has left many fans questioning whether Nigel Doughty does in fact want to see his club back in the Premier League, where it belongs. He has refused to properly back both Paul Hart and Billy Davies after they brought the Reds to brink of promotion in 2003, 2010 and 2011.
Andy Reid and Jonathan Greening are decent additions although more of the same will be equally welcome. It is incredible that Forest were stuck without an established left back after the loan spells of Nicky Shorey and Ryan Bertrand ended in January 2010 and 2011 respectively. Joel Lynch was impressive but is naturally a centre half. You lose a lot from Chris Gunter’s game when he’s played out out of position on the left and as good as Chris Cohen is, playing him at left back is an absolute waste. The lack of proper full backs can really upset the balance of the team and Doughty should have listened to Davies and not underestimated this.
So, a left back is probably at the top of priorities for Forest fans. Another winger would be nice, with the Reds continually being linked with Newcastle’s Wayne Routledge. There’s a signing that would go some way to silencing the anti-Doughty element of Forest faithful. Many would like to see a new striker as well. Failure in front of goal last season was one of the things that cost Forest and with Dele Adebola, Nathan Tyson and Rob Earnshaw all leaving the City Ground, the signing of a 20-a-season forward would put a smile on a few faces on Trentside. It is nice to see Joe Garner back, mind. Oh, and it absolutely goes without saying, but the Forest board need to be told this: do not under any circumstances even begin to consider selling Lee Camp. That would spell disaster.