Monday 5 January
A big ooh from the ball out of a bag exercise for the fourth round as we will face either Bradford City or Millwall. The pair drew three each at the weekend and will replay a week Wednesday. Obviously everyone would prefer Millwall as their fans are always so polite and well behaved.
Mark Schwarzer confirmed he has joined Leicester City. Mark was an important stand in for Petr Cech last season and was a fantastic professional when pushed down to third in the pecking order with Courtois arrival in the summer.
Anyone who has listened to him in his various media roles will know he is an intelligent and generous person, we wish him well.
Petr Cech is then definitely staying and Jamal Blackman will return from his less than successful loan at Middlesbrough.
Thursday 8 January
Manchester City U21 3:2 Chelsea U21
The hosts dominated the first-half of our first game back after a long winter break and we looked sleepy and at sea. We did take the lead after only 90 seconds as Dominic Solanke fired us into a lead but slipshod defending had us quickly behind and a leveller against the run of play, again form Solanke, wasn’t enough as they tipped in an injury time winner.
Todd Kane has been confirmed at Forest for the rest of the season. Todd has had very successful loans before, notably at Blackburn Rovers and is at the age where he is looking for progress or a permanent deal. We hope he finds his feet and impresses with Stuart Pearce’s struggling Trees.
Meanwhile Lewis Baker is joining the Owls of Sheffield Wednesday in the same league. Lewis made his first-team bow only a few weeks back and is looked on as a great prospect
Friday 9 January
Dominic Solanke can brag a little this morning after being named England’s young player of the year. His performances as England were crowned U17 champions of Europe probably got him the nod as he was joint top scorer in May’s tournament. He has consistently impressed at U21 level and has a healthy future.
The FA have charged Jose Mourinho with misconduct for saying we should have had a penalty when, erm, we should have had a penalty. Jose did couch his complaint in terms of a campaign against his team, but he was talking specifically in terms of the media and it is unclear what brief the FA thinks it has on behalf of ex-Liverpool players turned pundits.
Tomas Kalas has returned from his less than successful loan with Cologne and has moved up to Middlesbrough to play alongside Kenneth Omeruo and Patrick Bamford. A quiet bet on the smog monster’s promotion prospects might be wise.
Steve Holland stood in for Jose Mourinho in the press conference today and confidently told the press that in this transfer window “nobody stays and nobody goes”. Erm, we think we know what he was trying to say.
Saturday 10 January
Chelsea 2:0 Newcastle
Back to winning ways but only after the biggest half-time rocket this side of the Saturn V.
We started like we were still asleep and the week off was lying heavy on our legs. Newcastle, under temporary boss John Carver, bought Remy Cabella and he ran rings around our defence – so much so, and it being January, you could almost see Jose getting out the cheque book.
Cesar Azpilicueta was turned once too often and appeared to pull a groin muscle and had to be replaced and we were thankful for the returning Petr Cech for a clean-sheet as Newcastle ran the first period – only to go to sleep from a corner. Willian’s quick kick let Ivanovic feed Oscar and Krul sprawled but helpless watched us take the lead. 1-0.
The Bovril was barely cold as we started to dominate Newcastle couldn’t get a touch and suddenly the one touch stuff was working – Hazard to Oscar, to Costa drilled into the corner. 2-0.
We could have extended the lead Costa, more bullish second-half, had one effort spectacularly blocked but we contained and finished the stronger side.
The biggest cheer came when Man City could only draw with Everton and we have a little breathing space back at the top.
Jose still isn’t doing media duty so Steve Holland stayed in the spotlight.