No Longer A Soft Touch! – 26/8/14

Adam-ForshawSo Adam Forshaw is about to leave us, which means that we can finally put all this distraction behind us and move onto other matters.

Wherever you stand on this issue what cannot be denied is that the Forshaw saga has dragged on interminably for the best part of a month and has undoubtedly proved to be a distraction to everybody and, despite the club’s best efforts, may well even have had a detrimental effect on our preparation and unity.

The fee will doubtless be “undisclosed” at the request of one or both of the clubs concerned.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes before the actual figure leaks out and I can only assume that we have smashed our previous transfer record when we received two and a half million pounds from Wimbledon for Hermann Hreidarsson in October 1999.

Wigan fans on social media are already suggesting that we have received an initial fee of three million pounds with another million pounds contingent on performance, plus a large sell on percentage.

Inside knowledge or guesswork?

Mark Warburton stated yesterday that Wigan had finally met our valuation of the player and if these figures are anywhere near correct then I believe that we have received a realistic figure for someone who was a class above his peers and was deservedly voted Player of the Year in Division One last season.

We also handled a difficult situation perfectly in my opinion and proved that we are no longer going to be a pushover and simply lie down when so called “bigger” teams come calling coveting our stars.

Warburton treated Forshaw sympathetically and with respect but basically set a boundary by putting him on gardening leave and also making it clear that he was going nowhere unless our terms were met and that only players who were fully committed to the club would be selected in the First Team.

In the past our straightened financial circumstances, combined with our naivety in negotiating, allied to an apparently obscene eagerness to sell our players at the earliest opportunity, frequently resulted in our being short changed and receiving very little or well under market value for our prize assets.

Our attitude towards player sales in the 1970s can best be summarised by these telling if resigned comments from former Brentford manager, Frank Blunstone.

Brentford would sell anyone.

Ken Furphy was manager at Blackburn  Rovers at the time and straight after we’d beaten them four nil at Griffin Park he came up to me and asked if I’d sell them John O’Mara.

I laughed and said knowing the Chairman, I expect so.

He rang back on the Monday morning and offered £30,000 for John and off he went.

One day Bill Dodgin rang me up and asked if I’d sell Roger Cross, so I had to say those words again, “I expect so, Brentford will sell anybody!”

There is also the apocryphal story that Sheffield Wednesday manager, Jack Charlton, who coveted our star striker Andy McCulloch, made an initial bid of £60,000 for him, purely as an opening gambit, fully expecting that it would be laughed off but he was amazed when it was accepted with alacrity by the bumbling Brentford board of directors.

The list of players sold at apparent knock down fees is endless with Paul Smith and DJ Campbell being just two of the more recent examples.

forshaw2Times have changed, we are no longer a soft touch and we are now fortunate to have the financial clout not to be in a position to have to sell anyone.

We will not allow ourselves to be pushed around, and if and when we sell anyone it will be on our terms and our terms only.

Adam Forshaw is simply a case in point.

We spotted him in Everton Reserves and took a chance on him when nobody else was prepared to do so.

Through the quality of our coaching and training regime and the faith we have placed in him we have helped develop him into the jewel that he has undoubtedly become.

Adam will be a star and a likely Premier League starter and the only pity is that he was not prepared to stay another year with us in order to develop his game further.

On the face of it his joining Wigan appears to make sense.

Wigan is a club who were recently in the Premier League and are based near to his family and friends in the North West.

They can afford to pay him an eye watering salary, bolstered as they are by their Premier League Parachute Payments.

He will also be reunited with Uwe Rosler who was his first manager at Brentford.

In my view, however, he is taking a risk on the Rosler regime bearing fruit and restoring Wigan to the promised land of the Premier League.

Given their resources his gamble should pay off, but there is the nagging doubt that it could all go pear-shaped and Wigan might not prove to be the stepping stone that he undoubtedly wants it to be.

He will also be subject to Uwe’s strict rotation policy and for a player who wants and expects to play every week, he might find this frustrating.

Maybe if he had been prepared to give us another year he might well have progressed sufficiently to join a Premier League club directly without the need to take this interim step.

I am disappointed about his leaving and at the decision that he has made but you can’t take away the fact that Brentford have played a key role in his development and I will watch his career with pride.

In financial terms we have done really well out of Adam Forshaw.

He came on a free transfer and whatever the percentage of the fee Everton ultimately receive, and in similar situations it is commonplace for the potential selling club to attempt to renegotiate the previously agreed sell on percentage in order to help grease the wheels for a deal to be completed, we will have made a handsome profit on him.

What is more we have done what all sensible and forward thinking clubs do in similar situations and replaced him before we actually sold him.

My guess is that Jon Toral will be the eventual Forshaw replacement and we will probably start to see him being eased into the team in the very near future.

We also have the enticing prospect of Jota who has already impressed in his two short cameo appearances.

Forshaw is undoubtedly a massive loss to us but we have obviously planned for his departure and have not been left exposed and scrambling around for a replacement, more evidence of how far we have progressed in as a club.

We remain formidably strong in the midfield department and still have both the numbers and quality to cope with Adam’s imminent departure.

So, farewell Adam and we hope that you retain as many pleasant and positive memories of Brentford as we will of you.

Oh, and there is just the small matter of a Capital One Cup match tonight against the old enemy in Fulham to whet our appetite, and help us move on and put a line under the Forshaw situation.

Life goes on – and how!


One thought on “No Longer A Soft Touch! – 26/8/14

  1. Something tells me we’ll know the fee soon even if it’s officially “undisclosed” as Whelan won’t be able to keep quiet about it for too long. I only hope we have really stood our ground and commanded our true valuation of possibly the most complete player I have seen in a Brentford shirt.

    I wish Adam well, can see why Wigan appeals to him but am less than impressed with the behaviour of Whelan and Rosler. It’s a shame to see him go, I always thought he’d leave us for someone like Liverpool, but the way things are going, I’m sure we’ll soon forget him and hopefully at least one, but hopefully all, of our Spanish midfield trio will be even better. Along with Judge and Pritchard, I personally feel pretty confident we have enough quality in that area.

    Maybe this will now lead to one final marquee signing such as Dom Dwyer from Kansas City.

    Anyway, thanks for the memories Adam. Hope you don’t regret too much your decision to stop playing for Warburton & Benham, replacing them with the ‘personalities’ of Rosler & Whelan. I’m pretty certain I know who I’d rather play for.

    And, oh yeah, that Cup game against THEM. I’m sure we’ll hear #BeesUpFulhamDown, I just hope late in the game we also hear Bees fans singing “you’re getting sacked in the morning” to Mr Magath.


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