Football: Wright's class helps Forest gel
Nottingham Forest 4 Walsall 1
Monday 06 September 1999
"I haven't spoken to [West Ham's manager] Harry Redknapp about the situation," Platt said when asked if he would be trying to sign Wright permanently. "But I'll be happy to let him go back. They can't have him before the month's up, that's the rules, but after that, he'll be going back."
Whether Wright does return to Upton Park remains to be seen. He has already suggested that he would rather play regular first-team football under his former Arsenal team-mate than be an occasionally-used squad player under Redknapp. And Platt, even while displaying nonchalance about his departure, still managed to wax lyrical about how important a player like Wright can be.
"Ian is always going to get efforts on goal," Platt said. "No matter how a game is going, he's always going to get chances. And he and Dougie Freedman have already developed an understanding in a couple of weeks." Freedman scored two on Saturday and, although both were largely due to the tireless and creative build-up work of Gianluca Petrachi, it was Wright's experience and influence on the side that was more telling overall.
At times the 35 year old looked to be fitter, faster and more aware than anyone else on the pitch. With his yard of extra pace and his instinctive sense of positioning, he gave the impression of being an older brother who had gate-crashed a younger sibling's kick-about. He scored only the once, but would have had four before finally finding the net but for an inch here or a crossbar there.
If Forest are to continue producing performances such as Saturday's (the first half was entirely forgettable, the second promised to be superlative even before Walsall had their goalkeeper James Walker sent off), perhaps they should step up their efforts to keep Wright. Freedman is a talent, Nigel Quashie in midfield can be influential and Petrachi is a fine buy, but something has been needed to make them gel, and that something may not be around much longer.
Walsall, for their part, started brightly but failed to make a single real chance after taking an early lead. Their manager, Ray Graydon, will be hoping that does not become a regular occurance this season. "I've been expecting a game like this," Graydon said, when asked how Walsall were handling the step up from the Second Division. "We weren't anywhere near them."
Goals: Robins (4) 0-1; Freedman (43) 1-1; Chettle, pen (71) 2-1; Freedman (76) 3-1; Wright (86) 4-1.
Nottingham Forest (4-3-1-2): Beasant; Matrecano, Scimeca, Chettle, Rogers; Louis-Jean, Burns (Platt, 85), Quashie; Petrachi; Freedman, Wright. Substitutes not used: Goodlad (gk), Hjelde, Harewood, Allou.
Walsall (4-4-2): Walker; Marsh, Barras, Viveash, Pointon; Wrack, Bukran, Keates, Brissett (Daley, 74); Robins (Emberson, gk, 69), Rammell (Elyjolffson, 50). Substitutes not used: Kelster, Roper.
Referee: K M Lynch.
Sending off: Walsall: Walker.
Booking: Walsall: Barras.
Man of the match: Petrachi.
Latest in Sport
Michael Schumacher: Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo admits he is still in shock over ski accident
Jose Mourinho claims Cristiano Ronaldo and his Real Madrid team-mates spend too much time looking in the mirror
Is this the cutest pitch invasion ever? Brazil squad embrace young South African fan in heartwarming scenes after friendly match
QPR financial results: Rangers face huge fine in top flight of debtors
World Cup 2014: Sam Wallace picks his England squad - is there a place for Andy Carroll, and who wins the battle between Luke Shaw and Ashley Cole?
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Italian pensioner hires an escort who turns out to be his son's girlfriend
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...