My letter to Adlene Guedioura (Bristol City – NFFC Programme Notes)

Dear Adlene,

First and foremost, I would like to assure you that this is not a begging letter. Rather, it is a selfless attempt at offering you some valuable career advice, free of charge.

My recommendation to you, based on the information at my disposal, is as follows: put in a transfer request at Molineux and join the Red Revolution, post haste. As far as I can see, it’s the only sensible option.

You may well think my attempts to lure you to the City Ground are fuelled by an ulterior motive but I can assure you that my only concern is your welfare. I genuinely think moving to Nottingham Forest will prove to be the best decision you ever made.

Ambition is one of the finest qualities a person can possess, when it is pure and well-placed. But too many footballers are driven by a dark ambition, namely the ambition to be in a higher league and to earn more money. Beware … all that glitters isn’t gold!

Don’t go the way of so many men before you, strangled by their own misplaced ambition – Macbeth, Mussolini and, to a lesser extent, Micky Quinn – instead sign a contract with the Tricky Trees and we can truly achieve great things together. It would fill me with great sadness to think of you in any other colour than red next season.

I implore you to realise that at Nottingham Forest you have found a place where you can fulfil your ambition, where you can flourish and become a timeless legend amongst supporters who have already taken you to their hearts. Looking at it from the outside, it would appear that you are very much at home here … and we are genuinely thrilled to have you! It’s a win-win situation.

Speaking objectively, Nottingham Forest is unequivocally, and beyond any reasonable doubt, the single greatest sporting club in the universe. When you consider the fact that we have won two European Cups, a League Title and the much sought after Zenith Data Systems Cup, the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers pale in comparison.

Furthermore, the city of Nottingham is the finest of places you could ever wish to live. It’s a centre of unrivalled culture, boasting Nottingham Castle, the Tales of Robin Hood, Ye Olde Jerusalem (the oldest pub in the world) and a late-night renegade Greggs that serves Festive Bakes all year ‘round.

What has Wolverhampton got that could rival this? It’s just a small town in Walsall, so I’m led to believe.

I suppose there is still an ever-fading sliver of hope that Wolves might just survive this season in the Premiership. If this happens I would, of course, understand you wanting to return to fight for your place in their starting line-up, but it’s worth mentioning that there are advantages to being a Championship player … especially as it would only be for one season, before our inevitable promotion.

There are 46 games in the Championship, compared to the Premiership’s pitiful 38. You look like a player who positively cherishes every second of game time and, if my maths is correct, there’s an extra 43200 seconds in a Championship season, compared to a Premiership season. Furthermore, by my reckoning, that’s approximately an extra 48 shots for you to belt goalwards, without remorse.

This leads me nicely to my next point: us Forest fans cannot get enough of your long range shots! We whole-heartedly embrace your speculative strikes from distance. Long have we suffered players unwilling to shoot from outside the six-yard box. Long have we needed a man, who can behead an otter from thirty yards, using either foot. As far as I’m concerned you can shoot from anywhere you like. I actively encourage it.

But it’s not just your emphatic shooting ability that we all love. You’ve intoxicated us faithful Reds with your magnetic midfield performances! Your tireless running, dynamic passing and gutsy tackling have made you an immediate fans’ favourite.

If you stick around long enough, you could be rubbing shoulders with Robin Hood and Brian Clough in Nottinghamshire folklore. If you stay at Wolves, the best they’ll offer you is sharing a bag of peanuts with Noddy Holder.

Nottingham is a modern city, right at the cutting edge of world affairs. The City Ground itself appears on the latest Iphone advert, and you can’t get much more cutting edge than that. By contrast, Wolverhampton was used to film the Mordor scenes for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. They didn’t need to modify it or use computer graphics. It was more of a documentary than anything.

I should mention at this point that I actually live in Wolverhampton, so I’m legally entitled to convey untruths in order to convince you to sign for us. As you know, it’s really a quite lovely place to dwell, providing you avoid the gaze of that Giant Eye in the middle of town. Nottingham is better though.

Despite my initial claim, this did turn out to be something of a begging letter. It’s been a pleasure to have had you at our club. Your performances have brought a smile back to a face that has aged fifteen years in one season. I wish you luck whatever you decide to do next.

Yours Sincerely,

A Hopeful Fan

P.S. (Incidentally, if you need any help moving your stuff across the Midlands, I’d be more than happy to lend a hand.)

Follow me on Twitter: @Dave_Abbiss

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