FOREST BLOG: At last a good cup draw for the Reds!

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Sitting down to watch a cup draw of any nature as a Nottingham Forest fan has become a mundane task over the years.

Some of the more tedious ties in the past have included drawing teams such as Rochdale, Preston North End and Queens Park Rangers.

Defeats to the likes Accrington Stanley and Chester City also deserve a sizeable mention.

Last night became the exception for the first time in my 17-season tenure as a season ticket holder and after the Reds were the first ball pulled from the hat I fully expected to see Brighton or Gillingham pulled next, maybe even the ultimate underdogs Stanley once again.

When George Gavin of Sky Sports uttered the words Arsenal, I nearly choked on my peppermint tea.

I was fully expecting this to be a rehearsal, or a dream, such was my shock at Forest actually being handed a decent draw and under the City Ground lights too!

The 3-0 reverse at the hands of Chester will forever stick in my memory and goes down as my lowest moment supporting Forest.

Four hours and various trains to get there, peeing it down with rain for the entire 90 minutes and Gary Holt’s needless red card in the first-half all contributing to an horrific afternoon.

Arsenal is an intriguing and exciting tie for us long-suffering Forest fans and less than 24 hours after the draw, I can already feel excitement gathering among supporters on social media.

The Gunners are notorious for resting players in the League Cup and the question I ask is, after being embarrassed by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday last season in the competition, will boss Arsene Wenger make the same mistake again and name a weakened side?

If he does he could be in for a shock once more.

After a summer of inactivity in the transfer market I am not entirely sure the French manager can afford to be sacking off competitions with such ease, with sections of the Gunners faithful already calling for his head.

After waiting so long for a marquee side to arrive at the City Ground I am kind of hoping he sends several members of his star-studded squad.

Okay, so the likes of Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez rocking up on Trentside would probably ensure an emphatic defeat for the Reds, but how often are we likely to see these types of players as supporters of Nottingham Forest?

In hindsight, with Arsenal facing Chelsea in the Premier League the Saturday after their trip to the East Midlands, it is probably more Chuba Akpom, Calum Chambers and Alex Iwobi that we can look forward to instead.

Talk among supporters has turned towards tickets for the game with many seemingly unhappy that a lot of so-called ‘armchair’ fans will be at the game. You know the ones who buy a shirt, watch a few games on television and call themselves the oracle of all knowledge in relation to a certain team.

This is Nottingham Forest we are talking about.

Armchair or plastic supporters are, to me, the ones who support the likes of Manchester United while living in Mansfield, yet couldn’t navigate their way to Manchester, let alone recite the 1999 Champions League winning side.

I am sure that Forest has a lot of supporters who don’t go to the City Ground anymore.

Some might have family or work commitments now while others might just be disgruntled at year after year of disappointment.

Others might not be able to keep up with the financial implications which modern day football now has on people.

Do the above factors make it a bad thing that they want to come and be a part of a potentially special night in their club’s history? I don’t think so.

If anything they might come, enjoy being back at the City Ground and opt to come and see us entertain the likes of Aston Villa, Derby County and Newcastle United later on in the season.

A packed out City Ground under the midweek floodlights is a thing of beauty and I for one cannot wait for Arsenal to arrive!