Nick Miller: And so, with nearly a quarter of the season gone, Forest are joint-top of the table, haven't lost a game and Stuart Pearce is back. All good, right? Well, yes, but it still feels a bit strange. Can we all agree that the performances have not been quite as good as the results suggest...?
Daniel Storey: Yes. We've been largely uninspiring for large portions of games, but more often than not scored when on top. That doesn't sound like a negative when it's written down, but is it really sustainable? In addition, have we beaten a 'good' team yet?
David Marples: It's a difficult one. Of course our position in the table and 'unbeaten' boast is highly pleasing and perhaps beyond what we could have realistically expected at the start of the season, especially given the high turnover of players. But of late, we have looked less than impressive: our last victory was a rather bizarre one against Fulham - yes, that long ago.
Since, then performances have been uninspired. To suggest that cracks are being papered over at the moment runs the risk of sounding ungrateful and doom mongering....but....it doesn't look sustainable unless we can find something else in our locker - and I don't mean more signings - but alternative systems when it isn't going for us.
DS: I think the point of increased expectations is very valid. Football fans (Forest probably more than most) are a very fickle bunch. If we had been offered this position at the start of the season we would, obviously, have been very happy indeed.
I guess we need to be careful about 'expecting' wins rather than earning them, and suspect that applies to the players too after their initial success. As businessman Andy Grove once said: "Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive."
That said, things like Antonio's goals aren't quite papering over cracks, more masking the problems that come with a new manager and half a new team. Louis van Gaal said at the weekend that United haven't played well, but they're still fourth, so what will they be like when they do start playing? The next month or so will probably tell us if we're just building up to something or this has all been a bit of a freak run of form.
Let's get back to some lighter topics. I'm not sure I knew love until I saw Michael Mancienne's majestic interception in the Blackpool game. One moment a potentially threatening attack was germinating, there was a troubling space in the Forest defence, and then he was just there, appearing like Batman from the dark night to nonchalantly intercept the thing. I think I can speak for all of us when I say he's been our player of the season so far, which is pretty impressive given Antonio and Assombalonga have 14 goals between them. His form is doubly impressive when you consider he's a new signing and has had four different partners already, one of which is Danny Fox.