Let me let you behind the curtain for a moment. I arrived in front of this computer with good and honourable intentions to offer a round-up of the international commitments of various members of the Forest squad. How had they been getting on? Any nice tans? Anyone done anything abhorrent?
Perhaps I was thinking of long gone days, but it suddenly struck me that, actually, there may not have been any of the squad representin' for their countries after all. Gone are the halcyon days when the Forest training ground would have been eerily quiet during the domestic break. Now it is business as usual, with the occasional "Where's Jamaal? Oh of course" thrown in for good measure.
Take the glorious 1994/95, for example. Stuart Pearce (although unforgivably dropped for Graeme Le Saux), Mark Crossley, Colin Cooper, David Phillips, Scot Gemmill, Lars Bohinen, Stan Collymore, Steve Stone, Alf-Inge Haaland and Bryan Roy, all selected for their country. Even John Filan might have been sniffing around the Australia squad.
It's an obvious result of being in the second tier rather than towards the upper echelons of the top, but I still deeply miss the days of watching England and rooting for Psycho more than I did the team itself. Rather than running through the first team squad, this time I was forced to try and discover whether Bulgaria U21s had a) played a match and b) picked Dimitar Evtimov for it. The same applies to Lithuania (Deimantas Petravicius) and Greece (Ilias Polimans). You quickly suspect that there is no such reliable information available.
So, after scratching around for 45 minutes or so, here is the Nottingham Forest international round-up:
- Jamaal Lascelles played for England Under 21s against France. They lost 3-2 after previously recording 11 consecutive wins. Lascelles stayed on the bench during the 3-1 victory over Portugal.
- Chris Burke was an unused squad member for Scotland's home fixture against Ireland, which the Scots won 1-0 to boost their chances of qualification for Euro 2016. Having performed the 'staying on the bench' role to such aplomb, Burke then repeated the trick against England. Well played, sir.
We will now be starting two campaigns. The first involves Britt Assombalonga to be selected for the England Under 21 squad (he is eligible for DR Congo but has not yet made an appearance), whilst the second is for the club to buy internationals from some obscure countries just to help pad out any future round-ups. Thanks.