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I normally caution against going overboard after a debut, but Nicky Shorey doesn’t half look promising on the evidence of last night. My Forest friend might be right when he talks about a deep-lying playmaker as I’ve not seen a left back influence proceedings so effectively for a long, long time.

Our new arrival slotted into the defence like he’d had been there all season. Plenty of people were expecting Bjorn Helge Riise to start out wide, but Shorey and Greening actually dovetailed pretty effectively – and the full-back didn’t look perturbed when Damien Duff popped up on his flank either. In fact, he was probably our most prominent outlet down the left, continually bombing forward and not afraid to take players on.

It seems unfair to compare him to an out-of-position Stephen Kelly but look how high up the pitch Shorey got in comparison:


by Guardian Chalkboards

He reminded me of a slightly younger Rufus Brevett, strong in the tackle but eager to supplement our attacks. Like Paul Konchesky, Shorey seems to be able to whip in a decent cross too. With English qualified left backs thin on the ground, you can see why a few writers have been talking up his chances of making the plane to South Africa should a few more injuries crop up or if the luckless Wayne Bridge becomes the fall guy for the sordid Terry affair.