It’s matchday! It’s Nottingham Forest! I know we wanted to stay in the Premier League, but Forest is one of my all time favourite fixtures (find out why), and I’m over the moon that it’s back on our fixture list. But what does the current Forest team have in store?
Every fortnight, on our podcast, we have a ‘Know Your Enemy’ segment, which takes a look at the opposing team’s dangermen, and has a little dig around so we have a better idea what to expect (why not have a listen?). It’s often a tricky balance of Googling and forum-hopping to draw some occasionally slap-dash, but always deadly accurate, conclusions.
But Forest fans are more talkative than most. In fact, on this very website a Forest fan pitched up to comment on our previous blog (hello Forest85!), with the following words of warning:
‘Watch out for Guedioura, Mcgugan and Andy Reid.’
So let’s take a look at these…
Adlène Guedioura is a 26-year-old Algerian midfielder, standing 6’1”, making him taller than the majority of our squad. He played for an array of French sides before moving to England and Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2010 and helping them to avoid relegation from the Premier League. He joined Forest for around £1 million in July after impressing on loan.
He’s an ‘all action’ midfielder, who can win the ball and pick a pass. Keith Andrews, as our only fit and well defensive midfielder, will have to keep an eye on him, although the Forest fans’ favourite is more likely to be involved in the build-up to goals, rather than getting on the end of anything (although he did score on the opening day against Bristol City). One to be wary of.
Lewis McGugan is a product of the Nottingham Forest youth set-up, and has made more than 170 appearances for the club, netting 32 goals. A sort of Notts Forest Kevin Nolan if you like. He is currently the club’s longest-serving player, and winner of the 2010/11 Championship Goal of the Season against Ipswich. So Bogdan, get your wall in place if this guy steps up!
And finally, Andy Reid. A far more familiar player and one of the biggest midfielders in the game. Actually, that’s unfair of me. Reid has been mocked for his appearance too often, and to be fair he doesn’t always look like the most athletic of footballers. But boy can this man pick a pass. I’ve always been a fan, and if our centre backs are as static as they were at times against Burnley (when they were punished) and Derby (when they got away with it), he’ll have a field day.
I’m also going to add a quick mention of Simon Cox, who scored against Huddersfield in a game Forest ought to have won mid-week (and would have, if it wasn’t for a 90th minute Huddersfield penalty). He’s got a good scoring record (an impressive 32 goals in 54 games for Swindon, before a slightly drier spell – bagging one in six – at West Brom).
All in all, we’ll have to be on our toes. Owen Coyle wants to make the Reebok a fortress this year, and it was our home form that saw us struggle last season. Back to back home wins against East Midlands opposition would be very welcome indeed.
Come on you whites!