Is this the year for Nottingham Forest?

It has been a very long time since Nottingham Forest last played in the Premier League. The last time Forest graced the top flight was way back in 1999, where they finished rock bottom and have been on somewhat of a downward spiral ever since.

After several mediocre seasons in the second tier, they were relegated to League One in 2005 and spent three years in the division.

Since returning to the Championship, they have had two play-off defeats mixed in with underachieving mid-table mediocrity. The truth is a club the size of Nottingham Forest, with all their history and tradition should have been promoted to the Premier League years ago.

They also have money to spend but after three poor seasons by their standards, 2014/15 could finally lead to that long awaited promotion.

 

One problem has been their failure in play-offs. Since they were last in the Premier League, they have lost four play-off semi-final ties with three being in the Championship. With their apparent shortcomings in pressure situations, the best and indeed safest option will be automatic promotion.

Forest certainly have the tools to achieve this. Summer signings have helped them currently sit in second position with the standout being Britt Assombalonga.

The striker cost a reported £5 million from League One side Peterborough and has certainly set the league alight with his goals. He is currently the top scorer in the Championship with eight goals from 11 matches. The 21-year-old has plenty of assets that make him an exciting prospect. He has power and pace but most importantly he knows how to score goals and plenty of them.

Michail Antonio was signed from Sheffield Wednesday and has impressed. The winger has scored five League goals and has chipped in with plenty assists that make him a real handful at this level.

At the back, Michael Mancienne was exactly the type of player Forest needed. Signed from Hamburg in the summer, the former Chelsea youngster knows what it takes to succeed at the level having had loan spells at QPR and Wolves.

He played a part in Wolves’ promotion campaign in 2009 which led to two more loan spells in the Premier League for Wolves. Although he is only 26, Mancienne has plenty of experience at this level and also playing in top divisions around Europe.

 

With the loan returns of goalkeeper Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles but also the experience additions of Chris Burke and Matty Fryatt, Stuart Pearce has assembled a squad that should be well capable of putting in a real promotion push.

Their squad has an ideal blend of youth and experience which is a valuable combination, especially at this level.

Nottingham Forest are currently unbeaten in the Championship after 11 matches. They have won five and drawn six and although it is an impressive start, they would love to convert some of those draws in to victories. This includes four draws on the bounce.

Overall though Forest have made a very good start and have an impressive squad for this league but they know they have to make it count this time around.

The Author

Iqbal Johal

Coventry City fan since 1999, loves football and has a keen interest in journalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*