Nottingham Forest: All Change at The City Ground

Nottingham Forest: All Change at The City Ground

If one thing was blatantly obvious during Forest's 1-0 Capital One Cup win on Monday night it was that no longer are we a team that bypass the midfield and hoof the ball long.

By Lee Clarke

Pass and move was the order of the evening as a new look Reds passed the ball around with elegance and grace at times making it difficult for league newcomers Fleetwood Town to wrestle the ball from us.

Sean O'Driscoll is the man charged with reviving our faltering fortunes and together with new owners, the Al-Hasawi family, the pair already look like a match made in football heaven.

The former Doncaster Rovers manager comes with a reputation of having teams who like to have the ball on the floor and not lose possession cheaply, not only that but he knows the Championship inside out and will not waste out Kuwaiti millions on distinctly average players.

So to the new Kuwaiti owners then and I have often wondered what it would be like to support a team who have the luxury to go out and spend spend spend to reach the promised land of the Premier League. Watching the football results come in over the next few months, might just be more enjoyable than usual.

From day one Badar Al-Hasawi said he wanted an iconic manager to take the reigns – I can only presume that someone pointed out to him what happened the last time we went down the 'iconic' route. Steve McClaren anyone?

A reported £20 Million is available to O'Driscoll to strengthen the squad instead the softly spoken brummie has gone about rebuilding a depleted squad by signing proven Championship players without yet hammering the bank balance.

Fan Favourite Adlene Guedioura has signed from Wolves and will for me be the best midfielder in the Championship – yes that is including Danny Murphy and Keith Andrews. The former Wolves midfielder has been joined by Danny Collins, Greg Halford, Dan Harding, Simon Gillett, Daniel Ayala and Simon Cox.

Ayala and Collins showed on Monday night at Highbury that they could become a solid central defensive pairing complementing each other with aplomb. Anyone who has ever played Football Manager will understand just how flexible Greg Halford is too.

Dan Harding was promoted last year with Southampton. I fully expect Gillett to provide cover in midfield and with plenty of game time in the right position Simon Cox could prove to be just what Dexter Blackstock needs in support up front.

When a club gets a cash injection as large as the one we have received at the City Ground it is easy for people to instantly mention the P word but personally I feel it is far too early for talk of this nature.

After last season's situation and with the amount of players we lost during pre-season it would be far too early to estimate exactly where we can finish this season.

What is important is that the new signings gel quickly, we turn the City Ground back in to a fortress and we get some points on the board during the early stages of the campaign.

Whilst I wouldn't rule out promotion completely I think there are more realistic candidates at the moment in terms of squad stability and genuine player quality. The beauty of the Championship however is that on any given day each team can beat one and other and a good start could prove massive come May.

One thing that is for sure however is that the Forest faithful might be able to rest their fatigued necks during the coming campaign and I for one am relishing the sight of total football gracing Nottingham once again.

By Lee Clarke

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