Did You Enjoy Playing Forest?
Despite Billy Davies’s posture and demeanour remaining as combative and shouty as ever, Nottingham Forest looked a whole lot more solid than for most of last season during their opening run out on Saturday. Davies and Reds fans returning to Reading station on the bus were united in decrying their lack of defensive reinforcements, although openly attacking one’s employers when they have given you six million to spend might be unwise, especially with twenty more days in which to do business. Infact, the often maligned Wes Morgan had a strong afternoon, albeit against a lone striker making only his second league appearance in Simon Church. At full back, Joel Lynch and Chris Gunter looked athletic, the latter enjoying an especially good debut, and Luke Chambers’ sending off was debated long and hard, with few in the ground in a decent enough position to see what actually occurred, although many feel they can nevertheless offer forth an opinion.
Davies does admit to have the attacking and midfield armoury in place to launch a challenge however. Paul McKenna eased into his new red shirt after a dozen years at Preston. His was a captain’s display and let me wondering quite how he has never graced the Premier League. That said, his constant bickering at the referee should have been rewarded with an early yellow card in order to stamp it out. Radoslaw Majewski, the Summer recruit from Polonia Warsaw also proved himself willing to hack the odd player down as Reading indulged in their new keep-ball style, although Forest were equally as religious in their devotion to keeping the ball on the deck.
Chris Cohen justified his player of the season tag with an energetic performance but up front, Davies may need to work on the chemistry. Dele Adebola looked every one of his 34 years despite a few late headers and David McGoldrick had little joy against a makeshift centre back pairing. The latter seems more effective playing deeper and didn’t enjoy his role pressed up against the last man — again, it seems unclear why Davies has spent £1.5 million to bring the ex-Saint to the club when he already has Lewis McGugan, practically identical in style.