Sorry for the delay in publication of this article this morning; my car was involved in an altercation with a fox in the early hours of the morning over who had the right of way on a particular country lane. No one hurt except the fox (although amazingly it still managed to run away – didn’t even exchange insurance details the bugger) but there was inevitably some damage to my car, which needed looking at this morning. Tony.
Nottingham F v Arsenal
By Bulldog Drummond
If you are a regular reader you might recall we did a bit of a preview of this match when the draw was made, taking a look at how on 18 May this year a certain Mr Marinakis the President of Olympiacos and of Superleague Greece and past vice president of Hellenic Football Federation was announced as the latest controller of Nottingham Forest. The man whose seven consecutive Greek Titles for Olympiacos was converted into more titles than times the league had been run by Paul Merson in his famous TV rant about foreign managers and owners.
As was pointed out in that article the last time we played them was on 20 September 2016 in the League Cup and we won 4-0 at their ground by the Trent. Our line up was
Gibbs, Gabriel, Holding, Elneny
Ox, Le Jeff, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles
Obviously we’ll be changing the team around for this game with any or most of Debuchy, Chambers, Holding, Mertesacker, Nelson, Coquelin, Elneny, Welbeck, Iwobi and Theo all likely to be coming in. Plus of course Ooooooospina.
But more on that anon. The first question is, how have things been going since the takeover of Forest?
The big question is who will be manager. There had been talk of former Brighton boss Oscar Garcia getting the job (he was seen in a Costa Coffee talking to the owner) but instead he has been appointed the new head coach of Olympiacos. There is endless endless endless talk of Nigel Clough getting the job every time another manager gets the boot, but these poor reporters have to fill up the papers with something.
Paul Heckingbottom of Barnsley has also been mentioned for the Forestian job and he has not ruled himself in and not ruled himself out (that’s how they speak in manager land I’m told).
Which means that for this match they will have Gary Brazil as caretaker boss. He has twice been caretaker manager at Notts County (he was for a time assistant manager to extremely large Sam, before he upped and left) and this is his third (honest, third) spell as caretaker manager at Nottingham Forest.
To give an idea of how this works, here’s the last little sequence for Forest…
Philippe Montanier was sacked as manager of Forest in January 2017 and Brazil took temporary charge. Then in February he was confirmed as manager for the rest of the season. Then when Forest racked up five defeats in seven games Mark Warburton took over on 14 March. Warbuton was then sacked on New Year’s Eve (ie seven days ago) and Brazil was made as caretaker-manager. Again.
So, what does all this coming and going mean in terms of their record…
Overall Nottingham Forest are 14th in the league with 10 wins, two draws and 14 defeats, 29 points behind the leaders.
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