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The Contenders For A Starting Place

Forest are going into their 1st game with a squad of 23 (so far), but which 18 will make the squad, which 11 the team & which 5 miss out.

Keepers

Lee Camp: came in on loan for 15 games last season in which time Forest picked up 19 points(conceding 16 goals) & kept 4 clean sheets. He quickly endeared himself to the Forest faithfuls with late penalty saves against Bristol City & more importantly Derby at Pride Park, he then came back to the City Ground with QPR and gifted us a goal to help us to a point.

Paul Smith: Became the focal point of many fans frustration last season, still managed to get 31 league starts though in a season where survival can only be considered a success conceding 46 goals & keeping 7 clean sheets, also kept 24 clean sheets the previous season in Forest's promotion campaign.



Defence

Wes Morgan: Runner up to Cohen for fans player of the year last season & started 46 games, scoring just once, solid at the back & gives his all, the fans love to see him run through the midfield with the ball, his manager's probably have heart attacks at the same sight. Gives his all for the team.

Chris Gunter: This is a belting signing & a bargain at 1.75 million. The Welsh International spent 2 months on loan at the City Ground last season & made an enormous difference to our defence by giving us balance & a natural right back

Kelvin Wilson: His Forest career started with comparisons to Des Walker, it didn't continue though & his lapses in concentration will probably see him spend a year in the reserves & subs bench before moving on. Played 39 games last season (2 as sub) & showed what an asset his pace could be if he could only read the game.

Luke Chambers: Has been played out of position for 2 seasons now at right back & looked lost for most of the 1st half of last season (this wasn't helped by the 4-3-3 formation used which gave him no support when faced with opposition wingers, played 44 games (7 as sub) & scored twice last season (along with 3 assists) & in fairness looked a vastly improved player when moved to his natural position of centre back late on. Probably won't be a starter for Forest this season but will still be ahead of Wilson.

Julian Bennett: Was Forest's player of the season in the League One promotion campaign but suffered with injury last time, only played 13 games (2 as sub & one of those only for a few minutes v Doncaster). The jury is still out on whether he can make the step up to Championship level, he's a 100%er though & will give it everything to prove he can.

Joel Lynch: The much criticised defender has made his loan move into a permanent deal at the City Ground after making 24 appearances last season. It must be said that his performances did pick up towards the end on last season which just happened to coincide with the recovery from an injury. May yet prove his doubters wrong. Came 7th last season in the Forest table for assists (with only 2), not bad for an apparently below par full back.


James Perch: Mr versatile played 42 games for Forest last season (only 1 of which as a substitute) in several different positions, scoring 3 goals. Very reliable but seems to lack something, really not sure what it is though. May get a run of games at centre back this season, think he may find himself on the sidelines a lot though. Good pro to have around the squad for emergencies.


Midfield

Guy Moussi: Started his Forest career by quickly becoming a fans favourite but his 1st season was blighted by injuries which saw him make just 17 appearances (1 as sub). Should be more comfortable at Forest in his second season after settling in. Again, the jury is still out on him though.

Paul McKenna: The Forest midfield has been missing an experienced leader for many years & that is exactly what we've brought in McKenna, he'll be able to guard the back four & help throughout the game with advise on positional play for our many youngsters. Has also been known to smash a few long range shots in too, which is something else we haven't seen much of for a few years.

Chris Cohen: Fans player of the year & a real box to box player, deserves all the credit he gets for last season when he seemed to drag forest over the finishing line by sheer force of will. Made 46 appearances for Forest last season, scoring 4 goals with 8 assists & is certainly the type of player every team needs, along with Earnshaw he would walk in to pretty much any Championship team.

Lewis McGugan: Seemed to be off the boil for much of last season when so much was expected of him (which in itself could be the reason) but showed glimpses of his undoubted ability, scoring 5 goals and creating 4 more, played in 36 games (8 as sub). This will be a very important season for Lewis, if he can produce his best on a consistent basis he could go on to great things, if he buckles under the pressure of expectancy, he could disappear without trace.

Paul Anderson: Opinion is very much divided on Paul amongst Forest fans, he has exceptional pace but often this leads to nothing, Billy Davies clearly sees something in him after signing him to a permanent deal, played 28 games last season (2 as sub) but scored just twice with only one assist which must improve, a season without injury may help with this.

Garath McCleary: Became known as the super sub last season after coming on to change the game several times, has great pace, good ball control & has improved his final ball immeasurably. Played 43 games last season but 27 of them were from the bench, scoring just once but assisting 4 more. This really could be the season for McCleary.

Aaron Davies: His time at the City Ground has been blighted by injury, has played only 38 games (16 of which as a sub) in two seasons at the City Ground & we've yet to see anything like the form he showed at Yeovil. Could be playing in the Nottingham Forest last chance saloon before he's released. If he's going to prove his worth, it needs to be now.

Radoslaw Majewski: Very little is known about the young Polish midfielder other than he's had a few International caps & has a reputation as a bit of a bad boy. Has impressed in his few friendly appearances though and may turn out to be the best singing we've made in recent years.


Strikers

Robbie Earnshaw: Made a great start to his Forest career even though he missed a few games through injury, Forest only won once without him all season which shows just how important he was, most Forest fans were expecting to see a lazy striker who would sit on the edge of the 6 yard box waiting for a chance, proved us all wrong though & worked his socks off. played 36 games (6 as sub), scoring 17 goals and showed he (along with Cohen) should be the 1st name on the team sheet this season, there seemed to be no after effects from his time at Derby after Billy arrived which was good to see.

Dele Adebola: Bristol City's fans player of the season, big, strong & offers something Forest haven't had for a few years, somebody up front who can hold the ball up. Maybe getting on in years but still played 42 games last season for City (9 as sub) scoring 10 goals and assisting 7 more. May play more often than some think he will.

David McGoldrick: The talented Nottingham born striker returns to his home town after 5 years away with Southampton, played in every game for the saints last season (50 games, 1 as sub) & was their top scorer with 14 (assisting 2 more) Can play as either a striker, winger or behind the front two.


Dexter Blackstock: Dexter spent 6 games on loan with Forest last season scoring 2 goals and had a massive impact on Forest's survival in the Championship, one of his goals being the last minute winner against Bristol city that showed how much he wanted to be with us & how much that goal meant to him too (although from a fans point of view, if the release of tension could be seen physically there would have been an enormous mushroom cloud of escaped stress above the City Ground that day). This transfer may have been the worst kept secret in football but it's another show a great intent in Nottingham, i want to say this signing pleases me the most but it's really 50/50 between him & Gunter.

Joe Garner: Was already injured when Forest signed him but managed to play 30 games (11 as sub). Scored some truly fantastic goals (8 in all & one assist) & showed he really is one for the future. May spend this season playing the waiting game though, or get moved back into midfield.


Nathan Tyson: Didn't spend quite so much time on the treatment table last season making 36 appearances (6 as sub) but didn't score enough goals (7 + 4 assists), his pace is frightening but needs to work on his overall game, I still like Tyson, but get the feeling of all our strikers, he's the one that's expendable.


For the next 6 days you can play at being Billy, then he'll tell us we're all wrong.




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The Journalist

Writer: Trueblue Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday August 2 2009

Time: 7:34PM

 

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