Forest Preview With Transfer Talk But Does It Walk The Walk?

The defence of the FA Cup begins on the banks of the River Trent. Forest are in disarray, managerless and in dreadful form; perfect giant-killing material if we’re honest.

Not that many people have marked this one down as such and based on our experience of the past few years in cup matches, it will be a surprise. Which I guess is the essence of a giant-killing; no-one expects it.

Down to team news first, it will be a bit of a pick ‘n’ mix line-up. “Some of those who played against Chelsea will play again, but also some fresh players will come in,” Arsène said. He went on to talk about next week’s semi-final in tones which suggest a strong line-up will take the field at Stamford Bridge. Quite right too; it’s the business end of a competition and it’s hardly going to damage our Premier League campaign, is it?

I’d expect wholesale changes up front and in midfield. Out go Jack, Xhaka, in come Coquelin and Elneny; no Maitland-Niles in the centre, alas with Kolasinac and Monreal both absent through injury. Up front, Walcott, Welbeck and Iwobi will try to stop firing blanks and add to their combined nine goals in 49 appearances.

Forest are struggling, with 8 defeats in 13 games. It cost Mark Warburton his job with the club’s new owners struggling to show any patience. Reaching the Premier League is the name of the game and failing to tap into the playoff places is unacceptable.

They did get a creditable point at Leeds but at home haven’t scored in three of the last four. Even with my big club supporter hat on, the one which imbues footballing arrogance into every fibre of my being, I can’t see us losing to them.

Sgt Rock

At the back, Ospina will come in with Wenger declaring the Colombian is “not happy” but “not unhappy” with his situation; in other words, he’s like the majority of Britain’s workforce, just considerably better paid. He’ll get over it. I’d expect Mertesacker to re-appear to rest Mustafi with Debuchy on the right. Experience is not in short supply.

It leaves the team as:

Ospina; Chambers, Mertesacker, Holding; Debuchy, Coquelin, Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Iwobi, Walcott, Welbeck

The chance for Theo to show Southampton that he’s worth a punt? They’ve got money to burn, after all.

January sales mean activity to replace players. We don’t have a natural replacement for Walcott in the squad although Wenger could solve his Ramsey/Wilshere conundrum by shifting the Welshman to the right. That’ll please him, I’m sure.

There’s a lot of talk around of Sanchez and Özil both leaving this winter which frankly isn’t going to happen. One maybe, but not both unless we get a sudden influx of cash which lets us replace both. Given Liverpool are about to be ripped off something chronic, it’s probably best to let them buy either of Lemar or Mahrez and then go for the other.

Which sort of brings us around to the point of this little delve into the transfer window. Many are underwhelmed by another story or ten linking us with Jonny Evans but it’s where we are at. A no-nonsense defender with experience of leading club and country is desperately needed to organise our defence.

We could also do with some proper defensive coaching; however, that isn’t coming, so experience is the next best thing. Especially someone who has been Pulised; he’d know no-nonsense defending, surely?

Science Friction

It vaguely ties into Wenger’s comments about working with Sven Mislintat. A new era is new for everyone which is more a problem for them than Arsène he said. The whole conversation smacked of a more erudite ‘stable genius’ moment, an ‘I’m not changing, they have to’.

There was a jibe about knowing all the players in Europe before he came unless it was knowledge of small German clubs Sven was bringing to the table. Well, I know all the players in Europe now I’ve got Football Manager 2018, Arsène, but there’s a world of difference between knowing their names and knowing them. Sven falls into the latter category, by all accounts.

Overall, I don’t see the comments as negatively as others, just Arsène’s nose pushed out of joint by someone who is reputedly abrasive. This week’s Mavropanos signing won’t have happened without Wenger’s say so which means business as usual. We’re used to the club taking punts on young players and not seeing them again; this may be no different, maybe he’ll make the grade. That’s something for the future to decide.

If there is friction, I’d guess it will emerge when Raul Sanellhi officially joins in February; as if he isn’t working for the club now.

The real relationship test is between Mislintat and Sanellhi; if that thrives then our recruiting will improve ten-fold because it’s not been brilliant for the last decade or so, has it? That’s more because of a lack of planning, the absence of coordination in what the squad needs and how the manager perceives its’ weaknesses.


Interesting times ahead for all, I think.

Enjoy the game wherever you are watching it.

222 thoughts on “Forest Preview With Transfer Talk But Does It Walk The Walk?

  1. Wavey says:


    Even if we beat the minnows it only postpones the inevitable. We will have to play a decent team at some point and our defence will be torn apart.

  2. Wavey says:

    Is it me, or is this now happening across Arsenal football club? Arsenal Ladies are now eight points off the lead in the WSL. I don’t think the youth team has made much of a fist of the FA Cup for some time.

  3. andy1886 says:


    Kroenke’s magic touch has infected the women’s side too (not that kind of touch). We can’t blame Arsene for that one, but equally Arsene was on the way down before Kroenke arrived too. The whole club sucks right now.

  4. Ras says:


    At any other ‘ normal ‘ Club change would have been implemented a long time ago. He would have been told to sling his hook.

    It’s a fucking mess. There is no other way to dress it up.

    To say I DETEST Mourinho is putting it quite mildly, however he’s correct. The Man is a serial failure.

    The Players at Arsenal KNOW by and large they are ‘safe’.

    Trust Me it is going to get worse before it gets any better. This Mans ego knows no limits.

    He’s an egotistical selfish Connard…

  5. Bill says:

    Today’s game may turn out to best a bless g in disguise. We can probably only really put forth mental strength and effort for one tournament or outcome per season. We used to put our major emphasis on finishing 4th but that run has ended. In the past few years we have shown mental strength in the FA cup. This year 4th place is going to be a big stretch at best and the Europa league is clearly the most critical completion of this season. Losing out on the FA cup and surrendering on the idea of getting back into 4th place might mean that we can hopefully focus all of our mental strength into winning the Europa League.

  6. Orson Kaert says:

    If Wenger had a single atom of integrity, after that utterly utterly disgraceful performance, he would pack bag and leave Arsenal for good.

  7. Welsh Corgi Cardigan says:

    We’re shite and we’ve been going in that direction for a long time. I’m a professional trader and follow trends regarding Eps, Ebit, Top line, Ev/Ebit and others measurements of company’s results (yea, I know it’s a rubbish way of making a living and very little contribute to society🙂).

    One very clever thing to do is to make a screening of 3-5 years of the above measurements for a company. By doing that you see a pattern, a trend and it becomes quite clear if a business/company is doing well, medioker or poorly.

    It can save you a lot of money as well as givning you a good entry to new investments. But most of all it tells you of the current situation of the object of your interest.

    Applying this to Arsenal tells you quite clearly that we’re doing shite. We’re standing still in a dynamic world which basically means you’re going backward.

    I think the only one not coming to terms with this is Mr Wenger which is quite understandable. But I’m surprised that the board and owner don’t acknowledge this.

  8. thebigM says:


    Your response is far too sensible for the “positivistas” or whatever they call themselves.
    It is clear that we give away so many penalties because our defensive positioning is poor and we are often scrambling for to regain position – that coupled with poor tackling.
    In short, we can’t defend for toffee

  9. I Odumbe Kute says:

    What the fuck was that? Didn’t catch the game, but my social media went anal with everyone in my face. 4-2, were we even on the pitch? What were Theo and Welbeck doing on the pitch? Damn, I’m pissed.

  10. Wavey says:

    Orson Kaert,

    Agreed. Yet another of those games where the manager should have enough respect for the club and the fans to step down. Wenger has proved time and again that he has no respect for the fans at all. He wouldn’t have allowed the ridiculous situation with his contract to stretch out last season if he did. The team he put out today should have had enough about them to win, but none of them has a clue what to do on the pitch. They haven’t got the where with all to make things happen themselves and do not receive adequate coaching to know how to react when a team catches them out on the pitch. I truly believe another manager would do a much better job even with the team who played today. Just as example, Holding kept making the same school boy error of being too tight to players on the half line and conceding free kicks. He has no reason, as a CB, to be playing that tight that far up the pitch.

  11. Bill says:

    I have no problem with the line up we used today. Our first 11 definitely needed a game off after the holiday fixture list and the FA cup is a relatively lower priority competition this season.

  12. Bill says:

    In retrospect it would have been a good idea to have a couple of the first 11 on the bench but they needed a game off and there were not many other options today. I was surprised Le Coq was not used. Elneny was not good but but its hard to imagine Le Coq would have been a difference maker.

  13. James says:

    Didn’t watch the game, only just checked the score assuming an easy win, but a line up like Wenger selected deserved to get beaten. Complete arrogance when Championship teams from top to bottom of the league table are obviously good enough to beat a team selection like that, especially at their own stadium in front of their own vocal support. Too many players at Arsenal these days are simply not at the right level. Who is coaching, motivating and managing?? seems like a change of management is necessary…….how long can SK, SKE and the Board turn a blind eye?? This is serious.

  14. YW says:

    A point I’d made in my post for tomorrow. Which is done. 7am it goes live.

  15. Groverider says:


    One word reply to the prick.

  16. Orson Kaert says:

    According to referee’s chief Mike Riley, Mike Bloody Dean has admitted that he was wrong to award a penalty against Calum Chambers for handball. Riley says that the decision would have been overturned by VAR.

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