Scarpa 'strikes ball better than anyone at Forest'published at 13:11 2 December
13:11 2 December
Gustavo Scarpa "strikes the ball better than anyone Nottingham Forest have at the moment", according to South American football expert Jon Cotterill, amid reports linking the Palmeiras midfielder with a move to the City Ground.
"He's had a fantastic year, his best year as a pro," Cotterill told BBC Radio Nottingham's 'Shut Up And Show More Football' podcast. "So Forest are getting someone absolutely bang on form. He's 29 in January so he's at his peak.
"He's someone who strikes the ball absolutely fabulously - better than anyone Forest have at the moment. He's got a fantastic left foot, a piledriver of a left foot.
"He's a dead-ball specialist. No one is like that at Forest at the moment, so he's going to bring a real weapon.
"He can dribble, but he's not famous for it. There's no real pace about him, but defensively he's sound and, although he's really skinny, he does get stuck in."
'Their complacency when it comes to brain health is frankly shocking'published at 11:38 30 November
11:38 30 November
The interim chief executive at brain injury charity Headway says that the complacency around brain health is "shocking" after Neco Williams initially carried on playing with a head injury in Wales' defeat to England on Tuesday.
Williams took a heavy blow to the head from a powerful Marcus Rashford shot during and required immediate on field treatment.
The 21-year-old carried on before going down again when he was forced to leave the field. This is the second incident of this nature at the World Cup after Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand also suffered a head injury against England and initially tried to play on before later leaving the field.
"This is the second incident at this World Cup where a player’s brain health has not been prioritised," said Luke Griggs, interim chief executive at brain injury charity Headway.
"Medics are being forced to make snap judgements under pressure, which is resulting in players being allowed to stay on the field despite the assumed presence of at least some doubt over potential concussion.
"Fifa and Ifab's refusal to introduce a temporary concussion substitute rule is causing undue risk to players. The rule is supposed to be ‘if in doubt, sit it out’ not ‘play on and see how it goes’.
"The longer Fifa and Ifab refuse to act, the less credibility they will have in any discussions about brain health in football.
"Their complacency when it comes to brain health is frankly shocking, it’s time to take control of this situation and look after the players."
'Williams showed great courage and bravery to play' - Wilsonpublished at 10:49 23 November
10:49 23 November
Harry Wilson says Neco Williams showed "great courage" and "bravery" after it was revealed the Nottingham Forest full-back had played in Wales' opening World Cup game one day after being told his grandfather had died.
Williams, who was substituted in the second half of the 1-1 draw against the USA in Doha, was in tears at the end of the game.
"Necs [Neco] showed great courage and bravery to play," Fulham midfielder Wilson said.
"To put in the performance he did, I thought he was fantastic.
"The lads got around him and tried to make him feel as comfortable as possible."
The World Cup break gives Nottingham Forest the opportunity to take stock.
Steve Cooper will get good time on the training pitch with the majority of the squad, and the recruitment team will be looking for a striker and a centre-half who could prove vital to Premier League survival.
'Genuine team' Forest can create more fist-pump moments in 2023published at 16:44 16 November
16:44 16 November
Colin Fray, BBC Radio Nottingham
It is fair to say 2022 has been a tumultuous year at the City Ground.
Full houses for almost every game in the year, big cup shocks, a promotion surge, a dramatic play-off semi-final, the return of Premier League football, and an atmosphere which has picked up recognition across the year as being one of the best in the country.
It’s all been led by Steve Cooper, and it was fitting that Forest ended the City Ground year with another victory, and that he felt able to celebrate that win with the return of his trademark fist-pumping celebration.
Cooper has been loathe to be too self-congratulatory with his team at the foot of the table, but the win over Crystal Palace saw them move up two places – and, combined with the League Cup victory over a strong Spurs side, register back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
The final whistle arrived to a mixture of relief and excitement for supporters, so the head coach’s reaction was understandable – indeed it was almost demanded by a fanbase who continue to show huge faith in the man who led them back into the top-flight.
That backing – which also came from the club’s ownership in the form of a new contract earlier in the season – is paying off.
Forest produced their best football of the campaign over the final week before the break. Unlucky to lose to Brentford after shocking VAR decisions, they then kept clean sheets against Spurs and Palace – getting past the latter after, for once, benefitting from the slide rules and line markings from Stockley Park.
But the week has been about more than wins. It’s been about seeing a genuine team emerge from the individual talents who descended on the City Ground over the summer. It’s seen a togetherness, a spirit, a determination – all traits that served Forest so well last season. It’s seen individual players delivering on their undoubted talent, in a way which has added to the collective.
Most of all, it’s offered genuine hope that when things get back underway, the Reds can compete in a way which can see them climb out of the relegation zone.
Cooper this week described the last few months as the “toughest professional challenge he’s ever faced”. Those fist-pumps suggest a belief that all the hard work can pay off when football returns to the City Ground in 2023.
'A blissful week marks the turning point for Forest'published at 12:32 15 November
A blissful week of first goals, top club defeats and clean sheets marks the turning point for Nottingham Forest.
Freed of the least-appealing position in the Premier League table, a marginal ascend feels much like a huge leap. And a leap of faith is just what it has taken to emerge from the unrelenting pits. The well-blended team unfolding before us are undeniably earning each and every single win.
The final home game of the year has given rise to a great deal of reflection at the City Ground, with our victory offering us the most befitting finale of 2022.
What a year it has been at a ground so often alluded to as ‘magical’. Samba’s unforgettable penalty saves at the play-off semi finals, unwavering atmosphere in the FA Cup quarter-final and a glorious triumph in our first Premier League game in decades on home turf.
Winning both our first and last Premier League home games in the very year we gained promotion is something to celebrate.
At the heart of it is Steve Cooper; a passionate, committed manager wanting nothing but the best for the club, achieving this through great lengths.
Your thoughts on Saturday's matchpublished at 12:54 14 November
12:54 14 November
We asked for your thoughts after Saturday's match at the City Ground.
Here are some of your comments:
Nottingham Forest fans
Shane: A gritty performance and we deserved the win. A nice change to have a VAR decision go our way but again some poor refereeing. Another fantastic atmosphere at the City Ground. In Cooper we trust.
Clairey: What a difference a week makes, Forest look like a team and for once a VAR decision going our way. A win against Spurs during the week and not being bottom of the league going into the break is great!
Pete: After a fairly slow start to the season the team have started to get to know each other better, which is really good to see. The movement of Johnson and Gibbs-White is especially important and now the others are starting to find them. I hope the break doesn't effect the progress that's been made.
Crystal Palace fans
Richard: One step forward, two steps back on away form. Beating West Ham, suddenly we thought we had solved our away issues but they all came home to roost again. Simply not good enough.
Oli: We dominated within the first half with Zaha’s missed penalty a key turning point in the match. Vieira’s line-up struggled in the second half, with marginal calls for their goal and surely a red card for Yate’s challenge. But I believe that ultimately the turning point was Zaha’s missed penalty; giving momentum to a fortunate Forest side. A bad loss.
Ronnen: This was a poor performance. We were second in that second half and it cost us. Zaha’s penalty just summed up the day.
'World Cup break is going to benefit Forest'published at 12:52 14 November
12:52 14 November
Former Nottingham Forest defender Viv Anderson believes the World Cup break will benefit Steve Cooper's side.
Despite just one defeat in their last five games, Anderson says the four weeks will allow Cooper to better integrate his players.
He told BBC Radio Nottingham: "Steve Cooper has had 20-odd players come through the door so he’ll be able to instil what he needs and what he wants from his players, the ones not involved [in the World Cup].
"It will be interesting for him to get them all together and say 'we’ve had the first part of the season, we’ve got the break now and this is what we want’. I think it’s going to benefit Forest.
"Before the season started I said they have to make the City Ground a fortress because going on your travels in the Premier League it is very difficult to win games. They can make this a really hard place to come because it’s intense and the crowd are on your back."