Nottingham Forest have begun the season in promising fashion under new boss Sabri Lamouchi, with the Reds suffering just a single defeat so far in the Championship at home to West Bromwich Albion on the opening day of the season at the City Ground.
However, Forest’s nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions was brought to a crashing halt on Tuesday night, with Arsenal producing a fine performance in the second half, in particular, to inflict a heavy 5-0 defeat on Lamouchi’s side at the Emirates in the third round of the Carabao Cup.
The scoreline was perhaps a little harsh on Nottingham Forest, who had shown some promising signs in the first half especially that they could potentially frustrate their Premier League hosts, but eventually in the second period, as some of Forest’s players who have not had that many minutes this term began to tire, Arsenal’s superior quality showed.
Lamouchi’s men, though, cannot afford to dwell on the defeat and need to swiftly park it and look to continue with their impressive recent form in the Championship, which has seen the Reds record back to back victories for the first time this campaign at Swansea City and at the City Ground against Barnsley on Saturday.
Those wins have lifted Forest up into sixth place on 15 points, and the Reds have the opportunity to move to the top of the Championship table with a win at struggling Stoke City on Friday night, with other sides around them not in action until the weekend.
One of the major reasons why Nottingham Forest have not been able to mount a successful challenge to finish inside the division’s top six in the last few seasons, has been their lack of consistency and failure to maintain momentum and record successive league wins, but in the last few league games Lamouchi has shown signs he beginning to alter that trend and cement Forest amongst the promotion challenges.
The Reds’ impressive start to the season has been built on the foundations of a strong defence, with back to back clean sheets in the league meaning they have conceded just six goals in their opening eight league games, a record only bettered by the division’s current top two of Leeds United Swansea City so far.
Lamouchi’s side can therefore not allow the fact they shipped five goals at Arsenal distract them from what has so far seen them look a solid unit which teams will find difficult to break down throughout the season.
There will be some slight concern over the form of Manchester City loanee Aro Muric, who has been at fault for a couple of goals already in his short time at the City Ground and shipped another five on Tuesday, though Brice Samba’s arrival compensates for that.
Nottingham Forest are showing a lot of the signs needed from a side who could be capable of mounting a promotion bid this term, and have shown they have the quality up front to edge games when their defence has kept the opposition quiet, they must not allow the loss at Arsenal to knock their confidence and detract from their ever-increasing momentum.