‘Bench cam’ was a regular feature on Nottingham Forest’s social media channels last season.
Rather self-explanatory, the feature saw a camera be placed in front of the dugout, capturing the emotions of Sabri Lamouchi and his substitutes during matches.
It was fascinating for a number of reasons, especially to see how players react to certain moments in tense matches, such as against Leeds United where the City Ground erupted after Tyler Walker’s late goal.
A lot has changed since the last ‘bench cam’ went live. There has been a change in the dugout, with Chris Hugthon replacing Lamouchi at the helm in October.
But undoubtedly the biggest difference is that, nowadays, the City Ground is empty. Supporters have been unable to attend matches since March 2020, making for an eerie matchday atmosphere.
Brice Samba is no stranger to adhering himself the Forest fans, and the goalkeeper established himself as a popular figure amongst them last season.
Ahead of today’s game against Stoke City, Samba has sent a passionate message to Forest fans on Twitter, reflecting on the times they had last season.
— Brice Samba (@samba_brice) April 24, 2021
Having been to nearly every Forest game behind-closed-doors this season, I personally feel that the lack of fans has made a difference.
When there are 30,000 people packed inside the City Ground, it makes for an excellent atmosphere and undoubtedly one of the best in England.
The fans are missed badly, and the sooner they are able to return to stadiums and attend matches, the better. That is a sentiment the players share, too.