Nottingham Forest Season 12/13 Review

2nd June 2013

If Forest’s story this season was a Hollywood film script, studios would have rejected it for being too unbelievable. A foreign takeover, four different managers, and still making a last-ditch tilt at the playoffs just seems like too much drama to pack into only 12 months. But as history has shown before, Forest are a team with a habit for achieving the impossible. And as the team’s playoff push to the very last day of the season showed, this term they nearly did just that.

If the tumult in the backrooms of the City Ground this season have proven anything, then it is the owners’ determination to do everything possible to push Nottingham Forest forward. The Al Hasawis’ 5-year plan called for a playoff push during their first season, and they deserve full credit for having managed that, with Forest missing out on sixth place by the narrowest of margins. In spite of uncertainty off the field, the players delivered some excellent results over the course of the season. The unbeaten run which Billy Davies masterminded after his return is testament to the prudent signings which the club made at the start of the season. Clearly, there was potential in this Forest side just waiting to be unleashed.

Bringing in the talented young Henri Lansbury will surely prove to be an absolute steal, and after a solid debut season in which he’s adapted himself to Championship football, Forest fans can expect him to form a core part of their team for many years to come. Likewise Adlene Guedioura has rightly won praise from the stands, injecting a much-needed dose of guile and tenacity into Forest’s game. And Billy Sharp will without doubt go down as one of the most successful loan deals in the history of the club. The fans are desperate to see the sharp-shooting forward kept at the City Ground permanently, and after bagging 11 goals he has fully earned that acclaim.

After the final day heartbreak against Leicester, Foresters could be forgiven for looking at next season downheartedly. But there is every reason for optimism. The fact that, in spite of the managerial changes, this team still got within touching distance of the playoffs, shows that the playing squad is a strong one. That will make for a solid foundation for next term’s endeavours. Billy Davies is a man who understands the club, and who the players want to compete for. If he gets the right backing from the board, now they have found their feet in the world of English football, and the team can step up to the standard they’ve set themselves in the last few months, then next season could be a very exciting time for everyone at Nottingham Forest.

Michael Gaffney