Ben Watson hasn’t been at his best form this season, resulting in Aitor Karanka dropping the Nottingham Forest man from the starting eleven. His consistent inclusion up until this point has led to criticism from supporters, but they’ve now been granted their wish.
The 33-year-old was a regular for The Reds after joining from Watford in February 2018, featuring in 14 of Forest’s remaining 16 Championship games. He’s been unable to pick up where he left off this season, however, being handed just two starts in the league since mid-September.
Watson has been an unused substitute in five of Forest’s last seven league outings and has a difficult task to get himself back into the side given the stiff competition for places. Claudio Yacob recently impressed in midfield on his Forest debut and could find himself starting against Stoke City on Saturday. He operated alongside Adlène Guédioura, who could also retain his place.
Jack Colback, who recently lost his place in the side to Yacob due to a yellow card suspension, is ahead of Watson in the pecking order, so it’s hard to see Karanka handing the maligned midfielder a start any time soon.
With Forest in fine form of late – three wins and a draw from their last five league games – it would make little sense to bring back a player who hasn’t performed to expectations. So, could Watson be dropped for good this season?