Ah, the joys of the League Cup first round.
Whilst it may not be as magical or evocative as the ‘Magic of the FA Cup’, it’s the first cup competition of the season and a chance to get that first win the campaign.
Tonight’s match against Fleetwood poses a bit of a conundrum. Do you rest players, as the League Cup is somewhat known for? Or do you try and play your first team, hopefully get the first win of the season and try and keep that momentum going ahead of Birmingham this Saturday?
Sabri Lamouchi said ahead of the game that he doesn’t expect to make too many changes, and so he shouldn’t. As this fan pointed out, this is the perfect opportunity for players to gel. With Forest having made so many signings in the summer, it’s a good chance for them to keep learning each other’s games and start to get develop connections that will hopefully start to provide results.
I’ve been very vocal about the goalkeeper position in the past, and I’m going to stay that way for just a little bit longer. Whilst Lamouchi says he isn’t going to make too many changes to the side, I think there is one that he simply has to make, and that’s giving new signing Brice Samba the goalkeeper’s spot.
Lamouchi has made it clear in the wake of signing Samba, that Aro Muric is still the number one, whilst the Congolese stopper is someone ‘for the future’. However, Muric is still only here on loan, and having signed a three-year extension before arriving at the City Ground, it’s clear that his tenure in Nottingham may not last beyond next summer.
That’s why tonight is the perfect opportunity for him to see what Samba has got in his locker. Much like how you play an academy graduate in a cup game, because you want to see if he can offer you something down the road, Lamouchi should be doing the same thing with Samba here. With four goalkeepers on the books at Forest, and Muric likely to depart in the summer, Lamouchi will have to start looking at his number one for next season sooner or later, he might as well start tonight.