Rotation is a buzzword of modern football, with Nottingham Forest as happy to get involved as anyone else.

Sabri Lamouchi inherited an inflated squad when taking the reins over the summer.

He has plenty of options at his disposal.

That does, however, not mean that he has to use them.

Plenty have been frozen out – Costel Pantilimon, Claudio Yacob, Alexander Milosevic et al – with the Reds eager to work with a core group.

That philosophy has served them well thus far.

Joe Worrall and Ben Watson have been ever presents, Michael Dawson likely would have been had an untimely knock not got in the way.

One man who was given a first rest of the campaign on Sunday is Lewis Grabban.

There were 55 minutes on the block before he was introduced off the bench at the DW Stadium.


(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In an effort to keep a prolific frontman fresh, Rafa Mir was given a chance to lead the line.

He inspired little confidence.

John Bostock also struggled to get going on what was his first Championship start for the club, while Tobias Figueiredo looked a little rusty as he continues to trade places with Chema as Michael Dawson cover.

Yuri Ribeiro, as you would expect from a left-back, was a little out of sorts when stuck on the right wing.

Jack Robinson, in a more natural berth for a Portuguese rival, failed to stake a serious claim for a regular role.

The changes have attracted criticism, as is to be expected on the back of a disappointing 1-0 defeat.

Lamouchi said in the Nottingham Post afterwards: “We didn’t change it for change’s sake.

“I need to manage my players – especially the players who can make a difference – like I did with Grabban.

“This was my decision. Maybe wrong. Probably. I don’t know.”


Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

The man calling the shots at the City Ground is still learning as he goes along in many ways.

A first experience of English football was not supposed to be as easy as he was making it look.

Forest’s surge into the top two landed him a Manager of the Month award.

And the fabled curse of said prize.

Hopefully that is now out of the way heading into back-to-back home dates with Hull City and Reading.

Reverting back to the tried and tested would also be advisable.

There is a plenty to be said for keeping certain players out of the firing line with one eye on the future.

Forest, and Lamouchi, must now avoid learning the hard way that tomorrow may never come.



With only 11 games down heading to the DW Stadium, and fresh from a two-week international break, bodies and minds should not have been that tired.

Three games in six days is also pretty standard fare for the Championship and professional footballers should be able to handle the demands.

No-one will have wanted to drop out of a team which had established momentum and a feel-good factor.

The likes of Grabban, Joao Carvalho and Tiago Silva will be needed in order to recover from a second bump in the road of 2019-20.

In many ways, they were required to try and prevent it.

Playing your best players is, quite obviously, the best approach in any given fixture, regardless of the schedule.

Lamouch has said: “This is a good example for the future.”

He was speaking about the collective, with a kick up the backside no bad thing for a team that had grown accustomed to avoiding them, but it could just as easily be applied to the individual.

A French tactician has shown himself to be a quick learner and it may be that rotation, while not eradicated, is dialled down – at least until even more options can be brought on board in January.

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