An enforced change between the sticks could be in the offing for Nottingham Forest, with Brice Samba’s disciplinary record leaving the door open for Aro Muric.

The hope is that a goalkeeping tweak can be avoided.

The Reds have experienced plenty of those down the years.

There has already been one this season, with Muric having opened the 2019-20 campaign in ownership of the No.1 berth.

His early struggles saw Sabri Lamouchi shuffle his pack.

Summer signing Samba was given a big break, and has not looked back.

It is not difficult to argue that the Congolese shot-stopper is the most important figure in the Forest XI.

Take him out and things won’t be the same.

We may be about to find out just how costly his absence can be.


Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Muric is, of course, a decent enough back-up.

He is a senior international with Kosovo and a player, at just 21 years of age, that Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola holds in high regard.

A nervous start to his time on Trentside should not be held against him.

There is no escaping the fact, though, that a support role for the youngster is the preference.

Samba has brought stability and assurance to a problematic position.

The thought of him dipping back out, even for one game, will raise the blood pressure of many.

That has, however, become a very real threat.

Samba, fresh from collecting another caution away at Bristol City, now has four yellow cards to his name.

He is just one booking away from an untimely suspension.

The cut off point for bans at this stage is 19 games.


Forest have taken in 16.

With three games to come in quick succession over the course of the next week or so.

A midweek visit to Queens Park Rangers will be followed by a home date with Cardiff and a trip to Millwall.

Will Samba figure in all of those fixtures?

Here’s hoping!

If we can get into the hectic festive period with no more cards flashed in his direction, then all will be well with the world.

One error of judgement, though, will alter the picture.

So, for the sake of our sanity, please Brice, no more time-wasting or talking back to the match officials.

At least for a few days!

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