As the end of another decade approaches, many supporters, pundits and even players have started to compile their Nottingham Forest Team of the Decade.
Given that 10 years is a long time in football it seems unlikely that any two compilations will prove exactly the same.
Forest haven’t had a great deal to shout about collectively during the last decade, although several individuals have still caught the eye.
Nottingham Forest News editor Lee Clarke was set to task this week to come up with his Team of the Decade and came up with this starting XI:
GK – Lee Camp
The goalkeeper arrived initially on loan during the 2008/09 campaign and helped steer Forest clear of relegation.
A former Derby player, Camp signed permanently for the Reds in 2009 and would enjoy four seasons as the club’s number one goalkeeper.
It’s fair to say that Forest supporters saw the best of Camp.
Since leaving the City Ground he has turned out for Bournemouth. Rotherham, Sunderland and Birmingham City. Supporters of those clubs might not hold Camp in the same esteem as those of a Forest persuasion.
Now 35, Camp was brilliant for the Reds. His performances were instrumental in Forest reaching the play-offs during two successive campaigns and he gets the nod in goal here.
RB – Chris Gunter
Forest haven’t been blessed with too many quality full-backs during the last ten years but Gunter was one of them.
The Wales international played 155 games for the Reds having initially arrived on loan from Tottenham in 2009.
He would enjoy three successful years at Forest before signing for Reading in 2012.
Gunter was as good going forward as he was defensively and his form over the years has seen him earn 96 caps for his country.
CB – Wes Morgan
It’s impossible not to include the man who since leaving Forest has put his hands on the Premier League trophy.
Morgan was quite simply colossal for the Reds, making 402 appearances having graduated from the club’s academy ranks.
The uncompromising centre-back was another important part of the Reds team that reached the play-offs twice under Billy Davies.
His partnership with Luke Chambers was a joy to behold during those sparkling campaigns and it’s no surprise that Morgan has enjoyed a quality Premier League career.
Now 35, Morgan is arguably the best player to ever emerge from the youth ranks at the City Ground.
CB – Jamaal Lascelles
Talking of academy graduates, alongside Morgan in this Forest Team of the Decade is Lascelles.
Some might question the placement of a man who only made 66 appearances for the club but his quality was evident.
In 2015 it was a real bombshell when the club accepted a bid from Newcastle for his services. Forest accepted a paltry £7 million (Sky Sports) which saw Lascelles and Karl Darlow head to St James’ Park.
It was always apparent that the big central defender would go onto bigger things, however, and Lascelles is now the Newcastle United captain.
The 26-year-old was superb at the ball-playing defensive role and was brilliantly strong in the air.
LB – Chris Cohen
Impossible not to include Mr Nottingham Forest given his service to the football club.
He gets the nod at left-back given that during the last 10 years it has proved a difficult position for Forest to fill.
Cohen made 303 appearances for the Reds during his 11-seasons at the football club. He would eventually become the captain and endeared himself to supporters with a determined style of play.
Cruel knee ligament injuries put a premature end to his playing career and he is now the assistant manager for the club’s under-23s.
CM – Henri Lansbury
It’s very difficult to leave Paul McKenna out of this team but Lansbury gets the nod in the middle of the park.
Lansbury signed for the Reds in 2012 from Arsenal, spending five years at the City Ground.
He played 150 times for the club scoring 33 goals and registering 20 assists – although that doesn’t tell a full story.
Lansbury was very frequently played in a midfield role that perhaps didn’t play to his strengths.
He was tasked with marshalling the back four a lot of the time. That meant that Lansbury proved ineffective some of the time during a frustrating period for the club’s supporters.
When utilised in his proper position he thrived and although he proved somewhat ‘Marmite’ among the supporters, Forest were a lot worse without him in the team during his time at the club.
CM – Lewis McGugan
It remains a complete mystery that McGugan didn’t go onto play at least one game in the Premier League.
The Nottingham-born midfielder earns his place in this team largely based on one superb season where he often proved unplayable.
During the 2010/11 campaign, the maestro notched 13 goals – several of which were absolute belters – and 16 assists as Forest reached the Championship play-offs.
Those statistics from central midfield would have made him worth a fortune in today’s game and it seems almost criminal that McGugan never fulfilled his undoubted potential.
RW – Michail Antonio
The attacking forward’s time at Forest might have been short but it proved extremely sweet.
Having signed from Sheffield Wednesday for a small fee it couldn’t have been predicted what impact Antonio would have on the team.
The speed demon terrorised defenders on a weekly basis and worked up a telepathic understanding with Britt Assombalonga who was signed during the same summer.
He scored 19 goals and registered 15 assists before signing for West Ham United for £7 million (BBC Sport) after just over one season at the City Ground.
LW – Andy Reid
The ex-Republic of Ireland international is another that simply cannot be left out of the Team of the Decade.
During Reid’s second spell at the football club, he played 130 times, re-signing following the appointment of Steve McClaren in 2011.
Reid’s last two seasons at Forest were hampered by a groin injury which would eventually end his playing career.
To fans of a certain generation, Reid is one of the most technically gifted players to wear a Forest shirt.
Towards the end of his career, he was utilised in central midfield but his superb left-foot makes him a must on the left-wing of this team.
ST – Robert Earnshaw
It would be easy to include the former Wales striker in this team, based purely on his open hatred for Derby County.
A turbulent spell at Pride Park was ended when Forest added him to their ranks following promotion in 2008.
In 110 appearances for the Reds, he scored 43 goals and proved himself as a man for the big occasion.
The little talisman was devastating in and around the penalty area and played every single game as though it was his last.
During back-to-back play-off campaigns Earnshaw regularly came up trumps. He famously netted a hat-trick during a 5-1 win over Leicester and scored the winner in Forest’s first-ever win against Derby at Pride Park.
Despite only having two years at the club, Earnshaw’s stock among Forest supporters proved sky high.
ST – Britt Assombalonga
Alongside Earnshaw is lethal finisher Assombalonga.
He signed for the Reds for £5.5 million in 2015 and his quality in front of goal quickly became evident.
In 69 appearances for the Reds, he netted 30 goals and but for a serious knee injury, he would have added a lot more to his name.
A striker of Assombalonga’s ilk hadn’t been seen on Trentside since the legendary Stan Collymore and his playing style showed similarities.
The powerful frontman was a handful for any Championship defender during his time on Trentside and like Earnshaw, he chipped in with a couple of important goals against Derby.
Here is how Lee Clarke’s Team of the Decade might look: