What is there left to say about Ben Watson this season, with the Nottingham Forest midfielder putting in another commanding performance at QPR.

To be in this position would have been unthinkable in the midst of summer.

Here we are, though, with winter sweeping in, and Watson has become a talisman.

A name that many expected to be nowhere near the team sheet is now one of the first on it.

And for good reason.

Watson’s displays in 2019-20 have been nothing short of extraordinary.

To have once considered him disposable now feels like sacrilege.

Rather than being freed from the city, he should be given the freedom of it if promotion is secured!

Because he continues to play a leading role in that quest.

Integral

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

With his efforts taking on an ever-increasing level of importance.

As the hectic festive period approaches, with the games coming thick and fast, Forest need to exert as much control on proceedings as possible.

Watson is integral to those plans.

He showed as much again during the midweek 4-0 win at Loftus Road, with the duties he carries out significantly aiding the collective cause.

The 34-year-old is not one to fly into challenges all over the field, with his game all about composure and timing.

One full-blooded challenge against QPR did, however, allow Watson to send Sammy Ameobi scampering away down the left before teeing up Lewis Grabban for a tap-in.

That snapshot of another 90-minute outing sums up the stand-in captain.

He does whatever is required of him at any particular time.

If he needs to win the ball, he will, but if getting a toe in or ushering an opponent down a blind alley is the way forward, then the method can be tweaked.

Nuisance

 

In many ways, Watson is a nuisance.

The kind of player that you want beside you rather than against you.

And he is positively revelling in the role of chief pest on Trentside.

Watson told the Nottingham Post earlier this season of his efforts: “I go out and I do my job for the team.

“I don’t score the goals or create the goals, but I like to think I affect the game in the way they want me to do it.

“I’d like to think the manager and my teammates do appreciate that.”

They do, along with those of us in the stands.

Somebody has to do the dirty work, and to have someone who relishes those responsibilities is priceless.

Sabri Lamouchi has recognised as much, with it difficult to see how a man who has been an ever-present in starting XIs this season is going to slip back into obscurity any time soon.

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