Let’s get one thing clear, Sabri Lamouchi has been a revelation during his debut campaign as Nottingham Forest manager.

A relatively unknown quantity has exceeded all expectations.

Apart from his own, probably.

The affable Frenchman will have arrived on Trentside confident in his ability to deliver an upturn in fortune.

A loyal fan base has been swept along for the ride.


It must, however, be noted that life in the City Ground dugout is rarely a walk in the park.

Highs will be countered by lows, with there forever a fine line to be found between adoration and abhorrence.

If you are going to revel in the plaudits – two Manager of the Month awards etc – then you have to accept the odd dose of criticism.

Football, like in any walk of life, is not a one-way street.

Lamouchi knows as much.

He graced the very highest level as a player – an international with France and European performer at club level.


Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

In coaching circles, he has worked at a World Cup finals.

Calling the shots for the likes of Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure.

Which makes another admission of making a “mistake” in the 1-0 defeat at home to Charlton all the more frustrating.

Lamouchi has been on a steep learning curve in English football.

He had no prior experience of life in the Championship, but plenty of the sport as a whole.

Nobody should need to tell him that sweeping changes to a winning side are rarely a good idea.

Said approach was, however, taken at Wigan back in October.

Lamouchi said in the Nottingham Post after seeing his side beaten 1-0: “Maybe I was wrong.

“I trust everyone, I have a lot of confidence in all my players.

“It was a tactical choice, but on the pitch, in the game, we missed a lot.”

Fast forward to December 6 and a visit to Millwall which required a Lewis Grabban rescue act off the bench in a 2-2 draw.



Lamouchi said in the Post after once again starting with Rafa Mir up top and switching to a 3-5-2 formation: “Confusion is the right word, but it is a big information for me.

“We can’t make them confused.

“I need to be more analytical, more pragmatic. What I have in mind… I can trust in them more than they trust in themselves.”

An unfortunate hat-trick was completed versus Charlton.

Five alterations were made to the team which had the City Ground rocking a few days earlier against Leeds.

“We made a lot of mistakes – probably me first with some changes,” Lamouchi admitted in the Post.

“We could play for two or three hours and not create a lot.

“Wrong night. Bad performance.”

Lamouchi cannot afford to make the same error of judgement again.

Yes, his hands may have been tied slightly by the odd untimely knock, but too much tinkering delivered the flattest performance of his reign to date.

There are still 14 games to come, starting with a big one at West Brom on Saturday.

A positive result there and the Forest world will be all sweetness and light once more.

That is how sport works, Lamouchi is aware of that and now has to come up with a plan which will ensure emotions swing wildly in the opposite direction to those conjured up on Tuesday night.

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