Nottingham Forest were humbled in the FA Cup by Championship strugglers Blackpool yesterday and Gustavo Scarpa proved the only bright spark. It was a drab day for the Reds but the Brazilian did at least provide one positive aspect of the defeat.
Forest were beaten 4-1 by the Tangerines. The Reds went with a complete second string, with Steve Cooper making 11 changes from the team that won away at Southampton on Wednesday night.
The team should have been strong enough to beat a Blackpool outfit without a win since October 29th. But, the Championship outfit were slick, determined and showed a clinical side to their game.
For Forest, players like Emmanuel Dennis, Sam Surridge and Lewis O’Brien all fluffed their chances to shine for the Reds. Now, they will likely have to remain on the fringes of the team for the foreseeable.
One player who did star was Scarpa. Whilst all those around him crumbled and looked like rabbits in the headlights, the 29-year-old was composed, calm and showed some willingness to get Forest back into the game.
Who Scored showcased exactly what Scarpa did which was impressive. He made nine crosses, played five long balls and completed 79% of the 39 passes that he attempted in the 90 minutes.
Defensively, Scarpa was sound too. He made two tackles and completed two interceptions during the clash. Interestingly, he also won three headers which seems somewhat a lot for a player who operated as a number 10.
Scarpa provided only bright spark for Forest
The 29-year-old looks like an exciting signing made by Forest. He will need some time to adapt to the English game but it would appear that Cooper is willing to give him a chance to shine.
After losing in such an emphatic style, it was always going to be hard to find positives. Scarpa, however, did provide one and supporters seem willing to cut him some slack for the performance.
Experienced professionals let Forest down yesterday. Scarpa did at least send the Forest fans away with a very minor positive and it will be interesting to see how he continues to develop at the City Ground.