The annual trip to The City ground is a much anticipated day out for many Bees fans – particularly with Brentford getting a result more times than most.
Plus the Beesotted crew review the recent Bristol City match and Greg Mitchell from Forza Garibaldi chats Forest on the Forest preview podcast (below)
It’s a new season. New manager for Forest. How is Lamouchi shaping up?
The Frenchman is exceeding expectations so far. With very little known about Lamouchi beforehand and a previously flawed transfer policy, I wasn’t too hopeful about how the season would pan out.
The only league game we’ve lost was on opening day whilst a second string outfit got well beaten by Arsenal reserves in the League Cup. We look a well-balanced outfit at the moment. Solid at the back with a genuine threat going forwards.
It’s so far, so very good.
Going back to 2011 when you hired Steve McClaren just after you finished 6th in The Championship, Forest have pretty much had two. If not three managers per season.
The manager merry-go-around has certainly taken it’s toll over the years. Give us your take on it
Despite three ownerships in the last 10 years, the managerial changes have only accelerated in recent years. This owner Evangelos Marinakisis determined to get to the Premier League but won’t stand for mediocrity.
Martin O Neil’s appointment was one of the strangest of the lot. It wasn’t great. But wasn’t a disaster either.
It feels like Lamouchi had been courted for a while given how swiftly he was appointed. Rumours were that he initially turned the Forest job down after Karanka walked.
You have a huge squad – with over 30 players in the first team squad alone. Will Lamouchi have a tough job trying to keep everyone happy?
Well he’s whittled down a working day squad to about 23 and told others that they aren’t in his plans. So they aren’t around the first team squad.
Forest have done some decent work in shifting a lot of players in the last transfer window that were happy to sit on decent contracts.
There are still a few more to go but with a number out of contract in the summer, we should be in a relatively healthy position in terms of numbers. It’s not been sustainable for some time.
It’s a pity we’ve had to sell academy prospect Arvin Appiah for £12m to Almeria to offset those costs and keep us within FFP limits.
You made a fair few signings this summer – both permanent and loanees. Who are you excited about?
Samba Sow is a monster in the midfield for us and he’s been a huge positive in getting us back into games. Our new keeper Brice Samba also looks a very good acquisition so far.
Thiago Silva is developing by the game and can show some quality.
Carvalho was pretty much dropped under Martin O Neill so his return into the fold feels like a new signing. At £13m, he has magic in his boots.
Sammi Ameobi and Albert Adomah have been shrewd acquisitions on free transfers.
The real positives have been in the return to form of existing players like Michael Dawson, Joe Worrall, Lewis Grabban and most notably Ben Watson. He looks completely revitalised under Lamouchi and plays a pivotal role in the new midfield set up.
Matty Cash has been converted to full back this season and is growing in performances by the game. He gives an extra attacking edge.
Disappointingly so far, Joe Lolley has struggled to reach the heights of last season.
Your owner Evangelos Marinakis also owns Olympiakos who finished 2nd in the Greek Super League last season. Is his Premier League and European Competition dream a real likelihood do you think?
He’s chucked a fair bit of money at Forest and has turned the club on its head off the pitch. Community engagement has been a huge feature of the work and ticket prices are carefully priced to get bums on seats.
We’ve almost doubled attendances in the last two years. Redevelopment of the stadium including a new Main Stand says that he’s here for the long term which is great news for the club.
On the pitch, The Premier League seems a very long way off but you never know in the Championship. If we can maintain current form and strengthen with an extra striker in January, we might well be able to go better than the 8thposition we finished last time out.
The league seems to be wide open this season.
Six wins in your last sevem matches and unbeaten away from home. That’s promotion form. What has made Forest so difficult to beat this season?
Old heads in Dawson and Watson have been put in the side to establish the manager’s new way of thinking and have played so well.
They’re the first names on the team sheet.
Dawson will miss the Brentford game through injury but hopefully he’ll be back after the international break.
The new keeper looks very assured and with the combative Sow next to Watson in midfield, the spine of the team looks well set.
Forest. Strong at creating chances and finishing them off. Not so strong giving the ball away and avoiding individual errors. How do you see this panning our over the season?
I’ve bemoaned ball retention for much of the season but game by game we’ve improved. Stoke wasn’t a great performance but we managed to pick up 3 points.
There have been 2 sublime away performances at Fulham and Swansea which have resulted in good wins.
Lewis Grabban will score goals when given the supply so it’s positive that he’s got 5 for the season so far.
Joe Lolley can only get better.
Brentford come to Forest with a patchy record this season. Winning two matches away from home so far, The Bees have struggled at times to break down dogged defences. How do you think they will get on this weekend?
I watched the Barnsley game and despite going behind early on, I thought Brentford were worthy winners. Fair play that despite the conditions, you continued to play football in the right way.
I thought Said Benrahma was excellent and we’ll need to keep him quiet especially. Pontus Jansson looked an inspired signing in the summer as a vital jigsaw piece to address defensive frailties.
I’d fully expect Brentford to kick on and push for a play off place this season.
This is going to be our toughest test of the season since West Brom came to Forest on the opening day. Hopefully both teams will be able to play and should be a good game.
I’m going to go with a narrow 2-1 win for Forest with Lewis Grabban getting the goals for Forest.