Why Nottingham Forest must build the play around Lewis Grabban
Nottingham Forest’s latest Championship game against Leeds United saw them play out a frustrating 1-1 draw.
The pressure upon the home side did increase in periods but Forest failed to consistently keep the momentum going. Realistically, the club’s only high point was the goal from Lewis Grabban.
In the summer, there was a lot of speculation about his future (h/t Nottinghamshire Live) and if that wasn’t enough, the striker has always been in the news for not doing enough on the field in terms of his work rate off the ball.
All that might be true but can Forest really move forward without Grabban in the team? The answer is most certainly a no. When Aitor Karanka was in charge last season, Forest looked like strong promotion contenders but after a while, the club fell agonizingly short.
As a result, Karanka was shown the exit door and things were being shifted to cope with the change. There were ups and downs but through it all, Grabban remained unfazed.
Granted, the second half of the campaign wasn’t particularly kind to him but the fact that he scored 17 goals speaks volumes of his skills and abilities. And he did the same against Leeds.
The thing about Grabban is that he’s an out-and-out striker. As the competition increases, players are being pushed to greater limits, which is why it is not uncommon to see a player like Roberto Firmino, who, despite being billed as a striker, is known for his exemplary work rate off the ball.
It is also why defenders like Kieran Trippier, Andy Robertson and even Luke Shaw were being lauded for doing something more than their defensive duties – scoring goals.
However, when it comes to Grabban, what you see is what you get. He is good at scoring goals and that’s what he should be doing.
New manager Sabri Lamouchi simply needs to find a way to maximize that. And the best way to do so would be to boost their overall creativity and shift the focus to a more attack-oriented setup.
For example, in the game against Leeds, Grabban’s 77th-minute equalizer was the result of a set-play. The fact that it was the 31-year-old’s only real opportunity of the game illustrates the desperate need for creativity and attacking impetus.
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Thus, if Forest are to get close to achieving promotion, they will need to build a steady supply line to ensure Grabban can do what he does best – score goals.