By Ross Crombie
Well, what to say? This match reflected all we know about Kieran Dowell, and why he’s at the City Ground, and not L4.
Forest were impressive in the first 30 minutes, moving the ball quickly and smoothly, and Dowell was at the heart of it. His pass inside Gibson (I think) for McKay to round the keeper to score was sublime. His flicks all came off, he was applauded for almost every touch.
But we also saw him eased off the ball a couple of times, and in the last 15 mins of the first half, he disappeared, coinciding with, or causing, Forest’s intensity to wane.
The second half was more of Dowell’s curate’s egg. Good in parts, but nothing special. He found space easily, coming off the defenders in the No10 role, but Forest players didn’t find him, and so his influence was negligible.
But then he’s found out wide, crosses first time and Gibson fouls Murphy (or was it Brereton) for a slightly harsh penalty. So I guess he gets two assists!
— Nottingham Forest BR (@NFFCBrasil) August 19, 2017
Marks out of 10: 6
Other points of note
Gibson is not the answer to our left CB vacancy. Adama Traore continues to be the fastest thing on two legs but unable to cross a ball, and btw he’s never scored a goal for Barca, Villa or Boro. Beware those that demand pace out wide – no good if you can’t pass (see Gerard Deulofeu).
Adam Forshaw, once of this parish, was bullied off the ball too often and subbed at HT. Brereton for Forest looks a real prospect – strong and quick and an eye for goal. Too young to be our striker answer but maybe buy as one for the future? Forest could well be play off contenders on this form; Boro looked toothless.