Nottingham Forest have built a new squad in hopes of staying in the Premier League

Most read « This elimination does not mean that our project stops now » Update UEFA coefficient: why La Gantoise’s non-qualification for the Europa League would only be half a disaster Only Tadej Pogacar, Remco Evenepoel and Alejandro Valverde do better than Arnaud De Lie in 2022 From a double junior world championship title to the red jersey on the Vuelta: « It was a bit crazy, like me » Vuelta 2022: Jay Vine beats Remco Evenepoel who take the power ! Want to continue reading this article? Choose your Sportmagazine subscription Already a subscriber? Log in and continue reading Newsletter The best of Sport/Foot Magazine every week in your mailbox Subscribe Most read « This elimination does not mean that our project stops now » Update Coefficient UEFA: why a non- qualification of La Gantoise for the Europa League would only be half a disaster Only Tadej Pogacar, Remco Evenepoel and Alejandro Valverde do better than Arnaud De Lie in 2022 From a double world champion title among juniors in the red jersey on the Vuelta: « It was a bit crazy, like me » Vuelta 2022: Jay Vine is ahead of Remco Evenepoel who takes power! Nottingham Forest are back this season among the elite of English football. It has been 23 years since one of English football’s oldest and most legendary clubs played at this level. But whether the Reds can build on that momentum is another story. It was on a sunny afternoon at Wembley that Forest played in the Premier League play-off final against Huddersfield FC. A feat in itself, because the Tricky Trees were last in the Championship after seven days, during which they had garnered only one unit. The appointment of manager Steve Cooper, however, made it possible to make a spectacular comeback which ensured a fourth place, synonymous with totally unexpected Play-offs at the end of the classic phase. In the final, they won in a very close match thanks to an own goal from Lewis Colwill. Nottingham Forest therefore returned to the Premier League while Huddersfield was condemned to a new season in the exhausting purgatory that is the Championship. It’s been 23 years since the City Ground in Nottingham has had no evenings in the highest division of football across the Channel. An English stadium with a fairly classic design and beautifully situated on the banks of the River Trent. On the other side is Meadow Lane, home to Notts County, the city’s other equally iconic club. Nowhere in England are two stadiums as close together as these two. It proves how much football is alive in Nottingham, sometimes considered one of the cradles of the sport. For years, Forest was the perfect illustration of the sleeping giant: a great historic club with a loyal following that lived on a glorious past marked by two C1 titles in 1979 and 1980. But at the start of this century, poor management of the club got the better of its sporting ambitions. Fortunately, that period seems to be over, although we will have to see how long Nottingham Forest can survive in the Premier League. Also read: Co-ops, match-fixing and a crazy season: portrait of Nottingham Forest, the last promoted to the Premier League Steve Cooper, the successful manager who brought Nottingham Forest back to the Premier League©Getty Images/iStockA big voidThe club has already done so to many changes in his own core, which is sure to give manager Cooper a hard time. The English coach has surprised friends and opponents by contributing to the rise of the historic club, but maintaining the Premier League promises to be an even more difficult mission. Goalkeeper Brice Samba, hero of the play-off semi-finals, left for Lens. Nottingham Forest also relied heavily last season on the quality of hired players, such as Sam Garner (Manchester United), Philip Zinckernagel (Olympiacos) and Djed Spence (Tottenham). All of these players played an important role in the rise. However, they will no longer be there this season. Forest’s big hope is young Welsh super-talent Brennan Johnson. The speedy striker, who also scored against the Red Devils in the Nations League game against Wales, flourished under Steve Cooper last season. He scored 19 goals, with a remarkable upturn in form at the end of the season. It was he who took Forest to the play-offs in April by signing 4 goals and 4 assists. During the latter, he was again decisive with two new goals. His season was crowned with the « young player of the year » trophy. Several Premier League teams have expressed interest in his services, but he preferred to swear loyalty to the Reds at the beginning of July by extending his contract. New faces But young Brennan Johnson is not going to keep Forest on his own. Owner Evangelos Marinakis, who is also the big boss of Olympiacos, is aware of this and has therefore been active in the transfer market. While Nottingham’s budget may not be as large as those of already well-established teams in the league, the promoted have made some nice moves. The most notable of them is Jesse Lingard, the England international who never knew how to win at Manchester United. On the other hand, he had proved very valuable and above all decisive for West Ham during his loan in 2021. If he can manage to have the same impact at Forest as he had in London, he will be very valuable to clinch the upkeep. Neco Williams (Liverpool) is one of the defensive reinforcements of the summer.© iStockReinforcements have arrived in all lines. Among them are some familiar names like goalkeeper Dean Henderson (on loan from Manchester United), Liverpool talent Neco Williams (bought for 20 million euros) and of course Taiwo Awoniyi, a striker who once passed through Mouscron and Ghent. The promising Moussa Niakathé and Omar Richards also came to reinforce the rearguard. Finally, a Red Devil also adorned himself with red in the person of midfielder Orel Mangala. He arrives from Stuttgart in the Bundesliga. Also Read: Orel Mangala on his way to Nottingham Forest to force Qatar World Cup selection Nottingham will enter the new Premier League season with a team that is still a shadow of the one that was promoted last term. It is only in defense that the club seems to be betting on continuity. Manager Cooper will have to get newcomers into his system as soon as possible. Talent and potential are certainly present in the nucleus, but there is also a lack of players accustomed to the demands of English competition. Many of them still have to prove themselves. Nottingham therefore has many assets, but it will be a huge challenge to ensure that its potential can be fully expressed. Avoiding relegation would already be a great step forward for this traditional English club which has remained in the shadows for far too long for two decades now. Also read: Premier League: Five newcomers to watch this season

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