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Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the Galera of Already Read podcast. Happy Monday morning, Nottingham Forest podcast. I'm Max Hayes. And as Forest fall to defeat in an entertaining game at the City Ground, a three to win for Newcastle United. Two goals for the Reds coming from Anthony Alanga and Callum Hudson. Adoy, just wasn't enough on the night to discuss all of the game. Anthony Taylor, and I'm sure much, much more, joined by first of all, Sarah Clapson and broadcaster as well, Max Scott. Sarah, Let's kick things off then. How are you and what did you make of the game, really, from the press box?


Yeah, morning. Doing okay, thank you. It was such a frustrating game, I think, because there were so many positives, but all So some negatives. The usual Achilles heel of defending just killed Forest, really, which was a real shame because going forward, they were a threat. They looked good. They had some really positive moments, two very good goals. Attacking-wise, some good performances. Defensively, not so good. Set pieces and have been a real Achilles heel, and they still are. And that's the worry, I think, that Forest generally played pretty well, but came away with nothing to show from it. Sixth, 3-2 defeat of the season. I think that probably tells a bit of a story, really.


Yeah, it does. I think just, I don't know, I just think three-tos and Forest this season seem to go with each other. Max, what did you make of the game?


I think Sarah's absolutely bang on, really. It's indicative of our season. There's just that feeling, isn't there? And you can package it in whatever way you want, and people can blame whoever they want, but there's just a feeling that we aren't going to hold on to a lead and that there's a mistake or that there's a lapse of concentration in us. But nonetheless, it is It is encouraging that we do look capable of scoring goals. We've scored two against United, five against Newcastle in the past couple of games. I like the fact that we've come from a goal behind twice in that game, but it's still not enough. Obviously, with FFP charges over our head and the potential points deduction, that we need to get points from games like that, which we deserve, regardless of the chasm between New Castle and Forest, both financially and in the table, we performed, I think, enough to be able to get something out of that game. There's obviously decisions in the game that you could argue have cost that. But regardless of Anthony Taylor's performance, Forest are giving teams opportunities to get back in the game, and that's obviously frustrating for fans.


Yeah, it is a real concern. We are live on Facebook, Nottingham Forest News and YouTube, Gariboldi Red. If you've joined us with a coffee, if you're up watching the Super Bowl late last night like me, I'm feeling a bit actually the late night has caught with me. Sarah, I think we talk about so much with Forest conceding goals and now two points off relegation, which is a concern. And you look at the table and as Max says, about point seductions that will possibly come. Do you think it's maybe a mentality thing with the players? Almost not losing three, two, but going ahead and not being able to keep on of that lead. Of course, Nuno won't admit that, but there's got to be some mentality in there from the players that they're near the bottom of the table and that they just know that they're going to concede when they score a goal instantly.


Yeah, I mean, players will know the situation. They know how close they are to the relegation zone. They know that there's that bit of pressure there, that the important thing for Nuno is to take it off them. And I think he is trying to do that. But as a manager, you can do that as much as you like. It's up to the players when they're out there on the pitch. And he said something very interesting, Nuno, afterwards that you can work on set pieces, and they are. They brought in the set piece coach. They work on it day in, day out in training. They obviously have a drill of what they want to do. But he put the responsibility on the players and then said, It's up to you. It's up to you on the pitch to solve situations, to solve problems. Perhaps he doesn't think they did that on Saturday. I think it's something that in those moments, you need a bit of leadership You need somebody to step up and really take a handle and a grasp of the situation. Maybe that's an area, probably in defense, that Forrest are lacking a little bit.


When you look at the young center That partnership of Murillo and Andrew on the Bama Dali has been brilliant. They've really come on a huge amount, but maybe getting Willy Bolley back might be a plus point. Neil Carter, as he came in on Saturday, and I thought he did okay, but maybe a little bit of leadership there to help. It's just the gap is so small, and I think that the threat of the points deduction is probably hanging over everything a little bit and just making it that bit more tense and nervy. It just adds a bit of uncertainty, which isn't helping matters. The players are bound to pick up on that, I'm sure.


Yeah, I totally agree about the leadership comment, actually, and there's a lot of comments coming into us. This morning, Ian says, Still think we like leadership on the field. Needs someone who is much more vocal and keeps hammering home the message around set pieces, concentrate, watch movement, etc. Too slow to react of what is happening and predictable moves by the opposition. And that is the problem, isn't it, Max? When you look at that, Gamere's strike in particular, in that corner, and sat in the ground watching it from the stands, you could see a free man. You could see exactly almost what Newcastle was going to do. It was the same with the Tony free kick. Yet it was just basic defending that really cost Forest despite scoring two good goals and actually playing for a large part of the game being in control, really.


Yeah. I think Forest just need more leadership at the back. Sarah has alluded to it. I would be surprised if Willy Bolly doesn't come back in to provide that. I can't remember a time. I don't think I've ever seen Willy Bolly in a Forest shirt not win a header. Now, I know that New Russell's first goal was different, but regardless of how impressive Ambama Dele has been, and particularly Murillo, we're still leaking goals. You can't just put all of the criticism on them. Defending, particularly in the modern game, is something that all 11 players do. But I would quite like to see Willy Bolley in there for that experience, for his aerial ability. I just think more often than not, he's going get his head on the ball. We just need... All of those players are clearly capable of playing in the top league. All of those players know how to defend, but it's just not happening in the moment. I think it's a culmination of where we find ourselves in the league, players not being able to deal with the pressure that they're under, and obviously, some change is needed in there.


Yeah, I suppose it needs to come drastically, really, Sarah. I suppose when you look at Forest having that set piece coach and appointing that, and that was something that Marenackus instigated because of how concerning Forrest were from set pieces. Has Nuno really talked about the set piece coach much since he's come through the door? Has it been mentioned in press conferences, really?


Well, the set piece coach specifically wasn't mentioned, but the set pieces were mentioned on Saturday because it was quite clear that that was a problem, and obviously it has been. It's easy He's not even been in the job two months yet, Nuno, and he's had a lot of games to deal with in that time, and that perhaps makes it feel like he's been at the club longer than he actually has. He's still getting to grips with the squad, the team. He's had a lot of players absent for a long period of time. I think stability is needed as well. And again, that feeds into the set piece, defending and attacking. If you have a settled back line, it's going to be so much easier to the set piece coaches messages across and everybody gets to know their jobs better. If you're playing together week in, week out, you start to know what your teammates strengths and weaknesses are, and then it becomes easier to, as Nuno said, solve the problem yourself on the pitch. I think he wants the players to take a bit of responsibility themselves in that sense. But again, it's getting a back line that is used to playing with each other.


It's a new goalkeeper. That was Matt Sels' second game, his first home game. It's still very much a case of players starting to gel a little bit because there's been so many changes. I think Nuno knows what the problem is. He knows set pieces are an issue. He knows leaking goals are an issue. Solving them is a different matter, and that's obviously something that he's got to work on.


Yeah, huge, really. Set pieces, Forrest have now conceded the most goals in terms of set pieces in the Premier League. It's 15. So concerning stat, top of the table for that one, and Forrest really don't want to be there. It's interesting, Sarah, actually, you mentioned about players gelling and things like that. A lot of comments as well coming in on Facebook and YouTube that says about too much chopping and changing. Mark says, too much chopping and changing in our defensive line up to the season. And you have to agree with that, Max, because you look at Oma Baladele, who came in and has done so well since new It was almost start to life at the city ground. I was a bit shocked that Niakate slotted in straight away, and albeit Niakate with his brilliant throw, it was half the time, but I didn't think I saw actually one that beat the first man on Saturday.


Nuno, you've got to think is just thinking about experience, perhaps. He has looked impressive, but he is quite young, and so perhaps he's trying to protect him. I don't really know. But I think the real question is, if Nuno really wants to create a solid defensive line, then he needs to answer the question as to why he's starting Nuno Tavares. I mean, that's the big defensive question. Amu Bamadele, Niakate, potatoes, potatoes, they're clearly both talented, quick, technically proficient centrebacks. I don't really care who starts. What I think we care about as forest fans is that we don't concede, and we're conceding regardless. But the obvious question for me, anyway, is why is Nuno Tovarez starting a Premier League football match? Notwithstanding his embarrassing attempts from 45 yards out. He scored six goals from Marseille, and it seems that he's just almost got a little bit brave and just just thinks that he's all of a sudden a prime Steven Gerard. So notwithstanding that, I cannot, for the life of me, fathom why he is a better left-back than Harry Toffalo, who has proved himself at Premier League level to be a real help in terms of assists and getting the balls in the box.


Now, not to completely reign on to our as his parade. In the first half, he did really show that turn of pace and cut the ball back to Morgan Gibbs-White, who could have done better. Despite that, though, I think if you want a defense that is going to fight for your life as a Premier League football club, then Harry Toffalo, for me, he has to be picked. He really plays with a passion and determination. He clearly has an affinity with the club and with the fans. If you're in a relegation dogfight, which we are, particularly with a points deduction more than likely coming our way, I don't think Nuno Tavares is that player. That's the real question for Nuno that I have, is you can flip around with centrebacks. They're all pretty decent, whether it's Boli, Marillo, Ombovana Dele. But Nuno Tavares, for me, is just not up to scratch, and that's just got to change. I don't know how long it's going to take him to realize.


I think it's a topic discussed amongst the terraces. Loads, Max. It seems like it's a big talking point. Just looking at my notes, actually, I was going to touch on it later. But we'll talk about it now, this Tavares over Toffalo situation. Sarah, when If you look at Harry Toffalo, as Max says, the great job he's done, really, off the pitch and on the pitch. He had all of the controversies surrounded himself, and he almost fought back from that and proved that he still wanted to play for Nottingham Forest and prove that he almost cares about the club still and really wanted to get first-team football. So it is a big question as to why Nuno is picking Tavares, and whether you can see that changing in the few weeks, really.


I'll be honest, I couldn't decide on Saturday whether Tavares had a good game or a terrible game because he got forward a lot. He got in some really good positions. He carried the ball well. His pace was a real threat, but there was nothing at the end of it. And as Max mentioned, the shots were just wayward and just wasted what was really good positions. If he'd had better decision making in those moments, he would have been man match because he was just getting up and down that flank a lot. He just didn't use it. I think that's probably why Nuno is favoring him over Tofalo a little bit, is that he has that pace and he has that ability to... Tofalo gets forward well as well, but I think Tavares just has that little bit of an edge in that sense. Defensively, though, for me, Tofalo is much more solid, much more reliable, and he also puts in really good crosses. I would say his decision making is better than Tavares is. But I think Nuno just prefers Tavares at the minute. Whether that changes or not, I guess we'll have to wait and see, but I would agree.


I think Toffalo, when we're talking about leaders, when we're talking about characters and big personalities on the pitch, I think he fits that as well because he just carries himself so well. He's a really popular member of the squad, really well liked, and I think he just does his job. He might not always catch the headlines, he might not always be the best player on the pitch, but generally, you can rely on him to do what he needs to do in games. And he's generally been pretty solid, I think. I can't remember too many mistakes that he's made, whereas I can remember quite a few with Nuno Tavares.


He's not X-Factor, is he, Harry Toffalo? I quite like that. I quite like that he's just solid left-back. Whereas I think that Tavares wants to be the X-Factor or thinks that he's got the X-Factor. And so far, he absolutely doesn't. And so I think if anything needs to change, it's got to be at left-back. And for precisely the reasons that Sarah says, he's really well-liked in the team, he's well-liked on the terraces, he's solid, he's consistent. I don't want my my left-back scoring 30-yard screamers. I want my left-back bombing up and down the wing, putting in tackles, running the most amount on the pitch, and maybe getting an assist every now and again. And he's really capable of that. He's delivering the Championship for the Spiel, was Brilliant. And he's shown that he can do that for Forest in the Premier League. So for me, it's just a must. It's a no-brainer. But I am fully aware that I'm not a football manager. I'm not as capable as our manager Nuno. And of course, we've got to trust him. And I think just to caveat that with, he's had a really difficult hand dealt with him, hasn't he?


He's arrived at the club. There's these FFP charges. Half the Blinking Squad have gone off to Afcon. And so I don't want to be seen to be critical too much of Nuno Espirito Santo, because I think he has been dealt a difficult hand. And if there's anything that we can hope hope from him, it's that he sets up a solid squad. We've seen that at Wolves, haven't we? In terms of what he achieved, they looked like really difficult to break down. I am still hopeful that we will see Forrest being slightly more solid in front of goal and conceding less. But I think getting Willy Bolley back is going to be really important to that process.


Yeah, I agree. Nicely said, Max. Keep your comments coming on YouTube and Facebook. Robert says, Nia Carte long throws why Newcastle have one of the tallest sides in the League, his throw is a long lumb, a gift from four defenders. I don't think we won one. And I thought that actually, in terms of aerial threat, Newcastle had so much more for Forest. You just look at their side at the city ground, the height of the players, just how simply tall they are. And I can actually remember Dan Byrne coming in, taking a throwing just by the main stand. And my mom went to me, God, I can't believe how tall he is. And I was like, Forest always needs somebody like that, especially Especially in the box, especially in the dire moments of the game. We'll move on from defense and we'll look at a few positives, which is probably in the midfield and in the attacking options. More attacking. Forest managing to score two goals again Which was a big concern a few weeks ago, a few months ago, that Forrest just couldn't score and didn't really have much going forward. But you look at Alanga, you look at Callum Hudson-Ador, you're two in two for him.


His confidence is right up there, Sarah. And that has to be a positive for Forest. Taewo, of course, isn't fully fit. He had to come off for Reggie. But despite the defensive issues in the other half of the pitch, Forest looked all right.


Yeah, I think more than all right. I think that's the frustrating thing, really, that it's going forward, really good, really positive. A lot of good performances, two really good goals, a lot to like, a lot to build on as well, I think. Yeah, Anthony Alanga was really good, I thought, on Saturday. I thought Nicolas Dominguez as well was excellent, really, really positive. Callum Hudson-Hedoy probably had his best game, good goal, and also involved in a lot of the really positive moments. Morgan gives why. I thought he did pretty well. Taewo, I thought he maybe looked a little bit like he's still getting up to sharpness at times, but could have got a goal, not just with the penalty incident. He had that other chance as well. But yeah, going forward, I think you'd be more concerned if chances weren't being created and goals weren't being scored, but they are. So that's something that Nuno has really worked on and obviously is a big positive. It's just keeping them out of the other end because it just does all that good work. If you score goals and if you play really well and you look a real threat and put Newcastle under pressure or any opposition team under pressure, but you're not able to keep it out at the other end.


Yeah, totally agree. Ross says, Our front four looks very good. One, you will get only... We'll only get sharper and goals will come. I totally agree with that. And I think, Max, that is the thing for Forest is the attacking options are all right and you manage to score Almost Forest are actually scoring one, two goals per game, and I haven't got the stat to hand. And then it's just the silly mistakes that undo you. And it's a shame because Newcastle are a good side, and it was a really battling performance on Saturday for a neutral, watching it on the TV. What a game. But it's just those silly mistakes that cost Forest, which is disappointing given how much we have to play with in the final third.


Yeah, Look, there's not much to say about it. Football is a simple equation. You need to score more than you can see. I've just looked now in the last 11, in the last six games, Forest have scored 11 goals, but we've conceded. I didn't count the other ones, but obviously we've conceded loads, haven't we? And look, Sarah said it all that. I think that Callum Hudson, it's great to see, seems to have sparked that confidence. He almost went to buy Munich for a hundred million quid not long ago. He's clearly a player of great pedigree and he's growing in confidence. He seems that goal cutting in onto his right foot and it curling in, that seems to be his thing now. And long may that continue. So it's great to see his confidence there. Morgan Gibbs-White, we've got to hold on. I think it'll be a modern day miracle for us to hold on to through the summer. He's so dynamic. Just everything about Morgan Gibbs-White, I think, deserves praise the way he carries the squad, his technical ability in tight spaces. Everybody knows. And Anthony Alanger, it's fantastic that he's proved Manchester United wrong.


How great is that for us that we've took a player that's really doing the business for us on the pitch. And Taewoal gets sharper, get fitter, but still is a nuisance. That goal he scored when he was offside, I think, shows how clinical he can be. Some people still try to criticize Taewoal, but he's got the best conversion rate in the Premier League, or certainly did before the Newcastle game. So it all looks tickety-boo up top, but we've just got to sort out the defense. We need some leadership. We need to stop the rot, if you like. And that's really where Forrest, the conversation is, because we are alarmingly close to the bottom three. And I can't help but bring up these charges because it is what hangs over, it's the dark cloud over forest at the minute. And then that really is going to be massive for our season. And so we needed to stop conceding as many goals a few weeks ago. And if we get relegated, we will look at these games as the reason why perhaps we didn't manage to overturn any points deductions. It's all about not conceding, isn't it?


And that's what needs to happen.


Yeah, it does. And also when you look at what Forest have got on the bench, and I'm just looking at a comment here from Greg, actually, about Origi offering nothing off the bench at the moment. And I think that's another huge talking point is you've got Origi, a proven Premier League striker, scored in the Champions League final. I stumbled across the highlights on YouTube a few weeks ago, and I was like, Did Origi really score in the Champions League final? And it actually shot me because it just doesn't seem to have worked at Forest. He was close to a move on deadline like that. And I suppose, Sarah, when you look at the options on the bench, now Chris Wood's out for six weeks. I'll try not to say six months like last time. Chris Wood's now out for six weeks. You've got Tye with it that isn't fully fit. And Divock Origi is third choice striker. But for me, I understand he comes on in the last 10 minutes, but just doesn't seem interested, just doesn't really seem to offer anything.


Yeah, he hoped that goal the other night might have sparked something. He's just not quite made the impact that it was hoped he would. And I guess if you talk about concerns up front, that's probably the big one, really, that Chris Wood's out for a while. Tywo is coming back and obviously He's had injury problems before, so you're relying on him to stay fit, which Touchwood hopefully does, having had that surgery. But you still need a bit of support. Rodrigo Ribero has come in, but is a young striker and is seen as one for the future more than anything. So maybe there's that little lack of depth in the striker position and you need Origi to really step up and provide something, probably from the bench, because he's not going to start ahead of Head of Taewo unless Tywo needs rest in like in the Cup game. He does have a reputation of being a bit of a super sub, but it's not quite happened so far. It needs to change, really, in the final few months of the season because you want your players on the bench to be able to come on and make an impact in games.


If maybe you're struggling or if players are struggling, you need to be able to turn to people and say, Right, I've got this player that can come on and have an impact, this player that can come on and get us a goal, or this player that can come on and change something. Hopefully, Gio Reina can do that as well. I think he's shown a few glimpses in a couple of appearances that he's made that have been encouraging and positive. He looks like somebody who wants to get on the ball and can make things happen and looks like he can add a different option. He's got his work worked out to try to get in the start in 11, I think. But having him on the bench can help. It's just you need other players to step up as well. And Divo Karigi He really needs to be able to do that.


Yeah, he certainly does. And when you look at Gio Reina Max, obviously only coming on for 5 or 10 minutes, but he does look like he slotted into the side straight away and he liked to almost seem to receive the ball and pass and go. Do you think maybe he's the answer a little bit between that almost gap that can be occasionally left between the Forest defense and an attack?


Not really, actually. What do I think about Reina? He's taller than I thought he looked on his pictures. Yeah, he's clearly technically proficient. He's been at Dortmund. I'm not going to say he's not got a lot of talent. I don't think he's necessary. I think he's a bit of a luxury signing. I don't think that he's going to be the difference between Forest staying up or getting relegated. I think the thing about Divock Origi, is Divock Origi, who thrives off great service. If you're playing for Prime, Champions League winning Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp, surrounded by some world-class players, then you get service. If you're a decent finisher, which he is, then that's fine. But you're not getting that in the Forest team. Forest need a striker that can do a lot of work for themselves and create problems. That is Taewo's game. He's incredibly fast, he's incredibly strong, and he's also incredibly good at finishing. That's what he's shown in a Forest shirt. That's what we need because we are too busy trying to contain, and that's not criticism, that's where Forest are in the Premier League, to be able to throw forward five or six players.


It's why we needed Johnson last season. It's why Alanga has been so instrumental this season, because really, Forest have only got three players, maximum four, able to really contribute in an action that leads to a goal. Chris Wood is simple, does what it says on the 10, big, strong, and also a good finisher. But Forest needs to play a very particular way to play towards his strengths. Divock Origi, by all intents and purposes, is on about 120 grand a week. And again, for me, another symbol of what has been an often choose my words carefully, inconsistent transfer approach. On what planet does a club like Forest need Divock-O'Reilly? Yes, he He scored a Champions League winning goal. Yes, he scored some late goals for Liverpool, but he couldn't do it in Syria. So I just think AC Milan will be absolutely laughing. To go back to your question, Gio Reina, no criticism of him, looks like a really good player. I don't think that he's going to play a massive role. I hope he does. I hope he comes on and scores a couple of goals for us, but I don't think that's where the issue is for Forest.


The issue is an even scoring goals at the minute. The issue is conceding goals. Sorry, Gio Reina, but you're not in my limelight, really.


Yes, maybe. Max, when you look at—I I can remember talking to you a few weeks ago and talking about as almost the dogfight happens with Forest this season in terms of relegation, needing the players that show desire, that show passion, and really want to fight for the football club, given that they weren't here when Forest were in the depths of the Championship, or maybe Ryan Yates and a few others. But you do look at the squad, and despite maybe that question coming a few weeks ago, against Newcastle, they showed passion for me. They showed desire, they showed fight. It was just the silly errors. So you can't criticize, surely, the passion that the players show, but you can obviously criticize the constant silly errors that will lead to Forrest goals. And that's maybe why it's a good point. And you mentioned Divock-Origui and obviously Reina. You need those players that show a bit more passion and fight sometimes.


Yeah. I'm not for one minute doubting, and I know you're not, excuse me a bit, but to be clear, I'm not doubting Divock-Origui's Professionalism, not at all. I don't know what goes on behind closed doors, and it would be wrong for me to assume that he's milking the wages and just waltzing into training and doing it half-ast. I'm not saying that, but it's just like, I want someone that's paid 15 grand a week like Harry Toffalo. I don't know what he's paid a week, but I want someone with a bit more grit, right? Yeah. It's difficult under the lights at the city ground to not play with passion, right? After Divock-Origui scored his goal in the FA Cup, Forrest put out a little video of him saying how special the fans are. I mean, that's all great. But I don't think the problem necessarily. We got to stop conceding goals. I mean, that just is the problem, isn't it? I don't want to sound like a broken record. For me, blessing, but Divock-Origui isn't, I don't think, a Premier League league-level striker, or certainly not for what Forest need. Yeah, let's just hope Tau. I mean, it's just our luck, isn't it?


Chris Wood starts scoring goals on a semi-regular basis. When we need him to, when Tywo is injured, Taewo comes back for a game and Chris Wood tears his ham string in half. I mean, it's just not going our way. And we've got to hope that this... And you look at clubs like Luton, and I find It hard not to really like Luton, even though we're in a dogfight with them, because they remind me of us last season. But it looks like they've got the wind beneath their sails. I know they lost to Sheffield United, but we need a bit of that. We need players Ryan Yates to score us, a screamer from 30 yards. We need whoever we're playing to miss an open goal. I mean, it's just not going our way in any stretch of the word.


Yeah, I agree. It just seems to be the ever-lasting story about Forest with injuries, Championship, and even the Premier League. We'll come back a little bit to maybe a look ahead to West Ham, but wanted to touch on Anthony Taylor, Sarah. I I don't like to criticize the ref too much because Forest can't blame their goals on the referee, but you can blame all of the decisions that do seem to go against us. In fact, I've got to start here, nine points lost to a variety of refereeing mistakes to Man United when Rashford had that penalty at the start of the season to many more. It is frustrating, isn't it? When every team is hard done by, but it just seems like, especially when you're in this dogfight, when you need to pick up points more than ever. The last thing you want is a ball refereeing performance.


I think it's more the inconsistency, isn't it, between referees, and that stretches across the league. It's that you can have a decision in one game that goes one way, and then in another game, it goes the opposite way. Nobody really knows where they stand with it all. That's the frustration around it. And that's why you get controversial moments like the one on Saturday. It wasn't why Forest lost, that it was a turning point in the game, but they didn't lose because they I didn't get that penalty. I think it probably was a penalty, but I think to blame the result or to pinpoint it on the referee is wrong because there was so much more to that game than that one moment. Sometimes you There are games that do turn on decisions like that. I don't think Saturday was one of them. You can look back through the season and think, yeah, there was this decision that should have gone this way and this decision that should have gone that way. I think that's probably for the end of the season because focussing on refereeing performances and decisions, it just glosses over other areas that need fixing first.


You can't control the referee, you can't control VAR, you can't control any... As many letters as far as you want to write, they can't control those decisions. So you have to put that to one side and focus on your own performance, focus on fixing your own issues, because that's what they are in control of. It's a massive cliché, but control the controllables and just try to put the rest to one side and hope that it does even out over the season. As frustrating and as disappointing and as annoying as it is to have decisions like that, Forest can't keep focusing on them because otherwise they're missing other things that need to fix him.


I've never known a profession, actually, where you can constantly make errors and still have your jobs week in, week out. That isn't targeted at Anthony Taylor, of course. It was just like sat in the stands. I can remember when it was a forest penalty appeal for the handball, which, looking back, it wasn't really a handball. Of course, Tywo's trip, I think it should have been a penalty. But Anthony Taylor actually waved to the crowd as if to say it wasn't a penalty, almost showing the crowd where the ball had hit on the arm. I'm thinking, is a professional referee, Max, why on earth is he doing that? Almost firing the crowd up for him. The trend time were going absolutely mental, as you can imagine. But I was just thinking, what on earth is that all about? It is frustrating when it seems like Forest get referees and every team gets referees that you know are going to have a poor game because of their record. Because Anthony Taylor, if we're being brutally honest, has got a bit of a poor record at the minute in terms of refereeing games and mistakes he's constantly making.


This is another example of how the rules aren't the problem. It's the implementation of the rules and the consistency of those rules that is the scourge in the Premier League. So like all this nonsense about blue cards trying to bring in new rules, VAR is on its knees. They can't even control VAR and make it consistent. So how on Earth can you Can you even fathom bringing in a sin bin to football? So yes, this is a wider point. What I'm about to say is a wider point about the issues of officiating in the Premier League. Sarah's right to say, We cannot use this as a scapegoat to say, Woe is me, that victim complex. There's a conspiracy against Forrest. That isn't the case. But it is absolutely true that Anthony Taylor has got a poor record of decisions against Forrest. My The immediate thought when I saw this was, if Erling Haaland goes down, that is a penalty. This is my opinion. I might be wrong. But we saw Anthony Taylor give Diogo Yota a penalty a few weeks ago. I can't remember who it was against. And he got touched by the keeper, and he basically then went on a 110 meter hurdle sprint and then fell over.


Anthony Taylor gave that. I cannot fathom how that is a penalty, and the one against Taewo isn't. I just think it's a perfect example of the inconsistency at the so-called elite level of refereeing. And it reminds me of Jamie Carragher's point about how If Saudi Arabia can pay some of the English match officials to go over there and officiate, why can't we, as the best league in the world, as the wealthiest league in the world, behind Saudi, why can't we go go into the talent pool in Europe and bring referees in here? Because I think it's embarrassing. I really think it's embarrassing that there is this level of inconsistency. Now, also, I've watched this back loads of times It is illegal in football to block a player. And for the first goal, whilst the defender in the box was poor, and we've spoken about this pretty much the whole podcast about Forest defending. Whilst that's true, Anthony Anthony Gordon essentially sets an NBA screen on Anthony Alanger, who's trying to get out to block the cross into Guimaraes, and he's running with him and blocking him. That's illegal. That's just not the rules. Why they are picking that up, why Anthony Taylor is not picking that up on the pitch is beyond me, because Anthony Alanger is the fastest player on the pitch, and he was an inch away from blocking that cross.


And if he hadn't been blocked by Gordon. So I just think, and I'm speaking as a fan, it's incredibly frustrating to see that inconsistency. And Debbie, this conversation going on at our IFAB about changing the rules. I mean, it's absolutely embarrassing. It's absolute nonsense. For me, it was It was Stonewall penalty. It would have been given to a bigger club, and it wasn't given to Forest. And I think there's questions over the first goal.


Yeah, no, I completely agree, Max. To actually end the official chat, Ian says, Can we sing in the official? So that's fine.


I like that idea. Good idea.


Yeah, I do too. Right. Let's look ahead to West Ham, which is a huge game given their performance yesterday. No excuses now, Sarah. Easier said than none for Forest to try and get something next week.


It's a big game, isn't it? I think it's so crucial that they get a win. I don't want to call it a must win, but I think it really is important not got a Premier League win yet in 2024. So I know there hasn't been too many Premier League games, and that's just... It sounds worse than it is, but I think it really is important to get something from it. A win would just lift the mood hugely. And all of a sudden things look a bit different and a bit brighter, and the table can quickly change even with just one victory. It just gives something then to build on and to work with and to carry forward because there's a pretty tough run of games coming up. Another game at the City Ground, which is so important to make that home form and get back to that fortress that it was last season. I think it hasn't quite been that this season yet. I think it's hopefully a few of the AFCON players are in contention again in Boli and Sangare and Aena. I guess it's whether they're in the right headspace And fitness-wise, having had a long trip back, I'm sure for Bolley and Sengare as well, having been on the winning team, that's going to be completely different compared to Aina, who, when we were speaking to Nuno last week, he said it's the players who come back on the winning side or player who come back on the winning side, obviously that's easier to keep them, their spirits high and their mood high.


But when you're having the opposite, then you have to lift whoever was on the losing side. And obviously that's Ola Eina this time. Hopefully he can quickly get back into club football and hopefully put that disappointment behind him. But it's short to play on his mind because it's such a... It will hurt. I guess getting back out on the pitch might help getting straight back into the swing of things. But again, it's coming back from a tournament and a long travel, everything that goes in with that. So it's going to be such a big game on Saturday. I think it's so important to come of it with a positive result.


Yeah, Forest still searching for their first league win in 2024. Max, no excuses for you now, given the players that will be back from AFCON. Of course, Chris Wood is still out, a few others, but you've really got to be aiming next week as a must win, maybe.


Yeah. Yes, it is a must win. We're already, I think, again, with the points deduction hanging over our heads, we're already relying on other teams to not win. I think it's a must win. Thank God West Ham got battered 6-0 because that's difficult to come back from. Well, I'm not really I'm not sorry West Ham fans, I really hope that you've taken a knock of confidence for the next few weeks so that we can capitalize on it. I know a position where Oleraina could slot straight back in to keep his mind off his Afcon final loss. That would be left back for Tavares. And I was thinking last night, the Afcon story is absolutely astonishing. It's a brilliant footballing story. I hope they make a Netflix documentary out of it. Two things I thought was And Sengare didn't play that long. He came on in the last few minutes. And I was also thinking, are Willy Bolley or Sengare, do they have a religious belief that stops them from drinking? Because I was thinking it'd be great if they were We just had a sober celebration so they could come back and play on Saturday.


So I really hope that those celebrations didn't go too long into the night, but I'm sure they did. And it'd be great to have those players back. It's a must win. I hope that Ina comes back in because he looks to have a really good tournament. And if we could bring Boli... Boli didn't play at all. He wasn't even in the squad. So I think it'd be great for him to start. And then having Sangare back in the mix would be great because it's about time he had that consistent run of games without injury or without silly suspensions, because we've seen glimpses from him, haven't we? And he needs to step up for us. Big time player, big name player, Champions League player. We'll Let's be having you then and let's see what you can do.


Yeah, there is one positive for a Monday morning is that Afcon isn't for another two years, I think so. Be all right. No more Afcon chat as much as you said, Max. It was a good story. Right, That does us nicely. Sarah, thank you. Enjoy West Ham next week. Fingers crossed for a win.


Fingers crossed, yes.


Max, thank you as well, mate.


Yeah, it's been great. Thank you.


Good stuff. I wanted to actually end the podcast on a little bit of a different note today. There's a guy who sits behind me, Barry Woodfield-Spenser. He's a lifelong Forest fan. He's also a huge fan of the Gary Body Red podcast and everything we do. Sadly, Barry suffered a stroke last week and he's in hospital. So big love to him and his family. I just wanted to give a mention to him. We're thinking of you and fingers crossed, we'll see you back at the city ground sometime soon. Right, we'll be back next week. We'll do a few episodes this week as well, previewing West Ham. Sarah, I'm sure you'll be back with your Q&A and I'll be back as well. Remember to drop us a like, share and subscribe on YouTube. We're across Apple Podcasts and Spotify, so leave us a review if you did enjoy. Thanks for all your comments as well, live, and we will see you next time. Have a lovely rest of your Monday. See you then.