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Hello everyone, and welcome back to Garabaldi Red, a Nottingham Forest podcast brought to you by Nottinghamshire Life. I'm Max Sage, your host, and today, bright and early this morning, joined by a fellow broadcaster for Talk Sport and Forest fan, Max Scott. Max, good to see you. How are you?


Yeah, I'm doing well. Thanks, Max. I'm doing well. There's a little bit of a dark cloud, I think, over Forest at the minute with the FFP stuff. And so that's lingering in the background. But yeah, I'm doing well.


Something slightly different for today's podcast. We'll be discussing new nos to do list, in our opinion, and diving into really what you should be doing around the club at the moment. As ever, if you do enjoy the podcast, don't hesitate to drop us a review. You can like and share across Spotify and all your usual podcast platforms. Max, I suppose then, let's begin. Before we delve into this to-do list, we were just touching there before we started recording this about the FFP and about Forest at the moment. It's been a while since we catched up and you've been on the podcast. What have you actually made to to new No Star and then the Brentford game and just generally overall for Forest at the minute?


I was very much in the camp that I didn't think at the time, Sack and Steve Cooper was the right thing for the club. I don't think it was right for talk about the soul of the club and the feeling around the city. But I cannot blame Nuno for that. It's absolutely the right thing to get behind Nuno. I think We've been in every single game we've played. Regardless of my thoughts on Steve Cooper, we weren't playing well. It was incredibly poor. It looked like one-way traffic in terms of where we were going in the league. We've beaten New Castle and Man United back to back. An awful referee in decision changed the complex of the game against Bournemouth, which I think we could have taken something from if we had 11 men. Then we'll get into some of the issues with the Brentford game, but ultimately we were competitive despite playing against a side that lost their previous six games. We look like we can score goals, and we look that there's something a bit about us. I think Nuno has got off to a pretty good start. He's been dealt a really difficult hand in terms of the FFP situation and what that does to the limits that we have in the transfer window.


But I think Nuno has done pretty well considering the circumstances.


I suppose, Max, that leads us quite nicely onto our first point on this to-do list, which is about committing to a back five. You We see the chopping, the changing constantly. And that's not just in the defensive line for Forest, that's in other areas of the pitch. But Nuno has really got to say this is the defensive players we're going to play every week. And the same with midfield, the same with the tack, which I'm sure we'll come on to And this is who is going to be my forest starter, similar to Cooper, I suppose, in the Championship and the latter stages of last season.


Yeah, 100 %. I mean, again, like I mentioned, Nuno has had a... He's picked up this squad where two of our centre-backs have been frozen out in Joe Wharrell and Scott McKenna, where six, seven, eight players have gone off to AFCON. He's apt to give a debut to a player that has never played for us. And so, again, I'm not blaming Nuno, but we look incredibly vulnerable at the back, both from set pieces in an open play. And there needs to just be a consistent back four or back five. It's be something that I prefer just to solidify things. The big question for me, though, Max, is around Nuno, excuse me, Nuno Tovarez. I cannot fathom why he suddenly got a place in the starting 11 for the past couple of games. I don't think that he's worth it. I prefer him to go back to Arsenal. I feel quite strongly about that. And I think that Harry Toffalo has shown himself to be a player that can kick it with the big boys in the Premier League. He's got a few assists this season. He scored his first goal. And the thing about Harry Toffalo is that he plays.


I think he represents fans on the pitch. He plays with that passion that Forest fans love to see, particularly at home, where I think he contributes to creating that atmosphere, that this is home court and you're not coming here You're not coming here without a fight thing. I'd love to see Harry Toffolo come back into the side and ultimately be a part of a much more consistent defensive lineup, because that's what we need, because despite the fact that we're scoring goals, We just look really vulnerable and weak at the back.


Yeah, we do. I suppose two key players that haven't been talked about a lot, Max, given the controversy off the pitch that particularly Joe Warrall has found himself in, is Joe Warrall and Scott McKenna. There's rumors that Warrall will depart the club towards the end of this January window. Can you see any way back for those two? Because they were an instrumental part in last season's plans, really.


They were instrumental They were instrumental in our promotion, and Forest fans shouldn't to get that. A bit of a side note, I'm baffled by the abuse that Joe Warrall gets in the dark corners of the internet. I think that it's really poor form. He loves the club, and there may have been friction between him and Cooper. Fans might be unhappy with some of the things that they think that he said, but I think that he deserves a boatload of respect from Forest fans. I do think that he's capable, playing surrounded by the right people, to play for Premier League Forest, next to Murillo and perhaps flanked by Niakate as well. They've both got pace. I certainly think Warrel is capable, but it's not necessarily a hill that I'm willing to die on. We've got loads of choices. And what I want Nuna to do is to make a decision when the boys are back from AFCON on what that defensive line looks like. So I would say that particularly Warrel is capable enough of coming back into the side. But the things that I'm hearing, And the feeling that I get is that he probably went.


You're right. The online abuse surprised me as well, given that the player has done so much for the club. But I suppose when you look at him, technically, sometimes, Max, on the pitch, he does tend to make a lot of mistakes, like a lot of footballers do and like a lot of players in this forest side. But it seems like the media perhaps are always talking about Joe Warrall mistakes. And I suppose you can understand that that gets onto the terraces and the fans seem to not turn on him as such, but there's a large proportion, I think, of the fan base that would be happy to see Joe Waddle leave this window.


Yeah, I think you're right. I'm not part of that group of fans. We've all got opinions. It's absolutely fine if they think that. I'm not saying that he's the best center back in the league by any stretch of the imagination. He has made mistakes, but I think that he's just maybe got the brunt of the attention from fans, from media. Like I say, I think that he's good enough to play in the Premier League, and it's all about who he's with. But it would seem that Nuno doesn't think that because he hasn't started him in the second leg against Blackpool, he hasn't started him against Brentford. I think it's going to be an unfortunate farewell, and I think that'll be the same for Joe because things have turned sour for him. It's probably right that he gets a fresh start somewhere else. I'd hate to see him sign for someone like Leicester, even someone like Sheffield United. We got a real strong rivalry, I think, with them, even though they're across the Yorkshire border. But if he does, fair play to him, and I hope that he does well.


Let's touch more on this to-do list that we've put together. Another two massively influential players for Forest and key players, Morgan, Gibbs-White, and Taewo. You touched on Max as well when we put this list together. It's the first time that Morgan's played in this central attacking midfield role, and obviously, Tywo up front. How vital do you think that partnership could be And also for Nuno, his job, in a way, is when Taewo comes back and he's fully fit to probably slot him straight back into the starting eleven.


I think you've got to, Max. For me, I think this is a perfect storm and I get excited by it. Morgan gives why it's playing despite his abdominal injury. He's playing his best football in a Forest shirt. He's playing in the right position. He's absolutely been instrumental in our victories over City and United, without which we'd be looking primed for relegation. And so, like I said, it's a perfect storm because then Tywo is coming back. But he's really for the first time playing with Morgan Gibbs-White, not only in that form, but in the right position. And with Alanga, clearly showing himself to be a really important player for Forest on the counter attack with his goals and his assist. I really think that that partnership and that trio with Alanga could be the thing that separates us from relegation. Again, we don't know what's going to happen with the profitability and sustainability charges. It looks like it's going to be points, minimum six. But if Everton get that, I think it's going to be a two horse race between us and Everton. And the the Morgan-Gibbs-White-Tai-Wo combination, I think, is better than what Everton have got and will be absolutely crucial in picking up points and seeing us steer clear of relegation.


So I'm really excited for Taewo to be back because he's just an absolute threat, isn't he? He's an absolute nuisance. No one wants to defend against him. He's all elbows. He's awkward. He's quick when he's fit. He's incredibly strong, and he's in the right place at the right time. And then I guess the cherry on top and the bonus of that is that Chris Wood is also scoring goals. Say what you want about Chris Wood. Say what you want about the ridiculous deal that we gave this man. Newcastle were absolutely laughing when we structured that deal. But he's got a hat-trick against Newcastle. He's looking dangerous. He's got against Brentford. I think we said off there, Max, you said he's playing in the right position. He's right on that last man being a bit of a nuisance. And so all of that said, I think we've got a front line, an attacking set up capable of scoring goals. If we can get the defensive stuff right, pick your defense, Nuno, tell us who you want, then I think we're a decent Premier League side.


Yeah, six goals in six games for Chris Ward. That includes one assist We touched on it in the last Garaboldi Red podcast, actually. And Robbie Irnshaw talked about him and almost this competition, I suppose now maybe between him and Taewo. Do you think it will be an easy decision to slot Taewo in? Of course, you make some really good points there about him, but in the same sense, don't fix what's not broken. And maybe Chris Wood, you might see him starting and Taewo on the bench for the first few games when Taewo is fully fit.


When I've thought about it, I got a little bit excited motivated then. I think what we don't want to do is we don't want Taewo to come back and get injured straight away. There's clearly issues there around him keeping fit. And with Chris Wood playing well and scoring goals, it would be unwise to bench him and just throw Tywo in there. I think Taewo is an absolutely fabulous player to bring in off the bench. And so I'd suspect that Nuno will do that for the first few games until he, the physios, the fitness coaches are absolutely sure that he can play 90 minutes. But then, like I say, it'll be the first time we've got two strikers that can score goals since we've been in the Premier League. And so long may that continue.


Next thing on the list that we put, and I suppose it's probably the biggest one on Forests fans lips at the minute, is to sort the goalkeeper situation out. And I can see you put your head in your hands there, Max. And it's such an interesting topic because Matt Turner and then Vlacka Dimas and constantly this chopping and changing engine of keepers. I think this is the most important on Nuno's to-do list and which will possibly, points toduction dependent, keep Forest in the Premier League this season is to sort a goalkeeper. Do you agree?


Oh, Max. I don't know where to start on this, mate. How much have we spent on goalkeepers? I think we spent about 20, 30 million on Turner and VlacaDimos. Yeah. I'm sorry to go there. If we've spent 30 million on these two goalkeepers. Say what you want about the Premier League rules, essentially the profitability and sustainability rules, punishing Forest for wanting to make a profit on Brennan Johnson. I agree with that. I think that they're out of date and that needs changing. But If you're spending 30 million quid on those two goalkeepers, I think it's symptomatic and it shows the scatter gun transfer strategy that this club has. And they need to be responsible and accountable all for that. It's great we've got an owner that's investing. It's great we've got an owner that wants to take us back to the big time. I'm not criticizing those expectations. But if those expectations aren't matched with a realistic, clear, well-thought-out strategy and results in spending 30 million quid on two bang average goalkeepers, then questions need to be asked. So yes, Max, we need to sort the goalkeeping situation out. I've been incredibly patient with Matt Turner because I think at times he's looked good, at times he's made some really good saves.


I like that he tries to distribute the ball and get that counter attack move in which Forest have been so successful at. But I'm sorry, all this lark about right into the PGMOL about Ivan Tony and that free kick. If Morgan Gibbs-White did that, we would love it. Football is a competitive game Sometimes you push the boundaries to try to get an advantage. Say what you want about Ivan Tony and Brentford's embarrassing welcoming home of this player that clearly wants to leave. That goal would have been avoided if Matt Turner listens to Ryan Yates about the wall and didn't stand basically on the post at the right-hand side. I'm not a goalkeeper. I'm a bang average amateur footballer. But even watching that on the screen, screaming at the screen in the pub, Max, why are you stood so far over there? It didn't need a Roberto Carlos 90-degree bend on the ball. It just side-footed it round a really poorly placed wall. So I'm clearly ranting. We need to sort the goalkeeper situation out. What do we do? Do we buy someone? Have three goalkeepers, 50 million quid or whatever? I think we need to look in the loan market for somebody.


But It's difficult then because you're adding to the wage bill. The environment in the dressing room is maybe disrupted because both of these keepers aren't going to be playing. So I think maybe there's an argument you try and you stick with them and hope that these little mistakes stop. But it's not a good situation to be in when you fight at the bottom of the league.


If I had to ask you, Max, who would you choose between the two? If you're going to have a consistent goalkeeper every single week, is it Turner or is it Vladimir Dimas in your opinion?


The phrase it's like choosing who's going to sleep with my wife comes to mind. I can't credit that. I think Gary Neville say that or Jamie Carriger. But I would choose Matt Turner. Don't ask me why. But I just think that... Is it Vladimir Chimos?


Vladimir. Yeah, there's tons of pronunciations. I do.


Apologies for not knowing that. But I think he looks a little bit... He doesn't look good at the corner under the ball. I'm not saying Matt Turner looks like Prime Manuel Neuer, but I think that he's better in that area. Again, I like the fact that he's trying to distribute the ball quickly. And so there's clearly, I don't want to be too harsh, there's clearly attributes of a good goalkeeper there, but it's just too inconsistent and hap Lazard at the top flight. So I'd say stick with Turner if we're not going to invest. And whether we can invest because of what's going on with the financial stuff is another question. So I would stick with...


What about you? Yes, I would. I watched Vlack Adimos play in the Blackpool game, and again, I just thought there was so many silly errors. I actually think Turner's shot stopping is probably one of his best parts of his game. It's his distribution that lets him down. And there seems to be this real lack of communication between him and the defensive line, and we touched on earlier there, Max, about sticking to this back five, which would probably help the goalkeeper in a long run. But it's that trust, isn't it, between the players and the goalkeeper, and it just doesn't seem to be the trust there. There's more of a trust, I think, with Turner, though. So I would agree. And if Forrest aren't going to go and spend money this window, there's a week left of it, less than that, then to stick with That's how I feel about that, really. I just think it's such a difficult situation. And someone said to me, actually, the other day, a fan stood in the away and that if we don't sort the goalkeeper situation, we're going to get relegated. I thought, well, it's probably not as drastic as that.


But it's a very good point that if you're having a goalkeeper that makes silly errors every game and is costing for his goals like the Tony free kick and like the Man United goal that Turner does that awful clearance for, then you're going to be in trouble. So we'll see. I suppose it's going to be to look up with, as you mentioned there, the profit and sustainability rules and all of the charges that we find ourselves in. I suppose fourth point on this to-do list then, Max, which is very similar to this committing to a back five, is deciding on a midfield three. We touched on before we came and recorded this about Mangala and his most likely departure from the club, which I think has shocked many people. I think Mangala is a very, I won't say crucial player for Forest, but he Certainly someone that can add something a bit different creatively and attackingly. So I suppose that leads us to the question of how important a player like Ryan Yates will probably be and who the midfield three will be if Mangala goes.


Yeah, on mangala, it's a strange one. I think he's been one of our most consistent and one of our best players this season. I think that he's a really quality player. And I'm quite sad to see him go, really. Obviously, he's not Nuno's. I think Nuno It's Typil, is he? I think Nuno, he preverse Danilo and Sangari in there, who I think have been pretty good. And hopefully, selling him with a loan to buy helps us financially as well. So I can see that. It just came out of nowhere for me. So without Mangala, I mean, Max, you know me, I am firmly in the Ryan Yates's Lord Club. I absolutely adore this man. I think he has proven time and time again that he's a Premier League player, that he's crucial to Forest. I can't remember what the stats are, but our win percentage with Ryan Yates is much higher. I love his aggression, and I think Nuno can see that. For me, Ryan Yates, not that he's the best player on the pitch, but for me, he's one of the first names on the team sheet. And I think then, despite his inconsistency, Sangare is probably going to be someone that Nuno looks to because he's done that before he went off to Afghanistan He's clearly a great player.


But for me, I've sometimes had questions of, How much do you want this, mate? Come on. But clearly, he's had some great moments, some great periods in games. And so I'd love to see him playing consistently and not picking up silly yellow cards like he did in the first half of the season, and to really build up the gears a little bit and move up the gears rather, because I think he can be a great player. Then I think that Danilo has just started scoring. We love to see that celebration. I think for me, that is the midfield three at the minute. That's what I'd say. Do you think anyone challenges that, Yates, Sengare, and Danilo?


No. I think if Mangala goes, I think that will probably be Nuno's. I can imagine if we're trying to predict Nuno in a way, then that will probably be his midfield three. I totally agree about Ryan Yates. Max, I think he's someone that is so important to the side. I just don't know. I think when we talk about players like Harry Toffalo earlier and players that really want to play for the club and fight, and that's probably what kept Forest up and grinded Forest out. Results last season was that Cooper managed to create this culture around the dressing room, this culture of we're going to go out there and we're going to give absolutely everything. And Nuno has even touched on creating that and continuing it in a way. But given the amount of sidings, given the amount of new players that potentially, it's an interesting point, but potentially don't know what it meant to the football club to get promoted originally and that they've slotted into a Premier League side straight away, then they need to understand still the importance of the club and the importance of the fans and the history. And I think that's really important.


So players like Ryan Yates that have grown up through the academy, that have been really, really in the rubbish in the Championship and then to get us promoted and survive relegation last season, they're players that I think you really want to be in the starting eleven and definitely around the dressing room For sure, I suppose which leads us nicely, Max, onto our fifth and maybe final point, got a few more to touch on, on Nuno's to-do list. Almost recreate the fortress atmosphere created by Cooper. And I suppose this is probably Nuno's greatest challenge to continue what Steve Cooper did and the connection with the fans and building that relationship at the city ground. That's really, really important.


Nuno is never going to be Steve Cooper. No one can replace Cooper in terms of his position now in Forest history. But he's absolutely right to be saying all the right things about the fans, isn't he? And about the atmosphere. But going to the games, there has been, I think, a drop this season in just in terms of the atmosphere. I think it's partly to do with what we're seeing on the pitch. But Forest fans are just so willing and able to get behind the team at any given opportunity. And So it starts on the pitch, doesn't it? And beating Man United at home, I wasn't at the game, I was working, but I was told that it was just electric, and that's what we need again. But you only get that creating that fortress atmosphere by being a difficult team to play against, by not conceding silly goals, which we've done recently. And so I do think everything that we've said about consistency, about being more solid, about having a clear identity, that all then contributes to creating an environment at home games where it is a fortress because we're difficult to break down, we're awkward to play against.


So playing the likes for me of Toffalo and Yatesy in there that have that bit of needle and that bit of passion, Morgan Gibbs-White feels like one of our own. He feels like he's come through the academy because of the connection we've got and the determination he plays with. I'm not saying it's not there. I'm not saying the atmosphere has been poor, but there's definitely been a shift, I think, this season. If we can get that right, then I think we're halfway to staying up and whatever points deductions we may get, I think that we can overturn that if we create that environment that we're talking about and that we know that can exist It's at the club.


Final point for me, Max, on this to-do list, I'm going to throw it in there, is I suppose when we go back to talking about players, is to play to players' strengths. You see the likes of Morgan playing in the middle, how well he's performed since New York. We touch on there, Chris Wood, just being on that last man, being almost that offside trap. And yes, every Chris Wood goal may go to VAR and they have to draw the lines and do it on crosshairs, whatever it may be. But if you play, I think, to players' strengths, which has done a good job of doing so far, then that ultimately creates that winning mentality eventually.


Yeah, I think you've nailed it, really. I think Nuno deserves so much credit and praise for coming in in an incredibly difficult job off the back of Steve Cooper, who is adored. Then a few weeks later, we have these charges against us. I think Nuno has been incredibly poised and is doing the right thing on the pitch, even though there are clearly some issues that we've discussed. He is doing what you've just said. He's playing to people's strengths. He's not complicating it, which I think maybe Steve Cooper fell into the trap of trying to build a little bit too quickly this new identity. So I think Nuno deserves a boatload of praise for that. We've seen it with Chris Wood, we've seen it with Morgan Gibbs-White, we've seen it with the way that he's playing Murillo. I think that there's so many reasons to be hopeful. It's difficult at the minute with everything that's going on, but that'll be massive. Just keeping things simple and picking up points wherever we can, right?


Yeah, exactly that. I suppose that leads us nicely. I will add it into our seventh and final point on Nuno's to-do list, which is keep doing what you're doing. Great start. Let's keep it going, Max.


I think it's important to say that our attitude here isn't, Nuno needs to do this. I think we're very much of the opinion that he's coming in, he's doing a really good job in a difficult situation and things are looking good. I'm sure that he knows, well, I'm sure he definitely has much better of an idea about what the club needs. I'd like to think that the things that we've been saying are probably there or thereabouts in terms of what we do need. We need consistency and solidity, and I think that that will come. But I think he deserves, like I say, loads of credit for what he's done.


No football this week, Max, so enjoy whatever you're doing. Thanks for your time today. Really appreciate you coming on again.


No, it's been great, Max. Thanks a lot.


As always, if you do enjoy this episode, remember to drop us a like and subscribe on YouTube. Follow us across Spotify, Apple podcast. Leave us reviews if you do enjoy them. And if you are at a loose end, I've just said no football this weekend. I've just completely forgot Bristol City on Friday night. And Sarah Clapton does a brilliant preview of that where she answers your questions. You can listen to that exclusively on audio platforms and on Saturday because there'll be no football after the Bristol City game that weekend until Arsla on the Tuesday night. If you're at a loose end, we highly recommend the Mark Warbitten interview. He reveals all on Gariboldi Red and talks about his time working under Marenackus and the controversy surrounding his sack. So highly recommend that. We will see you next Tuesday, next Monday, I should say, for our main episode before the Arsenal game. Too many days. If you've enjoyed this, we're going to drop a like, share, and subscribe. We will see you very soon. Thanks for tuning in to Garibaldi. See you next time. Bye-bye.