There are few good teams that fly under the radar quite as much as the Indiana Pacers. The team has been consistently solid for the past decade, but outside of a couple trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, they have not been seen as a serious threat come playoff time. With each of the Pacers' last five seasons ending in...
Far-Fetched Friday: Nottingham Forest To Become Established PL Club in Next 3 Seasons
By: Jake Lofgren
Don't get it twisted, Nottingham Forest are a big football club. Nottingham Forest is one of five English football teams to have won a Champions League Trophy, and they have even done it twice. Forest won back-to-back titles in 1979-80 against Hamburg and Malmo. Now, of course, forty years is a long time, but it is crazy to think how far Forest has fallen from grace.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday we take a look into the Forest.
Forest hasn't been in the Premier League since the 1998-99 season and was even as far down as the third division in 2005-08. Since then, they have been nothing more than basically just a mid-table Championship side who have flirted with promotion but have never made it back to the Prem.
Now the Championship is usually always a tough league to predict. Teams relegated from the Prem can either keep their squads together and push for promotion immediately, while others see their whole team gutted and begin to disappear into Championship/League One for years. Then you have teams who get promoted to the Championship and either carry on that momentum in the league or fail to strengthen their squad and immediately go back down. This year the top of the table looks relatively open.
Norwich and Watford look like they will be contenders to win automatic promotion as they kept most of their team together. Bournemouth, on the other hand, lost their long-term manager and are currently selling a load of their players to other teams in the Prem. Brentford look like they will lose most of their top players - like Ollie Watkins headed to Aston Villa - but they will keep the core of their team and have plenty of money to replace them. Other than that, Forest should have a strong enough squad to contend for the promotion playoffs again this season.
Getting promoted from the Championship isn't always about having the most talented players, but instead just an experienced group of players.
Fulham last year wasn't the best team on paper, but they had a guy who could score the goals in Mitrovic and a squad full of players who had experienced the Premier League before. Forest may not have a Mitrovic, but they have a few players that should be able to get them goals next year.
New signing Lyle Taylor spent the last two seasons at Charlton Athletic, where he scored 21 goals for them in League One and got them another 11 goals last season in the Championship. Lewis Grabban has bagged Forest 36 goals in the past two seasons. Grabban is one of those players that knows how to score in the Championship but has never done it when he played at the top division.
Players like that are very important to get yourself promoted, and Forest can worry about getting a Premier League quality striker once they get there. Other Forest players who have already played a role in Premier League squads include:
• Tyler Blackett (Manchester United)
• Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City)
• Michael Dawson (Tottenham)
• Gaetan Bong (Brighton)
• Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal)
• Jack Colback (Newcastle)
• Sammy Ameobi (Newcastle)
• Albert Adomah (Aston Villa)
• Lewis Grabban (Bournemouth)
• Joe Lolley (Huddersfield)
Again this may not be the flashiest group of players, but it has plenty of enough quality to get themselves promoted. Forest also lost their best young player in Matty Cash to Aston Villa this offseason for about 15 million. But if that is invested properly onto this squad, that money could be worth a lot more to them in the future. When Nottingham Forest secure promotion, expect them to splash some cash just like Leeds United have to try and ensure that they stay in the Premier League, the league where they belong.
This isn't just a prediction that they'll get promoted, but in fact that they'll re-establish themselves as a Premier League club for years to come.