Nottingham Forest 1-1 West Bromwich Albion Player Ratings: Guedioura stars


Bartley duels with Carvalho – @WBA

Nottingham Forest were cruelly denied the first win of their 2018-19 Championship campaign due to a late equalizer from Matt Phillips, in a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion. Here’s our Player Ratings from the game.

Nottingham Forest

Costel Pantilimon – commanded his area well from set pieces, but might have done better with Phillips’ effort, which was hit in his vicinity, albeit with venom. His distribution needed to be better: a 38% pass completion ratio is not good enough for a modern goalkeeper. 4

Tendayi Darikwa – a key threat for Forest down the right flank, Darikwa occupied the undivided attention of Barnes and broke into the penalty area on more than one occasion. However, his passing became sloppier in the second half and that was part of what handed West Brom control. 5
Tobias Figueiredo – although the Portuguese centre-back didn’t exactly pull up trees with his passing, he looked comfortable accepting the ball and holding onto it for extended moments. Had a slight physical disadvantage when up against Bartley at set pieces, however and wasn’t quite as commanding as he might have been during West Brom’s spells of pressure. 6
Danny Fox – bailed out one or two of his fellow defenders with some important interceptions early on and also showed a reasonable passing range; his awareness and intelligence appears to have improved, either due to playing in more than one position or working under Aitor Karanka. 8
Ben Osborn – although he worked hard enough and provided an element of support for Lolley down the left, there was still a sense that he was playing slightly within himself; Osborn is best suited to a midfield role in which he’s given the licence to chase and play with the handbrake off. He didn’t play badly, yet it’s hard to escape the feeling that he’s capable of so much more. 6

Jack Colback – pressed energetically and intelligently for at least an hour, whilst playing sharp, simple forward passes which helped the tempo. Although, he was guilty of one or two naïve fouls that gave West Brom a set piece unnecessarily and perhaps tired in the latter stages. 7
Adlene Guedioura – not only did the ex-Wolves man show battling qualities from the outset, he was also highly effective in possession. The Algerian sprayed some excellent passes into wide areas, he scored the opener with a long-range strike and could even have bagged from his own half, but for a faint touch from the goalkeeper. There cannot be many better individual performances in the Championship this season from a player who doesn’t end up on the winning side. 9

Gil Dias – the Portuguese wide man grew into the first half, with the stand-out moment being a delicate through ball with the outside of his boot for Grabban’s big chance. Looked to drift inside and retained the ball well in good areas. 7
Joao Carvalho – looked excellent in the first half, with so many cute through balls into the forward and wide players. There were one or two occasions when he appeared to have dwelt on the ball for too long, only to then pick out the inch-perfect pass to release a teammate. Forest paid a hefty fee for a player still with something to prove at senior level, but more displays like this could make that gamble well-calculated. 8

Joe Lolley – the ex-Huddersfield man looked lively enough and threatened on the counter-attack in the second half. His decision making in the final third however, was questionable; sometimes, he held onto the ball for longer than was necessary, which saw openings slip away. Saw a late effort blocked. 6

Lewis Grabban – despite being the Championship’s second top scorer last season, Grabban lacked ruthlessness in his finishing. He hit a tight-angled half-volley straight at Johnstone, he over-played when the keeper was out of his goal and after the break, he was denied by a challenge when one-on-one then saw a header cleared off the line. The ex-Villa hit man’s work rate couldn’t be questioned but he didn’t quite bring his A-game; otherwise, Forest would have scored three or four. 6

Diogo Goncalves (on 78) – posed a threat on the break, but was guilty of letting Phillips get free for the goal when Osborn, his left-sided teammate, dropped onto the goal-line. 4
Hillal Soudani (on 84) – put in one or two crosses but didn’t quite have the desired impact in a short space of time. 5

West Bromwich Albion

Sam Johnstone – wasn’t forced into too many big saves; the only stop being a relatively straight-forward one from Grabban. The ex-Villa keeper was perhaps fortunate that his decision to rush out of his goal just before half-time wasn’t punished and for the goal, he was slow to dive – although his view might have been obstructed. 5

Tosin Adarabioyo – in Under-23s football, Adarabioyo might have been encouraged to pass back to the goalkeeper to build technique and confidence. Here, he perhaps showed naivety witha poor back-pass to the keeper that was nearly punished; the Man City loanee also switched off once or twice to allow forwards in behind. Needs to learn – and fast. 3
Kyle Bartley – defended his box well. Produced a fine block to deny Grabban a one-on-one chance and posed a threat from set pieces due to his physical advantage over Figueiredo. Lucky not to give away a penalty for a shirt tug on Fox, but was otherwise West Brom’s best player. 8
Ahmed Hegazi – given that Hegazi is unlikely to ever look comfortable in possession, he needs to be incredibly effective in his own box to make up for his shortcomings; unfortunately, the Egyptian was guilty of letting Grabban get in behind him on one or two occasions. While he made a few decent blocks, he didn’t do the simple work well enough to make up for the downsides of having a defender who doesn’t pass effectively. 4
Kieran Gibbs – forced backwards in his passing and seemed non-committal for a player of his pedigree. Although it would be wrong to make definitive judgements on a player’s attitude after one performance, Gibbs’ display smacked of somebody with a sense of entitlement. 3

Jake Livermore – lacks the mobility to impose himself high enough up the pitch and when West Brom did get spells of possession in Forest’s half, Livermore’s passing tended to be a tad safe, which is nothing new. The likes of Sam Field and Rakeem Harper must feel they deserve a chance. 3
Chris Brunt – posed a threat from set pieces and during West Brom’s spells of possession in the second half, his technical ability came to the fore. West Brom need him dictating play from the outset, because he has the capability to do it. 6

Matt Phillips – quiet in the first half yet still the most likely Baggies player to create something from open play; put in a peach of a cross for a first half chance that Rodriguez should have put away. Came alive in the second half, when he not only rammed the equalizer into the roof of the net, but also hit the bar with an attempted cross seconds later. For two games running, he’s been arguably the best player for the losing side. 7
James Morrison – despite being on paper the most advanced midfielder, Morrison was very quiet. The stalwart has been a fine servant for West Brom but it remains to be seen whether he still has the mobility to play an attacking role, especially given that the side looked better when he came off. 3
Harvey Barnes – spent much of the first half worrying about Darikwa’s runs yet within six minutes of the re-start, we saw more of what he’s about – driving runs insideand an effort that flew just wide. Could have grabbed the winner too, hitting the bar from close-range late on. More of that, please. 5

Jay Rodriguez – worked hard in isolation, sometimes dropping back into his own half to help out. His attitude couldn’t be questioned, although he would have been disappointed not to convert from close-range affect Phillips’ cross late in the first half. 5

Dwight Gayle (on 61) – the one player West Brom would have wanted to get a golden chance, got a golden chance on 83 minutes, but Gayle, who has scored 29 goals in 71 career appearances, could only find the post. Looked bright though and occupied centre-backs. 7
Hal Robson-Kanu (on 90+3)