This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Someone has to take the blame.
A lot of talk in the aftermath of the defeat to Wigan Athletic has been the decision to rest Lewis Grabban.
Former Red Garry Birtles believes that although the decision to rest Grabban may have seemed ‘bizarre’, he doesn’t believe that his replacement on the day Rafa Mir should be blamed for the loss. He said:
“He [Mir] tried hard, if anything he tried too hard… he was desperate to succeed, but he didn’t take it.”
And to a certain extent he’s right, because it shouldn’t be placed at the foot of Mir, rather at the hands of the hierarchy who brought him in, because they should have seen his performance coming based on his track record.
The cold hard truth of the matter is that Mir might simply not be good enough for this level to be trusted with a starting role just yet.
If you look at his most recent campaign when he was at Las Palmas, he only scored 7 goals in 30 league games.
To then ask him to make the jump from the Spanish second tier to the English second-tier off the back of that production and expect him to replace your top scorer is taking a huge risk.
This was only Mir’s sixth appearance in the Championship for the Reds, and the first time that he had been trusted to start a game in the league, having started Carabao Cup fixtures against Fleetwood Town and Derby County.
He has also spent six months with Wolves back in 2017/18, so the excuse that he is ‘still getting adjusted to English football’ might not cut it here.
In fact, he only made a couple of appearances for them, so clearly they could tell he wasn’t cut out for English football.
Therefore, if Forest decide to make the call and rest Grabban again in the future, they need to make sure that it is an opponent Mir can handle, or go with another option.
They have already lost three points this season with him missing chances, can they afford to lose any more going forward? Grabban simply has to play over the Spaniard, regardless of if he’s 100% fit or not.