One of the main faults with Nottingham Forest this season has been a lack of pace in attack. Joe Lolley has been one of few shining lights from the 2018/19 campaign but aside from that, they’ve lacked many game changers.
But, trying to put right that lack of pace by introducing Arvin Appiah into the side has actually hindered both Lolley and the team itself.
It’s hard to criticise someone so young, but his introduction is a reason for why they’ve performed so badly recently, even if it’s not actually his fault.
Forest have witnessed quite a staggering drop off in recent weeks. Originally in with an outside bet of making the play-offs, all hopes have been scuppered with some very ordinary performances of late.
Fans had called for Appiah to start more games last month after comments made by his manager, but they may now be cursing their words after a string of poor displays by their side.
I agree with the general consensus here play the lad we are not scoring enough anyway blood him now ready for next season! #nffc
— Tom Wakeham (@TomWakeham) March 18, 2019
Should be starting now readying him for next season.
— Honest Mary (@Honest___Mary) March 18, 2019
Then play him for a game
— NFFCP (@forestfanPP) March 18, 2019
As a result of Appiah playing on the left wing, Lolley has been moved into a more central role and has not nearly had the same effect as he’s had from a wide position.
Therefore, it’s clear where Lolley needs to play; out wide. If Forest are to end the season on a high then O’Neill will have to move him back on the flanks.
Bedding in Appiah is a good idea ahead of next season. The 18-year-old is a hugely exciting prospect and deserves some minutes under his belt but not when it prevents their key player from doing the job he’s done so well throughout the current campaign.
To accommodate the England youth international then Lolley may be better suited to moving out to the right side of midfield, a position he’s already claimed eight assists from this season.
In fact, starting the pair of them in wide positions would almost certainly give them an improved dynamic going forward and must be something the boss is considering experimenting with towards the end of the campaign.