However, the fairytale promotion success has been short-lived as Steve Cooper’s new-look side have struggled to pick up points in their first 11 league outings with just six points collected out of a possible 33.
The Garibaldi Reds have scored the joint-second fewest goals in the entire Premier League and are currently just one point off the bottom of the table, which has ultimately led to the sacking of the head of recruitment and the head scout at The City Ground.
Evangelos Marinakis put trust and ambition into the powers appointed to make the best decisions to build a team that could retain the club’s Premier League status for years to come, and after spending £150m during the summer, there is no doubt that the owner would have high expectations.
As a result, many of the players acquired over the transfer window have not been up to scratch and although there were many acquisitions made, it will haunt Marinakis when he considers not only the money that could have been saved but the players that could have been retained.
One of the biggest concerns Nottingham Forest are showing in their performances is a lack of attacking threat, goals and poor work ethic in the forward line, which is a huge contribution to their current league position in the relegation zone.
There were several players that shined for the Tricky Trees last season whilst on loan with the club in the Championship but didn’t ultimately make their stays permanent, including James Garner and Djed Spence. However, the biggest loss has arguably been Philip Zinckernagel, who was key to the team’s formidable attacking threat last season.
Over 42 league appearances, the Danish winger scored six goals, delivered seven assists and created seven big chances during an impressive campaign. He also contributed defensively and worked hard, making 1.4 tackles and winning 4.4 duels per game. Since then, he has continued to flourish on loan from Olympiacos with Belgian side Standard Liege.
The 27-year-old ace who was dubbed “brilliant” by former Watford boss Xisco Munoz, has scored two goals and created three big chances, making 1.2 key passes, one tackle and winning 4.8 duels per game over five appearances so far.
Back on Trentside, the forward’s replacement in Jesse Lingard has delivered no goal contributions whatsoever so far, despite being the highest-paid player on £200k-per-week, which will be incredibly frustrating for the manager, supporters and Marinakis.
It has been reported by The Guardian that the Forest boss rejected the opportunity to keep hold of Zinckernagel which will surely be a decision that he regrets in hindsight. Indeed, it could well haunt Cooper if his side are unsuccessful in retaining their Premier League status at the end of the season.