Good night and welcome to our Monday night time soccer weblog of Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa. Forest performed final Monday as properly, in one other basement conflict with a Midlands rival. On that event, Leicester thumped them 4-0, sending Forest backside and supervisor Steve Cooper, one assumed, to the brink of the sack. However a stunning growth within the week then noticed him provided a brand new contract which, much less surprisingly, he signed, which means that he would be the supervisor on the Metropolis Floor till 2025. On paper, at the very least.
The person within the reverse dugout, Steven Gerrard, may properly be casting envious glances. His personal place is underneath scrutiny. One former Liverpool pal at the very least is providing his assist.
Right here is my colleague John Percy to set the scene:
“Steve Cooper has misplaced 5 Premier League video games in a row, and Nottingham Forest are backside of the desk, however the Metropolis Floor might be bouncing tonight. Cooper has signed a brand new contract in a exceptional about-turn from the Forest hierarchy and there might be a temper of celebration earlier than kick-off when his workforce faces Aston Villa.
Within the different technical space, the state of affairs couldn’t be extra totally different for Steven Gerrard. Villa have managed three video games unbeaten however Gerrard is underneath rising scrutiny from followers, and this Midlands derby looks like one other important night time for the previous England captain. Supporters have turned fairly dramatically, significantly in latest weeks, and former Villa managers corresponding to David O’Leary, Paul Lambert and Steve Bruce will attest that when this occurs there’s normally just one end result. Gerrard has picked up simply 35 factors from 31 matches since Boxing Day.
A workforce together with the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Danny Ings, John McGinn and Leon Bailey has scored solely six targets in eight league matches to date. The soccer is turgid, gradual and risk-averse. In his makes an attempt to make Villa tougher to beat, Gerrard seems to have eliminated the leisure. As he approaches his first anniversary in cost, the query nonetheless lingers over what progress has been made because the dismissal of Dean Smith. What are this workforce making an attempt to be? Which gamers are enhancing? In the end, what’s the plan? These are pertinent questions for a membership who clearly have designs on finally returning to European soccer.”
So a giant night time for Gerrard and Cooper each. We are going to discover out what groups they plan to ship out at 7pm or so, after which kick off might be at 8pm. We will even comply with Sky’s Monday Night time Soccer and see if
Gary Neville (replace: seems to be Roy Keane) or Jamie Carragher has attention-grabbing issues to say about broader Premier League points.