Davies needs to beef up defence

Friday 28th June 2013 9:08

Billy Davies: Needs to sign a commanding centre-half

Billy Davies: Needs to sign a commanding centre-half

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FanZone's Dan Mounser says a commanding centre-half and a flying winger need to be top of Nottingham Forest's shopping list this summer.

One of the main plus points from last season was the emergence and performances of Nigel Doughty Youth Academy graduate Karl Darlow.

The rookie goalkeeper was thrust into first-team action following Lee Camp's free transfer to Norwich and did an excellent job. Personally however, I would prefer his gloves to be less dirty and for him to have less work to do.

To quote former Arsenal manager George Graham: "The goalkeeper is the jewel in the crown and getting at him should be almost impossible. It's the biggest sin in football to make him do any work."

It's no secret that Nottingham Forest are in need of width and pace but I also think there's some work to do at the back.

The Reds have been linked with a couple of centre-halves recently and it's certainly an area that should be strengthened if we want to have a real good go at things this season.

Since Davies returned as manager, over a quarter of goals conceded were by headers. Cardiff away last season is a good case study as to how susceptible we are from crosses and headers in particular.

Knowing how meticulous Davies is, I'm sure this will not have escaped his attention. Admittedly from the Cardiff game onwards, Forest did look better in the air and looked more organised.

But I think this also coincided with Elliott Ward making one of the positions his own. He would have been a decent Bosman signing this summer but he has now signed for Bournemouth so attention will be drawn elsewhere.

Full-backs Gonzalo Jara Reyes and Eric Lichaj have already been secured but I would love to get a big lump of a centre-half with leadership abilities to command and organise. Danny Collins reads the game quite well and is happy with the ball at his feet but his lack of pace, aerial ability and the fact that speedy strikers can play off his shoulder means that he gets caught out sometimes.

It remains to be seen whether this year will finally see England U20 International Jamaal Lascelles get a run in the first team or whether he will be shipped out on loan again for further experience.

He had his critics but Luke Chambers always attacked the ball and I think we miss this to an extent. His ability to attack the ball in opposition areas also saw a decent goals return as well. I'm not saying we should sign him - far from it, but someone with this in their locker may help defending crosses and set pieces and bring some goals offensively from free kicks and corners as well.

As we approach 1st July and the business end of the summer, I expect to see some new faces arrive on Trentside. Lets hope a centre-half and at least one fast winger is on Billy's shopping list.

You can follow Dan on Twitter at @DanMounser - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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