Time for Chalobah to step up

Wednesday 20th November 2013 15:27

Nathaniel Chalobah: Has a big chance at Forest

Nathaniel Chalobah: Has a big chance at Forest

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Nottingham Forest FanZoner Dan Mounser believes that with the international break over one or two players need to raise their game.

The international break can be a mixed bag. For players called up by their countries, it is a huge honour and one I imagine they must look forward to. The change of scenery and chance to take on the world's best must also be an exciting and pleasurable experience.

For non-international players who have been struggling with injury or fitness, the break gives them the chance to put in a shift on the training ground and get themselves back up to speed in time for the next round of league fixtures to be thrust upon them.

But for clubs and managers, the worst case scenario is players leaving to join up with their international squads and picking up knocks or injuries. Unfortunately for Forest and Billy Davies, this has happened this week with both Andy Reid and David Vaughan with the Republic of Ireland and Wales respectively.

According to Opta statistics, Andy Reid has been Forest's most dangerous threat from midfield so far this season. With five goals and four assists, he certainly leads the way and has also created more chances than any other player in the entire Championship (46).

He will undoubtedly be a loss with key matches coming up against Burnley and Reading.

On loan Vaughan has slotted into central midfield comfortably but with both players likely to be unavailable for selection, it gives others the chance to step into the fold and give Billy Davies a selection headache.

Providing Jara Reyes returns from Wembley unscathed, albeit with a sore forehead following his attempted head-butt on Chris Smalling, he will most likely move back into midfield with Eric Lichaj covering at right-back.

But realistically, this opening should be a chance for on-loan midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah to grasp with both hands.

Chalobah joined with a good reputation from Chelsea having enjoyed a successful season at Watford the year before and Reds fans were rubbing their hands at the prospect of the England Under 21 international plying his trade at the City Ground.

But it's fair to say he's not pulling up trees at Forest. If rumours are to be believed, he is earning over £30k a-week but has only made four appearances this season. In those four appearances, he has failed to finish a full 90 minutes (sent off at Brighton and subbed in his other three matches that he's started at Doncaster, Charlton and Yeovil).

Some have suggested an attitude problem but with the Yeovil performance especially, it seems the work rate and effort simply isn't being applied for one reason or another.

There's no doubt the kid has ability but if he is not willing to work hard, I can see Davies sending him back to Chelsea, maybe even before his loan expires in January.

Davies simply won't stand for lack of work rate so if he isn't prepared to put in the graft then it will open up a chance for the likes of Dan Harding (moving Chris Cohen from left-back to midfield), Djamel Abdoun, Jamie Paterson or Raddy Majewski to fill the void instead.

You can follow Dan on Twitter at @DanMounser - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too for links to all the latest blogs.

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