Arsenal v Forest Preview/ Line-Up: They Gave us our Colour and Best Gift of All

Arsenal v Nottingham Forest – September 24, 2019

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In 1865 a group of shinty players met at the Clinton Arms on Nottingham’s Shakespeare Street. J. S. Scrimshaw’s proposal to play association football instead was agreed and Nottingham Forest Football Club was formed. It was agreed at the same meeting that the club would purchase twelve tasselled caps coloured ‘Garibaldi Red’ (named after the leader of the Italian ‘Redshirts’ fighters). Thus the club’s official colours were established. Forest’s first ever official game was played against Notts County taking place on 22 March 1866.

In their early years Forest were a multi-sports club. As well as their roots in bandy and shinty, Forest’s baseball club were British champions in 1899. Forest’s charitable approach helped clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion to form.

In 1886, Forest suggested that the newly formed Arsenal team wear red shirts and they provided Arsenal with the best gift of all: a football.

See the source image

They also donated shirts to Everton and helped secure a site for Brighton to play on.

In 1878–79 season Forest entered the FA Cup for the first time. They beat Notts County 3–1 in the first round at Beeston Cricket Ground before eventually losing 2–1 to Old Etonians in the semi-final.

Forest’s application was rejected to join the Football League at its formation in 1888; instead they joined the Football Alliance in 1889.

They won the competition in 1892 before then entering the Football League. That season they reached, and lost in. an FA Cup semi-final for the fourth time to date. This time it was to West Bromwich Albion after a replay.

Nottingham Forest Honours 

Domestic League

First Division

Champions (1): 1977–78

Second Division

Champions (3): 1906–07, 1921–22, 1997–98


FA Cup

Winners (2): 1897–98, 1958–59

Runners-up (1): 1990–91

Football League Cup

Winners (4): 1977–78, 1978–79, 1988–89, 1989–90


European Cup/UEFA Champions League

Winners (2): 1978–79, 1979–80 

UEFA Super Cup

Winners (1): 1979


We have played Forest three times in the League Cup and we have a perfect record of:- 

Arsenal v Nottingham Forest – All League Cup Games
    W D L GF GA
5 21-Jan-87 1     2 0
6 12-Jan-93 1     2 0
7 20-Sep-16 1     4 0
Total 3 0 0 8 0

Long may this continue……………….

I have decided to leave predicting our starting eleven to those of us who are more tactically inclined than GN5.


TotalArsenal’s Preferred Line-up v Forest:

I want Ozil to play in every game but as Emery left him out of the last PL game it would be an insult to play him today, so I left him out. I would rather not play Kola again but am not sure who else could play there… Would be good to see starts for Martinez, Nelson and ESR, and Pepe needs to play as many games as possible.

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!

74 thoughts on “Arsenal v Forest Preview/ Line-Up: They Gave us our Colour and Best Gift of All

  • Cheers GN5! Great bit of history and I was not aware of our links with the club in the nineteenth century. NF is of course the incredible story of the two season of sublime success in the late seventieth! That song made it into the Dutch version of Top of the Pops too and I always remember the great energy that comes from it. Brian Clough was of course a genius and I would love to hear more from those who witnessed him and NF’s football a lot closer than me.

  • Morning Total,

    A very youthful team – and so it should be.

    I was hoping that we might get a glimpse of both Bellerin and Tierney, but maybe it’s a little early.

    Forest were a powerhouse team in the late 70’s but are now playing in the Championship; they were promoted to the EPL in 1992/93 but were relegated back down to the Championship in 1998/99.

  • Many football historians have stated that Nottingham Forest actually donated Woolwich Arsenal’s first set of shirts, but I prefer to believe the information provided by Arsenal historian’s Mark Andrews and Andy Kelly who state:-

    ” Contrary to popular belief, the original shirts were not provided by Nottingham Forest via Fred Beardsley but, on his suggestion they played in the same colours as Forest. Forest provided a football and the team purchased their own shirts locally”

  • Love these write-ups GN5– keep ’em coming!

    TA– if we’re in a ‘why the heck not’ position? Send out AMN at left back. That’s where he originally deputized in a back four in Dec 2017 (for Monreal). Only played 41-minutes on Sunday (not going to go too hard on him. Had he not been sent off? That second half never happens.).

    Xhaka started there for us vs. Palace last season IIRC (insane then, probably now too). 🙂


  • N5 … I love these time travels. Bring back that ball pictured in the post and the pitches when Forest ruled the 1st Division and CR7 shot accuracy would plummet particularly on a wet day. These days there are arguements over the one millimeter VAR calls. Fulfillment is a mirage.

    TA, yours look like a good prediction. Though have my doubts about Kola and Pepe starting. Emery would be in a hurry to get Tierney back and there is chance he’d use this game as part of getting him back to fitness.

    I wouldn’t like it if Ozil is asked to start this game. I agree with you TA, it just doesn’t taste nice. Ok by me if he is introduced as a substitute with other big guns.

    L-o-n-g shot:


  • PE,

    I don’t know if you ever played with a leather ball, I did and I would never want it back. Heading that ball and having the laces land in the center of your forehead was enough to cause a concussion. Once wet it became so heavy that you could sprain and ankle just by kicking it. It all sounds very romantic but believe me playing in muddy quagmires with a leather ball and leather boots, with studs nailed into the sole and laced up around the ankle was not a whole bunch of fun.

  • Having each completed 62 minutes for the under-23s on Friday night, could Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney now be in line to play against Nottingham Forest?

    The two full-backs have made good progress in the respective comebacks, and Unai Emery confirmed the pair could feature in our Carabao Cup third-round clash.

    “We are going to decide tomorrow but the first idea is if we can, they will have minutes on Tuesday,” our head coach said on Sunday. “This is the first idea, but it depends on tomorrow for their feelings and the decision for the first XI because we played today and we are going to play on Tuesday.

    “It’s not normal [to play again within] two days and we need fresh players and we need different players.

    “Holding for example, he will play on Tuesday and we are going to decide tomorrow with Hector and with Tierney [if] we will want to use them. I don’t know if that’s starting in the first XI or after from the bench, or if they are feeling well.”

    Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

  • All of our injured players are now either training or available for selection, with the exception of Lacazette who will be back in October. It’s hard to remember when we had so few players in the sick room. Good news for Emery.

  • GN5–
    Played with a leather ball in the 70s (no laces!).
    As a keeper (and a Yank)– I would distribute by throwing more than kicking.
    When wet it was like trying to throw a shotput. 😜


  • JW, back in the day the football laces were made out of 1/8″ thick leather laces – and believe me that hurt!!!

  • PE, I like that line-up too. Bit worried about the lack of experience up front as goals may not come easy, but we are playing at home and confidence must be high (and Pepe could come on later). Should be a good game to watch.

  • N5 …. owned a leather ball with laces. Inflated it with a bicycle pump for the unending street football. How to gauge the pressure? Just feel the bounce.

  • TA …. for experience up front keep the Calvary on the bench. We shouldn’t risk injuries over Caraboa with too many games in quick successions.

  • Can’t see anything but a B team tonight with a couple of A teamers on the bench. Fitness will determine who plays. Is Mavro available to partner Holding or will it be Chambers?

    Hector Mustafi Chambers Holding
    Smith Rowe Willock Torreira
    Martinelli Nelson Saka

    I would give Ozil some pitch time ahead of the MU game. It is a criminal waste of his talents that he doesn’t play.

  • Announced online:

    Bellerin Holding Mustafi Tierney
    Torreira Willock
    Nelson Ozil Smith-Rowe


  • Erik, you are pretty darn good at team selection, well done. We need a new coach – when can you start?

  • Chambers it is with a deft assist on a high cross from Nelson– for Martinelli to head-in.

    1-0 to the good guys.


  • Lovely goal.

    I have seen enough of Tierney to be very excited. He has been excellent in the first 45. We could have signed a gem.

    Everyone playing well against average opponents

  • ESR knocking noggins with a NF defender, being treated.
    Ensuing deflection/shot required saving.

  • ESR about to be stretchered off.
    He’s cognizant of things around him his responses.
    Would hazard this is concussion protocol in motion.

  • Listening to and by the sounds of it we are playing well. Good tempo and passing and ball mostly in opponent’s half. Good for Martinelli to score and the defence to not have conceded in the first half. Jealous of you guys who can watch the game live…

  • They are playing really well TA, they are applying a lot of pressure and have a dominant amount of the possession. Passing is crisp (although a tad slow) Tierney looks like a gem very self assured and making good crosses. All seems well with our youth team and Chambers, Holding and Tierney look like they will form our defense, along with Bellerin (who may come on in the 2nd half).

    Here we go again, 2nd half………….

  • another very pleasant cup game
    great assist by calum – also the king of interceptions, the hallmark of great defenders, my old coach used to say
    shkodran, mesut – world champions, marooned on carabao island by a mad captain: hats off to the great professionals
    another goal by joe, more ramboesque than ever; reiss’s very positive reaction to ue’s harsh treatment
    well what’s not to like about nights like this??
    see you monday night, friends

  • Sounds like I missed the good stuff!
    Will look for the replay and check back later.

    (Emery really is a Cup Manager, eh? 🙂 )


  • Lovely night, then. Tierney does look a player and crosses the ball like it’s meant to be crossed. Seems to have all the variants of crosses in his locker.
    Ozil looked unhappy at being taken off in a game in which he was enjoying himself. If he was taken off to have him fresh for the United game, you’d think he would have been told so before the game.

    This looked more like the old (Wenger’s) Arsenal. Hope Emery is taking notes as to how the team can play when allowed to do so freely.

  • On the flanks we played with the handbrakes off.
    Good stuff from Martinelli who got a brace which is very good in his first team chances, and overall Chambers did very well. The team did well and with hunger at home.
    Why not more game time for Chambo?

  • Yeah jk– thinking same.
    Every time I’ve seen Calum? He’s been very good at the least.

    What I’m taking away from instances of this kind?
    Emery doesn’t like to admit when he’s mistaken.


  • Morning guys 🙂

    I am happy with the result and the opportunities our players had last night, but as NF did not put out their strongest team we cannot pull too many conclusions from it. Had we won in Nottingham it would have been a different judgement. It was a great fitness test for those recovering from injury and confidence boost for a few youngsters. I am feeling a bit sorry for ESR, though, and I hope his injury is nothing serious. Martinelli’s goals were world class, Tierney is a Glaswegian Tiger, Calum is the Coolest, Saka is young-class and Ozil, Torreira and Willock gelled well (from what I could see in the highlights). I also loved Holding’s header: welcome back Robbo.

  • TA – someone who has never won a World Cup, I guess.

    The game was a real joy to watch comparing to anything we have seen this season (and even if you don’t compare it – it was a really great Arsenal game).

    Martinez did well to control the box whenever he was asked to help his central defenders. I feel more positive about him than about Leno and that has nothing with the poor opponents Martinez played against.

    Chambers was a monster, probably a MoTM. He assisted both as a RB and as a LB and it’s a shame his wonderful shot was saved by Muric. It would be a cherry on top of his performance.

    Mustafi did well. It seems that this time of the year is when we can use him without fear that he will act like an illegitimate child of Seb Squillaci and Mickael Silvestre. We had two great defensive streaks with him in the line-up in 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively but he becomes a clown after the first snow. He had a great pre-assist for Nelson’s goal.

    Holding… What is there to say? He scored a goal I’d expect from Tony Adams and the impression was complete with that armband on his hand.

    Tierney… Wow. Looks so good that Kolašinac probably envies Monreal for leaving Arsenal. He was beating his markers one-on-one with ease and I can’t recall when was the last time our full-back was capable of making floating crosses with such a delightful touch.

    Bellerin’s cameo was emotional. He assisted for a goal but there was time he looked a bit scared to hit the ball. He has to bed in slowly – his injury is one of the worst for a footballer.

    Torreira – a midfield dynamo who was better in defending than in creating last night.

    Willock – scored a goal that should do well for his confidence even if he doesn’t seem to have any problem with it. As I’ve said before, his eyes are set firmly on the opponents’ goal and that’s what we need from the midfield. Last season we were overreliant on goals from Aubazette.

    Özil – I’ve seen comments on his game as he was having a quiet night when everything else was about fireworks but I’d be more gentle about his performance. He did well to give us control over the game and we passed the ball well thanks to his presence.

    Ceballos – his dribbling in the middle of the pitch before we got one of our goals was similar to Cazorla’s skill in a tight space. He was fired up to hammer the opponents. Commentators said a word “disrespectful” at some point, if I heard it correctly.

    Smith Rowe – sadly, he got a concussion. I thought he looked lively and creative.

    Nelson – scored a goal, picked an assist and hopefully he’ll become that Nelson lad I was excited about and not the one who makes me sad for Iwobi’s departure.

    Martinelli – there is something about his directness that you have to like and if he keeps on banging goals like he did last night, we have found a top forward for peanuts. But, let’s not get carried away about this new Messi because Carlos Vela still brings tears to my eyes.

    Saka – he was forced to participate in three games in three different competitions in space of just five days. And he is 18. And he did well in all three of them.

  • Okay, I am glad you get Mesut Ozil and what he means to the team. So many don’t and they love to leave the boot in. The world is full eeedjits,, it seems.

  • TA – you know that I’ve been very critical of Mesut and I still think that he owes Arsenal more than vice versa. However, he is capable – provided he gets a proper midfield duo behind him – of making our game taste like the finest chocolate and feel under fingers like the silkiest blanket washed with the most refreshing softener.

  • Admir, nicely said.

    in football, a genius needs another genius to flourish – think about Bergkamp at Inter…. I am sure Ozil wants to pay us back but is lost in Emery’s leadership and football ‘philosophy’. It looks like the Spaniard is playing with the German: make him the captain and then take him off for the first substitution. I would not treat my dog like that.

  • Hi Guys… I was in the dark on this one (too)…so I appreciate the comments of those who were able to watch. Hopefully a few can add to Admir’s excellent player assessments. I enjoyed the preview as well, GN5…

    I wonder about a couple of things…like why Bellerin and Holding are both back (simultaneously) from ACL tears when Holding’s injury seemed at least a couple of months earlier than Hector’s. And then there’s the Ozil question. Do Arsenal have a deal (with DC United) so that this is his last season? Something MUST be coming from the top down so that we (or at least our results) aren’t dependent upon using him. Same with Mustafi and, soon enough, Xhaka might fall into that category. Promotion to CL football is everything, but breaking with the past (Wenger bought/signed players) seems a BIG objective as well…

    So, from my perspective (picture a blind man, feeling about with a cane or sniffing my way forward with my guide dog), the scoreline impresses, as does the depth of the team (good outings for the injury-returnees, too bad about ESR, but he’ll likely be fine soon enough.) The next match feels ‘uge (as they say)…but we’ve got to wait all the way until next Monday for it…

    Thanks again…

  • Brilliant comment(s), Admir and fair player analyses/assessments too. Tierney is the one who impressed me the most, followed by Martinelli and Nelson. The regulars did what we’ve come to know they can do: Ozil, Torreira, Willock, Martinez, Mustafi, Holding and Chambers (see him as a regular/senior player).

    Tierney showed a variation of crossing skills that will trouble defences; we must water down expectations however, since this was only Forest and not an EPL side.

    17ht, the Ozil thing is starting to annoy me too. No one deserves to be treated in such manner. Certainly not the highest paid player in the side. Sends a bad signal to others. Ozil is a cool cat though; he knows he has a firm contract and looks like he is willing to see it out, to Emery’s chagrin.

  • It was a cracking night’s football. Spurs lose, we win by 5, we have a new star in Tierney, Hector and Holding return and we have a CF for when PEA moves on.

    Couldn’t be better.

    Opposition were dreadful and the poor right back will have nightmares having been skinned by Tierney, Saka, Chambo and Ceballos. Shame 🙂

    The Mesut situation is strange. I thought he had a good game, full of enterprise and high energy. Subbing him made sense IF he is being readied for OT.

    MotM was unquestionably Chambers. His skill level was a shock. I had no idea his dribbling was so competent. If he can reproduce such a performance then we have found our Xhaka replacement and a man who is able to play many different roles.

  • Eris– beyond the firm contract? Mezut Ozil is a brand.
    Where and why the charade is being gamed. Ozil-on-the-shelf costs MO10 in brand stature.


  • The game was most enjoyable and I have no wish to opine a negative viewpoint as it was wonderful to see our young bloods strut their stuff and to witness the return of 4 injured defensive players (who all looked superb). But it was against a championship sides youngsters who were not in the same class as our academy kids.

    I found it insulting to have a) chosen Ozil to play and b) sun him on 70 minutes – very low class move by Emery and extremely demeaning to a silky smooth World Cup winner. I’m sure that he would be happy to sit back and bank his lucrative weekly stipend – if he wasn’t being pursued by gangsters out to get him; what sort of life can it be having to employ personal security guards and have guard dogs roaming his property – both he and his wife must live in fear of their lives.!

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