On the final day of the most recent season, Nottingham Forest were still eligible for relegation from the Championship. Seeming further than ever away from their past glories, CLICKON looks at the team they fielded upon their debut season in the Premier League
After their European glories under Brian Clough, life after him was always going to be uncertain for Forest. Their debut season in the recently coined Premier League in 1994, however, resulted in a third place finish; a feat equalled but never bypassed by a newly promoted team.
Clough’s successor, Frank Clark, in fact proved popular among the Forest faithful. Their start to the 1994 season saw them in consistent title contending places – where they would eventually finish above teams like Liverpool and Leeds.
Culminating with this third place finish and later reaching the UEFA Cup quarter-final in 1996; Forest would then become somewhat of a yo-yo club between the top and second flights of English football.
But in 1994, with a defence that included Stuart Pearce – an English international on the world stage – and a player capable of the spectacular in Lars Bohinen, their resilience, though short lived, was relatively unsurprising.
GK: Mark Crossley
Crossley is pub trivia gold. Both the only professional keeper to stop a Le Tissier penalty and the first player to score an own goal in the Premier League. Image Source: Twitter
RB: Des Lyttle
One of Clark's first signings as Forest Manager. Lyttle would stay with them through two promotions and two relegations. Image Source: Twitter
CB: Stuart Pearce
Pearce scored on average one in every five games for Forest. A ferocious defender and a stalwart for England. Image Source: Twitter
CB: Steve Chettle
A talismanic figure in defence for Forest, Chettle is considered one of their greatest centre backs, after coming through under the late Brian Clough. Image Source: Twitter
LB: Colin Cooper
After signing from Middlesborough for £1.7million in 1993, Cooper would return to them five years later. After proving solid in defence for Forest. Image Source: Twitter
CDM: David Phillips
The player of the year in their promotion in 1994, Phillips had a penchant for long range goals. image Source: Gettyimages.co.uk
RM: Steve Stone
Despite breaking his leg three times at Forest, Stone maintained a consistent place in their squad over his ten year tenure. Image Source: Twitter
CM: Scott Gemmill
The Scottish international played under five different managers at Forest and is the son of their European Cup-winning Archie Gemmil. Image Source: Twitter
LM: Ian Woan
Often praised for his attacking flair and crossing and shooting abilities, Woan spent ten years at Forest. He is currently assistant manager at Burnley. Image Source: Twitter
ST. Jason Lee
Despite starting in their Premier league debut, Lee largely failed to break into the Forest team, until the departure of Collymore to Liverpool. Image Source: Twitter
ST: Bryan Roy
Forest broke their record fee for the Dutchman, signing him for £2.9 million after their promotion. He was the only goalscorer on their - and his - Premier League debut. Image Source: Twitter
SUB: Robert Rosario
Clough's last signing was plagued by injuries during Forest's debut season in the Premier League. Image Source: Talksport.com
SUB: Lars Bohinen
Though Bohinen would leave in 1995, he left an indelible mark for Forest in the Premier league with some spectacular efforts. One of which was a 30-yard lob against Tottenham. Image Source: Twitter
SUB: Tommy Wright
Currently managing St Johnstone, Wright lost his place in the Forest starting lineup after injury and stand out performances from Crossley. Image Source: hitc.com
Collymore’s absence from the team sheet is notable, as he was instrumental to their previous promotion and their debut season. Propelling them to third in the Premier League. In truth they could have finished higher had they been more consistent. Despite their run of 13 games unbeaten towards the end of the season, the successive games they lost before Christmas meant they were out of any title challenge.
With talents like Pearce, Bohinen and Colin Cooper, it was hardly surprising that Forest did so well in their first season in the Premier League. The shadow of their European glories and attempting to compete with the lofty heights of English football however, would prove too much for them towards the new millennia. Fading back into relative obscurity and more recently languishing towards the bottom half of the championship.