When the subject of dazzling performances is brought up, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo are the names that crop up. However, after Nottingham Forest’s shock 5-0 rout over struggling Premier League outfit West Ham United, a new name has come up. Despite the young outfit deployed by an extremely under fire Sam Alladyce, credit must be given to Nottingham Forest for the character and self belief shown by them. It can be agreed that despite the hat-trick by Jamie Paterson, winger Djamel Abdoun was the unsung hero of the day.
Djamel Abdoun is a different breed of winger. His hunger for the ball and his amazing work rate coupled with his unparalleled ball control and skill makes him one of a kind. Having played on different levels and stages across Europe including the Barclays Premier League and the UEFA Champions League, the 27-year-old Algerian has found his way to the second tier of English football. After joining in the summer transfer window, Abdoun has made his intentions clear with many a dazzling display, a super human effort that has seen his club, Nottingham Forest strong contenders to secure a playoff spot or even a promotion place.
Abdoun had indeed made his presence felt on both the wings for Nottingham Forest this season and has been deadly on the left wing. Despite not having much evidence to speak for his talent and hard work in terms of goals, he has been one of the key figures in shooting Forest to fifth position on the Championship table. His movement on the wings along with his precise passing gives the defenders all sorts of problems. His ability to cut into centre midfield, his crossing abilities while on the right wing as well as his immaculate work rate is only evidence of the immense talent that he possesses.
A perfect example to analyze his talent wold definitely have to be his performance in the 5-0 drubbing against West Ham. In all fairness, despite the West Ham United outfit being extremely poor on the day, credit has to be given to the way Nottingham Forest went about claiming their victory. Abdoun’s performance especially in the first half was nothing short of electric. His buzzing movement while moving forward and his ability to switch wing flanks completely bamboozled the inexperienced West Ham defence, leaving them in tatters.
He forged a magnificent partnership with Greg Halford and Jamie Paterson, with the latter netting a hat-trick. His calmness while taking penalties was highlighted when he converted a penalty, courtesy of a foul by rookie George Moncur to give his side the lead before half time. Even though the competition to take the penalty was very high, Abdoun stepped up to the plate, only to dink the ball down the middle, a subtle reminder of Andrea Pirlo‘s “Panenka” penalty in the EURO 2012 against England.
The second half saw a rejuvenated Abdoun still buzzing on the left flank, creating havoc for West Ham defenders Driver and Potts, who were relatively inexperienced. Had the Algerian found his shooting boots, the scoreline would most certainly be well adrift with goals in favor of the home team. It must be remembered that Abdoun’s clinical passing and his creativity on both wings along with his accurate and precise passing, that Paterson was able to secure the match ball.
Despite losing the limelight to players such as Andy Reid, Henri Lansbury and Jamie Mackie, Djamel Abdoun has indeed announced himself in English football with a terrific match-winning performance against West Ham United.Published 06 Jan 2014, 13:30 IST