Nottingham Forest’s hope of reaching the Championship play-off places all but extinguished on a disappointing night at Sheffield Wednesday.
The Owls were comfortable 3-0 winners at Hillsborough, going above Forest in the league table with the win.
Forest have collected just 18 points from a possible 45 under Martin O’Neill’s management now.
The remit when he arrived was to lead the team into the top-six but in truth, Forest have never looked like reaching the top-six.
One decision O’Neill has made since arriving is to use Joao Carvalho sparingly.
The popular 22-year-old has started just once under the Forest boss and with his team desperately lacking creative spark the concept seems baffling.
Signed from Benfica in the summer, Carvalho looked impressive during the first half of the season under former boss Aitor Karanka.
For whatever reason, however, O’Neill just hasn’t rated him. At 2-0 down against Wednesday, the Portuguese magician stayed in his seat whilst defensive midfielder Pele was thrust into the action.
The decision to leave him out of the team has seen Forest fans vent their frustrations.
We rounded up the best tweets in reaction to Carvalho’s omission at Hillsborough.
The only two creative players (in terms of passing) we have are Carvalho and Osborn. Neither playing or when Osborn does play it’s at left back.
Think I’ve joined those questioning whether O’Neill is right man for the job tonight. This is grim and has been a lot recently. #NFFC
— Warren Allsworth (@warrenallsworth) April 9, 2019
On a night when we needed 3 points the manager starts with Yates instead of premier league experienced Yacob and gives a debut (away from home) to Appiah! 🤔and lolly as number 10 instead of our best playmaker Carvalho! Bad decisions! #nffc
— Bullet (@thestalker439) April 9, 2019
And if Carvalho isn’t among the best 14 players at Forest right now, I don’t know what sport this is any more
— Jonathan Stevenson (@Stevo_football) April 9, 2019
I think it all went wrong after aitor karanka left the club.joao carvalho forest record signing can’t even get a full 90 minutes in because he keeps leaving him on the subs bench that’s not right at all.he should be starting every game
— Paul Crofts (@PaulCrofts7) April 9, 2019
It’s 76 mins played, we’re 3-0 down. Joao Carvalho is still on the bench. He’s either told the club he’s already leaving in summer or the people in charge don’t have a clue…… #nffc
— Jamie Clayton (@J_P_Clayton) April 9, 2019
The year is 2023. Forest are fighting for promotion from League Two. Carvalho has made 3 sub appearances all season, scoring 9 and assisting in 15. #Nffc
— Ian (@AchillesH33l) April 9, 2019
#NFFC so what’s the main reason ONeill never picks Carvalho? Doesn’t rate him? Prove a point to fans that he is in charge? Only forest can spend 13 odd million on a player only to see him rot on the bench, confidence destroyed.
— Matt (@sporteventsrmh) April 9, 2019
5 changes for #nffc and still no Carvalho.
What time is the meltdown?
— YouAreMyForest (@YouAreMyForest) April 9, 2019
Very drab performance from Forest tonight. Starting 11 looked promising but, never really got going and lacked a creative spark. Time to experiment before the season ends and play Carvalho #nffc
— ᴄ ᴀ ʀ ʟ ᴡ ʀ ɪ ɢ ʜ ᴛ ; 🌱 (@apertunity) April 9, 2019