Luck is one of the game’s more valuable commodities, and it is not all that often Forest are treated to it in family-size portions...
Yet last Saturday, we rode a storm more fierce than the one’s predicted to end the world.
Brighton were imposing, but our ever-improving resilience and backbone got us through one of the tougher tests of the season.
Also due a bit of good fortune was Billy Sharp. His partner gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Leo, just before Saturday’s match. Billy insisted he played on the weekend; no-one would have begrudged him a week off, but his determination to make the trip south was a real testament to his ultra-professional attitude.
Before Simon Cox’s Lazarus-like recovery from injury, it seemed as if we were out of luck in the attacking department.
There were a few Forest voices that wanted to see David McGoldrick given another chance in the side, once his loan at Coventry expires.
It is a reasonable call; he’s scored 15 in his last 15 games, and has a total of 17 in four months. He tops the League One scorer’s chart, and even has a PFA Fans’ Player of the Month Award to his name.
Blimey, he’s only away from the City Ground for a few weeks and he has won something. So, how much logic would there be in giving McGoldrick another chance?
He was, and has been, severely disappointing for us within the last 18 months. His work rate on the field left much to be desired, and that somewhat accounted for an attitude problem that David seems to have.
Whilst I’m giving him an ‘end of term’ style dressing down, it would be more than apt to say ‘must do better’. Yes, he has been scoring for fun, but could you honestly envisage him carrying on this purple patch in a Forest shirt, in the Championship? Without deriding League One - which felt more like a prison than a league competition for our three year stay - direct football is easier to profit from, and I personally feel David would struggle to adapt to the intricacies of Championship football.
When McGoldrick played badly, he did it with accomplishment. He wouldn’t just have a run of the mill, 5/10 performance. He’d be aiming for a zero. His tendency for anonymity during his worse days were thoroughly frustrating, considering he’d play well enough in a previous game to earn a place in the first XI. His polaric shifts in form were all too frequent.
Let me be clear, I wish to see no Forest player fail. It’s always a shame to see what was a fresh face a couple of years ago, slowly fade out of the first team picture and struggle for form. I want anyone who comes to this club to flourish, to thrive, and to make a name for themselves in one of the most culturally rich footballing cities in England.
If the question is as simple as ‘another chance’, the answer should be yes. An in-form David McGoldrick is a different entity to the man that was having banjo and barn door-hitting problems earlier in the season. He comes back at a crucial time. Assuming we beat Oldham in the FA Cup, we have six games in four weeks.
His inclusion would certainly add depth to a shallow front line. Though the thing about David is that you can’t really identify what type of striker he is. He does not have a certain strength. We have Blackstock’s aerial threat, Sharp’s ruthlessness, and Cox’s warrior-like physicality. McGoldrick would perhaps go down as a ‘natural finisher’, but the term itself is vague, and something you would expect as an auxiliary quality all strikers should have.
Hopefully, David has learnt something from his ‘sabbatical’ in Coventry, and appreciates the aspects and values of a team. If not, he will find himself pretty high up on the Forest obscurity scale. Between 0 to Andrea Silenzi, he’ll be up there.