Since making his debut in 2010 wily winger James Forrest has certainly split opinion among the Hoops faithful.
Amazingly in those seven years, the 26 year old has amassed a stunning 12 major trophies including 6 league titles on the trot, 3 Scottish Cups and 3 League Cups.
His goal against Motherwell was a delight to behold as his low curler gave Carson no chance.
That type of finish epitomes Forrest’s rise to a key player for Rodgers.
Forrest has also scored crucial goals in Europe for the club and his form last season and this season has been terrific. He’s kept an extremely talented player like Patrick Roberts on the bench which is no mean feat. Brendan and the management team trust him explicitly at home or abroad.
Forrest has been at Celtic for 14 years coming through the youth ranks for both club and country; his progress has been fairly remarkable so the question is “why does he split opinion?”.
I’ve always rated him as a player but my God he can frustrate the life out of you.
He’s had the potential and at times has failed to live up to. Some might say he was lazy at times too.
The best thing to happen to James is Brendan Rodgers becoming manager.
I genuinely believe Ronny Deila sapped the energy and confidence out of the midfielder. Wingers, as we all know, thrive on confidence.
Forrest’s seemed to take a nosedive under Deila’s stewardship. He seemed to be losing interest and at one point if a reasonable offer came in for him, Celtic would have taken it.
James at the age of 26, seems to have matured as a player and has a bit more intelligence to his play which was lacking.
It’s not even December and he’s on eight goals for the season.
Jim Duffy stated over the weekend that he thinks Forrest may well be front runner for Player of the Year in Scotland despite still being fairly “early” in the season, and who am I to disagree? His pace left Motherwell’s back line in tatters at time and thinking back, Celtic should have use both wings that bit more.
Despite being replaced by Paddy Roberts late in the game, Forrest rightly picked up Man of the Match.
Some might argue that he should have stayed on but smart-thinking Rodgers will no doubt be keeping him for the fixture onslaught that faces Celtic in the next month.
The fact that I’m writing this piece goes to show what a remarkable transformation the Prestwick bhoy has made.
I really do think those who are quick to criticise Forrest should bite their tongues and “haud their wheesht.”.
Gavin McCann is a big James Forrest fan. Just not the writer guy! 🙂