Time Is Right For Celtic / James Forrest Split

CP Front

It has been announced that winger James Forrest has rejected a new four year deal at Celtic.

The news was met with a mixed response from Celtic’s support and the country’s media. A lot of people were bemused as to why the club were so keen to give Forrest a long term deal.

When he broke into the side as a teenager he showed glimpses of skill and ability that suggested he could be Scotland’s next great wide-man.

In 2012 he won Scotland’s young player of the year awards and was a FIFA player to watch.

But now as he approaches his sixth year as a first-team player, James still only performs in glimpses and even then those glimpses have become less regular.

No doubt injuries have played a big part in stalling his development. Forrest even got rid of his car in a bid to help him reach peak fitness.

But alas the twenty-four year old has only once managed to play more than twenty league games in a season. That was in the 2011/12 season, where he played in 43 games in all competitions and scored nine goals. But he hasn’t come close to achieving that again at Celtic Park.

Even when he does play his stats suggest he isn’t good enough to merit a long-term deal with the Hoops. Celtic supporters will be the first to tell you that his crosses more often than not miss their intended target. He’s also an attacker who doesn’t score enough.

So it was bewildering to hear Celtic boss Ronny Deila say:

‘When he carries the ball he is like Messi. You just feel it is so easy. Everything is good, his balance, everything.’

The main things Messi has is in his arsenal are superb consistency and the ultimate end product. So it looks very foolish to compare him with Forrest. Yes James can look good running with the ball at his feet but he can often run into trouble.

Deila’s charm offensive will fall on deaf ears as the manager continues to not pick the winger. Forrest has started just once in 2016 and that was the Scottish Cup tie against Lowland League side East Kilbride.

I can guarantee you that Forrest won’t sign on if he isn’t playing.

The approach from Celtic to offer him a new contract and for Deila to publicly try and persuade his player to put pen to paper on the new deal is somewhat surprising. Especially considering he isn’t an automatic starter and the fact that Deila recently confirmed he wanted a slimmed down squad in the summer.

The Celtic board seem to be scared that James Forrest leaves and reaches his full potential elsewhere. Peter Lawwell would have a fit if the Scotland international suddenly became a £10m player again (Supposedly Spurs were once interested in Forrest and willing to pay big for him).

But the fact is that the main sides credited with an interest in Forrest are Norwich City and QPR. Not really world beaters and it shows us that his stock has dropped off.

I can totally see why Forrest wants to leave. He won’t join a bigger club but he will see it as an opportunity to get out of a comfort zone and have a fresh chance to¬†resurrect his career properly.

Sometimes all a player needs is a change.

Celtic’s support won’t wish him any ill and will hope he can go on and do something with his career. But in all truthfulness not many will be sad to see him leave Parkhead as he hasn’t lived up to the hype and the time has come for someone else to try and become that jinky winger that the faithful have been longing for!



5 Responses to “Time Is Right For Celtic / James Forrest Split”

  1. There is only one person that should be allowed to leave Celtic at the moment and that is the imposter in the managers office. Forrest along with most of the playing staff will never reach their true potential until this nonentity is removed.

  2. Nonsense Hekes, JF has been at Celtic for 11 years and his final ball and crosses are poor! We’ve waited long enough so good luck to him elsewhere.

  3. My opinion, you have yours. Far from nonsense imo.

  4. Jimbo who do you see hitting good crosses into the opposition penalty box. The truth is no one but to be fair to the wingers it’s because we have very few players in the penalty box.for them to aim at. It’s usually Griffiths on his own. I wonder how you will feel if Rangers scrape together enough money to buy Forrest. Maybe they would play him wide right which has always been his best position.

  5. I take your points Sam but what has the number of players in the box got to do with the quality of the final pass or cross? It takes lots of practice. Same with penalties! As Gary Player famously said ” funny how the harder I practice the luckier I get!!

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