Brendan Rodgers Has James Forrest Flying Again At Celtic!

Under Ronny Deila, James Forrest didn’t seem to be able to get back into the form that caused everyone at Celtic to praise him when he broke into the first team at Parkhead in 2010.

At one stage the forward was linked with a £9m switch to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, without doubt injuries and poor form have plagued his career.

Many wondered if the inconsistent winger would be dumped by Brendan Rodgers when the manager arrived in the summer of 2016.

Yet Rodgers has stuck with the twenty-six year old and his faith has been well and truly repaid by the Scottish international this season.

When Patrick Roberts rejoined the Hoops in the summer on yet another season long loan, it was automatically assumed that he’d play more often than not and Forrest would have to make do with the super-sub role.

Yet James has worked hard, got himself in the team, taken his chance and played consistently well this term.

Out of all of Celtic’s creative wide talents, for me Forrest has been the standout attacking player.

Roberts has picked up injuries, Scott Sinclair hasn’t had the same impact he had last term (although he has picked up as of late) and Jonny Hayes hasn’t really made enough of his limited minutes on the pitch.

Brendan decided to rest Forrest for the third match against Motherwell in a week, yet even though he started on the bench James still came on and scored a brace in the final twenty-two minutes and could have even grabbed a hat-trick.

His opener against the Well, was typical James Forrest. The wee wide-man came in from the right and took the shot excellently with his left foot. It curled around Motherwell keeper Trevor Carson and nestled into the back of the net.

It was very similar to his goal the weekend before against the same goalie but last week’s was more special as it helped the Glasgow club to win the Betfred Cup. That was his third goal in a Hoops jersey in a winning League Cup final and no one has done that since Lisbon Lion Bobby Lennox. That’s some feat!

His second strike in yesterday’s Scottish Premiership fixture was a very nice finish with the outside of his right-foot. He steadied himself before accurately steering his shot beyond Carson yet again.

After the 5-1 home win over Well, Brendan Rodgers praised his scoring substitute:

“He is a goal threat – inside of his left foot, outside of his right, two brilliant finishes,” 

“And, like I say, he is high in confidence and I’m delighted to see it because he is a big talent and still so young, so much ahead of him.”

The Hoops boss will also enjoy the fact that the Ayrshire native offers versatility to the squad as he can also play on the left wing or up as a second striker.

The forward has direct pace and quick feet, that terrorises defences. He can stay wide and he can cut-in and that fluidity on the flank confuses defenders. Rodgers seems to have got Forrest focused and concentrating on the positive aspects in his game and keeping things on the front foot.

The internationalist is also a big game player as his League Cup final record suggests. He has also grabbed goals against FC Astana and Rosenborg in the Champions League qualifiers.

Forrest already has ten goals to his name this season and it’s not even Christmas yet. Before this campaign the Celtic man had never struck double figures before.

There’s still room for improvement, James can score more this term and as a direct winger I’d like to see him create more assists for his teammates.

That being said, Brendan Rodgers seems to be getting more and more from James Forrest and we are finally seeing him as a top performer again. He’ll hope that he can keep this run going and reach his full potential before the season finishes!

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