For any footballer, becoming a scapegoat in any club can break a career. Becoming a scapegoat in a Nottingham Forest shirt though, normally makes careers.
Whilst fans of other clubs watch their former scapegoats in the latter minutes of The Football League Show, Forest fans endure watching them being intensely analysed by Alan Hansen, on Match of the Day.
This may be the route taken by striker David McGoldrick. Although people may laugh at the thought of McGoldrick in the Premier League, pointing them in the direction of Grant Holt’s career path may see them understand the theory just a little more.
Whenever McGoldrick did anything in a Forest shirt, the atmosphere changed. If something positive was done, there would be the element of patronising suprise that could only leave a footballer slightly humiliated, rather than encouraged. If something negative occurred, McGoldrick would get a barrage of abuse on a different scale.
His running style, or internet rumours relating to his private life – Nottingham Forest supporters seemed to decide at an early stage that McGoldrick was an easy target, that they would take full advantage of.
McGoldrick got out alive, getting himself a loan spell at Coventry City. Despite his recent goalscoring exploits, many would still not take him back. Eleven goals scored, and Coventry fans lauding him demanding they sign him permanently. Three strikers currently fit, but the thought of McGoldrick lining up in a Forest shirt again is enough to raise the eyebrows, more in confusion of suggestion, than consideration.
Forest left back Dan Harding is currently in the line of fire. What’s Dan Harding’s fault, is Dan Harding’s fault. What’s Andy Reid’s fault, is Dan Harding’s fault. The mindset that many seem to have taken, unfortunately.
If something goes wrong near Dan Harding, despite looking at the bigger picture and perhaps the tracking back (or lack of) from Andy Reid, Harding is usually held responsible.
Harding seems to be standing on the thin line, that is being made a touch thicker by the ongoing injury problems to the defence, meaning any defensive errors are being generalised, as a whole defensive issue.
Whilst it’s unfair, Harding’s hesitant appearance doesn’t help him. Often looking hurried and nervous, with Andy Reid in front of him taking up awkward positions, forcing the Forest No.3 to take another option, usually the more simple one backwards, that can sometimes rile inpatient fans.
McGoldrick’s running style and Jonathan Greening’s rough and street-ready look. Are appearances playing a role in fans stance on players?
Football fans as a whole tend to be a forgiving bunch, as long as performances improve.
The Nottingham Forest faithful are on another level, however. Even when performances get better, and players show improvements, their unwillingness to allow them a fresh start in the Garibaldi is alarming.
If the likes of McGoldrick, Jonathan Greening and Marcus Tudgay continue to show form at their respective clubs until January, would the idea of retaining them be too frowned upon?
The thought of ‘cashing in’ may cross people’s mind. For Greening and Tudgay, maybe.
For McGoldrick? Firepower and form. Whilst considering whether to give him a fresh start in your own mind, imagine settling down on a Saturday night to watch Match of the Day, knowing you were seeing a David McGoldrick you could’ve once seen.
Forgiving and forgetting may not be in the nature of Nottingham Forest fans minds’. Many people preach about the club being as one, for once in a long time. The only way to prove it, is to act in that way. Forgive and forget, and aid the club in achieving success.
@will_forest via Twitter.