The man that arrived from Liverpool, with a fairly good reputation, after having just finished a loan spell with Swansea City, Paul Anderson has certainly been a player that perplexes many people, possessing all of the attributes to be a danger, but so far, not fulfilling his potential.
Signing permenantly for Nottingham Forest, for the slim sum of £250,000, after a successful loan spell, pressure wasn’t immediately heaped massively on Anderson, as many appreciated his tender age, and the time he needed to develop under the stewardship of Billy Davies.
In the Billy Davies era, he was a useful asset, as Forest used his admirable energy and work-rate to their advantage, as ‘Ando’ frequently helped out Chris Gunter, and they formed a great defensive double act. Going forward however, couldn’t be more of a different tale. Anderson is superb at running with intent, purpose, and enthusiasm, and approaching the opposition left back as if the game is entering its final minutes. His arms going back and forth from behind his body, looking almost as if he’s ready for the battle that’s about to commence with the full-back, imposing himself early, before he gets a proper chance to flaunt his true colours.
His true colours?
Delightfully bright… Until he reaches 5 yards from a potential showdown with the waiting full-back. “Take him on” and “Beat him for pace”, are the usual cries from the Forest supporters, as ‘Ando’ subsequently either turns back, unambitiously, or runs inside, implementing more rigidity on games that are already narrow enough.
So much now, the Reds fans never expect anything from the No7. Gone are the days he has the ability of getting fans on the edge of their seats, or in some cases, standing hopefully up. All of whom simultaneously put their hands on their head violenty in frustration, as they witness yet another failure as he goes forward.
The majority have learnt to remain firmly in their seats, hands centimeteres from their slightly drooped face, as the cries of disappointment have turned into resigned, slightly exaggerated, ‘face to legs’ action, as everyone wonders how he still manages to produce the waste.
When rumours of an alleged bust up involving Anderson circulated the net, from an extremely unreliable source, one thought crossed my mind. Many were worried about a potential dressing room split, but that was far from my thinking.
At last, Anderson had proved he can take someone on.
A moment I’m sure would’ve been celebrated, if it wasn’t for Forest’s struggles.
There’s no doubt, in all seriousness, that Anderson is a decent squad member, but no more than that. With Forest currently fighting to keep him, it shows the mess the club is in. Day after day, week after week, stories will keep flowing, of players Forest hope to keep. It sells newspapers, and keeps communication continuing at the club, where they know full well, for yet another summer, they’re set to lose players for free, without anything more than a half-hearted attempt to retain them.
Despite Anderson’s well aired faults, following the loss of McCleary, there’s no natural right winger at the club. Mind you, I notice Grant Holt has granted a transfer request, so he obviously loved the role to the point he’s prepared to drop a league.
We’ve seen what happens when Cotterill puts faith into a young right winger, and plays him on a regular basis. Anderson could be his next successful project, if kept. Since 2009, Anderson’s evidently played with fear in a Forest shirt, affecting his performances. Clear him of those psychological blockages, and he could become a winger that full-backs don’t want to be facing. At the moment, he’s the type of player a full-back goes to bed and dreams about coming up against.
A player the calibre of Paul Anderson, should be a meat and drink contract renewal for this club. The hesitancy of this player is possibly indicative of the direction the rest of the squad thinks the club is going.
Whether fans want him or not, is there to be debated.
But like so many others, it’s whether he wants us, that will probably prove the ultimate downfall.