This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Seeing as it’s Halloween, you could put this under ‘the luck of the devil’.
There has been a little bit of a drop in terms of production from Joe Lolley, according to the man himself, and the emphasis is on the word ‘little’, so it’s not entirely disastrous, but still a cause for concern.
By this time last season, Lolley had scored four goals and contributed three assists, whereas so far he’s only managed to chip in with two goals and one assist (all via Transfermarkt).
Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, Lolley noted how being inconsistent is part and parcel of playing out wide and that sometimes it just comes down to luck whether or not he finds the back of the net:
The winger stated:
“I wouldn’t say I’ve been at my best this season, but you’re always inconsistent as a winger. If I score every game, I probably wouldn’t be here. For me, I’m one goal back from this stage last year. I wouldn’t say I was maybe playing as well as last year, but it’s one goal.
“Against Hull, I had a chance in the last minute, their guy heads it away – it looked like a goal from where I was. If that goes in, then I’d have the exact same statistics as this time last year.”
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Lolley does have a point. There’s a reason he’s a decent Championship winger right now, and that’s because he can’t find the back of the net every game.
However, that doesn’t mean he can use it as some sort of excuse.
With Forest now going through what might be called a ‘rough patch’ of two consecutive defeats after their ten-match unbeaten run, it falls upon guys like Lolley, particularly after he set such high standards last season by winning Player of the Season, to try and sort things out.
Yes it might be harsh on him to expect him to score in every match, and nobody is expecting him to. But his levels last year were good enough to get Forest just outside the playoffs, so if he wants the club to take a step forward, he is going to have to take a step forward as well.
After all, he has far more quality than he has shown in 2019/20. Last term the 27-year-old was involved in 22 goals.