On December 1, 2018, Lewis Grabban was the most prolific marksman in the top four tiers of English football.

A match-winning brace had just been recorded against Ipswich to take him to 15 goals for the season.

Of that haul, 14 had come in Championship competition.

Nobody in the second tier had more.

Grabban’s goals per minutes played ratio was also among the finest in the country.

Having invested £6 million in the 31-year-old, as reported by BBC Sport, Forest appeared to have struck gold.

Here was a striker seemingly ready to emulate the likes of Stan Collymore, Pierre van Hooijdonk and David Johnson in inspiring a promotion push.

Not since Johnno in 2002/03 have the Reds had a frontman hit the fabled 20-goal mark.

He hit 29 that season, Van Hooijdonk 34 in 1997/98, while Collymore recorded 25 in back-to-back campaigns from 1993 to 1995.


(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Grabban is just five short of joining them in that club.

He has, however, been in that position for over eight weeks.

Not since the 38th minute of the aforementioned 2-0 victory over Ipswich has Forest’s most potent attacking weapon found the back of the net.

A niggling knock has been nursed since then, but he has taken in five starts and seven outings in total.

Rather worryingly, just 10 efforts on goal have been mustered during a barren run.

And only four of those have troubled the opposition goalkeeper.

Grabban can, quite rightly, point to the fact that he needs service in which to thrive.

He knows his way to goal, but cannot get there all by himself.

Forest have fired too many blanks as a collective of late, and that is doing No. 7 few favours.

Grabban has been a little patchy over recent years, with his goals often coming in flurries.

That was the case again over the first half of the current campaign.

He opened his Reds career with a six-game run without troubling the scorers.


His haul of 15 efforts was then achieved across as many appearances.

A switch to 4-4-2 in Martin O’Neill’s first game at the helm was intended to deliver more cutting edge.

With Daryl Murphy alongside him, Grabban had a partner in which to play off.

Forest rather fluffed their lines, though, and are now considering another tactical rethink.

Grabban can expect to form part of those plans, despite the calls for more attacking additions.

He does, however, need to find a way of opening the floodgates again.

To have gone 525 minutes without finding the target is frustrating for all concerned.

He is, however, only three back on Tammy Abraham in the Golden Boot race and has time on his side.

A home date with Wigan on Saturday would be a timely occasion in which to start closing that gap.

Related Topics