Aitor Karanka covered Nottingham Forest’s 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night as a studio pundit for Sky Sports and offered some baffling quotes on youngster Ryan Yates.
The Reds earned a share of the spoils but realistically, it should have been so much more
Martin O’Neill’s men were on course towards implementing their game plan to perfection when Dwight Gayle intervened.
The Albion striker fell in the box under no challenge at all and the referee, conned by Gayle, pointed to the spot.
There were, however, plenty of positives for the Reds to contemplate.
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Yates once again showed what a capable player he can be at Championship level.
The 21-year-old helped create Forest’s opener, before volleying the Reds in front during the second half.
He showed an enormous amount of maturity within his performance again and also collected the second Man of the Match award in as many games.
Despite not playing any league football at Forest under Karanka, the Spaniard was very quick to praise the academy graduate.
He told Sky Sports: “He’s brilliant and a very good kid. I am really pleased for him and he deserves a lot of credit. I think he is a very good example for the academy players.”
Karanka’s quotes are all good and well but it was he who very nearly loaned Yates out on two occasions this season.
O’Neill has clearly seen something in the midfielder that Karanka couldn’t, because he has trusted him to play in the first-team for Forest.
Karanka’s comments are strange, to say the least.
Lots of supporters were baffled at the apparent stockpiling of central midfielders earlier in the campaign, with some using the fact that Yates’ progress would be hampered behind their reasoning.
If Karanka was so fond of the Nottingham-born performer then why didn’t he give him more than one half of EFL Cup football against League Two Bury, during his tenure at the City Ground?
Karanka did lots of good for Forest, but it’s a fair assessment to say that he wasn’t quite the messiah that some supporters have made him out to be.
Not including Yates more often is proving to be just one aspect which backs up such a sentiment.