Nottingham Forest striker Lewis Grabban netted his sixth goal of the season on Saturday as Sabri Lamouchi’s team returned to winning ways.
The Reds went fifth in the league thanks to goals from Grabban and Sammy Ameobi, with Callum McManaman’s late strike nothing more than a scant consolation.
Despite another important goal for the Reds, Grabban just cannot please some Forest supporters.
The man who signed for £6 million (BBC Sport) from Bournemouth is prone to some rather unnecessary flak and it’s really growing tiresome.
If it isn’t Kenny Burns demanding that Forest go and sign Dwight Gayle, it’s supporters up in arms on Twitter each time Grabban fires one wide of the post, or over the crossbar.
It’s going to come as a shock to some people, but all strikers miss chances and the Forest man isn’t unique in that sense.
On Saturday, Grabban was mortified not to connect properly with an attempt that flew off his boot and horribly over. As with all good strikers though, he dusted himself down, remained calm and ensured he despatched his next one like the quality goalscorer which he is.
A tweet from Sporting Life offered an interesting statistic regarding Grabban on Saturday. Following his goal at Kenilworth Road, no player has scored more Championship goals away from home since the start of last season.
🌳 @NFFC man Lewis Grabban is the ultimate road warrior!
💪 This strike made it 5⃣ of his 6⃣ Championship goals have come away from home!
— Sporting Life Football (@SportingLifeFC) November 3, 2019
Since arriving at the City Ground in the summer of 2018, Grabban has scored 23 goals in 54 games. The cynics will say he’d have more were it not for him missing so many chances. To miss chances, however, you have to be in a position to do so.
This season the man who has typically excelled in the Championship has worked tirelessly as the club’s lone striker. In the past supporters have questioned his application and desire but those theories have been quashed this season.
Grabban is cute. He doesn’t need to run around like a headless chicken. He knows where he needs to be to give him the best chance of scoring a goal. Supporters have thankfully started to recognise that.
His superb battling qualities were evident at Luton on Saturday, just like they were in setting up Alfa Semedo’s winning goal at Swansea City back in September.
With that theory put to bed the miserable so-and-so’s who simply refuse to give him any sort of credit have been forced to retreat to the drawing board.
This week has seen comparisons to other strikers and their conversion rates emerge. Forest sit fifth in the league and some so-called supporters are spending time looking at stats to prove their team’s striker to somehow be something of a fraud.
Grabban must continue doing what he does best. He must continue working his socks off and continue striving to firmly put his critics back in their place.
If the hotshot striker can notch against Derby on Saturday and improve his goalscoring ratio at the City Ground, then maybe, just maybe, his critics might just leave him alone once and for all.