Steve Cook became an instant Nottingham Forest hero on Sunday. He helped the Reds knock Arsenal out of the FA Cup with a strong defensive display. After the game, he was quick to dispel a harsh myth among Forest supporters about Lewis Grabban.
The 30-year-old arrived on Trentside as a free transfer from Bournemouth. Cook has spent 10 years on the south coast, helping the Cherries win two promotions. He’s also made 168 appearances in the Premier League during his career.
That level of experience is typically unheard of in the Championship. As a result, he could prove to become a really useful addition to the Forest ranks at the midway point of the 2021/22 campaign.
Cook has played alongside Grabban previously. The Forest talisman netted his 11th goal of the season on Sunday as the Reds stunned Arsenal 1-0 at the City Ground.
It’s been a constant debate but plenty of fans aren’t happy that Grabban is often given the armband. Many feel he isn’t worthy but some comments from Cook should go a long way to dispelling such a theory among his critics.
The Forest newcomer told The Athletic: “I know Lewis very well from our time at Bournemouth. He was very influential there and you can see how big a player he is for the club.
“Knowing Grabbs as a man, he is a great pro. He works extremely hard. He has been brilliant with me in the short time I’ve been here. It’s nice to be back in a team with him. I am sure he has a lot more to give.”
Respect: Grabban critics need to lay off Forest man
Captains can be leaders in more ways than one. Just because a player doesn’t beat his chest and constantly bark orders at teammates, it doesn’t mean he isn’t an influential figure in the dressing room.
Cook’s comments suggest exactly that. Grabban is a calm and composed individual but that shouldn’t mean he isn’t a positive influence in a relatively young dressing room.
- MOVE: Former Reds loanee set for transfer
It perhaps seems as though Grabban does other things to showcase his leadership qualities. With 11 goals this season, it’s hard to argue that he’s pulling his weight on that front.
Grabban has turned 34 today. Having been at the City Ground for almost four years, it seems as though he’ll never manage to win some critics over.
Cook has at least extinguished the myth that Grabban isn’t a good captain.