Ian McParland has delivered his verdict on the decision made by Nottingham Forest to give Joe Worrall a new contract. The Reds handed the centre-back a new long-term deal to extend his stay at the City Ground earlier this week.
It’s been an interesting couple of years for Worrall. He was brilliant as the Reds won promotion during 2021/22 but last season he wasn’t always considered as a first-choice option in the Premier League.
McParland had reservations over the 26-year-old last season and he wasn’t afraid to admit it. Now, it would appear that those same scepticisms are still lingering with the man who previously worked with the Forest Academy.
He believes that Worrall is perhaps missing one ingredient to become a top defender at this level. However, he’s willing to reserve complete judgment for now.
He told Notts TV show Team Talk: “I think it’s right to give him a contract as I think he’ll be good around the place. I think if Forest are going to really climb up and be established in the Premier League you need top defenders and you need pace.
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“He’s started the season not bad. Got a few blocks in at Chelsea and was a bit unfortunate at Manchester United.
“I’ll wait and see and reserve judgment. There’s a lot of competition for places which is good and I will wait and see.
McParland to reserve judgement on Forest captain Worrall
This is an interesting claim. On one hand, he does have a point that Worrall isn’t the quickest but on the other, there is an element that in Steve Cooper’s style, it might not be the end of the world.
Ultimately, Forest have to pair Worrall with someone who can run. He isn’t the quickest but if pacey players are placed alongside him, it’s not necessarily the worst situation in the world.
Last season there were times when Worrall deserved the critique but this season he deserves his new deal. In fact, he’s been largely impressive since the final six weeks of last season and is proving a worthy captain.
Worrall will have to continue proving people wrong. All that matters, however, is that Forest like him and crucially, Cooper is now starting to see him as integral to the team’s fortunes.