As we all know, James Forrest can be a very frustrating player to watch for the Celtic support. We all know of his potential to be a very talented winger however he quite clearly lacks the drive, enthusiasm and effort required to take his game to the next level. That along with regular injuries throughout his seven year long career in the Celtic first team squad have seen the Celtic support agonise in his recent contract extension which means he will remain at Parkhead until the year 2019. With such an attacking talent in the middle of the park with players such as Roberts, Rogic, McGregor, Armstrong, Christie , Henderson, Johansen and Commons, with Scott Sinclair impressing since completing his big money move from Villa it’s hard to see how it’s worthwhile continuing to pay Forrest’ weekly wage.
Another issue with the Celtic fans is that midway through last season James Forrest turned down a contract extension which can of course be interpreted that James was not happy with the money offered by the Celtic board, which would be completely understandable as we know our clubs usual tight-fisted approach when it comes to its signing policy. However given James’ usual approach on the pitch of hiding out on the touchline when the full back stands up to him or his lack of showing for the ball and real effort for the shirt he’s wearing leads the Celtic support to believe that his turning down of a contract is more of him believing he’s better than where he currently applies his trade and that he was holding out for a move elsewhere most likely down south.
There aren’t many in the Celtic support who would say Forrest is a genuinely poor player, and we all know what he is capable of on his day, providing some very big performances most notably in his first full season under Neil Lennon and in particular games such as the game against Oldco where Celtic completed the 15 point turnaround in which James produced a sudden burst of pace in field before hitting a shot that was well saved by McGregor as Celtic scored from the resulting corner and at home to Fenerbache where he performed extremely well helping Celtic storm into a 2 goal lead before the eventual collapse of solo defensive failures, but that’s another matter. Forrest has also produced many key moments such as his penalty against Ajax in the Champions’ league group stage, his goal to secure the League cup win against Dundee United and who could forget his last gasp winner against Shaktar Karagandy which sent Celtic into the Champions’ League group stages for the second consecutive season and sent the Celtic support into a euphoria of jubilation at overturning the two goal deficit. However over the course of a seven year career at Scotland’s most successful living club is this really enough to earn him a three year contract extension?
To summarise the argument, James Forrest does have the talent to be a top player at Parkhead and clearly Brendan sees something in him or he would be following the number of players who have been shown the door since the new boss took the reins. Rodgers has even spoken publicly about his admiration of James Forrest and how he believes he can get the wingers career back on track although the Celtic support have reason to be suspicious of James’ desire to actually fulfil his potential and that is why he will have a large number of critics within the Celtic support until he changes his ways and until he does so will always be an outsider for the Celtic support, he isn’t getting any younger and having turned twenty five time is running out for him to make the best of his career.