Date:Wednesday October 25 2006
Reds' striker Neil Harris has come in for a mixed bag in terms of his reviews this season. The debate continues on a daily basis as to whether or not he is deserving of his place in the side.
The people who side with the former Millwall man will argue that there is no harder worker up front for the team, working tirelessly, chasing every ball and putting in the tackles, even where it hurts. Some will argue that there is no one better at holding the ball up and dragging his defender out of position. But that for me is his lot and in truth it's not a lot.
Neil Harris has put on the Red shirt no less than 32 times and in return he has scored 1 goal. Some may say he is not an out and out striker, that he is a provider. Provider of what? You could count the number of assists accredited to him on one finger. The player is often found looking like a startled rabbit in the headlights, when in front of goal. On numerous occasions this season he has been one on one with the keeper and has either skied it, or put it straight into his arms. Those who defend him will say he lacks confidence and needs a goal. But how long do we have to wait. At his present strike rate, he is not due to score again until next season!
The one area in the squad where we are over subscribed is on the striker front. It is probably the first area come the transfer window that CC will look to offload those he sees as surplus to requirements. Unfortunately, i don't think Harris will be one of them as Calderwood seems to talk him up at every available opportunity. CC is a man i have come to admire since his arrival, but his infatuation with Harris baffles me. He does work hard and he will run and run and keep on running all day long just like Forest Gump, but he won't score. He couldn't buy a goal if it was for sale on EBay and I'm sure my front door could hold the ball up as well as he can.
Nathan Tyson will be back from his long term injury in a matter of weeks which is great news for the side and will rightly walk straight back into the team. Calderwood has hinted that he will use his strikers in rotation, my biggest fear is that when it's the turn of Harris, we have less chance of scoring. Holt has proven he can score, but has fallen out of favour and Agogo looks like he could be a 15 goal a season man when he gets going. But if Neil Harris plays from now until the end of the season, i would bet my left testicle that he doesn't get more than 5 goals.
The player has overcome worse than my criticisms in his life and has done fantastically well to battle cancer. Fair play to him and long may his victory continue. I really hope he proves me wrong and starts to do so on Saturday at Cheltenham, if only for the sake of my testicles.
Date:Wednesday October 25 2006
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