Date:Tuesday December 11 2012
Forest striker Dexter Blackstock, is in the final year of his current contract at the City Ground and according to the popular 26 year old, he has yet to sit down with the club and sort out a new deal. It`s not because he has any desire to move away according to Dex in today`s Evening Post, but more the fact that he simply hasn't been offered a new deal by the club.
From January, any club interested in signing Blackstock, will be free to talk to him and offer him a new deal. One of the major criticisms levelled at the previous regime at NFFC and rightly so in my opinion, was their willingness to allow too many players to run down their contracts and leave the club for free. That`s a bad and stupid business strategy for any football club, in any division.
It may of course be that the new owners have bigger and better planned for us, in which case, whoopeeedingdangoo! There`s no doubt that Dexter is a popular figure amongst the fans. He has a decent goals to games ratio. He always puts in a shift and he clearly wants to play for the club and the shirt.
The case for keeping Dex and offering him a new deal is an easy one to make. We all love players who have an affinity with us fans and Dex has that in spades. He demonstrated that earlier this season, when sorting out a ticketing problem for a Forest fan at an away game with Huddersfield. One Tricky posted on twitter, that they`d forgotten to take their tickets with them and Dex managed to sort them out with tickets at the ground. He bought the Forest physio team iPads, for helping in his recovery from knee ligament damage last season and he`s always made himself accessible to the fans via the social media.
He`s currently the clubs joint top scorer so far this campaign, with 6 goals in 18 appearances. He shares that with Billy Sharp, who has taken 21 appearances to reach the same target. Whilst Blackstock scores his fair share of goals for a striker, it could obviously argued that there are better out there.
If our new owners do have their eyes set on bigger and better fish, then it`s going to cost and when it comes to free scoring strikers, that always costs big. Dex is a nice guy and all that, but there`s no place for sentiment in football. Dex is also a fairly decent goalscorer and throughout his career, he`s always chipped in with his fair share of goals. He`s bagged 33 in 105 appearances for the Reds`, which whilst respectable, wont exactly put him up there as one of the all time greats. It will definitely put him further up the rankings than the likes of Taylor, Dobie and Harris, to name but a few, but that`s just harping back to the bad 'ole days and they are hopefully firmly in the past.
As said above, Dex is our current joint top scorer for this season, but he lags someway behind the top scorers in the Championship, so far this term. Charlie Austin at Burnley is top of the pops so far, with a very impressive 21 goals in 23 appearances. Glenn Murray at Palace is on 18 in 18 and Thomas Ince at Blackpool, is on a not too shabby 13 goals from 20 appearances. That puts into perspective our lack of ability in front of goal and whilst it may not all be down to our individual strikers, Dex`s ratio of 6 goals in 18 games needs improving, if we hope to be successful this season.
If the club is successful in replacing Dexter with a more prolific striker, then the fickleness of the football fan will soon become evident and he will sadly be remembered as just another guy who played for us, albeit with a lot of affection and gratitude from us all. Whatever the future holds for Dexter Blackstock, I think he`ll always be fondly remembered by the majority of Trickies, but his future does need sorting sooner rather than later. It could be argued that if we want to be a successful club once again, then we have to put sentiment to one side and strive for bigger and better than what we have now. A forum poll running on site at present, shows that 90% of Forest fans think Dex should be offered a new deal. There`s clearly a lot of admiration for the guy, but is he good enough to fire us out of this division and into the Promised Land of the Premiership and then to keep us there?
Date:Tuesday December 11 2012
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