The Harris debate: It’s getting boring.

You could talk to any random Forest fan, or visit any number of random message boards – like this one, or this one, or even this one – and you’ll notice a recurring theme of discussion amongst them. Neil Harris, is of course, the subject of endless debate – because, for some Forest fans, apparently a run of eight games without defeat isn’t good enough – being six points clear at the top of the league also is substandard. Because each of these fans apparently knows better than Colin Calderwood, who has had his coaching badges since he was 24.

It winds me up – I can understand where people are coming from, on paper we are fielding a player who has scored one goal in about a thousand games, and we have both our top scorer, and our newly-fit star striker on the bench. I can certainly empathise with the view that perhaps either of these players are, on paper, a better bet for a starting position – but it’s when this critique of Harris descends to sniping at his every touch, every run – any mistakes, and basically – even when times are going well, still desperately seeking out a scapegoat.

Before people think about slagging off Neil Harris, think about the fact that we’re on a great run of form, think about the fact that Colin Calderwood is clearly a man who knows what he is doing, and then consider that he gets input from reserve games, sees the players in training and knows the team a hell of a lot better than us – and so long as the things are going as well as they are now then we’re really in no position to openly criticise him – certainly discussion about “what I’d do if I were manager” is perfectly normal, but singling out players unfairly is counterproductive.

Neil Harris isn’t my favourite Forest player – when I see him play though I can see a bloke giving it 100% in effort, and I can also see a player with intelligence too. Given his scoring record of the past, and then that of the present, then I imagine he’s a frustrated player – and possibly one lacking in confidence too; so how do you think hundreds of moaning belligerent ‘fans’ or threads on internet forums slagging him off are going to help? Colin has made his decisions for whatever reasons, and whilst it’s not always pretty, he’s delivering results – that deserves our support, not our derision.

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