If there’s one Celtic player who doesn’t deserve criticism at present it’s James Forrest.
The 28-year-old from Prestwick has been exceptional in recent weeks. The experienced winger, who notched the majority of the big awards going last season, has once again hit his stride just as his teammates have faltered.
Forrest hadn’t netted a Hoops goal since April when he struck in our first leg draw in Cluj. Subsequent goals against Motherwell, Cluj (again) and Dunfermline mean he now has four for the season and is once again among our top scorers.
Forrest has scored 17 in each of his last two seasons – equating to around one goal for every three matches. Not bad for a man who’s main job is to provide them.
Forrest has made a massive Celtic contribution
His winner at Celtic Park on Saturday was his 76th in a Celtic shirt. That’s more than any current Hoops star other than Leigh Griffiths. In fact, the last man other than Griffiths to beat Forrest’s current tally was Anthony Stokes – and he departed in 2016.
Given the winger’s current form you would back him to join the century club by the end of next season. When he does that he will really be in with the greats. Larsson, McGrory, McGarvey – Forrest will be in esteemed company, but will have the distinction of having reached the club without even being a striker.
With 17 major honours to his name, and potentially another decade at the top level, he really could become a club legend. Maybe then he will be fully appreciated by the majority of the Celtic support.