written by – Rangers Report
Harry Forrester has proven to be a real shooting machine since seeing regular time. The former Brentford midfielder has averaged 5.96 shots per 90 minutes & of those shots, 26% have been scoring chances. It’s probably not likely that Forrester will continue getting six shots a game. – Rangers Report, March 14, 2016
Back in March, I wrote a post discussing what players would be called upon to compensate for the absence of Martyn Waghorn. In a small sampling of games, Forrester was showing signs of being a real decisive player who was constantly looking to challenge the opposing defence & goalkeeper. Given that he had only played in a handful of games, my hesitancy to suggest that his form would sustain was logical…right?
A month later, Forrester has shown very little signs of regression. In eleven league matches, he has averaged 5.11 shots per 90 minutes & 30% of those shots have been scoring chances (High/Very High Danger shots). So, Forrester’s high rate of shots has basically sustained & if anything, he’s gotten slightly better at generating quality shots on goal.
Those 5.11 shots per 90 minutes are even higher than Waghorn’s output, albeit in much less playing time. Waghorn averaged 4.52 shots per 90 minutes & when he went down to injury – the concern was that no one on the team was poised to replace that volume of shots. Forrester, stepped in & did just that.
That makes the news about Forrester missing the rest of the season even more daunting. Not only has he scored five goals this season (four in league play, plus “that” goal against Dundee), Forrester’s tallies have been timely. Of those five goals, four have been the first goal in the match. They have been game changers. Forrester was supplying the kind of plays that Rangers would need as they take on their Old Firm rivals.
Against Dundee, Mark Warburton went with a midfield of Jason Holt, Andy Halliday, & Dominic Ball, while deploying Barrie McKay, Kenny Miller, & Forrester up front.
Obviously, with injuries & players that are cup-tied the manager’s options are limited.
Does Warburton shift Miller out to the right & bring Nicky Clark in? Given the fluidity that Rangers can play with up front, you still could see Miller play a good deal of minutes in his normal role as striker. However, the fact that Clark has the 12th best shooting percentage (goals/shots on target) on the team doesn’t exactly sound that appealing – given the occasion.
Another option that has been bandied about online is the possibility of moving Andy Halliday up to Forrester’s role & bringing in a central midfielder to take Halliday’s spot. Halliday has played that role in his career & actually played some left back last week when Lee Wallace left the game through injury. Then, the manager would likely choose between Dean Shiels, Nicky Law, or Gedion Zelalem.
Regardless, Harry Forrester’s production is going to be very difficult to replace & unless Warburton has an ace up his sleeves (I wonder how David Templeton is feeling lately) – the bookies will be looking to change up the odds even more in Celtic’s favor ahead of Sunday’s clash.
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