The Case For and Against Nathan Tyson

In another new series we will lookat the plus points and bad sides to some of our players who divide opinion. First up will be Nathan Tyson. The debate raged on the forum for a few days with two main protagonists. In the pro corner was Mr GeoChallenge. On the negative front was trickie_trees. With occasional interjections from other users.

The case FOR Nathan Tyson
I say the most natural talent we have not because I've been mixing Captain Morgan Spiced and Lemsip (extra strength), but because he is the one player at Forest with the raw attributes to be a top level striker. Tyson has one thing Earnshaw & Blackstock don't have: pace. You can't teach pace. If Earnshaw had Tyson's pace he'd be one of the best strikers in the country. Pace is so effective it has elevated Tyson to a level way above his skill. And Tyson will always be sucessful up to a certain level because of this lightning pace. Defenders don't like quick strikers as pace is the one thing they can't really defend against if they're outmatched in that area. More importantly, there are few things the fans prefer to see more than a defender being done for pace and skinned. Nobody can deny Tyson is an exciting player, and excitement is what the game is all about.

Does this make him a legend? No, he's seriously lacking in most of the skills that qualify him as even a good player. Is he a Forest Legend? Think back to the flag incident. Passion? Loyalty? Sticking two fingers up to the sh**p? Mr Tyson may well be leaving in the summer, but he'll be remembered for that incident alone. He is a Forest legend, and at the lower level of football we find ourselves stuck in, he's a very useful asset. He ain't no premiership player, but he'd get into any squad in this league.

The Case Against
As Geochallenge has hinted but is too polite to say it he is actually a very limited footballer. His touch & control is very poor, his finishing is very poor and he is incredibly injury prone. He came from Wycombe a Lg 2 team and was able to hold his own (just about) in Lg1. If you look at his scoring record in that league he hardly set the world on fire. Yes he scored a few but was never prolific. At Championship level he has been found seriously wanting. His scoring record is very poor at this level and he is often found wanting against better defenders. I agree with Geo challlenge he has pace but more often than not if he beats a player for pace he blasts it into the crowd, misplaces a cross or is tackled by another player.

He has been a good servant to Forest but it is time for him to move on for the good of his own career. Moving to Southhampton would be a good career move as they are a relatively big lower league club and he would provide some excitement at Lg 1 level as Geochallenge says with his pace. Not too many years ago rumours were abundant in relation to his seriously flawed health record. I think the rumours have decreased because we are now not reliant on him and he doesn't now play games regularly.

But to be fair to the lad he has always been a keen Forest player, gives 100% & appears to be a genuinely nice lad from what people say about him. Unfortunately that isn't know enough for a club that supposedly has Premiership aspirations

The Case For Retort
In defence of Tyson I'd like to take you to task over a few of your points:

You say he has poor touch & control, I'd say these could be better but our level dosen't require world class control, although it would be nice. In comparison with most championship players I'd suggest it isn't that poor. We are not ripped apart week-in week-out by tricky wingers displaying Ronaldinhoesque technique and ball skills. Tyson does not stick out as particularly poor. It's a myth propogated by over-expectant fans.

His injury prone-ness: another myth. In the last 6 years he's played 42, 43, 24, 34, 35 & 35 league games. Myth officially busted.

His finishing: Tyson's skills are better suited on the wing, and this is where he's been deployed for most of hs career, thus this dosen't need to be his best trait, however you totally undervalue his goal-scoring ability. He has scored more goals for Forest than any player on our books, despite not being played as a striker. Compare his strike rate with other similar players at Forest over his entire career.

Earnshaw: 0.46 goals per game.
Blackstock: 0.28
Tyson: 0.27
Adebola: 0.23
McGugan: 0.20
Anderson: 0.14
Cohen: 0.07

I've included midfielders because Tyson has been consistently played in attacking midfield, as have they. You'll no doubt argue that many of his goals have been in the lower leagues, but this applies for all of them except Earnie. Tyson's finishing compares well with all the others.

You say he was able to just about hold his own in the lower leagues but was never prolific... he scored 22 goals in 04/05 and 23 in 05/06. This is a pretty good return in my eyes.

The stats show his finishing to be far better than you give him credit for, and we all know he has not been played up front, and has played many of his games coming off the bench. I'd say his poor finishing (for this level of lower league football we play at) is yet another myth.

He's a very good lower league player, his skillset overlooked by over-expectant Forest fans. The only point I can agree with you on is that he should be looking to move on because hes not good enough for a team with premiership aspirations

The Case Against Reply
I disagree with your comment that he has been deployed on the wing for most of his career. He was moved from a striking position by Forest because in my opinion (not yours) his finishing was not great. Prior to that he played more centrally as a striker and played many games for Forest as our main striker. Touch and skill level is important as a winger as he has a tendencey to knock the ball way in front of himself and put his head down and run like a hare. This means he has little or no awareness, footballing brain and as I say is over reliant on his pace and his final pass (if he isn't tackled) is generally poor or in the crowd. He is technically very average.

You say we are playing at a lower league level but we are as you admit now challenging for Premiership football or at least should be. He is not playing for Wycombe Wanderers now! To here you talk it sounds like we are playing pub league football. The guy is a professional footballer, he should be able to apply basic control to the ball and pass / cross effectively. His crossing is woeful at best. As a winger you show no stats for assists which is a key stat for a winger. I'd be interested in how many of Tyson's crosses have landed in row Z compared to a strikers head!

The number of games he has played. How many were as sub? How many were during periods of recovery from injury? He in my opinion has not been up to the true rigours to be a regular first team player. When he was a leading light in Lg 1 I remember him often being missing from the team sheet due to an initial knee problem which I seem to remember he had a strip of his hamstring transplanted to his knee which resulted in a proneness for hamstring injuries as well as a weakness in his knee. (Might not be 100% correct but along those lines anyway).

Strike rate. Earnies is far superior and as you rightfully say he has done it in the top leagues. Blackstocks is actually equivalent but he brings a lot to the team with his all round ability to bring others into the game. I agree he does need to up his goals ratio but he does have decent levels of skill & control for a big guy. Tyson doesn't bring the all round game of Blackstock and actually just brings pace and nothing much else. Pace is a good attribute but it should be one of many otherwise Usain Bolt would actually be the best player in the world according to your criteria. Actually I wonder if he does play football? He might give Ronaldo a run for his money!

The case for
Time to end this once & for all...

Yes, assists are an important stat for wingers, however it's not relevant because the whole arguement was about Tyson's strike rate and my unanswered assertion that it's not that bad for someone who's spent much of his time on the left wing. That was the arguement but you've attempted (you seem inteligent so I'm thinking it was deliberate, I'd of done the same) to shift it to escape that point. This whole paragraph is a smokescreen and you know it!

The Blackpool point is a perfectly good arguement: a top level manager with more knowledge than you or I thinks Tyson could do a job in the Premiership. I disagree with him, but his footballing skills can't be all that bad if he's convincing professionals suc as Holloway.

Again you've attempted a little subtefuge in claiming to be misquoted so I'll make myself clear: Blackstock has NEVER been unplayable. Staying closer to the point, he is a very limited footballer, in the same league as Tyson and with a comparable strike rate, dispite having more scoring opportunities (because he plays 100% as a striker). In my opinion he's more important to us than Tyson, but not by much.

In conclusion, I don't think any of my points have even been threatened. Fortunetly for myself statistics seem to back much of my arguement up, which is why, in my opinion, you've detracted from the points in question on several occasions. A little subtefuge, but I'd have done the same. My arguements have been:

1) Tyson's skills are perfectly adequate for this level of football. He is very one-dimensional but much of the time that is enough. How often to we face a proper skillled winger displaying Ronaldo-like technique? They're all just about as bad as Tyson! Unfair to single him out. He'd get in any squad in the league.

2) Tyson's strike rate compares well with all of our other, similar players with the exception of Earnshaw, dispite being played on the wing a lot. This has been statistically proven above.

3) He's not particularly injury prone. Statistically proven above. It dosen't matter that he's weak, he's no weaker than Bertrand & Anderson et al.

4) He is a Forest legend, but we agree on this.

None of these points have been dealt with. He is a good lower league player. Nothing more, nothing less. He's definetly good enough to be playing for us this season, and in my opinion he would get in any squad in the league. He's not my cup of tea, I'm never surprised when he misses, but then again no player puts the majority of their chances away in this league - if they did they'd be at a higher level.

In short, he's not good enough for our ambitions, but only one or two of Forest's players are, and no amount of smokescreen will be able to hide this. It's very unfair to single him out.

Finally the Case Against
To sum up.

His assists rate we assume are diabolical as he he has no ability to cross & he doesn't score goals from the wing. Remind me what is he supposed to do? Oh yes, run very fast (often whilst losing the ball as he has no control)! Tyson's strike rate whilst on the wing is poor. Your stats are unable to clarify which goals were scored whilst on the wing and so are practically meaningless i.e. wrong stats for your argument. Also his skills in my opinion are not adequate to play wing as he can't cross, control the ball or actually beat anyone without knocking it 20 yards in front of him.

We will have to differ on the injury argument as I think as someone who has followed Forest during the whole of Tysons career I think he has gone missing a lot due to injury. We don't rely on him now but when in Lg 1 he was our main striker. Without him we struggled as there was no replacements. Granted we had the fabulous Eugene Dadi and Gareth Taylor etc. but no one with Tysons pace. In those days when compared to the above he had his place. Now he is barely a squad player never mind first choice.

Time for Tyson to move on for his sake & ours. Even you agree with this. He was singled out Geo as Manic wanted to debate him. I think as you say we have done and no stone has been unturned. Good debate but I think my points were better