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Friday, 7 March 2014

In Defence of Danny Collins



Danny Collins
 
I am neither saying here that I am condoning or advocating Danny Collins as a first choice centre half for Forest. He isn't that. But I have felt moved by some of the criticism I have seen and heard from the stands in the past few weeks, and also some of the comments made online to defend Collins.

First off, he isn't even in our first three choice centre halves now. At the start of the season yes, but currently he is 4th choice centre back. Admittedly signed to lead the team by O'Driscoll, he was also part of what was then a very hastily arranged back 4.

Consider that last season we had no defence when he was signed, Chambers and Lynch had left, Gunter got sold and we never had a left back anyway. O'Driscoll needed to fill a void in 3 weeks, and drafted in Collins amongst Halford, Harding and Ayala. Almost a case of getting in whoever we could, in short spaces of time.

He has never captured fans imaginations nor has he really ever shone, but what he is, is a honest professional, who doesn't go hiding, and is still retained as a third choice captain should Cohen or Reid be missing (I would however hazard that if the set of circumstances arose, that Hobbs or Wilson would captain ahead of him.

Yes, he isn't the fastest, and yes sometimes he does standoff rather than tackle. But then you don't know what his instructions are or what happens in training... This might, and I vehemently stress, might be what he is being told to do.

What you get is a centre half willing to put him on the line, put his head on the ball, and does whatever is needed. He can play the ball when needed, and although not in Kelvins league for quality distribution he doesn't what he needs.
At times I think people forget his role here now, as a reserve, who is now asked to be a first teamer, and only last year he was first team. He could have asked for a move, or chucked his toys out the pram, but he's stayed honest and kept on, not complaining and played when asked too.
It must be difficult when in the space of a year you go from club captain to often not even being in the match day 18, so to stick around when he could surely get other decent clubs and then put himself on the line when needed is laudable.
Yes there are errors, but then centre halves errors show up more than others. I'd rather he plays at the back than Halford, and to be honest what other choices do we have right now?

He will never be a fans favourite, you won't see kids clamouring to have his name and number on their shirt, hell he could probably walk round the city centre and not get pestered by fans, but he has stayed here through a sticky patch, seen us through the transition from no defence of early last season, and can still fill and do a job at times. Ignore the occasional pauses and the odd mix up. You'll never get top level stuff from your fourth choice centre back, but what you get is honesty and effort. And I'll take them every day ahead of unfulfilled talent and promise like we got from Chalobah.

1 comments:

Forest Boffin said...

Quite a good article - balanced and constructive, nice one!

One thing that annoys me (not with your article, but you touch upon it) is when fans automatically assume 'standing off' a striker is the wrong thing for a defender to do - if he's more powerful than the defender, then the defender is sometimes wise to give him space, I remember Collins doing this last season quite a bit against bigger players, an he usually got the better of them. DC is quite intelligent and experienced, and USUALLY makes good decisions in this regard.

A good back-up defender at this level, and a good article. There isn't enough positivity or constructive criticism being written at the moment - at the moment the vultures seem to be circling...

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