Nottingham Forest striker Lewis Grabban has been shrouded in controversy this week at a time when his side need his goals the most.
It’s been reported that he had a training ground bust up with Forest staff over his use of a private medical team. The suggestion is Forest feel he is fit to play, whilst he is taking advice not to from an outside source.
Grabban refuted the claims on his Twitter account, branding them nonsense, but with a goal drought added into the mix it makes for a challenging time for the striker.
It is seemingly bad news for everyone associated with the club, an internal dispute threatening to wreck their slim play-off hopes, but deep down there’s one man who might be less angry than most.
Hillal Soudani has been injured for much of the season following his summer switch, but the Algerian star is now back in training and hunting a return to action.
If 16-goal Grabban was in the team and firing, maybe his path back into the fold would be blocked. With Martin O’Neill liking Daryl Murphy as well as new singing Leo Bonatini in the mix, there’s a cluster of players hoping for a chance to shine.
If there’s substance to the Grabban reports, that might edge on of Soudani’s rivals to one side. With just two goals to his name for Forest, he might have found a route into the side tricky, but if there’s concern about attitudes and fitness that won’t be the case.
Forest are entering a critical stage of the season, as well in their current history. Aitor Karanka was given free reign to spend big, but there’s been little return on the investment. Martin O’Neill is now going to rebuild and hopefully put them back on track, meaning every event and player is under scrutinty.
That could well play into Soudani’s hands as he shows excellent attitude battling back to fitness, especially if those around him are losing their heads.