Fans of Nottingham Forest have been fortunate to see many outstanding strikers wearing the Garibaldi. Zigga Zagga Joe Baker, Peter With, Tony Woodcock, Trevor Francis, Pierre Van Hooijdonk, Bryan Roy, Nigel Clough, Stan Collymore and so on. On the flip side we recall the name Andre Silenzi! And then there are those who divide the fans...
Tuesday night saw the entrance, once more, of just such a name. With the end of the game approaching the assitant manager, Ned Kelly – in the absence of Billy Davies through injury – brought a raffle ticket and took a punt on the Dele Ade-Tombola.
His arrival was greeted with a mixed reaction. Not since the glory days of Jason “pineapple head” Lee has a striker been quite so devisive. As with Jason, Adebola is prepared to put his body on the line, will commit to the cause, and will put his head in the way - when he can.
On Tuesday night, against Middlesbrough, he certainly made a difference. There were few headers that he did not win; but there were several opportunities that he created not only for himself but for others.
However, a lack of consistency and a clumsy gait make him an easy target for - often unfair - criticism.
There is also an argument that his arrival on the pitch spells an instant shift in the way the team approaches the game. His powerful presence up front almost always invites the more direct style of play that some fans prefer not to see - but it can be effective.
Love him or hate him you can only say that Dele always does a job and performs to the best of his ability. And he makes a crowd, on a bitterly cold and drab evening, smile!
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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