Now that Luke Chambers has sealed his move to Ipswich Town, I would like to take the opportunity to wish him well, and hope that his decision hasn’t been influenced by the naysayers on the interwebs.
If you weren’t aware, Chambo has been taking a lot of flak, and depending upon which way you look at things, you could argue that this has been largely unfair. After his best season in a Forest shirt won him the Player of the Season award, not many argued with his appointment as captain, especially as Lee Camp’s season-long mard continued.
Of course, Chambo said how proud he was to be captain, and has since reflected upon how difficult it was. I didn’t envy him, just like I hadn’t envied Steve Cotterill’s role as the gaffer in what has arguably been Forest’s most difficult ever season. You see, players know when they are out of form, and it must be difficult when the club is spiralling downwards and you are the one who is wheeled out in front of the media every week – but can you think of anyone else in the squad who could have done it better (again, I mention Lee Camp’s extended period of sulkiness)?
As for the alleged criticism of the fans, I heard the interview live, and I agreed with him at the time, whilst recognising that he was going to take some flak for it. I still agree with him now – if we lose badly or the players aren’t putting in any effort, then by all means make your voice heard at the end. However, we are called supporters for a reason, and surely it makes sense to encourage, rather than heckle, if you want to back your men to do well?
Is he the worst captain Forest have had? Is he the worst player of the season ever? If you have suggested either of those things (and I have seen them said on Twitter and Facebook), then you have a really short memory. There have been plenty of players who have struggled with the weight of captaincy recently, with David Johnson and Gareth Taylor providing two fairly recent examples at the City Ground.
Finally, I think it is clear that Chambo didn’t want to leave. He gave the club as much time as possible to offer him a deal, and publicly said that he didn’t fancy uprooting his wife and son (particularly poignant when you consider the illness that Mrs Chambers suffered following the birth of the little ‘un). How many of you could honestly say that you would turn down an increase in salary, especially when your existing employment contract has expired and you are getting paid nothing?
Good luck to you Luke, as far as I am concerned, you are welcome back at the City Ground, but I hope you have a stinker against us. You won’t go down as the most gifted defender ever to play for Forest, but you tried your best and that counts for a lot.