May 20 2013 Latest news:
Tom Ambrose, London24 Brentford blogger
Monday, March 26, 2012
“Donaldson is undoubtedly a handy footballer. Even during his barren run, you would be a fool not to see what he offers the team”
Londoners will be aware of the drought warnings issued in recent weeks but for Brentford supporters, the bigger concern was Clayton Donaldson’s drought in front of goal.
To say a goal had been a long time coming would be an understatement. In fact, as Donaldson wheeled away to celebrate scoring against Rochdale, I half-expected him to reveal a ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ slogan under his shirt it had been so long!
If ever a player deserved a goal, it was Donaldson. His work rate for the team has been exemplary and the fact that he leads the assists chart at the club with 11 to his name does not surprise me in the slightest (I’m not one for statistics but only Stephen Quinn of Sheffield United and Huddersfield’s Lee Novak have more assists in League One this season).
However he was signed on the back of his 29 goals in League Two last season and despite a couple of wonder-strikes, he has shown very little of the goal scoring ability that convinced Uwe Rosler to bring him to the club.
Donaldson is undoubtedly a handy footballer. Even during his barren run, you would be a fool not to see what he offers the team. As well as his assists, his work off the ball, pulling defenders out of position with his electric pace, has created countless chances for his team-mates and his hold up play is second to none.
The only problem has been once he has beaten a defender for pace and opened up a one-on-one opportunity against the opposition keeper, Donaldson has crumbled. Despite being quoted as saying that his goal drought hadn’t worried him, his confidence has looked to be at rock bottom.
Chances that last season would have no doubt ended up in the back of the net have been ballooned wide. Some quarters of the Griffin Park crowd, myself included, had started to grow impatient with the misfiring striker so you can imagine the collective relief on Saturday when Donaldson’s header rippled the back of the net.
There has been talk that one goal is all that is required to open the floodgates but we have had too many false dawns with Donaldson this season - one swallow doesn’t make a summer, so to speak.
It will certainly be interesting to see the impact Saturday’s goal has on the rest of his season. As much as I want it to work out for him, even I concede that finishing the season with six goals to show would not be good enough. But if Donaldson was to leave, I fear the rest of his game would be missed from the team - perhaps a slight change in position would be the answer? But hopefully that won’t be a concern and Donaldson will score a hatful between now and the end of the season.
To follow Tom on Twitter, go to @griffinparktom