MILLWALL'S lack of goals in recent months has been a frustration for us all at The Den.
Our strikers have been heavily criticised – none more so than 19-year-old, youth team graduate John Marquis. A teenager thrown in at the deep end to do a man’s job: battle against relegation in front of a set of fans as demanding as any other.
Now, I am all for fans expressing their opinions about players at the club, but a lot of comments made about Marquis have been completely over-the-top and unfair. Especially on Twitter, where he has been sent death threats and offensive comments.
It's not necessary. He may not have progressed as much as some would have liked, but now is not the right time to judge him.
Marquis looked like a potent striker at the end of last season. His strength and presence was impressive for someone so young. He scored three goals in quick succession – albeit against Preston and Scunthorpe, who were destined for the drop.
These performances fostered hopes that the youngster could lead our frontline in the coming season. Marquis then started the campaign brightly, scoring on the opening day at Reading and putting in a performance that mirrored the fans’ expectations.
Marquis then began to struggle with his hernia injury, for which he went under the knife during the October international break. From then on he has struggled to regain his pre-op form. No one can question that he gives 100% effort every week but his ball control and positioning has been disappointing of late, leading to scepticism about the player's long-term future at the club.
I believe a loan move to League One would benefit Marquis greatly – it would help him gain confidence and experience at a lower level. However, with the lack of recognised strikers at the club currently, this seems unlikely to happen. Perhaps if we brought in another striker or two, a temporary move for Marquis could be possible. As things stand, Jackett clearly believes he has a role to play in the first team squad.
Marquis is only 19-years-old. Let's get behind him, give him the support he needs and I believe he could become a great player for the club. He just needs more time.