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COLUMN: Unfair to make Chris O’Grady a scapegoat for Spireite woes

Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Stevenage FC v Chesterfield FC; 16/12/2017 KO 15.00; Lamex Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; CHris O'Grady fires an effort on the Stevenage goal but sees his effort saved by Joe Fryer
Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Sky Bet League Two; Stevenage FC v Chesterfield FC; 16/12/2017 KO 15.00; Lamex Stadium; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; CHris O'Grady fires an effort on the Stevenage goal but sees his effort saved by Joe Fryer
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It’s an understatement to say that the signing of Chris O’Grady has not worked out as planned.

But it’s not fair to make the striker a scapegoat for the many, varied woes of Chesterfield Football Club.

Criticism is part and parcel of football and no one in a Spireites shirt can expect to be exempt.

O’Grady hasn’t been at his best or contributed what you’d want from one of your better paid players.

You can absolutely criticise him for missed chances or failing to get the ball under control.

It becomes unduly harsh when you bring his status as the club’s record wage earner into criticism.

He didn’t sign himself, he didn’t sanction his own wages, he didn’t make it public that his wages were so substantial, he had no hand in recruiting the players around him or setting the team’s style of play.

And he certainly didn’t make any promises about being a prolific goalscorer because he’s not that kind of forward.

Every player at the club should accept some responsibility for the club’s position in League Two, but there are other factors behind O’Grady’s inability to win over the fans.

He has struggled with injury and isn’t the kind of striker you play up top on his own, certainly when there’s no one buzzing around him to pick up the knock ons and lay-offs.

He has shown, in flashes, what he’s done so well throughout an impressive career and his work ethic can’t be questioned.

It’s his suitability that is up for debate and he shouldn’t be forced to carry the blame for that on his broad shoulders.