Billy Sharp Falling In Love With Nottingham Forest
When Billy Sharp departed Southampton for Nottingham Forest on Transfer Deadline Day, he left with some sadness. He left wanting questions answered.
The only question playing on his mind, that he wants answering now, why couldn’t he have taken a bigger bite out of the hot-dog that was thrust in his direction, as he celebrated with a wide smile that was viewable from the Blackpool Tower, after scoring Forest’s opener at Bloomfield Road?
The ‘Fat Lad from Sheffield’ took some time to get going, but it now looks as if he’s found his scoring boots, ready to be Forest’s 20 goal a season striker.
What were the reasons for his slow start?
From the high of getting promotion with Southampton, to the low of realising he was no longer needed. A significant role in the promoted Southampton side, but deemed not enough to get an opportunity in the Premier League. How he’d bounce back from the blow, would make interesting viewing.
Service was lacking in his opening games for Forest, because the midfield usually revolved around Lewis McGugan, who’s more prone to attempting the spectacular, rather than playing the simple ball. With McGugan finally out of the side, it’s certainly no coincidence that Billy Sharp has now been allowed to flourish.
In Raddy Majewski, Sharp has discovered someone on the same wavelength as himself, and in turn, Forest have found a partnership that will be the key to unlock many Championship defences this season. When Majewski entered the fray in the second half against Cardiff City, Billy Sharp lit up. The passing exchanges between the two, the anticipation of where they would both be to receive passes, made them appear as if they’d been playing together for years.
Using the confidence from Cardiff, he was now able to become a proper striker once again. Instead of working too hard for goals, as was evident against Peterborough, it all naturally flowed back. In the right place, at the right time as he directed a Chris Cohen header into the corner of the net.
At Peterborough, Sharp’s name was chanted in a manner aimed to back Sharp, but supporters still found themselves silently looking to the skies in the hope he wouldn’t follow the typical trend of brilliant strikers, that lose all of their natural, potent abilities at Forest.
At Blackpool, the convincing nature of the Billy Sharp chants increased. The realisation vibes oozed through the 1,500 Forest fans in attendance, seeping down to those listening on the radio. Everyone now knows Sharp has re-found his touch, ready to go on a goalscoring run that will alarm the rest of the Championship.
As Southampton struggle in an inevitable Premier League relegation battle this season, the bizarre move to loan out Billy Sharp may be looked at by their own, as a regrettable decision indeed. Whether the damage done is unrecoverable, is a question that will cross the mind of many at the St Mary’s over the course of the season.
As Southampton continue to ponder that thought, Billy Sharp is revelling in the love and appreciation from all of the Forest fans. The more goals he scores, the stronger the bond grows – hopefully coinciding with a rise up the league.
One man and his wallet have the perfect view of the growing relationship between the Forest supporters and Sharp. One thing’s for sure, Fawaz Al-Hasawi will not hesitate to offer Billy Sharp a permanent stay.
The best striker in the Championship?
Simon Cox and Dexter Blackstock would have something to say about that.
Not bad times at Nottingham Forest, it must be said.
@will_forest to get in touch via Twitter