Forestieri: A Love Story

Forestieri: A Love Story

“I love this club. I love the team, the fans and players…I feel so good here. I love playing for this club. I hope I can finish my career here”

That is what Fernando Forestieri told the Star just 3 months ago, but now the fans are in the dark over the future of one of our star players.

There have been rumblings for the past few weeks of unhappiness and transfer bids, however the story really broke just hours before Wednesday’s visit to Carrow road when it was reported that Forestieri had not traveled with the team. This sent the speculation into overdrive until Carlos Carvalhal was interviewed on Sky Sports and told us what had happened.

Fernando had refused to travel.

The disappointment and heartbreak I felt at these words was huge, here was a guy who had become a true star at Hillsborough, a focal point who the fans loved, and most importantly, a player who would give 100% in every game, and could seemingly turn any situation around. Even through the controversies last year, his red cards for ‘diving’, the fans stuck by him, and now it looked as though he had turned his back on us.

Carbone 01

Carbone: The first Italian breaker of hearts

This isn’t the first time this has happened to Sheffield Wednesday, many still feel bitter at the mention of Benito Carbone nearly 2 decades later, and more recently Michael Antonio was a player we got behind, only to leave for what he believed were greener pastures.

This one felt different to me, all the previous examples were a different time in the club, struggling financially to compete with the upper echelon of the divisions, however now that isn’t the case. While Chansiri may worry about FFP, we can now say we are one of the best teams in the division, so why does it look like we are on the verge of losing another star to our rivals?

Apart from the fact that Forestieri refused to travel this weekend, and had to be talked into playing the season opener against Villa, not much is known about the situation, but the speculation seems to be this.

Upon signing Steven Fletcher to a big contract, Forestieri learned, one way or another, that he was quite low down the chain in terms of wages. Feeling that he should be paid higher, he approached the chairman about a new contract, this request was denied.
This apparently lead to some hard feelings on the part of Fernando, amplified by the likes of Derby and Newcastle rumored to be coming in with big bids, as well as big contracts.

So despite training all week, and apparently even showing up to the training ground yesterday to use the facilities, Fernando spoke with the manager on Friday and requested not to travel to Norwich with the team.

Fletcher 01

Fletcher: Real commitment

All this is speculation. However after the comments from Carlos, as well as tweets from other squad members and coaches pointing to phrases like unity and stronger together, as well as Carlos own tweet which pointed out that coach Andy Rhodes had lost his father yesterday, Steven Fletcher had 10 stitches, had both traveled and took part in yesterdays game, the anger over social media was clear to see from a section of our fan base.

Tweets aimed at Forestieri came so quick that Fernando was probably scared to go to his window, fearing the locals had taken up their pitchforks and torches to come for him.

There are two sides to every argument, and both sides have valid points.

On one side, If you would have asked most fans who our star player was just a few days previous, especially after his last minute heroics last Sunday, we would have all said Forestieri is invaluable to our team. His tenacious attitude, his skill, all these qualities are the reasons the crowd sing his name every week. When your name is always on the fans lips, and more importantly, one of the first on the team sheet, shouldn’t you be compensated accordingly?

When you get interest from other teams which bigger budgets, shouldn’t Fernando get the same treatment that Westwood and Lees have both gotten in the past few weeks? After his performances I’d argue that Forestieri deserves to be one of the high earners at this club, how many times did he leave the pitch last season depleted after giving everything? Fernando Forestieri has become a key part of the club and as well as we played during the scoreless draw to Norwich, the one thing people didn’t want to say, because of anger or heartbreak, that what we were missing was Fernando. He would leave huge shoes to fill.

However, the flip side of this turns all these arguments on its head. Chansiri has spoken at the steering group about his worries regarding financial fair play, that if we don’t get promoted that we could be in trouble. Adding to this is media speculation that the reason our transfer window has been a little quiet is this, Chansiri is trying to do things the right way and doesn’t want to throw money around and risk fines and embargos in the future. In the past, having multiple players on large contracts, along with other mismanagement, lead us to near collapse.

Chansiri: Tough stance

Chansiri: Tough stance

Also, the handling of this situation has been dire. Whether this was all Forestieri’s doing or whether he has agents and other people in his ear, the decision to not play yesterday was the wrong one.

Football can be a very selfish sport, but one of the things that made me proud to be a Wednesdayite was the togetherness of the team, seeing how they all celebrated together, posting pictures together as a team, even the smile on Fernando’s face when we signed Abdi and Pudil, Forestieri’s actions has an effect on all of this, whereas yesterday the team bonded together and played well, they will all be feeling the effects. Worst off are the fans, who have sung his name, put his name on their shirts, queued for hours at Owls in the park for a quick photo, the fans are the ones who are most hurt by this. They feel betrayed by Fernando’s selfish actions and want a resolution.

Sadly, this situation doesn’t have a resolution in sight yet, as Forestieri and the club is at a stalemate. Fernando refusing to play and trying to get either a new deal or a transfer, and the club holding firm, stating that no player is for sale. The only thing we can do is wait in uncertainty.

Away from this, the team has a busy week with a trip to newly promoted Burton on Tuesday, and then a visit from old rivals Leeds United on Saturday. While we sit and wait to hear what will happen with Fernando, all we can do is support our team and hope our off-field problems don’t bleed over.

I’d also like to take this time to send my condolences to Andy Rhodes and his family at this time. After everything that happened yesterday, its things like this that show us what is really important.
WAWAW

OWLS ALIVE circliar yeller SPACE

 

 

Dan Moxon
Owls Alive
E-Mail: Admin@owlsalive.com
Twitter: @owlsalive and @danmoxon


2 Comments

  1. An excellent account of a situation that has been sparked by agents/advisors of the player who have one thing on their agenda and that is to fill their own pockets from their cut of any transfer dealings. They are totally ruining the beautiful game!!!!

  2. Patrick true owls fan
    yes its true it was the wrong way go by not playing ,but get over it ,
    foristieri should be the highest paid if he scores all the goals why should, nt he be well paid for is talant .
    I think without forestiri swfc wont go up ,
    theres nobody tricky like hime ,
    it I,d got loads of money I, d pay him.
    you dont get anything for nothing.
    you get you pay for , get hand on your pocket chansiri please dont let hime go.

    best wishes
    patrick

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