Dom Howson column: Owls hope for a '˜Forestieri special'
The Owls fans sung his name with gusto and all seemed right with the world again.
The 1,600 Wednesdayites who travelled to Burton Albion gave their unequivocal support to Fernando Forestieri. Despite everything that has gone on, there were no boos for the striker.
Minutes before the former Watford player was introduced as a half-time substitute, supporters chanted ‘Oh Forestieri’ at the top of their voices. They were happy to see him, although Forestieri was powerless to stop Wednesday from suffering their first league defeat of the campaign.
Chairman Dejphon Chansiri asked the fans to forgive and forget and they more than held up their end of the bargain.
As I said on Tuesday, the Owls hierarchy played a blinder in nipping this situation in the bud quickly and not allowing it to drag on for days on end.
Chansiri and company pulled off a rare feat in modern football by winning over player power. All summer long Wednesday have said none of their best players will be sold and this sends out a strong message that the club won’t tolerate being messed about.
Both Chansiri and Forestieri’s statements ticked all the right boxes and included everything that needed to be said...for the time being at least.
But it has still not been fully clarified why the 26-year-old refused to play against Norwich City. Before his full apology, Forestieri said on social media “there were a lot of rumours and opinions” which had been “blown out of proportion”. You get the feeling that Forestieri has not yet told all of his side of the story.
If Forestieri refused to travel to Carrow Road because he, allegedly, is pushing for a new long-term contract, he and his representatives have gone about things in completely the wrong way and let’s hope everybody has learned from this sorry episode.
Then again, perhaps Forestieri missed the trip due to Derby County and Newcastle United’s interest in his signature. It is conceivable that might have affected him. In his post-match press conference, Carvalhal acknowledged Forestieri “was not in the right frame of mind” to feature.
The fact is there is only one person who can clear up the situation and that is Forestieri himself.
For the moment, though, Wednesday have drawn a line under the matter and you would like to think this will galvanise the group for the difficult challenges that loom on the horizon.
It seems inevitable Forestieri will be restored to the starting line-up against Leeds United, who also wanted to sign him last summer, tomorrow.
Twelve of Forestieri’s 16 goals in Owls colours have come at Hillsborough. He loves playing at the old ground and all eyes will be on him. Wednesday could do with a ‘Forestieri special’ to get back on track.