Martin Smith Column: Can SAS strikeforce of Sharp and Sammon reignite imagination of Blades supporters?

Conor Sammon, Martyn Woolford and Billy Sharp
Conor Sammon, Martyn Woolford and Billy Sharp
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Are they to be the dream ticket? Conor Sammon and Billy Sharp, smash and grab, the new SAS etc etc? Or will they go the less glorious route of so many others?

Sammon and Sharp sounds right and uniting them with a manager who certainly knows how to get the best out of at least one of them might give United the consistent goalscoring edge they desperately need to get promoted.

Where there’s goals there’s hope and there’s something about strike partnerships that gets fans in their seats and then off them. United have history in that department. Deane and Agana, Jones and Birchenall and, for the historians, Harry Johnson and Billy Gillespie from the 1925 FA Cup winning side.

Astonishingly, even for those days,Johnson was a part-time payer who has to ask for time off from Hadfield Steel works to play for United.

According to Blades Historian Dennis Clareborough, a disgruntled Heckmondwike supporter waved an unloaded gun at Johnson after he upset home fans in his first game for United reserves. It’s not anticipated that Sammon or Sharp will get similar treatment at Macclesfield on Wednesday night.

But raised hopes mean potential disappointment, how United fans know all about that.

Things don’t always work out for high-profile signings and this will be Billy Sharp’s third spell at the club after he failed to turn his talent into enough goals the last time he was there. Every club has a list of players brought in with high expectations and then shipped out again through the back door.

Geoff Horsefield, Laurens Ten Heuvel are but two of Sheffield United’s long line of striking striker disappointments. More importantly United have a list of players who were a success and were sold by the club at crucial times - Deane and Fjortoft spring immediately to mind.

But there’s something about the mood around Sheffield United and new manager Nigel Adkins that feels right. Both strikers and their manger might feel they have something to prove after recent disappointments followed early-career highs.

Sheffield United is a club crying out for excitement, consistency and success. Adkins says strikers win games but defences win championships and he should know. But a consistent goalscoring partnership breeds confidence and belief in fans and players and helps to start the success bandwagon.

After years of false hopes and disappointment Sheffield United and new boss Nigel Adkins need to re-capture the fans’ imagination. Nothing does that better than scoring goals.