Striker Billy Sharp expects some “fiery” encounters with West Ham after controversial events 12 years ago led to Sheffield United’s relegation. The Blades are now back in the Premier League for the first time since suffering the drop at the end of the 2006-2007 campaign.
There have been some tough times, with six years in League One, but the South Yorkshire outfit have now returned to the top flight after finishing as runners-up in the Championship. Favourites for relegation, Sharp knows that there are going to be tough times ahead against some massive clubs and he has picked out the two clashes with the Hammers for special attention.
West Ham signed Argentina’s Carlos Tevez on loan for the 2006-07 season and he scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United on the final day to keep the Hammers up and send the Blades down. It was later discovered that the London club’s third party loan deal was in contravention of the Premier League’s rules and they were fined.
However, there was no points deduction, meaning United slipped into the second tier. Sharp is holding no grudges against the London Stadium outfit but is certain the atmosphere will be ramped up a notch or two when battle lines are drawn.
“I’m sure the games against West Ham will be fiery ones anyway and that will be brought back up again, but for me it’s forgotten,” he told FourFourTwo.
“I’m a Sheffield lad and a Sheffield United fan and to be able to play in the Premier League with this club will be unbelievable. “I remember signing back with the club when they had just been relegated from the Premier League and I thought we could bounce straight back, but it wasn’t to be. But we are back now 12 years later and I can’t wait for it.”