Mon | Jan 18, 2021

Nicholson has room for improvement – Belgian journalist

Published:Thursday | December 3, 2020 | 12:07 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter

As national striker Shamar Nicholson seeks to build on his debut season with Belgian club Charleroi, Belgian journalist Vincent Blouard believes that the 23-year-old will have to make major adjustments to help his club equal or surpass last season’s top-three finish.

The 2019-20 season ended abruptly because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Charleroi finished surprisingly in third place with 54 points, just one point outside of second place and a Champions League qualification place with one match remaining. Nicholson, who joined the club in August 2019 from NK Domzale in Slovenia, went on to score eight times in his first year.

Blouard, who writes for Belgian newspaper L’Avenir , says that although Nicholson has made a strong first impression in Belgium, adjustments to the technical side of his game will need improvement in his sophomore season.

“Despite the fact he came from an unknown championship (Slovenia), Shamar was considered as a sensation in the [Jupiler League] last season, because he scored eight goals and participated [in] the greatest season of the club,” Blouard said. “But I think he needs to improve his technical qualities and his intelligence on the pitch.”

Blouard noted that the arrival of striker Kaveh Rezaei required changes to how Nicholson played under head coach Karim Belhocine. Nicholson played as an attacking midfielder to run the club’s counterattacking system.

“Shamar started very well [in] his first season in Charleroi last year, with two goals in his two first matches. Then Kaveh Rezaei arrived and he became the best striker of the team, and thus Shamar didn’t play [regularly],” Blouard said. “Sometimes, they played together in a 4-4-2. In this case, Shamar played like a 10, and he had to make some defensive efforts. Charleroi’s game is based on physical aspect and counterattack, so Shamar was important with his power and his height.”

Nicholson has so far scored four goals and registered three assists in 12 appearances this season.

While Charleroi had an excellent start to their campaign winning their first six games, they have struggled as of late, tasting defeat in back-to-back games and slumping to sixth with 23 points.

Nicholson recently returned to the team after being cleared to travel from Saudi Arabia subsequent to testing positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with the Reggae Boyz.

While Blouard says that Charleroi are not a favourite for the title this year, he says that the club could be in another battle for the top four spot. They lost their game in hand, losing 2-0 at home to Waasland-Beveren yesterday.