Peter Odemwingie’s sending off at Craven Cottage capped an eventful few weeks for the talented striker.
First came his comments that he requested a transfer at the start of the season which has divided opinion amongst Albion fans. Some see his honesty as refreshing in an age when footballers are media savvy and usually return mundane, predictable soundbites. Others see it as being disloyal to the club which rescued him from a racist Russian league and gave him the opportunity to showcase his skills in the Premier League – never mind the thousands of pounds in the process.
Regardless of which opinion you favour, there’s little doubt that every Albion fan agrees that Odemwingie’s actions at Fulham were nothing short of idiotic. The Nigerian claims he was kicked before lashing out at Sascha Riether. TV replays show there was little, if any contact before the red mist descended. Off Odemwingie went, and so did Albion’s chance of getting anything against a Fulham team who are difficult to beat on their own patch.
Afterwards the striker came out and explained his actions in an interview with Match of the Day. It is true that he’s not the type of player to go around kicking people in the air every week. However, there’s no denying his actions let down the club, his teammates and Albion fans – especially those who had travelled to west London in their thousands.
Because of the nature of his dismissal – and the fact he’ll now miss games against Reading, Liverpool and the derby against the Villa – the striker received abuse via his Twitter account from Albion fans. He claimed: “The amount of insult received today is crazy. What did the players hear when the club relegated in past? Can't even imagine.”
It’s never wise to bite the hand that feeds you. Although, on the other hand, throwing abuse Odemwingie’s way isn’t the right way to vent frustration at Albion’s first defeat of the season. I’m sure the matter will be forgotten before long – especially if Albion beat Reading on Saturday.
But when Odemwingie does return from his suspension, he’s got to show Baggies fans that he’s learnt the error of ways and he is committed to the club. A few goals will do nicely, Peter!
Do you think Odemwingie deserved to receive abuse after his sending off? Have your say here at Baggies Banter.