There have been rumours flying around for a while now that Peter Odemwingie wants out of The Hawthorns. In some respect it’s difficult to understand why when you consider we rescued him from an environment where he was subject to racist abuse, gave him the opportunity to increase his profile as a footballer in the best league in the world and paid him handsomely in the process.
But footballers don’t always think the same as fans do they? Depending on your opinion you either believe that the Nigerian has been brutally honest about his desire to depart the Black Country after Roy Hodgson left. Alternatively, you may think he has shown a lack of loyalty to the club and fans which welcomed him with an anti-racism banner and supported him since.
What’s clear about Odemwingie’s comments is that they will eventually come back and haunt him. The first sign of his form or effort dropping and fans will quickly question his commitment to the cause. When he eventually leaves The Hawthorns his critics will say he wanted to level back in 2012.
But should footballers admit to wanting out? After all, if you are unhappy in your job you eventually search for another. Football is different though. It’s tribal and there’s a passion attached. Fans love and worship their footballing heroes. It doesn’t matter if you leave Asda for Tesco. But if you’re a footballer and you want to go all hell breaks loose – ask Sol Campbell, Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie.
It puts players in a difficult position – especially where fans are concerned. I couldn’t help feeling that the gloss had somewhat been taken off the start of our season after reading Odemwingie’s comments yesterday. Almost as if things were going too well for the Baggies and something had to go wrong in the end. Let’s be honest, we don’t usually have it this good!
Odemwingie now claims that he’s happy and settled with life at the club and has rediscovered his passion for the Premier League. I hope that he has. It’s too easy to say that the club should sell him and bring in a replacement. Finding a regular Premier League goalscorer who would agree to join Albion isn’t easy – or cheap. We also saw on Saturday against Everton the quality he adds to our side.
It’ll be interesting to see how his comments affect his relationship with the fans. A few more goals and assists and it’ll be long forgotten. But another winter of discontent could see the Nigerian targeted by the boo-boys. Let’s hope it’s the former.
COME ON YOU BAGGIES!
What do you make of Odemwingie's comments? Was he right to be so honest? Have your say here at Baggies Banter.