Friday, 1 February 2013

Hung out to Dry

Is that the rustle of a wedge of fifties I can hear ? 

The sorry saga of Peter Odemwingie's on off transfer to QPR finished on a farcical note late yesterday evening. The player having decamped to Loftus Road without a deal being agreed, in an apparent attempt to force through a move. Hours latter he had to return home still an Albion player suffering a very public humiliation into the bargain.
 Setting aside  the completely bonkers notion that going to sit on QPR's doorstep waiting to be let in was in someway a smart move Odemwingie had the grave misfortune of turning up about twenty minutes after Tony Fernandes pulled the plug on the deal by vetoing Junior Hoillet's loan move to the Albion.
In typical hard boiled fashion Albion were grinding out the last drop of juice from the mug in the game and had got the point where they going for maximum value, £3.5m, Hoillet on loan for the rest of the season with QPR paying Hoillet's not inconsiderable wages when the mug woke up and decided to quit the game. It is a pity that by the time Albion got to Fernandes he had already been turned over by the Russians and was probably getting a bit weary of being taken to the cleaners.
Having been very public in their pursuit of Odemwingie and by whatever means turned the player's head to the degree that he burnt his bridges with his current club QPR were almost honour bound to cut a deal, not doing so has left the player high and dry. They seem to have wilfully ignored the circumstances that would make a deal very expensive. Firstly Albion did not want to sell and being well run and solvent were under no pressure to sell. Secondly even if Albion could be persuaded to sell they would only do so if they could line up a replacement and the less time they had to do that the less likely the deal was going to happen. To leave the final bid to deadline day was asking for trouble and trouble is what QPR got.
Frankly not signing Odemwingie is not going to be the difference between QPR staying up or going down, he's good but he ain't Messi, however the next time they unsettle a player in this manner that player would do well to remember Odemwingie's humiliation and be a little bit more cautious in their attempts to force a move. 
Throughout the saga the press have been very well informed about QPR's next move and the likely package that would be on offer to the player, Redknapp has strenuously denied any hand in leaking details to the press and I of course believe him what could he possibly gain from letting a transfer target know that there is a land of milk and honey waiting for him in West London?
All these shenanagins have left the Albion hierarchy with a bunch of awkard issues to address not least of which is what to do with the errant Odemwingie who is still a key member of the squad and top earner at the Hawthorns. Chairman Peace issued a strongly worded statement last night ( statement in full) which in itself is a rarity as Peace seldom comments on day to day matters at the club (he sure as hell does not have a twitter account) and it is plain he is personally very disgruntled with the player and by inference QPR.
I have no doubt Odemwingie will move on during the summer but he won't be joining QPR and it will be on the club's terms. In the meantime Odemwinige will either get his head down and rebuild his tattered reputation or he will sulk, my guess is the latter. Albion may have won the day in standing up to a greedy self seeking player and a wheeler dealer shit or bust manager but the victory is a  pyrrhic one. Odemwingie's relationship with fans has been damaged beyond repair and he will limp through the last few months of his time at the Hawthorns. It will be a sad end to his time as a Baggie but I don't think he really cares about how he will be remembered.  

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