I guess we’ve all been miserable at work at one time or another. Sometimes you come to the conclusion that it’s just not worth it, have a look through the Sits Vac column, and find something better. Unfortunately that’s not an option open to West Bromwich Albion’s Peter Odemwingie.
The Uzbek-born Nigerian international signed for the Baggies in 2010, and although his early years at The Hawthorns saw him quickly become a hero of the fans, latterly the arrival of striking alternatives available to manager Steve Clarke has meant his first team chances have been limited to cameo substitute appearances. It’s a situation not ideal for either party. Clearly the club’s coaching staff see Odemwingie behind Lukaku, Long, Fortune and Rosenburg in the queue for a forward’s berth. In January, this came to a well-publicised head.
Transfer speculation abounded that QPR had made an offer, and after a bit of negotiating, Odemwingie would be on his way to west London. As these things often do however, talks went on and on, with valuations wide apart, and despite the late night vigil in his car outside of the QPR stadium staged by Odemwingie, no deal was sealed, and the disappointed player was compelled to travel back to the Midlands with his tail between his legs. If his stunt had the intention of forcing through a move, it palpably failed. Since that time, there have been a few post-bench outings onto the pitch, but the striker remains the very epitome of an unsettled player.
Some would clearly have thought it best to knuckle down and make endeavours, display his best form and behaviour and try to encourage a club to come in for him in the summer. Odemwingie however does not appear to be this sort of character. Choosing twitter as his communication medium of choice, he has received club fines for injudicious output, but has apparently risked the club’s renewed wrath by announcing that he wished the club would terminate his contract - in 140 characters or less. Unfortunately for the player, given that the club turned down a reported £2 million bid in the summer, it’s unlikely that they’re now going to let him leave for free.
It appears therefore that we’re in for a ‘Mexican stand-off’ until the summer. Unless Odemwingie changes tack – and character, perhaps – the odds are that he’ll continue to be the loosest of cannons, rocking the Albion ship, unless or until the club relent, grant his wish and end the sorry tale of having to pay a player causing more disruption than he’s worth. Chances of that seem small though, so over the next few months Odemwingiemay well continue to be the rebel without a pause.