West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie doesn’t believe in burning bridges. He burns down whole cities. The problem for Odemwingie was that when the transfer window closed, he was still a West Brom player despite driving down to Queens Park Rangers and begging them to let him into the ground.
It is hard to tell whether Odemwingie is simply clueless, or whether he is getting really bad advice.
After turning in a transfer request a week ago, Odemwingie took to Twitter and criticized Albion saying amongst other things:
“Last season January window is when I should have handed in transfer request. Was one foot in Rubin Kazan – not for sale. Fulham. Not for sale. Newcastle. Not for sale. Wigan. Not for sale.”
Odemwingie later deleted those tweets, and it seemed that this story could not get any worse. But then today Odemwingie drove down to Loftus Road and was interviewed on his arrival in west London by Sky Sports saying:
“I hope they will be happy with what they get and, of course, they want to get in players themselves. I just hope that everything will be sorted out in the next few hours,”
Albion were not amused and issued a press release saying that they had not sold Odemwingie and that he did not have permission to talk to any other clubs. So QPR refused to let him into the ground.
Minutes after the transfer deadline passed, West Brom issued the following statement:
ALBION can confirm that no agreement was reached with QPR over the transfer of Peter Odemwingie before the closure of the January window and that the striker remains under contract at The Hawthorns.
The Club were extremely disappointed to witness TV footage of Odemwingie arriving at Loftus Road on Thursday evening despite further talks between the two Barclays Premier League sides proving fruitless. Odemwingie was also never given permission to speak to QPR about a potential move.
Chairman Jeremy Peace said: “This evening’s developments have brought a conclusion to what has been an unsavoury affair.
“As our Sporting & Technical Director (designate) Richard Garlick has repeatedly said in recent days, we had no need or desire to sell our core players.
“The only way we would have considered letting Peter leave was if an acceptable offer was forthcoming and if we had found a suitable replacement at relatively short notice.
“Neither materialised and, in the end, the matter became a point of principle as much as anything.
“Peter has acted wholly unprofessionally. He must now accept the fact he remains under contract for a further 18 months and has to focus on his Albion commitments.”
Going to be an interesting training session for Odemwingie this morning. How will he handle being stuck at West Brom for the rest of the season? And how will the Albion players and fans take to him?