Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Zheng Zhi for Baggies

The 'wild man of China' when he first joined the Addicks

A flurry of reports has confirmed the interest of Black Country yo-yo club West Bromwich Albion in signing Zheng Zhi on a free transfer at the end of the season. There is no way that the Chinese captain could feature in Charlton's League 1 plans and we cannot get any money for him so it is best to get him off the books as soon as possible.

The Baggies are probably a suitable destination for him as Zheng Zhi is a top quality Championship player, but not quite good enough for the Premiership, which about sums up the recent record of the Baggies. Better than being a side heading for League 1, of course.

Zheng Zhi simply played too much football, creating injury problems which severely limited his availability for us. He showed at Wolves the contibution he can make. 'What if?' questions are always unanswerable, but I wonder if we might still have had a fighting chance of avoiding relegation if he had been available all season. It's all questionable whether we made as much commercially of him as we might have done.


Kings Hill Addick said...

Through no fault of the player or the club (I'm not going to exclude the Chinese FA) he has turned out to be a very expensive mistake.

I'm not sure what the actual transfer fee will be as it was up to £2m and a lot of that would have been dependent on promotion to the Premier League.

However that plus his wages have been too high a price to pay for what turned out to be half a season before his form went due to fatigue.

I agree about getting him of the wage bill. Maybe we can do an emergency loan to WBA now. That would save us over ten weeks wages, which from I've read is about £200k.

Bob Miller said...

It is more than "questionable" whether Charlton could have made more commercially out of Zheng Zhi. As captain of the Chinese national side, he is a huge hero in China and were Charlton not asleep at the switch, while still in the Premiership, they could have given Joma their largest single football shirt order ever, with Zhi's name emblazoned across the back and retailed to millions in China! What Beckham did for the LA Galaxy, Zheng could have done for Charlton!

Ketts said...

ZZ can not join West Brom on an emergency loan as they are not sanctioned in the PL.

The Baggies were deemed not good enough for Zheng last August so it will be interesting to see if he will go there now.

I thought he was supposed to have signed a new contract with us after that deal fell through?

There are other reports that suggest Nicky Bailey is Wewst Brom's target.

Anonymous said...

Definitely the case that the club didn't exploit this opportunity.

I have to question Wyn's judgement that he wasn't good enough for the Prem. I remember him as being one of our better performers in our relegation season and that was surrounded by players of an inferior calibre, particularly in midfield (especially when Reid was injured).

James O'Brien

With hindsight, due to the injuries £2 million was wasted on him, but I'd say that we got him on the cheap at that price. My problem with us signing him was the wages. I hope the board learn from their mistakes and cut their cloth accordingly for League 1 as the last thing we need is a repeat of the debacle whereby we put all our eggs in one basket in the futile hope of immediate promotion, only to see ourselves pushed into greater financial peril when the players don't keep up theri end of the bargain.

There has been a lot of talk about Charlton fan's negativity and how all fans should really want is to support the club. I think we would all concur that at the games, booing is counterproductive and we should all want to be there to encourage the team. That being said, we cannot bury our heads in the sand and ignore the fact that the board have been hugely responsible for our current position. The constructive side of this criticism is surely for the board to recognise the mistakes they have made and learn from them.

Selling our best players mid-season may well balance the books in the short term but it hugelt detrimental to the club in the long term as the loss of Andy Reid proved. Since the board had made the decision that the club would make a huge push for an immediate return to the prem, it was crazy to sell the lynchpin of our team in January. My point is, that the board appeared to have a strategy and then bottled out of following it through. I hope they have a clear strategy to get us out of our current predicament and turn the club's fortunes around.

At some point it would be nice to hear what this strategy is so that we have a clear picture of what the board's plans are for next year. I'm not overly impressed with the club's PR over the past couple of seasons and I would appreciate it if they would allay my fears that the club is currently being run in a less than professional manner.

I say all this as a fan and because I do care, not because I enjoy wallowing in our current plight.

James O'Brien

Wyn Grant said...

I have to defend the board over the Andy Reid decision. As Richard Murray explained in the bloggers' meeting, Reid would only stay if he was offered Premiership wages and these could not be afforded for an injury prone player. One is talking about half a million just over the rest of the season.

Anonymous said...

But Reid was under contract wasn't he. So who cares what wages he wanted, just tell him to shut up and you will sell him at the end of the season. Everyone says you dont want unhappy players but at the end of the day if he is playing to win a contract elsewhere he would probably have redoubled his efforts. Maybe the Board were too hasty to say, sorry we cant pay you that so please feel free to move to someone that will.

Wyn Grant said...

From what I was told Reid was being very difficult. I can't repeat everything that was said about him, but the word 'greedy' comes to mind. It is also very difficult in practice to stand in the way of a player who has a Premiership offer.

Ketts said...

Have to be honest & say that I do not think Richard Murray has covered himself in glory over the past couple of years or so.

One of the stories circulating at the time was that we could not stand in Reid's way as Sunderland were going to triple his £8k a week wages.Reid was earning considerably more than that at the Valley.

My understanding,from a source close to the player,was that Reid was perfectly happy at Charlton but the club were desperate to get a fee for him.

You pay your money & take your choice but I am more inclined to believe Reid's version of events.If he was being so 'dificult' why did he take the time & trouble to say a personal goodbye to all the office staff as well as his colleagues at the training ground? Peter Varney spoke of Reid the person in glowing terms & said that nobody had previously come back to thank the office staff as Reid did.

Murray has also criticised Pardew's buys as being high risk.I don't think anyone would dispute this but the question has to be,why were they sanctioned?

To sell Andy Reid in January,if a PL return was what was wanted,was an act of folly.

Since Curbs' departure I think Richard Murray has got most major decisions wrong.I hope he can turn things around.