Forgiveness and vanity projects - a couple of Baggie moans.
It has been a while since I last felt the urge to blog. That is normally the way when things are going well. The return of Twittering Pete almost brought me out of my blogging slumber the other week but I felt people had grown tired of the bloke. Yet I have spotted some support creep back for him and it has stirred up the blogger in me. A second moan forming in the Meldrew section of my brain is regarding stadium expansion. More of that later.
I want to be clear about something. Pete Odemwingie is a very good player but has never been a great one. The most creative player we have had in years and a player that has provided some great moments. However, and this is my beef with him, these moments have always been when HE has felt like doing it. It has always been stop start with him, we have never had consistency. The only consistent theme throughout has been his selfish approach to the game on and off the pitch.
Much has been made of the recent very public stories about him, he has made it very easy to follow with his use of social media and SKY. However, the selfish attitude and lack of commitment to the club has been there from almost the beginning. The club has lost patience a number of times with him over his reluctance to put anyone but himself first.
People forget how he sulked after he failed to get a move at the end of his first season with us. We didn't see him for the first 3 months of the following season. The medical staff and Roy were totally exasperated with him and his lack of commitment to us.
But fans forgave him because he did put it in later in the season, scoring against your deadly rivals will make fans forget the bad.
He tried to engineer moves again in the summer, but his stock was still strong enough for this to not damage his popularity. Despite not starting regularly under Clarke, he was still in credit with the fans up until January this year. Then he imploded spectacularly.
His SKY interviews and statements, plus his Twitter meltdowns would have killed the support for most players. However, support remained. For every boo, there was someone shouting for him to ignore it and show people what he can do. Despite the abusive Tweets, there were plenty still in support.
People felt we should give him another chance. Even the manager, who must have felt so let down, asked for the fans to support him. And it looked like people had.
Then he goes and does it again. Even worse, he attacks the manager and a fellow player. Surely now, the bridge was blown up and there was no return. The goodwill surely gone.
But still support seems to be there because of the good times he has provided. People tell us that the good he has provided should count for more than the trouble he has caused.
Well not for me. As far as I am concerned, he is deserves no warmth. I will remember his goals and impact when he arrived but the bad now outweighs the good by some margin. He has treated the club, the management, his fellow players and the fans shabbily. For that he will not be missed by me when he finally goes.
And that can't come soon enough.
As for the stadium announcement this week, I am pleased we aren't expanding despite many fans being disappointed, We have been successful the past few years because we have made sensible decisions based around a tight budget. This decision follows along the same sensible lines. Yet it has come under criticism and that irritates me.
I would love to see the ground improved. But funding for it should not be in place of team building. It is tough enough as it is trying to compete as it is without channeling money into ground expansion. If we were going to get a good return on the investment then I would be behind it. However, despite having reasonable ticket pricing this year, and us enjoying our most successful season in decades at this level, we still struggle to sell out.
Ticket revenue is not a big part of club funding. Extra seating just doesn't seem sensible in the current climate. The build it and they will come reasoning might be true, but will it move us forward at this time? I think not.
For me, stadium expansion is a vanity project and a dangerous path to tread. Just look at our neighbours in Staffordshire for evidence of this.
So, well done to the club for the sensible decision it made this week.It might not be popular, but it makes perfect sense to me. As long as the previously planned investment is now channeled into the team, that's the key point for me.
It is a big summer, and we need as much financial support we can muster into building the squad to maintain and hopefully build on the great work that has been done.