Odemwingie very happy at Hawthorns after 'clearing air'
West Bromwich Albion 4 Sunderland 0
Monday 27 February 2012
As Roy Hodgson celebrated Peter Odemwingie's part in all but guaranteeing West Bromwich Albion's Premier League safety, the Nigerian international confessed that he feared he might have been sold in January after his public disagreement with his boss.
Hodgson caused a stir last November when he seemed to question the striker's willingness to play after his comeback from a knee injury was repeatedly delayed. He complained the club had "got nothing out of him" after agreeing a £35,000-a-week contract with the Russian-born player last summer, going on to refer to "players at the club who will play when not fully fit".
Now clearly in full working order after a knee injury, Odemwingie followed his hat-trick in the 5-1 thrashing of Wolves at Molineux with another two as Albion burst Sunderland's bubble emphatically on Saturday, admitting afterwards that he had spoken to Hodgson to clarify his position.
"I had a few thoughts that something was wrong and I wanted to know his plans and if there was any doubt about my commitment to the club," Odemwingie said. "He said he was '100 per cent' that he wanted to work with me and that I shouldn't take his frustration and anger [as being aimed] towards me. He said he always wanted me to play for his team.
"For me [not wanting to play] had nothing to do with it. I am the total opposite of a player who doesn't want to play through pain. We needed to clear the air but it was cleared and I'm very happy here."
Odemwingie scored three minutes into each half, heading home Youssuf Mulumbu's well-flighted ball and converting a cut-back from the tireless Marc-Antoine Fortune. James Morrison scored a well-worked second and Keith Andrews, rescued from disfavour at Blackburn, marked his home debut with his second in as many games.
Sunderland, who struggled to win and keep possession in the first half, began the second with three strikers and two wingers but Odemwingie's second goal killed any chance of a recovery. It was only a fourth defeat in 16 games since Martin O'Neill became manager. "It was a poor performance but it is difficult for me to criticise players who have put heart and soul into the last three months," he said.
The win takes Albion to 32 points, 11 clear of the bottom three and three ahead of West Midlands rivals Aston Villa,whose manager, Alex McLeish, was booed by travelling fans after a goalless draw at Wigan saw them slip to 15th. Striker Darren Bent was carried off with an ankle injury and will miss England's friendly against the Netherlands on Wednesday.
WBA: FOSTER 8/10; REID 8; McAULEY 7; OLSSON 7; RIDGEWELL 7; MORRISON 9; MULUMBU 8; ANDREWS 8; ODEMWINGIE 8; FORTUNE 8; THOMAS 7
Sunderland: MIGNOLET 7; RICHARDSON 5; TURNER 6; O'SHEA 5; BARDSLEY 5; McCLEAN 4; GARDNER 6; CATTERMOLE 5; COLBACK 4; LARSSON 5; SESSEGNON 4
Scorers: West Bromwich Albion Odemwingie 3, 48, Morrison 41, Andrews 90
Subs: WBA Dorrans 7 (Thomas, 64), Shorey (Mulumbu, 77), Long (Odemwingie, 81). Sunderland Bendtner 5 (Richardson, h-t), Campbell 6 (Colback, h-t), Bridge 6 (Larsson, 59).
Booked: WBA Dorrans. Sunderland O'Shea.
Man of the match Morrison. Match rating 7/10.
Possession: WBA 50% Sunderland 50%.
Attempts on target: WBA 13 Sunderland 4.
Referee C Foy (Merseyside) Attendance 25,311.
Latest in Sport
Wimbledon 2015: Ball boy collapses in the heat on Court 17
Petr Cech blasts Chelsea supporters who sent him death threats after £11m Arsenal transfer: 'They are not true fans'
Nathaniel Clyne joins Liverpool: Transfer news live - Arda Turan decision, Petr Cech reaction, Sergio Ramos to Manchester United
Christian Benteke to Liverpool: Aston Villa striker ready to reject Tottenham
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Iain Duncan Smith's expenses credit card is suspended after he runs up £1,000 debt to taxpayer
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 French woman dies in freak bungee jumping accident
- 5 Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck to divorce and end their 10-year marriage
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?