Thursday, November 26, 2009

Future of Guoan's Foreigners

The big story these days surrounding Guoan is the battle between the team and Newcastle Jets, the A-League side who loaned Joel Griffiths to Guoan. Newcastle is claiming Guoan promised that if they liked Griffiths, they'd pay US$1 million as his loan fee, whereas Guoan said this never happened and refuse to pay such a high price tag.

The will they/won't they debate over Griffiths doesn't concern me too much. While he was a solid player when he was on the pitch, they played him as the sole man up top and he doesn't have the height or ability to be the sole "fox in the box" type scorer. There are talks that Guoan are looking into the likes of Ramirez, Barcos, Otto, and Guinee as possible foreign additions. Any of those guys have the height and skill to play alone up top and would be a massive addition to our roster next season.

Keeping Matic, who was one of the "heart and soul" players to our side this past season, was an absolute must and the team has done that, so I'm very pleased about that. With him in the side, our midfield is sure to be solid, no matter what combo Hong or any other manager decides to use. The other foreigner that will stay on with the side in 2010 is Ryan Griffiths, who was a sub for much of the year, but was solid for us down the stretch.

As I said, as long as we have Matic, I'm okay with getting rid of the other foreigners. Martinez left China almost immediately after the final match, it seems he's spent long enough in China and I have no problem with that. Without him, there's no chance we'd have won the championship, his contribution during the last 5 games was huge, however before that, he was pretty much invisible on the pitch and had little impact.

While it would have been nice to keep Paul for continuity's sake and because as of now our defense looks weeks, I don't mind the fact he left. He started off the year on a bad foot, but by the end of the season, he was a fan favorite. He was solid at the back, though too often he was over anxious, leading to mistakes that sometimes cost us goals.

Will Guoan give up the scratch to keep Griffiths? At this point, I'd say no, as talked about, Luo Ning is very egotistical and won't like the ultimatum (buy Griffiths by November 30th or else) that Newcastle has given them.

No comments:

Post a Comment