Stoke City forward Peter Osaze Odemwingie says West Bromwich Albion should take the blame for what happened to him last season.
Odemwingie returns to the Hawthorns 16 months after his aborted move to Queens Park Rangers (QPR) triggered dressing room disinterest and fans’ hatred for the 32-year-old, who eventually moved to Cardiff City last summer and now Stoke in the winter transfer window.
He blames Albion chairman Jeremy Peace for his autocratic approach to his transfer request, and also criticises former boss Steve Clark.
“It was hard to take,” Odemwingie is quoted as saying on Express. “I had not been playing much, and there were other things people don’t know. I said to the chairman that as I’m not a key player any more, can I have an evaluation to leave in the summer? They refused.
“But I said they can’t have it always their own way. I asked for a nice meeting with the chairman, but they refused to give me any valuation.”
When QPR made their bid, Odemwingie claims legal director-secretary Richard Garlick, now sporting and technical director, brokered a fee. The deal collapsed when Junior Hoilett would not move from QPR to West Brom because his father did not want him to go.
Clarke called Odemwingie’s decision to drive to London “sheer lunacy”, but the Super Eagles winger, who has been recalled in Coach Stephen Keshi’s 30-man provisional squad list, says: “Steve Clarke said in an interview there was a point where he thought the deal was done. But nobody picked up on that, they just picked up on seeing me at Loftus Road.”
A win will give Tony Pulis’ men a top-10 Premier League finish for the first time and break their best points haul in a Premier League season.
Odemwingie has scored six time since joining the ‘Potters’ in January while his former club West Brom have only avoided relegation.
The former Bendel Insurance striker, who recently donated the sum of N1m to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, says he was better than the bad boy image the Baggies painted him.
“If the club had handled it different, saying what had happened, it would have closed the chapter, we’d have moved on, but they didn’t and I became the bad guy.
“They refused to make that statement. Why? Because they wanted to show they always decide, they wanted to show their strength, they are the boss.
“It came out as if I was greedy. But I cared about the club. I played in numerous games with injections that affected my body. Not everybody knows everything. I was very committed.”