By Richard Animam
Not many players have had it so good with their first season in Europe like Osaze Odewingie. For years, Odenwingie struggled to make an impact in European football plying his trade for CSKA but little was heard about the Nigerian-Russian born player.
But a move to newly promoted West Brom was all the former Insurance FC player needed to stamp is authority in England and carve a niche for himself. His exploits so far in the EPL has seen clubs like Arsenal counting their losses and manager Roberto Di Matteo thanking his stars for his foresight. With three goals so far Osaze’s reputation in the English Premier League has soared and now a nightmare to defenders.
Today as West Brom currently placed sixth on the table with 12 points, take on Fulham which pays the wages of another Nigerian- Dickson Etuhu, the battle is expected to be fierce between the Nigerian internationals. Osaze his hungry for goals and to also shore up the prospects of attracting a big move probably in January.
He is quick on his feet, skilful, dangerous off and on the ball and these attributes would definitely worry 12th placed Fulham.
The Baggies were handed an uneviable first four away games with back-to-back trips to Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Included among those was a home game against Champions League qualifiers Spurs.
Yet WBA have taken five points from last season’s top-four finishers, including an impressive victory at the Emirates and a hard-earned draw at Old Trafford.
Albion are in sixth spot after eight games, on 12 points, but Di Matteo believes the period leading up to Christmas will perhaps be even more crucial to the club’s campaign.
They take on Fulham this weekend before facing trips to Blackpool, West Ham, Wigan and Everton during November. Fulham on the other hand, needs to make a statement.
Etuhu and his co-travellers lost 1-2 to Spurs last weekend and today, the Cottagers will be looking forward to their second win of the second of the season. With eight games played, Fulham have drawn six, winning one and losing one.