Odemwingie in 2010
|Full name||Peter Osaze Odemwingie|
|Date of birth||15 July 1981|
|Place of birth||Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Current club||Cardiff City|
|2010–2013||West Bromwich Albion||87||(30)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 03:51, 6 October 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union, Odemwingie played in the youth systems at KAMAZ and CSKA. He first plied his trade with Nigerian Premier League side Bendel Insurance, where he scored 19 goals in 53 league appearances from 2000 to 2002. He signed for Belgian club La Louvière in 2002 and made his mark by helping the club to win the Belgian Cup in his first season. Scoring nine goals in 44 appearances attracted the attention of the French Ligue 1 side Lille OSC and before long he was a starter in the first team playing in the French Ligue 1. Famous for his technique and pace, the Nigerian player was being monitored by a number of prestigious European clubs. Odemwingie indicated that he wanted to stay at Lille and help them fight for the league the following season and scored five league goals for them in the 2006–07 season as well as two against A.C. Milan at the San Siro to take Lille to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.
However, on 16 July 2007, he signed for Lokomotiv Moscow for a reported fee of US$14 million on a four-year contract. In three seasons for Lokomotiv, Odemwingie became the driving force of the attack and one of their most important players. During his time at Lokomotiv Stadium, Odemwingie managed 21 goals in the Russian Premier League from 75 games.
West Bromwich Albion
On 20 August 2010 Odemwingie signed for English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion for an undisclosed fee on a two-year contract, with the option of a third year in the club's favour. A day later, he scored the 81st-minute winning goal on his Premier League debut, a 1–0 win against Sunderland. Shortly after signing for West Bromwich Albion, photographs showed Lokomotiv Moscow fans celebrating the sale of Odemwingie through the use of racist banners targeted at the player. One banner included the image of a banana and read "Thanks West Brom". Before West Brom's game against Tottenham Hotspur in September 2010, it was announced that West Brom fans would unfurl a banner to counter the racist one, the banner read 'Thanks Lokomotiv' and is accompanied by a picture of Odemwingie celebrating his winner on his debut against Sunderland. Odemwingie scored again for West Brom as they defeated Arsenal 3–2 at the Emirates Stadium on 25 September 2010. Odemwingie scored a brace for West Brom on 5 December 2010, as they defeated fellow promoted side Newcastle United 3–1 at the Hawthorns.
On 19 March 2011, Arsenal travelled to the Hawthorns. The reverse fixture saw West Brom win 3–2 away from home, this time they were able to secure a 2–2 draw. Odemwingie scored the second goal for West Brom which brought his season tally in the Premier League to 10 goals, only two behind Robert Earnshaw's Premier League record for the club. 9 April saw West Brom travel to the Stadium of Light to play Sunderland. Odemwingie continued to impress and scored a goal in the 29th minute to level the scores. His side eventually won 3–2, three points significantly helping his side's survival hopes. After the game, he announced his desire to keep on playing well for West Brom by aiming to score 15 league goals. On 16 April Odemwingie edged closer to this personal target when he became West Brom's joint top goalscorer ever in a single season in the Premier League with a goal against Chelsea, bringing his tally to 12. Because of his continued success in his debut season in England, Odemwingie was reportedly targeted by a number of big clubs, including Italian giants Juventus, but Odemwingie dispelled talk of a move, stating that he's happy at West Brom.
Odemwingie continued his fine form, scoring a lovely curling effort with his left foot in the fifth minute against Tottenham Hotspur. This brought him on to 13 league goals for the season, and meant that he had scored four in his last five games. On 30 April, Odemwingie became the first player in West Brom's Premier League history to score in four consecutive games. This goal came against Aston Villa and meant he had scored 15 goals thus far in his debut season. It would also contribute to Odemwingie's second Premier League Player of the Month award of the season. Odemwingie is only the sixth man to have received the accolade twice in a season in the award's history. His side faced Everton at the Hawthorns on 14 May and Odemwingie provided an assist for Youssuf Mulumbu to score the only goal of the game. The result put West Brom on 46 points, bolstering their chances of finishing as the Midlands' highest placed club in the Premier League.
On 30 April 2011, it was reported in the Birmingham Mail that Australian confectionary business owner and Albion fan Spencer Samaroo had promised to deliver a hamper of Australia's finest chocolate bars to Odemwingie should he reach 15 goals for the club that season. Nonetheless, Odemwingie ended the 2010–11 season as West Bromwich Albion's top goalscorer with a club record of 15 league goals.
After some injury setbacks, he scored his first goal of the 2011–12 season away to Norwich City, pouncing on a confusion between Richie De Laet and Declan Rudd. Odemwingie's second goal of the season came in the Black Country derby, where West Bromwich Albion defeated Wolves 2–0.
Odemwingie scored a spectacular goal at Ewood Park, Blackburn on 17 December, putting West Brom into a late lead after James Morrison had scored a stunning volley earlier in the half. The result put West Brom up to 13th in the table heading into the busy Christmas period and gave Odemwingie his third league goal of the season. Odemwingie opened the scoring in the twentieth minute of the Baggies next fixture at Newcastle United, a 3–2 victory, on Tuesday 21 December. The result extended Newcastle's winless run in the Premier League to 6 games, put West Brom up to 10 and sealed their first victory at Newcastle in the league since 1977. On 12 February, Odemwingie scored his first hat trick for the club in a 5–1 victory over Black Country rival Wolverhampton Wanderers. Odemwingie followed this up on 25 February with another fine performance, scoring 2 goals in a 4–0 thumping of Sunderland. His performances in the month of February led him to be named the Premier League Player of the Month for the third time in his career.
Odemwingie started off the new Premier League season well, converting a penalty in a 3–0 victory over Liverpool on 18 August 2012. During West Brom's game on 15 September against Fulham, Odemwingie kicked out at Sascha Riether and was penalized with a red card; West Brom went on to lose the game 3–0, their first defeat of the season. On 5 November 2012, Odemwingie scored a brace against Southampton, his second of the season coming from a shot that deflected off Maya Yoshida past Paulo Gazzaniga and his third a headed goal from a Shane Long cross.
Odemwingie headed in the winner against Chelsea on 17 November, pushing West Brom to a 2–1 home victory, their sixth win from seven home games to start the season. Later in the season Odemwingie scored against Aston Villa to make it 2–2 in the 83rd minute after West Brom had been 2 goals down at half-time in an enthralling match. On 25 January 2013, West Brom announced they had rejected a formal transfer request from Odemwingie.
Odemwingie's future at West Bromwich Albion came under doubt when he launched a tirade against his club on Twitter, in addition to accusing them of "reaching into his pocket", reiterating his wish for a move elsewhere. On 31 January 2013, he was reportedly seen outside Loftus Road in an attempt to sign for Queens Park Rangers, but was refused entry as no offer was accepted for him. After initially being sent home from training on his return to West Brom, Odemwingie was later disciplined by the club for his actions on transfer deadline day and resumed training, while also publicly apologising for his behaviour.
Odemwingie chose to represent Nigeria where his father was born even though he was born in Sylane and came up through the Corrib Celtic youth systems. His first match came as a substitute in a 3–0 victory over Kenya on 4 May 2002. In the finals, he scored in the 80th and 82nd minute against South Africa. He also played in the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations where he played in the semi-final losing to Côte d'Ivoire 1–0. He was included to play for Nigeria in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
He captained the team for the 2010 Cup of Nations, and when Nigeria bowed out of the competition at the semi-final stage, Odemwingie controversially openly criticised coach Shaibu Amodu's tactics, blaming them for the defeat. He was chosen as part of the Best XI of the tournament.
He was selected as the only over-aged player of the Nigerian football team at the 2008 Summer Olympics. During the tournament, he scored one goal and made one assist. Nigeria eventually lost the final to defending champions Argentina.
Club career statistics
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Nigeria||League||Nigerian FA Cup||League Cup||Africa||Total|
|2000||Bendel Insurance||Nigerian Premier League||18||3||–||–||–||18||3|
|Belgium||League||Belgian Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2002–03||La Louvière||Belgian First Division||14||2||–||–||–||14||2|
|France||League||Coupe de France||Coupe de la Ligue||Europe||Total|
|Russia||League||Russian Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2007||Lokomotiv Moscow||Russian Premier League||14||4||–||–||5||2||19||6|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2010–11||West Bromwich Albion||Premier League||32||15||0||0||0||0||–||32||15|
- Premier League Player of the Month (3): September 2010, April 2011, February 2012
- English Premier League African Player of the year (1): 2011
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- "Dimitar Berbatov scored twice in a dream home debut as Fulham ended 10-man West Bromwich Albion's unbeaten start to the new Premier League season.". BBC Sport. 15 September 2012.
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