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Nightmare for Du Wei

Former Shanghai Shenhua FC defender Du Wei finally made his long-awaited first team debut for Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic yesterday — but it ended in shambolic farce for player and club and it could well be his only appearance for the SPL side.

Humiliation was the order of the day as Celtic crashed out of the Scottish Cup to lower division Clyde FC in what was possibly the biggest shock in the modern-day history of the competition. Du Wei contributed to the unbelieveable result with an inept performance, giving away a penalty, and being substituted at half-time. Even the customary favourable refereeing decisions Celtic enjoy when playing smaller clubs could not save them — Clyde had two goals chalked off for questionable infringements.

The Scotsman newspaper said of his disastrous debut, “Du Wei’s splay-footed, erratic defending prompted the resurrection of the old joke that he had made two appearances on the same day — his first and his last.”

The 23-year-old was in good company though — also making his first appearance for Celtic was none other than former Manchester United legend Roy Keane. Shanghaiist wonders what the fiery Irishman might have to say about his new Chinese colleague, having been booted out of Man U for an outburst aimed his then under-performing team-mates.

Du Wei’s dreadful performance comes at a critical juncture in his embryonic Celtic career, with manager Gordon Strachan poised to make a decision on January 15, on weather to retain the services of the Chinese international or send him back to his old club, Shenhua.

Celtic’s somewhat arrogant fans are spoilt rotten when it comes to winning cups and league titles and as a result are notoriously impatient and unforgiving — if Du Wei does stay on at Celtic, he will have a mountain to climb to win over the supporters after his calamitous debut. Although to be fair, Shanghaiist saw Du Wei perform for Shenhua last season and he looked a talented player capable of cutting it at a higher level.

Du Wei is not alone in being on the wrong end of a shock result. Shanghaiist’s favourite Scottish team, Dunfermline AFC, also succumbed to lower league opposition in the Scottish Cup following a 4-3 defeat at home to old rivals Airdrie United. Feckers.


This post originally appeared on Shanghaiist.

A leading international commentator on Chinese football frequently quoted by the world's top media. Offers piercing and resolutely honest insights into the bustling crossroads where football, society, economics and politics meet in contemporary China. Based in Shanghai since 2005, observer of the Chinese game since 2000.

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