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Pub Talk: Join in the banter…

This week, with Bcheng on holiday (follow him on Sina Weibo), Kenneth came to the virtual pub only to find it deserted – the Editor had foolishly forgotten to turn up. So, this week, we invite our loyal band of readers to pull up a stool and say what is on their minds, in the comments section. Is Conca really worth $10 million? Are Guangzhou going to run away with the Chinese Super League this season? Is the standard of foreign player really going to get better with all the real estate money pouring into the Chinese game? Which foreign players would you like to see try their luck in China? Have you either attended, or watched on TV, any good or bad Chinese Super League games recently? Are you wondering why does anyone bother to write an English language site about Chinese football? No holds are barred on !

Whatever it is you want to say, Pub Talk is the place to say it. The virtual beers are on !

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.



  1. Yiddo Huayi

    14/07/2011 at 09:07

    1. Is Conca really worth $10 million? NO

    2. Are Guangzhou going to run away with the CSL this season? YES

    3. Is the standard of foreign player really going to get better with all the real estate money pouring into the Chinese game? YES – unless they do a Shane Smeltz and bolt after 5 days.

    4. Which foreign players would you like to see try their luck in China? Actually I think there are enough for now!

    5. Have you either attended, or watched on TV, any good or bad CSL games recently? NO – only interweb highlights – but hope to find a good stream a=when the time is convenient (we are 4 hours in front of China)

    6. Are you wondering why does anyone bother to write an English language site about Chinese football? NO – but am really glad you do.

  2. Anonymous

    14/07/2011 at 10:05

    The topics were only suggestions Yiddo but very glad to hear your views on all six of them. If you can even read a tiny bit of Chinese, Sina sports has live streams of every CSL game, no need to fart about looking on other dodgy sites.

    Conca – of course he’s not worth all that much. But I suspect he is going to set the league alight… never mind he didn’t play in Europe, not everyone wants to go there or can be successful in adapting to what can be rather negative and overly tactical football. Europe’s loss is China’s gain as far as Conca is concerned. You can’t be Brazilian League Player of the year and not be shit hot.

    I’m leaving right this moment to go and see Shenhua take on Liaoning tonight. Hope we can avoid 4-in-a-row…….

  3. Kenneth

    14/07/2011 at 16:41

    Conca scored a goal tonight,albeit a goal off a lucky deflection. I’m wondering who will be the first team to beat Guangzhou. Beijing and Liaoning both host Guangzhou in the upcoming weeks so they should give the league leaders some stiff competition. If all else fails Jiangsu hosts them in October and given our quality play at home these past couple months I think we could give them a run for their money (no pun intended).

  4. K Y L

    14/07/2011 at 17:12

    Just wondering about the Conca signing, Guangzhou currently have 6 foreigners but are only allowed to field 4 in their starting line-up. I’m just wondering which foreign players have been dropped and whats going to happen to them?

    • SC

      14/07/2011 at 22:58

      Renato Adriano Jaco Morais,who is planning to transfer back to Brazilian league.

    • Anonymous

      15/07/2011 at 01:52

      We heard one of the Brazilians had been loaned out to Guangzhou’s second-tier side, Guangdong Sunray (who played Liverpool the other day).

      Guangzhou have been lucky so far to be honest. Looking at their games, they have benefited from some 50-50 decisions, plus they have scored a lot of late goals to turn draws into victories and defeats into draws. But now that Conca is here, I have a feeling they are going to run away with it.

  5. Charlie markillie

    15/07/2011 at 10:18

    What did you think to Conca’s first go for Guangzhou? Worth every penny in my opinion….

  6. Eric B

    16/07/2011 at 02:50

    I was really surprise that someone would write CSL in English everyweek when I first found Bcheng’s blog. I was really shock when I later found out that he’s an American, I always thought he was a Chinese who can write English so well that made me jealous to death. Then I found WEF, and my feeling is kind of complex when I see people like Cameron, Kenneth and Smari doing such a great job focusing on Chinese football. I was happy because when I had to use my cell phone, which didn’t read English, to search internet, you guys were like the only source I can get CSL information from. And also it’s weird because you know…Let’s face it, it’s Chinese football we are talking about.

    Back to topic, Conca is no doubt a great player, maybe the best in CSL right now. But is he much better than Shenhua’s brazilian league star Dejan Petkovic? Or Is he much better than Shenhua’s Albertz, Dalian’s Nemecek? Those were all dominate names in their time, Conca still need to show he can do more because he cost like ten times than those players.

    To be honest, I was a little disappointed that Evergrande picked Conca at last. They were connected with Kranjcar, Diego and Jadson before. I’m not saying that players in Europe are better than those in South America, but they may draw more attention for CSL. CSL needs more marquee signs to attract more and more high class players. Anyway, Conca is still a wonderful player and I hope there are more like him. With almost all teams are bringing better players in the second transfer window, CSL looks more competitive now.

    • Anonymous

      18/07/2011 at 03:08

      Interesting words Eric. I wonder is there not a Chinese-language equivalent of WEF somewhere? Surely there must be someone doing a decent blog in Chinese about Chinese football. I read some comments on the Chinese net about our site, almost all very positive and a lot of expressions of amazement that some laowai are doing a Chinese football site. But the only thing that surprises me is that no-one else has done it up till now. There used to be a site called Sinosoc, but that was more a proper news site rather than a blog and I think it died maybe 3-4 years ago. WEF is kind of between a blog and a news site. We would love to see more coverage of Chinese football in English. But for obvious reasons, there isn’t all that much. But the real reason we do this site is simply because we love football. Real football is about going to the stadium and being a part of it. Watching it on TV can be fun. But you can’t call yourself a fan if you don’t make the effort to go and support your team in person. Football is football regardless of the level, the CSL is definitely not as bad as its made out to be, there should be more people writing about it.

      • Yiddo Huayi

        19/07/2011 at 10:08

        How popular and frequented are the fan websites for each club? Not quite the same as actual news/blogs (more discussion fora), but surely those places would be where most Chinese fans would gravitate to?

        E.g. I never go onto any other A-League team’s fan sites (full of Aussies for a start!). And don’t get me started on any ar5ena1 sites!

        • bcheng

          19/07/2011 at 17:01

          The club sites aren’t very popular, only a few teams actually have a site and there’s next to no information on them, they aren’t a good place to go for info. Though some teams, like Guoan, have a bbs on the official site, so that does attract a decent fan following.

          As far as I can tell, blogs aren’t all that popular either, I’m sure there are people out there doing them, but I don’t know very much about them. It seems to me that the focus is more on bbs/”tieba” (similar to a bbs, but more open, run on baidu) and a lot on weibo. The clubs seem to have recognized that weibo is the movement of the future and that’s where their focus is.

  7. Yiddo Huayi

    18/07/2011 at 08:20

    Different question here: Japan has just won the Women’s World Cup – real David and Goliath stuff in beating Germany and the USA. What has happened to Chinese Women’s Football?

    A decade or more ago China was a real contender for n0.1 status with the USA. Now it seems the are almost as weak as the men’s team!

    • bcheng

      19/07/2011 at 06:34

      I think there are two answers, one is pretty simple, the new generation just isn’t as good as the older one. For whatever reason, China hasn’t produced the level of talent it used to have. The other answer is also equally simple, 10 years ago women’s soccer was extremely unpopular and limited to just a few countries, now its far more advanced and the competition has gotten much stronger than it used to be.

      • Yiddo Huayi

        19/07/2011 at 09:54

        That makes sense. I suppose that means women’s football in China could continue to slide backwards which would be a great shame.

        Although back in the 1990s the Chinese women teams were pretty dominant in a range of sports (volleyball*, basketball and football), much more so than their weak-spined men’s teams. Women actually held up 2/3 to 3/4 of the sky back then.

        Haven’t really kept up with Chinese sports since then and am only getting acquainted with CSL via this site so don’t know how they are faring on the international stage these days.

        (*Sun Yue – the smiling assassin, awesome to watch!)

  8. Yiddo Huayi

    21/07/2011 at 11:42

    Interesting article on AFF website (I found the link on bigsoccer):

    Would be interested to hear thoughts from those of you close to the action.

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