Chinese football is in the news lately, for some reason it seems foreign media can’t get enough of it this week, so here’s some of the better stories we’ve seen in the foreign (and domestic) English language media. Plus, reports on transfer rumors and the expected starting lineup against Iraq.
- We have a good idea what the lineup against Iraq will look like, expect Yang Zhi in goal with a back four of Zhang Linpeng (his first start under Camacho), Li Weifeng and Liu Jianye in the middle, and Sun Xiang. Defensive midfielders will be Zhao Xuri and Liu Jian with the attacking setup being Hao Junmin, Zheng Zhi, and Yu Hanchao, while Gao Lin will remain as the lone striker. Feng Renliang and Wu Pingfeng both appear to be injured and probably won’t feature in the 18 man roster tomorrow.
- The Independent contains an interview with Chinese media luminary Yan Qiang about how Chinese watch the English Premiership. The most interesting tidbit from the interview is Yan’s contention that the Chinese Super League gets higher tv ratings than the EPL. As neither are on national tv, this has to be based on the situation in certain markets, this correspondent wonders if perhaps Shanghai’s attendance is so low because everyone’s watching the matches from the comfort of their own home? The Guardian also has a piece on Chinese sport, focused on football, this one focused on the “potential” for the Chinese market and includes the head slappingly stupid cliche of “Go East…”
- Out of Australia, SBS has a good piece on Joel Griffiths and assures us his deal with Guoan is “95% done”. We’ll see about that, but the article is worth a read, both for the picture it sets of the pre-match atmosphere in Beijing as well as the talk of Joel’s chances of running out for the Socceroos.
- I’ve never heard of the IFFHS before, but they are doing a poll for the World’s Most Popular Player, you can go here to vote for Yang Zhi, the lone Chinese player on the list.
- We haven’t posted the first transfer post yet, but there’s already news on the managerial front, with former Spanish national team manager Javier Clemente looking very likely to sign with Shandong Luneng for a salary somewhere between 1-2 million euros. Clemente was most recently in charge of Cameroon and before that with Real Valladolid. He’s been managing for over 30 years and has won the Spanish league twice (both times with Athletic Bilbao).
- Speaking of transfers, Evergrande is already flexing its monetary muscles, rumors are that they’ve offered RMB15 million for Yu Hanchao, an offer rejected on it’s face by Liaoning, who came back asking for RMB30 million (or over RMB10 million more than Hengda paid for Player of the Year Muriqui). With the Northeastern club in the ACL next year, they will do whatever they can to keep Yu. Hengda have also offered RMB 15 million for Rong Hao and RMB10 million for Qingdao youngster Liu Jian.
- Much of Guangzhou’s search for local talent is due to the Chinese Super League decision to continue with the “4+1” rule for foreigners (i.e. 4 foreigners plus 1 Asian foreign player). Xu Jiayin shared with China Daily his frustration about this decision, though all of us at think the league did the right thing.