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Derek Riordian “has simply disappeared” – local report

Not seen in Xian or Edinburgh’s bars recently – Derek Riordan makes international headlines

In the last week, Derek Riordan has gone AWOL from Shaanxi Chanba and both the Chinese and Scottish media have been reading each others’ reports looking for clues as to the errant striker’s whereabouts. The following is a fully translated report from China Yahoo Sports on October 29.

“Shaanxi Chanba’s mid-season Scottish signing Derek Riordan has taken leave without informing anyone. It seem’s he has dissapeared off the face of the earth, and Shaanxi coach Gao Hongbao has declared “This person is missing”. Indeed, this very strange missing person case has caught the attention of media in Riordan’s hometown. On October 29, The Scottish Sun newspaper published a report entitled “Riordan is a Chinese desserter.”

This season, during the second Chinese Super League transfer window, former Scotland international Derek Riordan, the third-highest top scorer in the SPL, joined Shaanxi Chanba. However, Riordan’s performances didn’t knock anyone’s spectacles off.

He started 9 games and scored one goal. Many found it hard to  imagine that he once  made all Scottish defenders tremble in fear as a master marksman. As the Scottish Sun wrote: “In July, the former Hiberian striker Derek Riordan signed a two-year contract which shocked the Scottish football world. But although the coach at his club has frequently changed this season, Riordan Chinese dream has led to dissapointment. He came to China as an accomplished player, but only scored one goal.”

This afternoon, Shaanxi take on Beijing in the Chinese Super League. Riordan is not in the line-up.

But what’s more surprising is that Riordan has not only been absent without leave from training recently, he unexpectedly appears to have left early without saying goodbye.  The Scottish Sun quoted Shaanxi manager Gao Hongbo’s interview with Chinese media “Not only do you not know where he is, I don’t know where he is either. I’ve hardly seen him since I joined the club. Even if you ask staff in the club where he went, they won’t know either. “

On October 15 Shaanxi Chaba played Dalian Shide in the 27th round of the Chinese Super League, and Riordan played barely 30 minutes of the match before being subbed. – this game became Riordan’s Chinese Super League farewell performance. The Scottish media also reported that Riordan walked down the tunnel without speaking to the coach after being subbed and this made Gao Hongbao extremely angry. He later bluntly critized the Scot by saying “I totally can’t understand how a the performance of player was inversely proportional to the ability and reputation he came here with.

That Riordan has suddenly dissapeared does not come as a surprise to the Scottish media, as he has always been a player lacking professionalism. The Scottish Sun newspaper reported that Riordan is a very controversial player. Although he’s the SPL’s third-top scorer on the pitch, off the pitch he’s always stirring up trouble – three years ago he was forbidden from entering all bars and nightclubs in Edinburgh for five years after getting involved in a fight.

According to reports, Riordan has a two-year contract, and if both parties end it earlier, there will be a not inconsiderable termination fee involved. This will become Shaanxi’s next problem to think about if they want to part from the agreement with their heads held high.”

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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