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All I want for Christmas is (Yang) Xu: My Guoan Wish List

We at are getting into the holiday spirit, so I’m going to put together my Christmas list for Guoan. Last year’s list was almost completely filled Keep Yang Zhi (check, though he was out with an injury most of the year), A striker or two (check, though neither came through), and a Major domestic purchase (does Mao Jianqing count?). The only one that wasn’t satisfied was the Asian star. This year’s list is actually going to look a lot like last year.

Effective foreign signings

Yes, Guoan definitely needs a big central defender. Xu Yunlong is getting old, the youngsters Yu Yang and Lei Tenglong are untested and risky for a team with title aspirations, so a little help here, would be great (though domestic signings may cover it). Honestly, I just want a single really good foreign signing. Since Lee Jangsoo left in 2009, pretty much every foreign signing the club has brought in has been a disappointment. The Beijingers signed five new foreigners last season and all were a step above completely useless, it’s one of the main reasons Jaime Pacheco was fired and hopefully it will be one of the things that we see change in the new year. I don’t need big names, I just need guys who can get the job done.

A trophy A run to remember

Too much to ask for? Granted, maybe I’m setting my sights too high, but unless the CFA Cup structure changes, Guoan will automatically be granted a place in the quarterfinals. I’d love to see Guoan compete in the league and with the right moves, it will be possible, I’d also like to see a nice run in the ACL, but with the group drawn, I can’t see it happening. Is winning two matches, of which at least one should be played at Worker’s Stadium, and giving me a cup final to remember too much to ask for? I don’t think so.

Major domestic signing

Sure I used Yang Xu in the title because I thought it was funny, but I really would love to see him in Guoan green. I’ve been brainstorming the last few days and I cannot think of the last national teamer who came to Guoan. It has a lot to do with their unwillingness to spend, but the capital fails to attract anything but youngsters. I really want to see a current national teamer join Beijing.

Improved road performance

If Guoan wants to seriously contend for a league title, they need to step things up on the road. Worker’s Stadium is a fortress where out of the 15 matches, they’ll get 33-35 points. However, last season out of 15 road matches, Guoan took 16 points. If they can be in the 20-25 range next season, then they’ll be contending for the league title.

The nucleus of a strong team is there, with a few tweeks it can be turned into something and I’m confident Guoan now have the manager to do that. The foreign signings are going to be the most important part right now, as its unlikely the club will make much of a splash in the domestic transfer market.  Though one can dream.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

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