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Zhu Jiong out at Shenxin

Despite keeping things close against the league’s top side for most of the match, Shanghai Shenxin ultimately met their fate in the form of a 3-0 defeat to Guangzhou Evergrande. After the match, Shenxin decided it was time to fire their manager, Zhu Jiong.

Zhu was co-longest serving manager at a CSL club, an honor he shared with Liaoning’s Ma Lin. The two managers’ sides came up to the CSL in 2010, but they’ve been on a very different trajectory since then. Shenxin (then located in Nanchang), just barely avoided relegation in 2010 and 2011, then after a move to Shanghai in 2012 that was supposed to rejuvinate the club, they finally met their fate. Or so it seemed, the dissolving of Dalian Shide meant Shenxin would get another chance.

This season, despite sitting in 13th place, relegation isn’t a serious threat as they are only three points away from being in the top half of the table. Zhu’s record is less than stellar, at 26-29-51 during his time in the CSL, but his sides were always lacking in top talent, doing a lot with a little. In midweek, the club hired Guo Guangqi, who had previous experience in Chengdu and Guangdong Sunray Cave, to serve in their front office, a move that now appears to have spelled the beginning of the end for Zhu.

With Shenhua currently looking for a manager, one wonders if they’ll turn to the Shanghainese Zhu, a former Shenhua player, to bust up the current hold Beijingers have in Shanghai (East Asia’s Gao Hongbo and Shenhua’s interim manager Shen Xiangfu). Despite his lackluster record at Shenxin, many feel the dynamic, young manager has a strong future ahead of him if he’s with the right side.

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.



  1. Steve Crooks

    08/07/2013 at 13:18

    Hmm… Interesting speculation re. Shenhua, but this supporter would be more than a little dubious — while Nanchang/Shenxin have generally had spirit, they’ve also more often than not played football dreary enough to make you want to claw your eyes out.

    • bcheng

      08/07/2013 at 14:10

      I wouldn’t blame the quality of football entirely on him, he did okay with the below par talent he was given. Zhu’s hero is Jose Mourinho, his weibo pic is oddly a picture of the Portuguese manager, and I think he’d prefer playing that style if he was given the right parts.

      However, that was just me bringing that up as a possibility. Honestly, I think the reason why Shen Xiangfu was hired was that Zhu Jun fully expected Batista to be fired or leave at some point during the season and so he wanted to have the next head coach already in place.

      • Steve Crooks

        08/07/2013 at 14:40

        Sure — we fans are always allowed (even expected) to feel a sense of entitlement regarding quality football, though. Ironically, Batista’s (relative) success this season came as a result of cutting Shenhua’s cloth to suit and working with a more pragmatic approach.

        There are those who would argue that Mourinho-ball isn’t easy on the eye (I’m a big fan of the guy myself) — either way, nothing takes away from the reality of having a newly-installed coach whose recent track record is even worse than Zhu who I’m disparaging here…

  2. Cameron Wilson

    08/07/2013 at 15:23

    Shen Xiangfu is supposed to be in charge until the end of the season at least, after that, who knows who will be sucked into Shenhua’s revolving door-of-misfortune.

    I think its very clear Zhu Jun wanted Batista out much sooner as part of his exercise to continue cutting costs. Perhaps he deliberately didn’t pay players so they would not be motivated to play to their best under Batista. Shen Xiangfu as “Chinese players coach” was an absurd appointment, and another sign of the club deliberately undermining Batista.

    For our nomadic neighbours, it’s fair to say Zhu Jiong didn’t have a lot to work with. But he did have quality players in the squad such as Keita and Marrone who would probably walk into Shenhua’s starting XI. Plus Shenxin in general are a very inconsistent team. All we can say about Zhu is that he remains very much unproven.

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