Worker’s Stadium Ramblings: Tianjin Teda derby quick takes
Last night saw the Men in Green open their 2016 campaign against local rivals Tianjin Teda and it was played out to a mind numbingly boring 0-0 draw. Alberto Zaccheroni’s side didn’t look like they were ready for the new season and while it is easy to be hard on them, it needs to be remembered many of the top sides including Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG lost in week one, so a point isn’t the worst possible result.
- A number of players had a particularly bad match, especially in the first half, but with Zaccheroni’s hands tied due to injuries to Burak Yilmaz and Kleber, the choice of Zhang Chiming as striker was a gamble that failed miserably. Zhang looked lost in the position and his roaming around the pitch didn’t amount to anything but a number of offside calls
- If this match was played against someone other than Tianjin, a side that looks very likely to be fighting to avoid relegation this season, it wouldn’t have turned out so well for Guoan.
- Zhang isn’t the only player who should be called for questioning due to their performance, the whole side was out of sorts in the first half and only managed a paltry two shots with none on net. Tianjin wasn’t any better with three shots and also not a single one on net.
- It was a little surprising Zaccheroni failed to make any substitutions until after the 80th minute despite the way Guoan played, however it may have been influenced by a slight uptick in the way Beijing was playing, putting pressure on Tianjin for 15 minutes or so following the hour mark.
Post-match, Yang Zhi went through all the platitudes saying, “In the first half we slowly got up to match speed, by the second half our performance was back to normal. Even though we didn’t have a lot of chances, the whole team was trying hard, and one point on the road is acceptable.”Late in the match, some of the upper lights at Tianjin’s Olympic Stadium went out, however it wasn’t as bad as what happened to Guoan last season in Shijiazhuang and the managers agreed the match could continue on with only a brief delay.If looking for one bright spot last night, it was the play of Lei Tenglong (and equally Jin Pengxiang) in the back four. The two who haven’t played much together did a pretty good job of organizing the back four without the help of a senior presence like Xu Yunlong at his side.
WEF is greatly honoured to have aboard B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese bloggersphere.
Cheng has been the other lonely soul blogging in English about Chinese football over the last few years. With both Cheng and WEF’s editor linking back and forth to each others’ sites on a regular basis, it was probably inevitable that they would eventually join forces to try to illuminate and decipher the curious world of Chinese football, with their combined musings.
Cheng’s credentials are second to none – his blog focuses 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 bloggersphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. Cheng very generously decided to climb aboard and give WEF his views on the issue of the Chinese footballing day.