After
a below average first season in the English top flight with West Bromwich Albion,
record signing, Brown Ideye says he has buried the ghost of the past and is
ready for the challenge ahead.
Prolific
scorer for Neuchâtel Xamax in Switzerland, Sochaux in France and Dynamo Kyiv in
Ukraine, but his adventure in England didn’t quite turn out right because after
thirty games in all competitions, Brown Ideye only had seven goals to his name.
Before
his sojourn in England, Ideye had played 249 professional football matches,
twenty-one in Nigeria and 228 in Europe.
He
had also scored 105 league goals including 8 for Ocean Boys, but at West
Bromwich Albion, there were no easy days for him.
“It
was really tough for me,” Ideye told Naijafootball247.com.
“The
thing is that, in all that happened last season, I never looked down on myself.
“It
was tough and hard but never did I lose confidence in myself. I knew they were just
tough times that players normally pass through so I told myself I would work
harder,” Ideye said.
Tango with the
fans
At
a stage in Ideye’s West Bromwich Albion career last season, some fans of the
club turned against him and his twitter mentions were filled with curse words,
most of them insinuating he was a flop and not good enough for the club.
As
the club’s record signing, they expected more from him than he gave the club.
“People
expect you to perform in every game and score in every game and that is simply
what happened last season,” he said.
“I
have the same mentality and I push myself, I give my best and I keep pushing
until I get what I want, which is goals to help my team win.
“It’s
hard because sometimes the fans do not understand what you are going through at
every point so they just say what they want, based on what they feel.
“Some
of them still think I am not the real deal and I received a lot of insults but
people do not know what you are passing through. It’s part of football. They just
see you from the outside and express their views, but those things that happened
last season just made me stronger.
“I
still believe last season went well under the circumstances. I have no regrets
at all.
“I
always find a way to work hard and for the team. Things were not always the
best for me but I know I always worked hard and now I hope for the best this
new season.”

At
his home in Port Harcourt, Nigeria in June, just before he jetted off to
England to join his club for the pre-season formalities, Ideye didn’t look like
one who was scared or bothered about the challenge ahead.
He
certainly, also did not look like someone weather beaten by his travails of the
previous season. He seemed Happy-go-lucky, expecting to be a big hit when the
season resumes.
Returning
from the gymnasium he told Naijafootball247.com, “I will just make believe this
is my first season with the club because one problem I had last year was that I
didn’t join them for the pre-season camp and tour.”
He
continued, “I’ve looked forward to the off season and pre-season and I believe
this will be a good year for me.

“The fans will remember my goals.”
West Bromwich
Albion in the USA
True
to it, Ideye made it to the team’s pre-season camp in the United Kingdom and
was part of the tour of the United States where he played in all three games
for the club.
In
the 3-1 loss to Austrian champions, Red Bull Salzburg, he came on as a 50th
minute substitute for Victor Anochebe, while in the 3-1 loss to Orlando he was
taken off in the 50th minute for Anichebe.

In their final game of the tour, a 2-1 win over Charleston, Ideye, who came on
in the 45th minute for Anichebe scored in the 82nd minute
after Saido Berahinho had put his side ahead in the 42nd minute of
the encounter.
Going to the Middle
East
But
all these would have counted for nothing if Ideye had moved to the Middle East
on Transfer Deadline Day at the end of January 2015.

Suddenly
the football world woke up with the news that West Bromwich Albion had agreed
terms with a Qatari club, Al Gharafa in a deal worth about $5.9m and Ideye would
soon be on his way to have his medicals, but he stayed back and started a goal
scoring run in the League and FA Cup in February.
In
a six day spell, he scored four times with goals against Burnley and Swansea
City in the League and two against West Ham United in the FA Cup
“It
was tough. Every day I walked on the street people looked at me and said I would
be going to Qatar, but some of those things toughened me.
“I
never thought of leaving England to Qatar. England was always my first choice
destination when I left Ukraine and I wanted to come here to perform and play
football. It was never in my plans to leave for Qatar or any other league and I
did not want to go,” he said.
Pulis’ great words
of knowledge
With
manager, Irvine losing his job in the side and Tony Pulis joining the fray, it
was always going to be tough for a player who was never really in the plans of
the former coach.
And
Ideye agrees that it was tough at first, but says he had a straight up talk
with the new gaffer.
“After
Pulis came he called me into his office and asked if I really wanted to play
for him and of course I said yes.
“We
spoke about the club and he told me everything will be okay if I do my job well
and train hard.”
Ideye
continued that he had never had doubts about his capabilities as a footballer
and a top goal scorer.
“I
never doubted that I could do the business for West Bromwich Albion.
“The
coach told me he believes in me and I can turn things around. I didn’t get all
the goals I wanted but there is always this new season,” he enthused.
Another bite of
the International cake?
After
being shut out of the Nigeria National Team by former coach, Stephen Keshi,
Ideye says he wants another bite of the cherry.
“I
expect to return to the national team. Why not? Every player wants to play for
his country so anytime I am called up to honour an invitation I will come down
and be hundred percent glad to play,” he said.
But
he also knows that his footballing future is tied to how well his goals count
for West Bromwich Albion when the season starts on August 8, 2015.
I will be a
different Ideye this season. I will push myself to that height people know me
to be and I will do better than last season.”
It
all starts on August 10 at the Hawthorns against Manchester City.
As
they say in the Midlands, Boing! Boing!!

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