Date:Wednesday February 17 2010
The Icelandic press had a field day over the weekend suggesting that Joey Gudjonsson had thrown his toys out the pram and had some sort of bust up with new gaffer, Brian Laws.
The 29 year old Icelandic international midfielder had supposedly been upset by not being in the eighteen that faced Bolton at the Reebok last month.
The media also seemed to be putting two and two together and making five by suggesting something was wrong since Gudjonsson had stayed in the UK and had not travalled to Portugal for the team bonding and training exercise last week.
There was certainly a rational explanation for the latter! His wife had just given birth to their fourth child, a son so it was natural that he stayed on homesoil.
Gudjonsson is one of the eleven senior professionals whose contract expires in the summer so perhaps there have been some shenanigans going on behind the scenes involving his agent but nobody really knows.
The former Leicester City and AZ Alkmaar midfielder has had a topsy-turvy career at Turf Moor since signing for the club in January 2007 for £150,000 on a three-and-half year deal. Under Steve Cotterill he struggled to make an impression and was eventually dropped from contention. With the arrival of Owen Coyle his fortunes improved and he found himself playing more regularly, mainly coming on from the bench.
This season he has only made one Premier League start agsinst Spurs at White Hart Lane back in September last year. He has however made the starting eleven for our League Cup games against Hartlepool and Barnsley and under Brian Laws, our recent FA Cup match against Reading at the Madejski Stadium. Up until the arrival of Brian Laws, Gudjonsson had been a regular on the bench in all our games making 10 appearances.
Bolton at the Reebok last month had been the first game this season in which he was not part of the eighteen so you can see where maybe this media story came from.
Since that game we have strengthened midfield and brought in Jack Cork on loan from Chelsea and with Andre Bikey returning from the African Nations Cup, competition in midfield is hotting-up.
Although Joey was an unused substitute in our recent home game against Chelsea he has been absent from the eighteen in our last two matches against West Ham and Fulham so might clearly be thinking his days could be numbered.
The truth is that probably Gudjonsson has spoken to Laws about the chances of his contract being renewed in the Summer whilst explaining he has not been happy about recent developments.
The media always one for sensationalism has therefore probably translated that situation into a 'big bust-up' or 'feud' between the two.
The truth will probably never be known but Laws has certainly been quick to deny any feud or major fall out.
'Joey's going to get his head down and get on with it, like I would expect any of my players to,' he told the Lancashire Telegraph.
'Joey didn't go on the trip because he's just had a baby boy - his fourth - so he's had other things on his mind.
'There's been no such thing as a fall-out. It's just a matter of opinion.
'When I first came to the club I said everyone starts with a clean slate, but that I would have to make quick and harsh decisions on where we need to strengthen, and I made decisions on midfield and defence.
'I can satisfy the first 11; I can semi-satisfy those who are one the bench, but the rest who are out of it I can't satisfy at all.
'That's the only disagreement we've had.
'At the end of the day it's all about opinions, but mine's the one that counts because I'm the manager.
'Sometimes people like making stories out of nothing.'
I like Gudjonsson to be honest and think he has taken far too much stick from some fans, certainly when we were in the Championship. He has of course a lethal shot on him from distance and scored some spectacular goals but sadly it's a rare occurence these days. Joey has always been on the fringes of the first team though and been unable to establish himself in the starting eleven. He could struggle to secure a contract extension in the Summer, especially if he is not given the chance to impress Laws in the remaining matches of this season.
Whatever happens all at Vital Burnley wish Joey well and congratulate him on his addition to the family and hope mother and baby are doing well.
Date:Wednesday February 17 2010
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