Burnley - No long Gudbyes yet from Joey!
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No long Gudbyes yet from Joey!

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.

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 17 2010

Time: 9:44AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Where do you stand on the Gud question? I think its another Prem v Champs dilemma. I don't think he has quite what it takes to perform consistently well enough in the top flight but do think he is a good solid Championship level player. If we do go down, we will be set to lose a number of high-profile players and will have to start rebuilding. Joey could be an asset under those circumstances
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17/02/2010 09:54:00

Sorry Phil I am not a fan, he often seems like a duck out of water or a chicken missing the top bit to me. I was at Hartlepool and Barnsley and Spurs this season so I guess I make these comments on this years performances.
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17/02/2010 12:18:00

Unfortunately I think he has spurts of brilliance every now and then, but he lacks a sustained impact on a game. I think this is applicable to both premiership and championship games and so I suggest we allow him to move on with our best wishes.
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17/02/2010 12:53:00

Not quite sure whether I agree with tmp or ClCl on this one! But I do remember Joey having a great game at Wembley after McCann was injured early on. He came sooo close to getting a goal that day too.
Couch Potato
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17/02/2010 13:02:00

I think the problem is beggars can not be choosers! We cant have a squad full of high quality players and we have to make up the numbers with average ,occasionally excellent squad players! If that criteria applies then Gud fits the bill especially if this 'Would prefer to be in Champs rather than in debt' approach by the Board proves to be our fate! [Edited by turfmanphil]
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17/02/2010 13:19:00

Is it a fair assessment that Joey was not a regular in our team that won promotion and therefore we cannot expect him to be a regular in our Premiership side or even next seasons Championship side if we are to go down. I am happy with Joey as a reserve in the championship, but other than that - I am not so sure.
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17/02/2010 13:27:00

Agree totally with Claretdale who put it far better than my post. If we are to have a squad next year of 24 players he would be in it somewhere around 21/22 which is how BL sees it too!
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17/02/2010 13:36:00

Lets put it in simple terms, not good enough for premmiership football, was in and out of the team in the championship last year so i would let him go and wish him all the best. Its cruel to expect playery like joey to comete with some of the world class midfielders in the premiership
Albmaleaf claret
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17/02/2010 14:27:00

Yes but you are always going to get players in and out of any squad and if we find ourselves in the Championship next season, Gudjonsson would be such a squad player although I don't think he will be retained. If we let players like Joey go though we will have to ensure we keep up the squad numbers and bring in better quality players which will cost more!
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17/02/2010 14:58:00

I think if the worst came to the worst we would be in the market for lthe odd season long loan player from some of our friends in the Prem. I feel we have made more friends than enemies of the big clubs, Cook proves the point imo.
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17/02/2010 15:15:00

I think we feel more or less the same about Gudjonsson, thats how laws see's it to. so I dont think he will be a Burnley player next season whatever league we are in.
Grimsby Claret
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17/02/2010 16:55:00

Think I agree with most of these points. We expected Laws to make some changes when he came in and it is inevitable that when a decision is made some will be happy and some won't. I have no problem with Joey - recall seeing him scoring at Watford a couple of years ago and was on when he blasted in that piledriver against PNE from somewhere adjacent to the Park View Chippy. Quite rightly he thinks he should be involved whereas Laws feels he isn't what we need at present. At Joey's age he probably needs to be playing and I suspect he will be moving on at the end of the season to a side where he can be involved more regularly.
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17/02/2010 17:49:00

Think that's a good point. There's been two or three times this season when we haven't had a first team game at home for at least a couple of weeks. Not sure what deal we hve with Stanley but surely the odd reserve game wouldn't have caused too many problems for the Turf Moor surface.
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17/02/2010 19:05:00

I think you sum it up nicely Tmp, we are struggling to get first class midfield talent in the first eleven, let alone on the bench. He has had some good games but I must admit that I expected him to be more of a midfield terrier than he turned out to be. Can we do better as a sub though? As CP said he had a good game at Wembley. It also depends on what wages he is on too - if he is willing to be a bench player for low wages then keep him, otherwise trade him in for someone more combative. Unfortunately I think all our midfield players drift out of the game and don't get 'stuck-in' enough PS watched Wigan v Bolton last night (couldn't sleep!) and they were horrible! If we don't finish above both of them it will be an injustice - both sides lumping it up the park at every opportunity. So much for Coyle turning them into Barca! He didn't bring Wilshere on until there were 3 minutes left either - Wenger will not be pleased as he wanted him to get regular games.
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18/02/2010 02:42:00

I've always liked Gudjonsson, in particular his ability to produce the spectacular piledriver as RT puts it so eloquently. This is why I love the beautiful game , good defence is obviously important and desirable but itís the spectacular stuff that gets the adrenalin flowing and gets me jumping out of my seat. Iíll never forget Brian OíNeil scoring an unbelievable goal from almost the halfway line at Anfield and I went bananas in the middle of the Kop, and lived. Anyway, brilliant memories aside, Iíd like to see us keep Joey simply because whenever he comes on thereís always that chance. Also think heís a capable midfielder and as others have mentioned he had a cracker at Wembley. Perhaps he needs more starts to build up more consistency. Laws ultimately will decide who he wants in the squad so I suppose itís up to him whether or not Joey fits into his plans.
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18/02/2010 11:19:00

I think I too have a soft spot for the 'exciting 'players even if they only turn it on now & again. I had similar thoughts about Valois, Akinbiyi and recently Guerrero. Brian O'Neill though was superb virtually every game although I was a little too young to remember much about him.
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18/02/2010 11:25:00

On the button tmp, and this is why it's really important to keep players like Robbie Blake and Elliot who have received some stick recently because they're not at the top of their game at the moment. These are the playmakers who can turn a game on it's head and I think Eagles will improve to become one of the next ones for us, provided we can keep him! Brian O'Neil was one of my hereos and I remember being gutted when he moved on, to Southampton if I remember correctly.
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18/02/2010 12:09:00

On the 'too young front' , I forgot to mention that it was my grandfather who told me all about O'Neil's brilliance :-)
Report Abuse
18/02/2010 14:16:00

Brian O'Neil.........did he not teach Paul Ince how to play football and I remember Brian scored a peach at either Stoke or Coventry on MOTD that even my dad let me stay up to watch....."If you can't get the man, get the ball"........happy days 196?
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19/02/2010 10:20:00

Honestly don't know if he taught Ince or not, but wouldn't surprise me when you consider Ince's style of play. O'Neil was a brick wall who could also play football, and 'peaches' were a speciality of his. No idea what year , but he was with us from 1963 to 1971. Happy Days is right.
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19/02/2010 12:21:00


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