Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday January 20 2006
Eirik Bakke seems relieved to have left Aston Villa as he found the commute difficult and being away from his family 'unbearable'.
The Norwegian midfielder, who was on loan from Leeds United, was sent back early as part of a cost cutting exercise by Villa chairman Doug Ellis.
Bakke said: 'My spell at Aston Villa is over. I am now returning to Leeds to give it my all. It will be nice to stop all the driving and it has been unbearable to be away from my family all the time. We are enjoying ourselves at Leeds and although it will be tough, I believe we have a good chance of securing promotion.'
David O'Leary doesn't seem quite so happy though.
O'Leary said: 'I'm very disappointed - the bottom line was that we wanted to keep him but I was told by the chairman on Tuesday that he had to go back for financial reasons. There is nothing else out there within our scope. What we have is what we will go with. But I wasn't expecting to lose one.' Adding 'We have no money to buy one either.'
Thanks Doug, another fine mess and all that! Our current poll is asking if David O'Leary has been badly treated with regards to the Bakke affair. I think most fans understand the outrage isn't about the player, many would agree that he is injury prone and not a great loss. However, when a manager publicly says he wants to keep a player, especially when he is only on loan, then you would expect the chairman to back that decision. If the money isn't available for a club this size, then questions need to be asked. If it is available then why is the chairman now making the footballing decisions at the club? 22% so far say O'Leary has been badly treated and should resign, 47% that he has been but should stay.
O'Leary also says that Bakke was popular with the players and he thought the player had done a good job. Middlesbrough are apparently now looking at taking the player permanently.
'The games he has played he has done a good job. We've got him up to speed and he is good on set plays. Wherever he goes he will prove to be a good player.'
What is mystifying is he also says: 'it puts pressure on Gavin McCann and Steven Davis because those are our only options.' What about Lee Hendrie? You also have to point out he bought Mathieu Berson then sent him out on loan as well as Jumper Jumper (Erik Djemba-Djemba) and hasn't played him (although at the moment that would be difficult as he is away at the African Cup of Nations!).
Date:Friday January 20 2006
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|13. Crystal Palace||22||5||8||9||-8||23|
|15. Aston Villa||22||5||7||10||-14||22|
|18. Hull City||22||4||7||11||-10||19|
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