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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Lee Bowyer - the outcast of the Premiership?

Latest news today is that Steve Bruce's attempts to sign Lee Bowyer have been scuppered by the less than 1%, it has been stated on the Birmingham FC official web-site, of fans who have signed an online petition calling for the proposed deal to be denied. Fans who feel in opposite to that opinion have voiced such opinion to the local Evening Mail and within the site's fan forum. Clearly the midfielder's reputation proceeds him.

Despite the support received for his officially signed presence at St. Andrews, Bowyer has decided he wishes not to be playing at a club which doesn't want him. Considering it was only less than 1%, so far, who were in dissent to his possible signing, until any other opinions are made clear, 99% are not against him, so to say the club will not welcome him is not exactly true. Were he to play for Birmingham, who is to say he wouldn't play so well as to win over any dissenting fan? But I sense those who are, or were, in dissent are concerned with Bowyer off-the-pitch rather than on, with the exception of his disagreement with Kieron Dyer against Aston Villa at St. James' Park on April 2nd this year.

Let's mention the court case regarding the vicious assault on, particularly, an young Asian male. The overall opinion of anyone following that case was that Bowyer was guilty of some involvement in the assault, despite being acquitted. Why? Because these same people believe he has the tendency within him to be racially abusive. Or failing that, he has the tendency to become violent, that he has a quick temper. I recall when Gareth Barry took Bowyer away from the scene in that game, Bowyer's face had a snarl on it. Interpret that as you wish, it looked more than unsavoury.

Before that in 1996, he was caught on CCTV throwing chairs around a McDonalds outlet in the Isle of Dogs. He pleaded guilty, was fined by Leeds and a magistrates' court, ordered to pay damages to the staff.

On the field, to add to the Kieron Dyer moment, there is also the stamping incident during the UEFA Cup match against Malaga at Elland Road on December 12th 2002, on Gerardo. Perhaps another moment in the heat of the game, for which UEFA banned him for six European games. Just before that incident, in 2002, The FA banned him for six Premiership games when he elbowed Gary McAllister, who was then at Liverpool (miss you, McA!).

Steve Bruce is adamant Bowyer is the right man for Birmingham's midfield, despite his history. For me, he was certainly a valuable player for Leeds, tremendous late running from midfield similar to those we witness with some awe by the Arsenal players and a tenacious appetite in his competitiveness. From the verge of a promising England start to scrapping with a teammate, Bowyer now cannot step anywhere without his past going before him.

Newcastle United FC were content Bowyer initiated the April 2nd incident, which he did, but I believe both he and Dyer are guilty of that moment, as it takes two, and Dyer aimed a punch as well. Had Dyer continued on focusing on the play rather than turn to Bowyer to confront him, it may not have happened. But because it is Lee Bowyer with a bad history, he is being persecuted. I believe the CPS have considered or are considering a case against him for that incident, more fuel to the fire.

For me, as a result of his history, Bowyer should take the opportunity given to him by Birmingham. Steve Bruce has developed the club from Division One status to the top and they finished 12th 2004-2005. It would be a new slate, both the manager and chairman David Gold are behind him and he could actually prove how he is a better behavioural player.



Blogger matt said...

I didn't sign the petition, but as a lifelong bluenose, i would have done. Lee obviously is obviously an excellent player and would be a valuable addition to our squad. However his altercations, although committed 'in the heat of the moment' are too plenty for comfort. As for Steve Bruce, i dont think the fans meant to disrespect his decision to bring Lee to the club, they were merely voicing their concern... but hey, i thought we lived in a democracy. I'm concerned that the board used the word 'disgusting' about the petition, it was hardly an act of violence, just concern about the club they love and FUND!


6/16/2005 8:34 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im a Leeds fan, the customer is always right, Bowyer is a scumbag of the highest order.

1. MacDonalds incident
2. Famous Leeds case
3. Wouldnt pay his Leeds fine
4. Left on a "Bosnam" after the club backed him through the case
5. Newcastle affair

No club in the UK should touch him

6/16/2005 9:27 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Thanks for your comment, Matt. Anonymous, not paying the fine, LUFC stood behind him and allowed him to play during his TWO court trials, he leaves on a Bosman move, no wonder you're disgruntled about him. He has a lot to make up for, and it seems constrained against him to achieve that right now.


6/16/2005 10:58 pm

Blogger T said...

Thanks Matt and anon Leeds fan for your comments.

I agree with Redsman that Bowyer should take this opportunity that Bruce has presented him with. Birmingham are an up and coming team and I rate the man-management ability of their manager. Bowyer is unlikely to receive much better offers.

Bowyer needs a reality check if he thinks he's going to be welcomed with open arms by everyone at any club he joins, given the baggage he carries.

In fact, I can't quite believe this is the real reason for his refusal. It doesn't sound credible.

Any disappointed Birmingham fans should note that Bowyer has bought ill fate to the teams he has joined since leaving Charlton as a promising teenager; Leeds, West Ham, and Newcastle have all suffered whilst Bowyer has been with them.

6/16/2005 11:55 pm

Blogger Abdul said...

I too doubt whether Bowyer refused to sign for Birmingham on the basis of this petition - but hats off to Birmingham fans for thier efforts if it had even a little effect on this non-signing.

I, along with hundreds of others, wrote a letter to Terence Brown and Trevor Brooking at West Ham urging them not to sign Bowyer - to no avail.

I find it incredible that Steve Bruce belived it was "disgusting" that the fans had petitioned against Bowyer's signing. Bowyer is one of the most troublesome players in the Premier League and I find it difficult to believe that he would be good for any club. The Birmingham fans should be commended.

6/20/2005 10:06 am

Blogger Berry said...

Lee Bowyer does not bring anything good to the game of football or society for that matter.

6/22/2005 11:20 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Newcastle fan, I'll be glad to see the back of him! I've seen too many 'heat of the moment' er... mis-timed tackles. Each of these is a potential red card, thereby letting down teammates and fans alike

6/29/2005 6:35 pm


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