Butler: Bailey still working out EPL
Craig Butler, agent of Jamaican international Leon Bailey, contends that his player is still getting acclimatised to the rigours of playing football in a top-tier league and this is one of the main reasons for his lukewarm performance so far in the...
Craig Butler, agent of Jamaican international Leon Bailey, contends that his player is still getting acclimatised to the rigours of playing football in a top-tier league and this is one of the main reasons for his lukewarm performance so far in the English Premier League (EPL).
According to Butler, Steven Gerrard, the current head coach of Aston Villa, Bailey’s EPL outfit, is just noticing his value, unlike previous boss Dean Smith, whose strategy Bailey was fully a part of.
“The coach that is at Aston Villa now was not the coach that recruited Leon. That coach played wingers, he loved Leon and wanted him in. The new coach, Gerrard, does not really play that many wingers, but he is getting to understand the importance of the player.
“You have to understand, the world of football is very funny. Just like how there are players that have managers, we have coaches that have managers, but those same managers also manage players. So the influence a manager has on footballers is very important. It’s very important that the manager likes you, wants you in his system and wants that position in his system,” Butler said in an interview yesterday.
Bailey scored his only goal of the season in Aston Villa’s 1-1 draw with defending EPL champions Manchester City on September 3, but has not been consistent in the eight matches played. There were suggestions that Gerrard should bench Bailey for last Sunday’s clash with Leeds, which the coach rejected and started the Jamaican.
According to Butler, however, the contract signed with Aston Villa ensured that the Jamaican gets playing time, which will enable Bailey to get to a higher level and possibly become one of the world’s top players.
Butler argued that earlier this season, he requested that Aston Villa either stick with the contract or release Bailey, but was assured that he would continue to get the opportunity to shine in the EPL.
“I advocated strongly that if they don’t want him and they are not going to use wingers, they are to let me move him and I could have moved him to Ajax this semester, but we worked it out and he got to play.
“He played against Man City, scored in the 1-1 draw, and he has been showing good quality since and with Leon as his name suggests he is a lion, the name Leon is French for Lion, and lions don’t lay down, they fight, they hunt and he will continue to do well.
“We want to see Leon playing at every level possible, so that he makes a name. He wants to be one of the top players in the world, and to do that he has to get playing time and he has to be among good players,” said Butler, who is also Bailey’s adoptive father.