Viduka Gets Support From Leeds Teammate
Socceroo striker Mark Viduka, who has been condemned by certain sections of the media, following his send off in last week’s loss to Bolton, has received strong support from his Leeds United striker partner Alan Smith.
Socceroo striker Mark Viduka (pictured right), who has been condemned by certain sections of the media in England following his send off in last weekend's loss to Bolton, has received strong support from his Leeds United striker partner Alan Smith.
Viduka-s send off, shortly after he opened the scoring against Bolton, was seen by many as the catalyst for Leeds loss and ultimate relegation to the Nationwide Division One. However Smith and his manager Eddie Gray refused to blame Viduka for the club-s fall from the Premier League. "I feel sorry for Mark. A lot of people have said a lot of things about Vidukes, but against Bolton you saw how much [the club] meant to him," Smith said.
"Everybody wants to do well and win; unfortunately that kind of desire resulted in Mark getting sent off. Nobody should pick him out as a scapegoat - he is a world-class player and has been outstanding for us.
"I am not going to blame him for anything. And nobody in our dressing room had a go at him for what happened. He has given everything he's got and hopefully people will appreciate that if he leaves in the summer."
Viduka was labelled a "Vidiot", "stupid", "disgraceful", "petulant" and a "villain" by the press after his send off. After opening the scoring in the 27th minute from the penalty spot, Viduka received his first yellow card soon after for lashing out at Emerson Thome. Minutes later he received a second yellow card for what appeared an accidental elbow on Bruno N-Gotty as they contested for the ball, which earned him the red card. Leeds relegation will almost certainly see Viduka leave the club, as they would not be able to meet his huge wage playing in the 1st Division and the striker himself, would not be prepared to play at that level.
Middlesbrough, who tried to sign him during the January transfer window, have reportedly already approached Leeds about a move in the off-season that would see him link with Socceroo keeper Mark Schwarzer.
Already he has been linked to Galatasaray in Turkey, Manchester United, Middlesbrough and now Birmingham City.