I’m not quite sure how David O’Leary finds the time to manage Aston Villa, speak to the press and play the part of the President on the current season of “24”, but perhaps this latest development will finally be the one that stretches him too thin.
David O’Leary’s fractious relationship with Eric Djemba-Djemba appears to have reached breaking point after the Aston Villa midfielder failed to report back from the African Cup of Nations. The 24-year-old was expected to return to training on Wednesday morning after Cameroon were eliminated last weekend but he did not show up and has made no effort to get in touch with the Villa manager since.
Djemba-Djemba, who was named as a substitute in each of Cameroon’s four matches in Egypt, was already due to have talks with O’Leary about an interview he gave while away in which he criticised the Villa manager’s treatment of French-speaking players. He has made only four starts since joining from Manchester United for £1.3m a year ago and was disciplined by O’Leary back in November after he blamed the manager for the club’s poor start to the season.
“Will I fine him? You bet I will,” said O’Leary. “He was supposed to report back on Wednesday and we still haven’t heard from him. No one can get in touch with him. He will probably turn up and tell me some story about visiting a long lost relative.”