Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday February 25 2006
Oh great, another public row.
Just as you thought the Mark Delaney situation had been sorted to everyone's satisfaction, the player has spelt out how 'deeply disappointed' he is.
It seems, from these quotes, that the Wales international defender will look to move in the summer with Blackburn constantly being linked. He had wanted his long term future sorted out but Villa have only taken up the one-year-option on his contract, not extended it further.
'Although it has been reported that this is good news for everyone, I can assure you that I am deeply disappointed the manager and board have not seen fit to offer me an extended deal and that it has taken this long to come to a conclusion which I felt could have been reached some time ago. It is quite clear to me that the manager does not see my long-term future at the club and he has told me that if the right offer comes in, I would be allowed to leave in the summer.'
He says he will continue to play well and try to prove O'Leary and the board wrong 'But I have to be realistic and face facts that I will be playing my football elsewhere next season. Deep down, if I was being honest with myself, I have felt that for a long time and the recent run of good form I have enjoyed maybe gave me something to cling onto - but it was not to be.''
'I have to think of my international future and I have got to be playing football. It is often said you are at your peak at 30. I'm fit, I look after myself and I have a lot to offer. It is a shame that it doesn't look as though that will be with this great club but I consider myself lucky to have spent this long here.'
Delaney had said he wanted to see out his career at the club and the way he has played - when fit - has made him a very useful member of the squad. The key is the 'when fit' part though, he is again out for up to three weeks with a knee injury, he missed a massive amount of games earlier in the season and as his injuries seem to stack up every season, not just this one, maybe you can understand where the manager and board are coming from?
Only problem is, Delaney is only one of a very few players who wears the shirt with pride and is willing to get stuck in and fight for the cause. If not for his injuries, he'd have made a great team captain.
Who knows, come the summer we could have a different board, different manager and ........... Who am I kidding?!
Date:Saturday February 25 2006
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