Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday May 9 2006
As the end of season awards gathered pace, we asked who was the biggest let down at Villa this season - and don't worry, we will get on to the more positive awards next!
Jlloyd Samuel polled just 1%. The left-back was in but mostly out of the team due to injuries and competition from summer arrival Wilfred Bouma. Although some fans have got on Jlloyd's back, I think there is an excellent player there, he links up brilliantly with Gareth Barry on the left, he just needs more confidence and a good run in the team. He certainly appears to be one of the players who has gone backwards since David O'Leary has arrived and no matter how much Aitkin and O'Leary say the dressing room isn't split, there is no way some of these players were fully motivated and playing for the manager this season, OR if they were, we are in more trouble than I first thought. One of the players most likely to leave Villa Park to get regular first team football.
Milan Baros looks to have done enough to impress as well as he only polled 3% of the votes. Despite some fans saying he is lazy, Baros looks like a quality player just waiting for a quality pass. Much like our other strikers, their wait is often in vain and that leads to them being caught offside far too often. Baros ended up our highest scorer with 12 goals in just 24 starts, a ratio as good as any striker in the league I would suspect. A dead certainty for a Villa Park exit as our board have messed up the finances again and need to sell their best assets.
Olof Mellberg polled 4% of the votes and to be fair to the usually very steady defender, he has had to contend with constant changes in his central defensive partner due to injuries. He has also suffered injuries himself. I fear a Villa Park exit after the world cup as the Sweden international will surely have grown tired of drifting at a club with no ambition and move elsewhere where he can compete in Europe.
Wilfred Bouma disappointed 8% of those who voted. The Dutch international hasn't looked fully fit and has struggled with injuries this year, so we are yet to see the very best of him. I'm sure with a decent pre-season he'll be firing on all cylinders for the new season.
18% voted Juan Pablo Angel as the biggest disappointment. He is another striker who relies on quality through balls, something that O'Leary's tactics (despite the fact the man says he plays attractive, passing and attacking football) doesn't provide. Angel is a quality striker and hasn't become a bad player, he just needs to be in a team that play to his strengths. Another likely to leave in the summer as he has been frustrated by the amount of time he has spent on the bench this season. Angel has started just twelve games this season and has three goals. A link to Tottenham Hotspur makes perfect sense, with their ambition and capable midfielders, he could score a hatful.
So who wins the biggest let down of the season award?
David O'Leary with 66%. He still says the majority are behind him. From the polls Vital Villa and other Villa websites have done, I'd say the majority ARE behind him - TO LEAVE. Then the cycle of managers at Villa under Ellis will continue and in three years time we'll be back to square one, but that is another story!
Date:Tuesday May 9 2006
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