Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday November 15 2005
Well blow me down. Actually don't bother, if you blow me down I won't be able to type this story!
I'm frankly amazed at this interview. I must admit I agree with every word and if you look back at my match reports, I've said a lot of it before, but I can't remember the last time I saw a current Villa player lay into a current manager quite like this!
Jumper Jumper (otherwise known - to more sensible people I concede - as Eric Djemba Djemba) has laid into O'Leary and said the manager is at fault for our dire start to the season. Not only that, but he points out that the boss isn't tactically aware and should stop the long balls. Jumper Jumper, I salute you.
Villa are currently 17th in the league and have only won two games in twelve attempts, with three draws and seven losses. In other words relegation form. Delaney has already warned that Villa are not too big to go down and now Jumper Jumper has come out in agreement saying: 'So now we've lost four games, it's very bad. So if the manager doesn't try to do something, maybe we'll be relegated to the first division.'
If this spells disharmony in the dressing room, with the lack of leadership at the top due to a supposed takeover attempt, Villa could be bang in trouble.
The player, who was brought in from Man Utd ten months ago and hasn't really been given a chance, in a frank interview with Eurosport knows exactly where he lays the blame and you can bet if he is saying this, then the rest of the team are probably also talking about it.
'It's the manager' he claimed 'Because the manager sometimes needs to change the team. When we lose, you need to see what needs working on and try to change the team.'
The only saving grace for O'Leary this year has been the win over local rivals Small Heath, but even that hasn't been enough to stop the press and fans turning on him. What has made matters worse is the way he deflects any blame at all using excuses such as the pitch, the takeover, the ref and the X Factor. Ok, I might have made the last one up, but it is only a matter of time.
Jumper Jumper continues: 'We need to change the tactics' WOW. A player telling the manager what many fans have been thinking for a couple of seasons! He continued: 'Every time we play it forward, we don't keep the ball and it's too bad. We need to keep the ball and try to play. Because when we only play it forward, we're chasing the ball and it's no good. We need to try and play, enjoy ourselves and keep the ball and if we do that, we'll get more goals.'
He also re-states 'I'm very disappointed,' at not playing 'It's unbelievable because you come from a big team, and you go there and don't enjoy yourself and it's too bad. Maybe the manager doesn't understand how I play so maybe I need to wait and try to get my chance. But I know everything will be OK for the second half of the season, and maybe I'll get my chance to play.'
Not now you won't mate!
Refreshing to see such an honest and frank interview, but I can't see this doing the player any favours at all. As for the boss? Well, lets face it, it won't be his fault.
Do you agree with this assessment? We will run the poll on O'Leary for a couple more days to get your views, please take the time to vote!
Date:Tuesday November 15 2005
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