Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday November 17 2005
Oh dear, more bad news on the injury front. Just as O'Leary must have thought the injury list was clearing and he was getting something like his full squad back, we've lost another defender.
With Bouma only just back to fitness, Laursen out for the whole season, Villa were buoyed by the fact Delaney was back to fitness and back in form. Not now though, the unlucky right back is facing another two weeks on the treatment table. Delaney was forced to pull out of the Wales team ahead of their friendly match against Cyprus. Villa aren't clear on what the injury is at the moment, but it certainly limits the under pressure managers options for the weekend crucial 'six pointer' against Sunderland. Bouma is however pushing for a return and by the looks of it, he may walks straight back into the left back position at the expense of left back Jlloyd Samuel.
It appears Samuel is following in the footsteps of Jumper Jumper and Lee Hendrie in having a bit of a grumble to the press. The 24 year old left back has just seven appearances to his name this season having been an ever present for a few seasons before and he appears to be second choice to Dutch international Wilfred Bouma.
There doesn't appear to be much in the way of harmony or team spirit at the moment and that is a massive worry.
Recent reports have linked Samuel to Liverpool and more recently a £6million move back to Charlton where Samuel started as a schoolboy. It appears Jlloyd is looking at his options. He also says he is short of confidence and doesn't appear to think the management team have any faith in him.
He told the Express and Star 'It's hard at times. If people believe in you around the club then that can inject confidence in you. If people don't believe in you, then it can make it worse. I'm trying to keep focusing on my football right, and trying to keep my head up. I believe in my own ability.'
He sums up exactly how a lot of our players are looking at the moment, devoid of confidence and not believing they are an important part of the team. Samuel's form has definitely been very up and down with some of the fans beginning to turn on the player - which lets face it, will never do anything to help a Villa player. Not whilst they are in the shirt on the pitch surely?
Samuel continued: 'It's flattering but I don't know anything about it. I've got another season left on my contract after this. Whatever happens we'll soon know what the future holds. I'm not after talks. We're leaving it at the minute. I'm not in a hurry. If the club want me to sign, we'll see.'
Date:Thursday November 17 2005
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