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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Big Ron Atkinson Questions Players

Ron Atkinson, in charge between 1991-94, whose chants of support included 'Big Fat Ron's, Claret and Blue army'. Don't get so many chants for O'Leary do we?!?

He said:

'It's a weird and wonderful thing to be going into the season with that political background. But what David O'Leary has to be sure of is that he is whiter than white and has had no part of it because, if he has, then it puts him on the back foot.' Adding 'It's a farce.'

'I can't honestly believe senior players would be so petty to talk about a cup of coffee and 300 for watering pitches. There might be bigger issues at stake, but normally players are only interested in their own personal point of view and what their deal is with the club.'

He also thinks the media frenzy over the 'players statement' might just fire the players on to better things: 'It could be a kick up the backside, and the players need that because they have been pretty abject over the last couple of years.'

'They have to start looking at themselves because there are some decent players there. They haven't performed to anything like the level they should have done. It's not the players' concern. They should be getting on with preparing for pre-season and give a better account of themselves next season.'




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 19 2006

Time: 11:11AM

Your Comments

big ron lost it a long time ago, i wouldnt listen to anything he says to be honest!
elmo85
Big ron nearly has a good point, but I think it's healthy that players care about the ambitions of the club.
thekentvillan
Disagree. If you'd heard him on TV last night (the French series he's appearing in) asking for 'poison' instead of 'poisson' you'd have a good laugh! Seriously, I've got a lot of time for Big Ron - he does not speak with forked-tongue - his advice is pretty good i.m.o. That's not to say we don't need big skake-ups at VP, though.
the_lergy
He's right in that the players arent entirely blameless for some of the abysmal offerings we've witnessed over the last couple of seasons. Agree too that they should be 100% focused on preparing for the new season ahead, but sadly as things stand at Villa Park right now, thats an impossibility. They needed to get involved. Ellis' actions are starting to encroach on their 'space', matters needed to be brought out into the open.
glensider
I agree with that the_lergy. Big Ron is a straight talking guy who was an excellent manager for Villa. And he was hilarious on that French programme, using Spanish phrases and all sorts! His Villa team played attractive attacking football and although he lost it slightly towards the end (e.g John Fashanu) we could do with some of the players from the Big Ron era now. Andy Townsend, Kevin Richardson, Dean Saunders, ooh aah Paul McGrath, Shaun Teale. Compare those players and the skill, hunger and desire they had, with the tripe that was churned out last season and it's a world apart!
DougInABox
Absolutely right when he says that players are only really interested in their own deals with clubs.His side played good attacking football,light years away from the dross we have become used to.... mind you seeing him on TV last night confirmed to me he has lost it somewhat
fatloser
 

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