Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday November 29 2005
Following reports that David O'Leary had tried to swap Juan Pablo Angel for Morientes of Liverpool, reports I must add that O'Leary rubbished straight away, we thought we would ask if you would swap Peter Crouch for Angel!?!
It seems Angel comes out the better of the two players with 47% of Villa fans polled saying no! The rest were split, 28% said they would swap him and 25% said they wouldn't want either player in the team.
Peter Crouch was, of-course, a Villa player brought in for a multi million pound deal during Graham Taylor's regime only for him to be sold to Southampton for two packets of peanuts by O'Leary. He was then purchased by Rafael Benitez for over £7million in the summer. It was revealed at the Aston Villa plc AGM that Villa received not one penny from this sale because they hadn't added a sell on clause to the contract. Make of that what you will!
Angel meanwhile arrived in a blaze of glory during John Gregory's era, at a club record fee of £9.5million. The Columbian had a slow start but in his second season he started to look the part and seemed the most likely striker to reach over 20 league goals at Villa since former hero Peter Withe. But since then his career has appeared to stall following a series of injuries and further competition for the strikers places restricting his chances of walking straight back into the team. Especially with Villa youngster Luke Moore pushing for more first team action and the summer purchases of Kevin Phillips from Southampton and Milan Baros from Liverpool.
O'Leary said in the week that Angel was still very much in his plans calling the reports that he would offload the player in the January transfer window as 'a load of rubbish' He also said 'I bought Baros to play off a target man and I'm looking for Angel to be that man. That's the partnership I saw.' Adding that 'Angel must get back into scoring ways to force his way back into the team. To get him back to the way he was two years ago, he needs to start scoring goals.'
Peter Crouch is also finding the net hard to come by. The former Portsmouth hit man has yet to score in 22 hours of play for Liverpool and missed a penalty recently; but the boss and Liverpool fans appear to back him because of the effort he puts in. Paul at Vital's Liverpool site has a poll asking how many goals he will score this season, with 42% believing he'll get 10 or more.
Paul says: 'what we have got for £6million is a team player who works his socks off for the team, creates plenty of chances, sets up chances, and generally scares the pants off most defenders. This is why the majority of Liverpool fans like Peter Crouch. Every time he goes on the pitch he looks like he wants to score so bad, and knows that working hard for the team is the only way this will be achieved. And in recent games Peter Crouch has been my man of the match, just for his sheer persistence and determination not to let the lack of goals affect his other attributes of his play - and lets face it he's got those in abundance.'
I'm not sure many Villa fans would be saying the same about Angel. Maybe - once he is fit, after missing the last two games with a calf strain - he'll fight his way back into the team and forge a partnership with Baros.....Maybe.
Our latest poll is asking if Jlloyd Samuel should be sold, at the moment only 23% think he should be. A welcome vote of confidence for the left back by the looks of things!
Date:Tuesday November 29 2005
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