Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday August 7 2006
How awful, matters relating to football to talk about....... lets hope we get VERY bored of this!
Following the arrival of Martin O'Neill, the press have started to link us with quality players.
The Mail on Sunday claim that a major target will be Bayern Munich and England midfielder Owen Hargreaves. I'm not sure what I'd have made of that before seeing how he played at the World Cup, he was one of only a very few against Portugal who gave 110% and he proved he has a fantastic passion and an endless supply of energy.
The paper also claims O'Neill will add Villa's name into the ring to bring Real Madrid (and former Everton) midfield powerhouse Thomas Gravesen to Villa Park. I like it!
He will also spend this weekend convincing Gareth Barry that his future lies with Villa, not Portsmouth or Tottenham Hotspur. I somehow don't think he will take much convincing.
O'Neill said: 'I want to keep all the good players at this club and Gareth Barry is certainly one of them. I hope that we can convince him that we want him to stay and do well for us.'
He added, 'People become disillusioned and I'm not going to tell supporters to come and renew a season ticket just because I've come here. That would be ridiculous.' I'm not sure about it being ridiculous, it seems there is already a clamour for seats, especially as fans are now expecting the takeover to also go through. He continued: 'My message to the fans is that it always takes time for any new manager to achieve some success. But I'm hoping those people who are disillusioned with the way things have been going will come back in their time if they can see us trying to make some progress. But I have to prove myself to them first.'
'But make no mistake, Villa are also a fantastic club. That's my belief. It's not just words for the sake of it and I want to do my very best here.'
Date:Monday August 7 2006
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