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Fans & Players Lifted By O'Neill

Fans & Players Lifted By O'Neill

Aston Villa captain and defender Olof Mellberg is delighted at the arrival of Martin O'Neill at Aston Villa.

'It's fantastic for the players and fantastic for the fans as well. I think we all needed a lift - especially the fans. His arrival excites me as a player. I have only heard good things about him. I obviously know Henrik Larsson well and Johan Mjalby and Magnus Hedman the goalkeeper was also there. They know him really well and they've all had good things to say about him, so I'm looking forward to working with him.'

'As I've said before, we just focused on pre-season and getting ourselves fit for the new manager. Now he's here and we can get things right for Arsenal away.'

Villa face Arsenal at their new ground, The Emirates, on August 19th.

Mellberg also says O'Neill's arrival will give the players a lift, especially the ones that didn't get a look in last season under David O'Leary.

He explained: 'It's all like starting a little bit from scratch for everyone. I think we needed that after last season, because that was really, really disappointing. I think you could see on Saturday from the players who were not really involved last season - players like Eric Djemba-Djemba and Mathieu Berson - came in and looked really determined. So hopefully we can get a bit of a lift.'

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Wednesday August 9 2006
Time: 1:35PM


Let's face it some of them can't play as bad as last year. We'll get 30% more out of every player and the team as a whole. MON will like the grafters and he'll sort out the wasters from those who care. Might take a while though, perhaps until after the Jan window closes. He can't afford to throw them all out.
09/08/2006 14:51:00
Everybody that is connected to the club, in no matter what capacity, has been lifted by the arrival of Martin O'Neill, and quite rightly so. I personally, in my many years of supporting the club, had never known such apathy amongst the supporters as was evident a mere few weeks ago. We cant expect results overnight. MON has to fully evaluate the current squad, bring in the necessary reinforcements, and get them playing his way. Of course, there is also the little matter of the takeover to be completed before everything in our garden begins to look rosy.
09/08/2006 18:07:00
I think we should write this season off as 'transitional'. I'll be happy to survive in all honesty. There is a lot of hype about O'Neill but lets not forget this is the same team as last year and confidence is a brittle thing. I think it is a bit rich though, how Ellis can say he'll only sell if its in the best interests of the club and at the same time not fork at the required capital outlay to at least improve our prospects this year, even if he is going to sell. I mean it's not as if it's going to effect the profit he makes on the deal anyway.
09/08/2006 21:28:00
Undoubtedly a great choice, but can he get Villa back into the Top 4?
09/08/2006 23:19:00
Now I've settled down form the original euphoria from MON taking over, I have come to the conclusion that the best we can hope for this season is top 12, and if we achieve that I'll be happy as its a step in the right direction.
10/08/2006 08:39:00
Hopefully your players can act on this and progress in the world.
11/08/2006 15:46:00
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