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

Our Mean Defence Gives Lift

Wilfred Bouma says the new defence can play a massive part in bringing back European football to Villa Park and also says he will carry on building to get fully fit.

'The first couple of weeks of the season were hard for me because I got an injury. I've tried to do my best and work as hard as possible, but now I am back in the side and hopefully I can continue and we can build on this. Yesterday (v Wigan) was a big test. I knew Teale and Cotterill were both fast. I knew before the game one of those players would play. But I came up against both of them and it was a good challenge today. It was good for my fitness. Every winger plays the same but those two play with pace.'

He also says the spirit in the Villa camp is good adding 'We are looking forward to every game, especially the home ones. We'd like to push on in the top six but we don't underestimate any team. If you see the results in the last couple of weeks, it shows that anything is possible. We have got good self-belief. When we play at home in front of our own supporters, hopefully we can grab some more points again.'

And on the subject of defenders, Martin O'Neill has admitted he might have allowed Gary Cahill to go out on loan if not for the injury to the luck-less Martin Laursen

O'Neill said: 'A number of Coca Cola Championship sides asked about taking Gary Cahill on loan and I seriously thought about the idea. With Martin Laursen having done so well and, with Gary injured pre-season and reserve games stretched all over the place, it was a possibility. Ideally it would have been great for him to go on loan for a month and get four or five games under his belt. But you are torn between giving someone the opportunity of getting in proper first team games and worrying in case you do get another injury.'

'As it turns out, that happened with Martin Laursen getting injured and we rearranged things at the back to bring Cahill into the side. I thought Gary Cahill did exceptionally well at Everton, because he went into that game with only a couple of reserve games behind him, and overall he also did very well against Wigan.'

Finishing 'Liam Ridgewell initially got into the side through injuries and stayed in - and it is the same sort of challenge for Gary Cahill. Absolutely. He has things to learn but he has got bags of potential.'

O'Neill also heaped praise on goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen for his contribution against Wigan pulling off world class saves to keep Villa in the game.




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 20 2006

Time: 3:51PM

Your Comments

We seem to have had a good defence apart from turner/o'deary years for as long as i can remember we need to be scoring more goals to be challenging for fourth, i can not wait till january to see the amount of money MON will have to spend.
chris the villan
The back four, in my opinion is our strongest department of the squad.
Tierney
o'neil has created a very hard and well organised defence in a very short space of time......
ernshaw
I think because of the inability of the previous manager and chairman, some players were not given the benefit of doubt regarding their ability. Sorensen has occasionally had stick, and I admit to wanting to see the back of him after his howlers against the dildo sales men from Somali Heath. This season Hughes and Bouma have been given some. Ridgewell despite being a young man, has often been on the wrong end of some stick. But lets look at the facts. Despite having to change the defence around almost every game because of injurys, only Manure, the Arse and Chelski have a better goals against column (and only by a couple or three goals). Each of these teams has at least one defender that has cost over £20 million (Ferdinand, Gallas and Cole). As teams they are mostly individually better, so it stands to reason that they will concede less goals. But if you look at the business end of the pitch, we have not scored anywhere near the goals they have. I think a lot of us have been fooled into thinking the grass is greener elsewhere. The choice of players and goalkeepers that M'ON has available is good (as painful as this may be, the credit for this is with the previous regime). We will not have a bottomless pit of money to spend in January. So it is a no brainer to see where the money needs spending. We are competing defensively with the supposed top clubs but we need to compete with them in attack. Henry, Drogba, Shevchenko, Rooney, Saha have cost or are worth millions. Out of those players mentioned, Henry cost the least at £11 million. What M'ON has to do is find our Thierry Henry with a limited budget. It will be his ability to do this that will define him as either a good manager or a great one. If he can find the 'one' (it was Larsson at Celtic, but he is not an option) our club has the potential to achieve anything. For sure, over time, improvements need to be made all over the pitch because you can not stand still. But as soon as we land that goalscorer, the rest will all click into place. I have said before Luca Toni is that man. Forget the likes of Keane and Defoe, they are only as good as what we have already got. We do not need quantity, we need quality. Spuds and Redscouse have gone for quantity and it isn't exactly working for them is it? UTV
voiceoftheholte
Our defensive performances have shown a tremendous improvement, both individually and collectively, on what has been offered over the previous 2-3 seasons. Even the chopping and changing which has been required has failed to disrupt the unity and rhythm.
glensider
 

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