Aston Villa - Villa To Throw Away Quality Striker?
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Villa To Throw Away Quality Striker?

I'm slightly mystified this morning, in fact I'm slightly mystified most of my life, however this mystification is over the enigma that is Milan Baros.

I can't understand why he hasn't been given a run in the team. This player, although frustrating, seems a quality striker to me and his goal record for the Czech Republic and the fact he won the golden boot in the European Championships also suggests he isn't half bad! He is also still young at the age of 25 he has yet to reach his peak.

This season he has struggled, he picked up an injury in training before the World Cup and that delayed his start for Villa and he missed pre-season. Since then he hasn't exactly looked on fire has he? Well, no, but has he had a run? Can you say he has had a chance this year after being our top scorer last year? He scored a good goal against Sheffield United recently as he broke through their defence due to a decent pass. What then? I can't remember whether it was the next game or the one after but he was back on the bench. How will that breed confidence?

Now I'm not knocking Gabriel Agbonlahor, he is a quality prospect who could become an absolutely awesome player for us and to be fair he has been played out wide a lot this season BUT Gabby has played ever minute of every game and at the moment he looks shattered. His return for the 22 games? 3 Premiership goals. Again, before the moral indignation starts, I'm not criticising Gabby at all, he has been thrown in at the deep end and is doing a job, however should an international class striker spend most of his time warming the bench when Villa so desperately need goals? Personally I think not. Before we offload players, should we give them a chance?

The proviso to this is none of us know what these players are like in training, it could well be that his attitude is wrong or that the effort isn't put in, we can't judge that though, only what we see. I remember speaking with an ex manager about Bosko Balaban and he explained that his attitude in training 'left a lot to be desired' which explained why he didn't get the break through into the first team.

I digress.......! Villa have played 22 games and have a goal difference of -2. We've scored 23 goals, 8 of which have come from Gareth Barry. (Angel 4, Gabby 3, Moore 2, Petrov 1, Baros 1, McCann 1, Mellberg 1, Ridgewell 1, Sutton 1).

So are we not screaming out for goals? Isn't finishing the main problem of this season when some games we've dominated but not been able to put the chances away - or indeed make the chances? It is so obvious from those goalscoring stats that we need goalscorers, not just strikers but also midfielders to contribute + a playmaker to set up the chances.

It has to be said that the service is also rubbish for all our strikers, even Ruud van Nistelrooy in his pomp might have struggled to score and unfortunately at the moment our new signing, Stiliyan Petrov, who is meant to be the playmaker, hasn't settled into the league and is simply not contributing, not consistently anyway.

O'Neill has cast doubts over the 25-year-old strikers future and you have to question the timing of these quotes as they look like 'this player might be available' to me!

O'Neill said: 'I wouldn't be sure if he wanted to stay. If a striker is not scoring goals then he is going to ask himself some questions. He is still trying to find the form that earned him a move to Liverpool and won him the golden boot. He scored against Sheffield United and like everyone else goals give boosts of confidence.'

Adding, 'Milan has started a fair few games for us and when he hasn't started he has been on the bench. But ultimately it is up to players - I don't have a magic wand to bring the best out of people.'

Well, to be fair to Baros, he hasn't really started 'a fair few games' he has started 8 premiership games. He has been on the bench for 11 and came on in 7, most of the time (unless I am very much mistaken) towards the end of a game. He has also been replaced five times. In total he has 704 mins of football under his belt this season.

704 mins?

Compare that to Gabby on 1980 mins and 3 goals + Juan Pablo Angel, 1691 mins.

(Angel, 17 starts, 5 on the bench, 4 coming off and replaced 8 times)

Not really a fair run I'd say?

I also wonder about the quotes 'I don't have a magic wand'? Man management is surely one of the main components of a managers job? I don't see how it would need a magic wand, just a fair chance to a quality player? Comments like that will only serve to wind up and de-motivate the player even more surely?

Villa can't keep doing this, lets hope with the new owners and a new manager who will hopefully be with us for years, we'll get a settled squad and stop buying top priced players and then allowing them to leave for a reduced price when another manager comes in. Baros joined us from Liverpool in 2005 for £6.5million. He scored 12 goals in 29 games last season and looked like he was building into a top player, his injury has set him back but has his lack of chances since not set him back even more? His body language on the bench speaks volumes, he must be wondering what the f*** he is doing there when the team can't score for love or money unless we get awarded a penalty which luckily this season, we have in droves (10 I think?)

Baros certainly seems to split opinions with the fans, what do you think? Our latest poll asks your view.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 4 2007

Time: 10:10AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
He doesn't have a magic wand because even he cannot make someone who just doesn't want to play for us play
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04/01/2007 10:22:00

An excellent article and I can't disagree with a word of it. scoring goals has been a BIG problem for us all season and Baros, by reputation at least is the best goal scorer we have got. You don't become a bad player over night and he deserves a run of at least 3-4 full games in the side to show what he can do. There has been a lot written about him wanting to move etc from many sources, none of which were from the man himself. In fact, the only quote I have seen attributable to him was him saying how much he respected the club and wanted to pay for them. So yes, very definitely, give the bloke a fair crack of the whip!!
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04/01/2007 10:26:00

I agree with giving him a run, but when he has played he hasn't looked interested at all (Until coming off the bench v Chelsea recently). I can't make my mind up about the bloke. Potential not being realised i fear.
The Usual Suspect
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04/01/2007 10:36:00

Scoring goals has been a problem for us for years. We are prolifically bad scorers and tight defenders so when we do win we win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1. Our highest win this season is 2-0. Speaks for itself that. The problem why we don't score many goals is down evidently to two things: 1) Creativity -lack of quality service from midfield and, 2) Poor Finishing - chances are lavished, Gabi has missed two match winning opportunities which I'm confident I could of scored. Baros hasn't really played but doesn't look that interested, Sutton can't run and can only offer link up play or height, Angel - well, he speaks for himself - best 1st touch in the game, shame it's never in front of goal! Luke Moore is our best striker, however he's out injured.
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04/01/2007 10:38:00

Baros is quality but I do get the impression he does not want to play for Villa! He is our best prospect of a goalscorer but he has never been prolific, even during his time at Liverpool. I think he would be better suited to Germany or Spain myself as I don't think he has ever settled in England.
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 10:38:00

Well that rant gets the prize for biggest shocker of 2007 so far - JONATHAN FEAR IN MON IS CRAP MANAGER RANT!!!!
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 11:02:00

Not much to add except that Baros seems to be an enigma. Loves to play for his country but is not interested in his club. Why else did Liverpool sell him? If Benetez rated him, he would still be there. Is MON a crap manager? No, no-one can move immovable objects. After all isn't it strange that Baros looked interested against Chelski now that the window is open? Perhaps that tells us what we really need to know.
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04/01/2007 11:08:00

Its not worth comparing Gabby's record to Baros as Gabby actually plays on the wing most of the time and works both ways for us, performing better than Baros ever will for the Villa. We'd be totally overrun without Agbonlahor so I wouldnt drop him. Baros plays rubbish when he gets given a chance but Angel is so bad that I would be happy for Milan to be given a go.
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04/01/2007 11:10:00

NO NO NO Deano (and WHY WHY WHY Delilah). I am not and would not say that MON is crap, FAR from it, I was excited at the thoughts of him coming, delighted when he did come and just as happy now he is in charge, LOL. But just because we have a great manager who will take us places, doesn't mean we can't discuss things or have different opinions does it? For me Baros is the best of the strikers we have and I'd hate to see him move to another club to show us what we had.
The Fear
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04/01/2007 11:12:00

i have to agree about baros really, he needs games. i hope we play gabby, angel and baros against man u on sunday
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 11:24:00

I agree totally with this article and have been saying the same to family and friends for ages. Everyone could see the boost it gave the team and in particular Angel, when Baros came on, on Tuesday. Bring Gabby back to right midfield and play Angel and Baros upfront together. At least for the 2 Man U and Watford games.
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 11:42:00

Really not sure about Baros. You see he came on and gave his cameo performance against chelsea, but it wouldnt surprise me if he starts on sunday and does nothing all game. Surely if he really was that good he would be playing. When he plays well, e.g. at sheff utd, its the same symptoms, head down and run into trouble, no final ball. Surely we need someone more than that? When the team is down, is he really going to pick the ball up on the halfway line, go past 2 or 3 players and stroke the ball home for the win? I certainly think he could be a great player, he is for his country! And i also think the main problem is lack of creativity in the midfield, nedved and rosicky for czech and mcann and davis for villa. I wouldnt sell him by any means, but he didnrt exactly do it at liverpool either, why do you think they sold him? How much longer are we going to give him?
Its All Over FC
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04/01/2007 12:05:00

Baros wont play the posistion of luke moore in a 4-3-3 he is not willing enough to do the dirty work.
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 12:07:00

I believe baros is a quality player, i was delighted when he joined villa, but i don't think he's suited to the premiership. On too many occasions he has been shocking and looks disinterested, spurs away was one of his worst ever games. I really hope he proves me wrong and becomes a great player for villa but i don't see it.
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 12:56:00

I personally will be gutted if we sell Baros. Once again we will be seeing a top striker leave without fulfilling his potential at Villa Park. I think if we had Drogba and Henry up front they would score no where near for us what they do for their respective clubs. It is all very well saying Baros looks lazy etc but he is striker that thrives on through balls and just how many of those have we seen this season? If we add some quality in midfield i.e. someone who can spot a defence splitting pass and wingers who can actually cross the ball (and that’s not a knock at Gabby, but his final ball is pants at the moment) we may just find Baros could very well be the prolific striker we are all craving for.
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04/01/2007 13:04:00

Agree Mr Fear and good article full of juicy facts. Baros is quality. He needs service and im sure he will score. He looks like he cant be bothered but so does Ronaldo sometimes - it would be better if they are 110% ers but sometimes you cant have it all. Quick and direct he is worth and extended run.
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04/01/2007 13:09:00

Stick Hendry back in midfield then?
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04/01/2007 13:11:00

I do think that it all comes down to the basic question of whether Milan wants to be at Villa Park or not. If he is hankering for pastures new, then no amount of opportunities or chances will change the current scenario. If is heart is not in it, then he's not going to produce, let alone produce on a consistent basis. He's a top quality striker though, and is in my estimation too good to be sitting on the bench while other less talented individuals get the seal of approval week in and week out. He offers pace up front, something we are not overly blessed with, and added to that attribute is the fact that he is capable of scoring goals at the premiership level. Give the man a much deserved and long overdue run. We've nothing better.
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04/01/2007 13:30:00

Unfortunately, Baros is not as good as his price tag. He went for big money to Liverpool based on performances in one tournament. The same thing happened to Toto Scillachi in 1990 and Martin Dahlin in 1992. All three players were relative unknowns going into the tournaments and scored a decent number of goals. Following those hyped-up moments in their careers none lived up to the expectations and their careers nose-dived. Baros MIGHT be succesful on the continent but he simply isn't up to the task in the English game.
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 14:42:00

Rest Gabby, give Baros a run to prove his worth.
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 14:57:00

You frightened me for a minute there Jon. I thought we were getting rid of Moore or Gabby. But that's OK it's only Baros. Seriously, would he be missed ? Imagine what the money could go towards - someone who contributes !
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 16:15:00

Liverpool did have a fit Michael Owen, Heskey scoring and Baros had that bad injury thought Its All Over FC He was also younger. Some Pool fans were sorry to see him going saying he was a rough diamond. Think tylervilla knocks the nail on the head, he does sometimes look lazy, but so do the best like Ronaldo and Robbie Fowler often used to look lazy only to score given one chance, strikers shouldn't have to run all over the pitch should they, just do what they are meant and shoot. Look at our stats for shots on target this season!
The Fear
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04/01/2007 16:26:00

What a brilliant article and brave one considering you mentioned O'Neill's blending of the truth on Baros' appearances and his comment as the best man motivator in the world, admission he doesn't have a magic wand No doubt the excuse makers and apologists will bring their head out of their arses and criticise or ridicule it before returning to their tiny worlds, but nevertheless spot, very brave and I wish I'd written it
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 17:36:00

He done good for us against chelsea he won a corner with his 1st touch he had good first touches (thats shocking) Mabye it was just to put him in the shop window but if we do sell him do not sell him to a premiership club because if u look at the likes of crouchy he has scored more goals away from us than he did for us! Good Luck to him! And i hope we keep him till janurary next year!
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 17:47:00

How come the poll concerning Baros only goes down to "average at best" surely there should be a choice of "bloody awful, sell him".
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 18:50:00

Baros hasnt had a run of games in the team since regaining his fitness after his injury. if he plays 7 or 8 games in a row i think we will see just what an asset he would be for us. Should not be sold...!
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 18:53:00

Agree with Gordonsleftboot all of a sudden he starts to look like he gives a ****, the cynic in me thinks he is just uping his price and profile, the fan in me hopes that he is genuinly pulling his finger out for the Villa, his ability is there, we all know that, it's just down to whether he wants to play for MON and us or not. I hope he gets his "mojo" back and stays. UTV
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 18:58:00

He shyt in his nest at Villa with the Interview he gave before the W/C (per-injury) clearly stating he was going to have a great W/C and move on. Along came the Injury no one wanted a lame striker so we were stuck with him, he picked up his wages for 4 months and to be honest I dont think he has ever sparkled at Villa (apart fron his first few matches) He clearly doe;s not get on with JPA and as such playing them together is to the detriment of the team. Let him go, but to be frank if he was worth his salt he would have gone transfer window day one. Clubs queueing up to sign him... dont think so. Better for the player and the club if he moves on.
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 19:00:00

Totally agree with this article. When Baros leaves he'll win the European Golden Boot award.
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 20:04:00

An excellent article and I agree with every piece. I think that Baros is a player who sulks easily and looks for excuses when things go wrong for him, like falliing over in all sorts of error situations. O'Neill must stop ******-footing around, and needs to confront him with this and just give him an ultimatum and tell him to cut out the nonsense and just put in 110% and stop trying to "pull the wool". He's capable of much, much better and if he wants to continue wearing a Villa shirt the fans need to see what he's made of - otherwise make him train 12 hours day, 7 days a week. I'm sure Ron Saunders would have sorted him out, one way or another!
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 20:12:00

Baros is obviously talented but his attitude stinks almost as much as a sty dweller's BO! I don't think he will ever score goals on a regular basis for Villa and I would get rid of him and JPA and get in 2 strikers with a better attitude! UTV SOTC
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 20:56:00

Reading Roy Keane's autobiography at the moment. It gives an insight into the characters at Man U. A side the public don't see. What we don't see is the attitude and personality of these players but the managers do and the effect playing some ******* has and the effect it has on the squad. To me Baros looks a decent player and no one can argue he hasn't had the service. But what is his attitude like? From what MON is saying publically I think we may have the answer. What I think I know of MON is he likes players who will sweat blood. There's no two ways about it, MON is inviting offers. I believe he wants at least 2 strikers in and a right winger. That means Gabby can play up front (when he's rested) and with Moore it means we'll have 6 strikers! Someone's gotta go!
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 22:34:00

Sorry JF it wasn't a naughty word, honest.
Report Abuse
04/01/2007 23:33:00

Looks like he is on his way to Real Sociadad, Tears anyone?? no, thought not. UTV
Report Abuse
05/01/2007 09:34:00

Villacross - How do you know o'neill hasn't done this already? I personally think it was clear september/october that MON had made his mind up about Mr Baros, and as he has shown with berger and hendrie, he doesnt change his mind. Fair play to the man.
Its All Over FC
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05/01/2007 11:20:00

agree Gazvilla, as I did say, we do not and shoudln't ever know what goes on behind closed doors, he might be a nightmare, but I'd rather the nightmare play whilst on our books as we are short of goals and he could provide them. I do think he'll be off though if a decent bid does come in, just hope we don't make the same mistake that we have in the past and sell before a replacement is in place.
The Fear
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05/01/2007 11:37:00

O neil is to shrewd to leave a goal machine on the bench when his reputation is on the line.We havent had a striker with half desent form since dublin.we play with 9 or 10 players every game while we wait for these players to come close to being affective.get rid of once and for all.
Report Abuse
05/01/2007 12:31:00

Ref to "Its All Over FC". We don't know do we all we can summise is from his attitude, especially when he is "subbed" and walks off and disappears with a "strop". Anyone showing that attitude should be punished - exactly as Ron S did by making them train harder every day of the week. They might then begin to groiw up.
Report Abuse
05/01/2007 13:32:00

Agreed VC, we all know I am sure that the Male of the species matures later, and some later than others, so baros 25ish?? drop off ten years for mental age, players have to realise that the world does not revolve around them (God Excepted) football is a team game, and the team comes first. If the Prima Donas don't like that and cant handle it, time to say bye bye.
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05/01/2007 13:45:00

some villa fans keep defending baros but he just aint cut it. Plain and simple he hasn't been worth the price tag. He has the talent, but he's a no show with his performances for Villa 90% of the time. We'll still be debating his worth next year if we don't sell him now. Let's buy someone hungry for success at Villa, and not merely collecting a paycheque and saving himself for when he represents his country. If he was going to do any good, he would have by now. We don't have time to wait for him to "mature" at his own snail pace. Get rid.
The Usual Suspect
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05/01/2007 14:27:00

so i suppose i have made my mind up, lol.
The Usual Suspect
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05/01/2007 14:28:00

would seem that way. : )
Report Abuse
05/01/2007 16:11:00

The Usual Suspect, without Baros goals last season we would have probably gone down...! So in my opinion his £6 million price tag WAS worth it...!
Report Abuse
05/01/2007 16:35:00

deemz, that same £6 million might have bought another player who could score more consistently than baros last season, so i'm not sure your point is entirely valid.
The Usual Suspect
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05/01/2007 17:05:00

is £1 million a goal per season a good return for a striker?
The Usual Suspect
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05/01/2007 17:07:00

Goals against the blue noses are priceless!
Report Abuse
05/01/2007 17:25:00

Baros scored 13 goals last season with 9 of those coming in the league, not that bad playing in a struggling team. £1 million a goal per season.....?
Report Abuse
05/01/2007 17:58:00

Actually he scored 8 in the league last season, and 12 overall, so i was incorrect having somehow got the idea he only scored 6 last season in the league. Still his tally last season is not exactly going to break any records is it. If he was such a good player his record would speak for itself. £500,000 a goal? still seems expensive to me.
The Usual Suspect
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08/01/2007 11:37:00


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