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Villa To Throw Away Quality Striker?

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.

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

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Thursday January 4 2007
Time: 10:10AM


He doesn't have a magic wand because even he cannot make someone who just doesn't want to play for us play
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!!
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
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.
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.
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!!!!
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.
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.
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
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
04/01/2007 11:24:00
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