Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday August 23 2007
Olof Mellberg has been quoted as saying he wants European football. Nothing new there then, all ambitious and top players want to ply their trade in the top competitions. The faithful Villa servant is in the last year of his contract and Villa are looking to extend his stay. He did say at one point that he might look to America, but reading between the lines I got the feeling he didn't mean from next summer when his current Villa deal runs out, more a thought for the future.
Recently he told Expressen, 'It's obvious that it would be nice to play in the European Cup.' Adding, 'I hope and believe that I will have a good season and continue to play well. Then we will see. There is a lot happening at Villa too and I regard the club's future positively.'
Some reports have drawn the conclusion from those quotes that the bearded wonder will be off in the summer and I'd not think there would be a shortage of takers to be honest. However I think what he is saying is perfectly clear, if Villa are competitive and back his ambitions, then he can play in Europe with Villa and would be only to happy to stay.
So what do Villa have to do? Well, pretty obvious really, buy some quality players and quickly. There have been quotes this summer from players looking forward to new signings and being up for the challenge of fighting for their places. Then as the transfer window has gone on, saying they are surprised that new arrivals haven't been coming in as quickly as we all thought.
I must admit if Villa, and more importantly the manager as it is Martin O'Neill who deals with the transfers, don't bring in quality and don't prove that we can compete in the league this season to bring us European football next season, then we might well see players like Gareth Barry also start to look at his options. A players career isn't that long and the quality deserve to play at the top level.
Over to you Martin!
Date:Thursday August 23 2007
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