Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday September 9 2007
Nigel Reo-Coker has put pay to the five year plan saying that Martin O'Neill will build from the bottom up so Villa can challenge over the next 10 years.
On the set up he says, 'Yes you could say that the manager has a team here that could stay together for a decade. It's a fantastic possibility, but I think we might even achieve some great stuff this season - that's up to us. There's an abundance of talent here. The only criticism I have at the moment is that we're too nice. We need a nasty streak, in the right way, and we'll be successful.'
Ha, see, I said that. I'm not just an ugly faced git with no hair after!!!
He also says he'd love to follow Barry into the main England set up but says to do that he'll just concentrate on his Villa career adding, 'what will be will be'.
Meanwhile Martin O'Neill has flown in the face of recent talk about English football having no future due to the influx of foreign players saying the numbers might be less but the ones that are breaking through are a 'much better standard'.
He explained, 'The introduction of top-quality foreign players can only be good for the game. You can't tell me that players like Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Eric Cantona have not enriched our game, because they have. Of course there might be a problem if you get a group of less gifted foreign players, but my genuine belief is that if any young English player is good enough then he will come through. If you look at people like Frank Lampard and John Terry, they are shining examples of that.'
O'Neill is certainly building an English backbone at Villa adding Ashley Young, Nigel Reo-Coker, Zat Knight, Curtis Davies and Marlon Harewood to the England youngsters who were already at the club including Gabby Agbonlahor, Luke Moore, Isaiah Osbourne and Craig Gardner.
'I have faith in those players - real faith. And I don't mind going for the likes of somebody who is 21, 22 or 23 with lots to prove and to learn and has got a bit of potential....I'm absolutely confident about the potential they all have.'
All this positive talk, I think I need a lie down.
Date:Sunday September 9 2007
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