Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday September 16 2007
Seems the topic of conversation is Sven Goran-Eriksson today, with both Gareth Barry and Zat Knight talking about the former England manager ahead of Aston Villa's victory over Manchester City this afternoon.
The Villa skipper, so badly overlooked by Sven, told avfc.com 'It's strange how my first game for Villa after the two international games is against Sven, but I won't be dwelling too much on that. I thought my England time had gone when Sven was in charge. When you're out for so long you start thinking a bit negatively. There was never too much communication with the previous manager, so I just got on with it. I knew that time was still on my side and that I was still young enough. People never stopped talking about it, the fans never gave up backing me and I stayed strong mentally as well.'
He also questions whether it might have been different for him if he had been playing in his new central role for Villa.
'If I had been playing there when Sven was manager it could have been different. There was an argument that he considered I didn't have enough pace. In central midfield you don't need as much, so maybe that has helped my cause.'
Sven says he might have a point saying when he was England boss Barry was either left-back or left of midfield adding, 'He was good the first game last Saturday and he was even better against Russia. He can pass the ball well, has a good shot and good delivery from free-kicks and corners.'
Meanwhile Villa's new boy Zat Knight says, after being overlooked also, 'I hope he remembers me, but it doesn't matter anymore because he's at a club now, so I don't need to impress him. I'm hopefully going to Manchester City to pick up three points for Villa, so it's nothing to do with what's happened in the past or who remembers me. I gave up worrying about Sven Goran Eriksson a while ago.'
He says he is now looking to push himself forward for Villa and hopefully that will lead to an England re-call.
'I've got the qualities to represent my country. I've played at the highest level and I hope to get back to that, but first and foremost I've got to do it for Villa.'
Date:Sunday September 16 2007
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