Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday February 4 2007
Wilfred Bouma has saluted the contribution from Villa boss Martin O'Neill and has a swipe at former boss David O'dearme. Whatever happened to him? On second thoughts, I don't care!
The left back, who has just been re-called to the Dutch national team after 18 months in exile, said: 'I have learned more under him in six months than I did in the whole of the year before. O'Neill's staff tell me what they want from me. I have learnt my role all over again and that has helped. I now know the best way to play it. When I first came here I said I wanted to play centre-back if the possibility came up. They said I would get that chance, but it never happened along with many more things that never happened.'
'Now the new manager is helping me to play that position better. It's actually a long time ago that I played left-back before I moved to Villa. But last season, neither the previous manager nor his coaches spoke to me when things were obviously not going as well as they should have been. I was wondering what was going on. Some days I would think: 'Why don't you say something to me? But now it's different. The new manager did not know me at all and that meant I had to wait a long time for my chance. Now I'm glad it's going well. I'm doing what I am capable of and if that carries on then there should not be a problem.'
Adding, on the official site: 'I feel confident now, more than I did last season. If you don't feel like that then you cannot express yourself on the pitch. I didn't care when or where Holland were looking at me, but I am glad this has happened now because it means I am playing well.'
Bouma was given the man-of-the-match award for his contribution against West Ham.
Date:Sunday February 4 2007
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