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All Hail Martin O'Neill

All Hail Martin O'Neill

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.

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

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Sunday February 4 2007
Time: 12:47PM


what was that other manager doing if his players were not learning anything?
04/02/2007 13:04:00
I think the teams performance last season is your answer to that question, Damn he was ****, I thought when he joined he was going to do a job at the Villa, little did I know just what type of job he would do, good riddance to bad rubbish.
04/02/2007 15:34:00
after all our epl v spl debate on vital celtic the same roy aitkin is now scottish team coach. 2 points proved in one I think.
04/02/2007 16:09:00
Scottish team coach? They'd have more chance if he was driving it
04/02/2007 16:49:00
Freddie is definitely a totally different player to what we witnessed last season. He looks both confident and comfortable on the ball, and is improving by the game. Hopefully his bad injury run is now a thing of the past, and he can concentrate on cementing his place in the first team starting line up.
04/02/2007 16:56:00
Actually, I don't think you can have a go at Roy Aitken. I think the players had a lot of respect for him but he really never stood a chance with O'Dreary and Deadly. Whether he was good enough we shall never know.
04/02/2007 21:49:00
I'm with myleftfoot (fortunately!) - should we have a go at RA? After all, he could only do what his boss told him to do.
05/02/2007 08:55:00
more positive stuff from our players - what bliss :) and how unhappy were most of them under O'Leary, no wonder we were *****e!
05/02/2007 10:49:00
Chubbs was class this weekend.
05/02/2007 17:46:00
I still feel Barry is the better option and for us to go with 4-3-3 but i have to say Bouma has been excellent in the last month,great to hear that he knows he underperformed and seems to have worked his nads off to get his game sorted,top man
05/02/2007 19:46:00
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