Aston Villa - Will The Real Stan Please Stand Up?
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Will The Real Stan Please Stand Up?

Martin O'Neill refused to be drawn on whether Stiliyan Petrov would return to the team against Reading on Sunday after he was substituted for a dire first half performance against Newcastle.

The Villa boss still insists the Bulgarian international could make an impact at Villa and added that he just needs to re-build his confidence.

Trouble is, we've been hearing the same thing for two years now and as much as I'm sure ALL of us would like to see the real Petrov stand up (sorry, just been listening to Eminem!) I'm not totally convinced he will, which is a massive blow as his debut and a few isolated performances since have shown that the player is quality. Maybe the Prem just isn't for him?

O'Neill said: 'I think players, deep down, have a realisation of how they are playing and, to me, the best way to get confidence back is to get out there and start going back to basics again. They should go and practice and, to be fair with Stiliyan, he does nothing but that. He gets himself into a mindset where he wants to be incredibly fit and at times there is a case of over training at times. There is a case for not getting so uptight about things. Stiliyan wants to do really well and feels that Villa have not seen the best of him.'

Rather baffling after two full seasons he added, 'In his defence, Stiliyan has had to try and adjust to a completely new position.'

Surely if the position doesn't suit him he would be best being moved to where he can play at his best?

'He never played this position at Celtic. We had a lot of the ball and he was able to go forward to get beyond the likes of Henrik Larsson, Chris Sutton and John Hartson. He could get goals because we had a lot of the ball. Here he is having to play much more of a sitting role even when he plays on the right hand side. I think all of these things are factors but, at the end of it all, he has the capability of playing better.'

Come on Stan, sod waiting for some confidence, just take the game by the scruff of the neck and get yourself in there!




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 22 2008

Time: 5:34PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Just shows that the SPL and Prem are a world apart!
Matt_Us
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22/02/2008 18:01:00

It's confidence cos he knows he aint good enough for the prem, 3 yards off the pace and passing backwards. Unfortuantely MON your gonna have to sell him recoup some loss on him, hopefully routledge may have a run out or Gardener. Thats the trouble with signings they dont always turn out to be how you thought they'd be all managers make mistakes, he misjudged petrov
krisvilla
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22/02/2008 18:25:00

Bite the bullet MON, not everyone you sign will work out. Send the Bulgarian crab to the Championship.
Villan444
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22/02/2008 18:37:00

Quoting: "Surely if the position doesn't suit him he would be best being moved to where he can play at his best?" It is not that simple. MON goes on to say that Celtic "had more of the ball." ie. They dominated teams more up there and played more of a possession style. You cannot do that in the premier league. Hence, you cannot have central midfielders with plenty of time on the ball and license to get beyond the forwards. How many times does Barry make runs beyond Gabby/Carew? Rarely. NRC NEVER does.... In many ways the biggest hurdle in Petrov's career is the fact that he is very similar to Gareth. I thought he looked far more comfortable when playing with NRC at Liverpool. But we are spoiled by the fact that Barry is as good as he is, and Petrov, at his best, is not quite up to that standard. In fact, only Gerard and Scholes are.....
gmvillan
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22/02/2008 19:36:00

Interestingly, look at the recent quotes from MON about Moore, Harewood and Petrov. Read between the lines a little......... With Harewood and Petrov he talks about "working hard," "extra training," "patience," "professionalism." With Moore he talks about "potential," "wanting to get away," and "taking opportunities."
gmvillan
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22/02/2008 19:40:00

I enjoyed watching Petrov play at Celtic. Given, SPL is crap compared to the Premiership but still he was very good. I hate watching him play now and he doesn't do a god damn thing productive, but I refuse to give up on him and I will stand behind him because he's in a Villa shirt and I think he's going to shut everyone up very soon.
los_angeles_villan
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22/02/2008 20:01:00

Like most people I thought he was a very good player on his debut against West Ham. I do believe confidence is an issues for him. One possible reason for this is the position he is being asked to play in. I think he looks like a fish out of water when playing on the right. I understand that some may say (with some justification) that a good player should be able to play anywhere. However, I can't see someone like Ronaldinio playing effectively at centre half for instance. Petrov should be played in his prefered position or be put on the bench. Not being up to the job on the right, yet asked to play there will only serve to compound his lack of confidence.
Nigel-not-Reo
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22/02/2008 21:33:00

Petrov will come good. We've all seen those masterful touches that seem to appear from nowhere and when he send out the most pinpoint and astonishing pass. when he does this is a different question.
villabikes29
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22/02/2008 22:34:00

I didn't see his debut and don't travel away very often so maybe I've missed his best performances. As a season ticket holder who has only missed on average one home game every couple of seasons for the last 20 years I can't see anything in this guy. Recently when he got back into the team he seemed to be giving it a go, but after a couple of good performances he goes back to being crap. Confidence can be a problem when playing badly but I think this guy suffers more from complacency. He does OK then basically goes to sleep. Its true that we are not in a position to dominate the possession in matches especially against the better teams but that suits the players and team set up, we are a counterattacking team. If its the settling in thing again then how long must we wait? If he hasn't settled after two years perhaps we should send him back to scotland, though we will have to take quite a hit, say 3 million!
Waldorf
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23/02/2008 17:02:00

 

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