Writer: Mike Field
Date:Sunday March 9 2008
The headline could be misleading here; we all know plenty who doubted the fee Martin O'Neill payed for Ashley Young, but since joining he has been a revelation for us and plenty have been forced to conceed he is not only justifying his transfer fee but he's surpassing it.
However, Ashley Young has also said that since joining Aston Villa his career has gone better and progressed faster than he had ever imagined possible.
For a sprightly 22 year old Young is the Barclays Premiership 'assist goal King' to quote the official site. He has already long endeared himself to the Villa faithful and has chipped in with 5 goals this campaign.
Not bad for a player who was seriously overpriced, nowhere near his valuation and a big risk for our manager at the time eh!
Speaking on the official site, Young explained how he finds it surprising that he's in the position he is now, and although there are no direct references to England, his inclusion in Fabio Capello's plans no doubt have had a big effect on him.
'I do believe that my development has come on faster than expected. When I first came here everyone was saying it was a massive fee, but I just wanted to concentrate on my football, because the fee was an agreement between the two clubs.
'Last season things started off well, then I had a dip in form and then towards the end of the season I picked it back up, before going away for the Under-21 tournament which went very well for me.
'I was looking forward to pre-season and I said at the time that I didn't want the season to finish last year because of how well I was doing.
'Then this season things have been going really well and obviously that's a lot to do with the management team. It's also about me. I'm the one out there doing it.'
It seems strange to have so many players loving life at Villa given the strife we are used to, but it doesn't look like Young plans on going anywhere else soon.
'I'm just concentrating on how things are going at Villa. I've got years to go on my contract and I'm extremely happy here.
'Hopefully Martin O'Neill will be the manager for a long time and I can learn more from him.'
Like most fans I also hope Martin O'Neill is here for years to come. Not just because of the impact he has helped to have on our younger chaps but for the progress we have seen as a team and on the pitch since he joined.
We have a long way to go yet, but I'm enjoying the ride!
Date:Sunday March 9 2008
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