Writer: Mike Field
Date:Thursday July 10 2008
Steve Sidwell has admitted that he joined the Villa because he believed in the Claret and Blue vision of our manager and chairman.
Speaking to the official site, he said:
'Having spoken to the manager and the chairman and listening to their views on the future, I am sure they want to push the club forward and we all collectively want to break into that top four category.
'I can't wait to work with Martin O'Neill. Everyone in football speaks very highly of him. His reputation goes before him.
'When I sat down with him, he was fantastically enthusiastic. He wants to drive the club forward and that's an exciting prospect.
'The manager is getting young, hungry players who want to push the club on and he is mixing them with experienced stars. He has a good blend and hopefully I am one of many additions this summer.'
You'd have liked to have been a fly on that wall wouldn't you. Just how enthusiastic can O'Neill be about our future??
Sidwell also commented that he was pleased and impressed with what seems to be a policy of buying young home-grown talent.
'We've got some fantastic English lads in the squad. Fabio Capello was here last season watching a few games and casting his eye over certain players.
'That just goes to show the talent we have here and a few of the lads broke in and got international recognition. That says a lot about the quality of the squad.'
Martin O'Neill was obviously delighted at securing the services of Sidwell.
'Steve actually played for Reading in my first match at Villa Park. You always take note of players who do well against you and he stuck in my mind.
'However, I was less happy to see him do well again when we played at Reading that same season. He scored the second goal against us that day. But, again, the quality of his performance stayed with me. It was shortly after that he earned his move to Chelsea. Now, for whatever reason, it did not work out for him at Stamford Bridge. It's not my job to go into that, really.
'However, he is of the right age, and I believe the right quality, to take Aston Villa forward. He remains hungry to do well and to prove himself and I'm delighted to have him with us.'
On the subject of Chelsea, Sidwell believes he would have regretted not going there more than the fact it didn't work out.
'It was short and sweet at Chelsea. It was a great experience and I wouldn't have changed it for the world.
'I said to myself when the offer came in that I would rather go there and fail than not go there and say 'I could have played for Chelsea.'
'I did it - it didn't work out - and it is time to move on. Hopefully I can bring my experience and my improvements as a player to Villa Park and drive us on.
'I was in the company of some of the best players in the world and came on as a player - and I think that will benefit Villa. Now, as one door shuts, another one opens and I'm sure coming to Villa Park will be a good move for Steve Sidwell.
'It's going to be tough. I am not coming here with a guaranteed starting spot. I am here to fight for my place.
'We have a lot of good players. Healthy competition drives footballers on. It will push me on to perform and make me play better. Playing well means the team does well and that means three points.'
Date:Thursday July 10 2008
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