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Villa Boosted by Right-Back-Ish Return

Possibly a bit cheeky calling him a right back, but Craig Gardner has won his fitness battle and undoubtedly looks set for full-back against Odense BK.

Gardner, who since the departure of Olof Mellberg must be wondering what midfield looks like these days, had sat out Villa`s disastrous 3-1 defeat at the hands of lowly Lincoln City with an injury to his groin. However Craig, who had a reasonable season last year, has joined up with the whopping 21-man squad, including just 16 players with Premier League experience, one of which has played 4 minutes in the league for Villa (here`s looking at you Rout!)

So, Villa`s squad containing no right back, one left back (youngster backup) and only 1 senior goalkeeper includes:

Taylor(GK), Parish(GK), Bouma, Sidwell, Laursen, Young, Harewood, Carew, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso, Knight, Salifou, Routledge, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Gardner, Osbourne, Maloney, Stieber, Albrighton, Baker.




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The Journalist

Writer: Murph Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday July 18 2008

Time: 11:12AM

Your Comments

well, its better than having a gaping hole at RB... although I'm still tempted to give Routledge a run-out at RB. Maybe I'll give MON a call later to discuss it.
romanianvillain
Could be the making of him. Thers's plenty of others who have moved from midfield into a defensive position and gone on to be top class.
Mister Mick
Hmmm I am not convinced but at least he has some exoperience at RB. I rate Gardner he is a grafter hopefully he wont let us down even out of position. Does anyone look at our current squad and get an uneasy nervous feeling?! We have a long long way to go this summer even if we just want to match last season...
Tez86
Hmmm ... I agree that some have moved back and been excellent ... one Kenneth Swain springs to mind but Routledge looks a bit lightweight to me to be a full back. He's your archetypal tricky little winger not a no-holds barred tackler liker Freddie. Id put NRC back there if Craig Gardener isnt fit. Thats not ideal either but at least he can tackle.
Silver Fox
Squads looking more than a little bit desperate now. Good experience for the youngsters though at least... Didn't the Rout play RB for Fulham at some point?
Mayo_12
True Mick, Barry did that and made the england team, Southgate too
shortshadyuk
As much as it might help Silver, I don't think a massive build is essential for a full-back, more speed and a half-decent ability to get your foot in. Take old J Lloyd Sam...wait, bad example...I mean Ashley Cole isn't exactly built like a brick s**thouse really is he? Not to mention the Leg-end that was Alan Wright :)
Mayo_12
I agree it's not essential but it sure helps. The smaller guys are the exception rather than the rule. I'm not a fan of Ashley Cole but you have to admit he's a good athlete. Maybe I'm being unfair on Routledge but I can see him getting shoved off the ball. Give him a try I guess and see how he gets on. He'd still be better than Bernie Gallagher ... perhaps the worst player ever to pull on a Villa shirt!
Silver Fox
whats a right back?
Stig
Don't think I'm happy about 'giving anything a try' when the game is as important as this one.
johnmurphy3112
Whichever way you look at it, it's just simple. We need an ACTUAL right back!!! Surely there's one out there somewhere...even he's from the Swiss second division a la Salifou :)
Mayo_12
Well Gardner is the current England U21 right back, as I recall. But I guess that he sees himself more as a midfielder. I just don't understand why there are no serious links to an established RB, no ships on the horizon so to speak.
Winsforvilla
johnmurphy, unless we sign a specialist RB TODAY, then whoever fills in there tomorrow will be just "giving it a try". I'm not 100% sure, but I think Gardner only played England U21s at RB because of injuries... just as a fill-in.
romanianvillain
I can see Gardner starting the season as our right full back. I just dont think that MON has any other options out there. Shame for Craig, because a right full back he is not.
glensider
 

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