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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 (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
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
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18/07/2008 11:16:00

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
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18/07/2008 11:26:00

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
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18/07/2008 11:31:00

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
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18/07/2008 11:32:00

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
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18/07/2008 11:32:00

True Mick, Barry did that and made the england team, Southgate too
shortshadyuk
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18/07/2008 11:34:00

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
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18/07/2008 11:42:00

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
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18/07/2008 12:01:00

whats a right back?
Stig
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18/07/2008 12:11:00

Don't think I'm happy about 'giving anything a try' when the game is as important as this one.
johnmurphy3112
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18/07/2008 12:15:00

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
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18/07/2008 12:25:00

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
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18/07/2008 13:53:00

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
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18/07/2008 14:57:00

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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18/07/2008 21:21:00

 

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