Martin O'Neill has spoken about the fantastic potential Villa now have with John Carew: 'He's only 27, which is young enough to add something to his game. But he's also got so much experience, not just in one big league, but in a number of different big leagues. He's played them all - Italy, Turkey, Spain and France - and while he'll be able to tell you the real differences in the leagues, you would think all of that would stand him in decent stead.'
'He's also improved immensely over the years, and I also think that sometimes he doesn't realise how strong or how decent he is. Time will tell, like everything else. He got off to a great start, which is great for him and he's enjoying it. He's bubbly and his enthusiasm is really infectious and he and Ashley Young couldn't ask for better starts for themselves. It's all encouraging, but there's a long way to go.'
Sweden international defender Olof Mellberg agrees saying Carew is already a hit at Villa.
'John did well at Newcastle and against West Ham. He is a real handful for defenders and overall did really well. It is always important to have a good start when you are new and to show your best side straight away and John has worked hard in both games as well, which I think the fans appreciate.'
'It is early doors' (that is just sooooo not the expression I'd expected the bearded wonder to use!!) 'but I think everyone can see what he can bring to the team. He is an outlet. You can vary the style of the game. When he came off in both games, we really needed to play the ball a little bit more because we didn't have the long ball as an option which can be good sometimes.'
Olof also says any doubts that Villa will be sucked into a relegation battle have now been snuffed out adding: 'We are now on 32 points and I think we can start looking up the table now. That is what we have been trying to do all the time. It is only recently that we have started to come that close to the relegation positions. I don't think we had thought about it that much. But when we played West Ham we saw that we were only nine points ahead of them and a loss would have closed the gap even further so it was really an important win last weekend. Hopefully we can look up now and try to finish the season strongly.'
Aston Villa have six players away with their countries in the October international window.
Midfielder Jordan Veretout hasn't just had to adjust to life in a new country, at a new club and with a new language, there was also the small matter...
Err. The Vital Villa man of the match v Stoke City...
Manager Tim Sherwood has given his normal Monday briefing, and goalkeeper Brad Guzan has also given his thoughts as frustration reigns.
|1.||Pride of Lions||271|
|9.||LORD RON SAUNDERS||53|