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Misguided Players At Villa?

Misguided Players At Villa?

Villa have said they will start contract talks with defender Olof Mellberg and midfielder Gavin McCann after the Everton game on the 2nd of April.

Martin O'Neill confirmed: 'I've said to them I will speak to them shortly after the Everton game. Gavin will be around but Olof is away on international duty, and we'll get the Everton match out of the way and then that clears us up. I know we've then got two games in quick succession after that, but we've got an opportunity, and the players know we will be discussing their futures.'

He also hints that although the players have tried hard, some aren't quite good enough, or at least that is how this reads to me and is something I've been arguing most of the season, it is ok for them to give their all, but if their all isn't good enough, then Villa will remain mid-table tryers at best, and that isn't what the ambition of the board and manager now is.

'This season, regardless of what our abilities are, I could not fault the effort of the team. We've been found wanting on a few occasions this season without doubt, but in terms of effort on the field, it's been there - even if it's misguided.'

Good to see Olof is going to get an extension, sorry but I'm not convinced that Gavin McCann is the quality, despite the fact he always gives us 100%, to take us to the next level. I think you get what you get when you take players from relegated teams as we did with McCann when Sunderland went down. Will he be satisfied as a squad player when we get new arrivals? He can't be seen as the future surely?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Thursday March 22 2007
Time: 11:49AM


I'm not sure how old McCann is, although he's no chicken. Perhaps he would be satisfied with a squad place if he gets a decent new contract. I agree that for us to move on to the next level we probably need to replace him, but then again, to do that he isn't the only one from our current side who will need replacing. We face a huge task to get into that top six and many of our current 'favourites' face being bit part players or will have to move on altogether next season.
22/03/2007 11:57:00
McCann is 28 I think, he should be very very very grateful he will be staying for the randylution and be part of something special for the next 4-5years. As for Mellberg, I love him, love his beard, and love his passion - if ever there was a player that deserves an extension it is King Olof the Bearded Wonder.
22/03/2007 12:06:00
as much as i love him for giving his all week in week out,i have to fully agree and say gav just aint good enough to stay in the team 2 take us 2 the next level for next season.i think a top quality central midfielder is a must for the summer.
Belfast Villain
22/03/2007 12:12:00
Guess you are right Jonah, the villa squad hasn't been serviced with enough fresh players over the past few years. Some players are good enough, some not but you have to get behind them while they are here. Some could do a job as squad players, or as cover, so we dont need to have a massive clear out, just get more quality and get them playing with confidence.
22/03/2007 12:56:00
We really need a midfield general to drive us forward and unfortunately McCann hasn't got the quality or presence. We need someone to impose themselves on the game. To be honest, I'm suprised and a bit disappointed he's being offered a new contract
22/03/2007 16:32:00
Big decisions need to be made. Players that we think aren't up to 7/10 week in week out - need to be sold. Most of our players can't perform for more than 45mins.
22/03/2007 16:49:00
McCann shouldn't be the scape goat for our poor season. He is good in patches but Petrov has been rubbish quite frankly! I think age isn't on McCanns side but I seem him as a good squad player non the less, As for Olof, I have been a massive fan over his years at Villa but I think he is better on the right, ore so than Bardsley. Gives us Ridgewell in the centre then and he has got plenty of nasty to his game and is a good defender. Future captain if he was only given the chance!
22/03/2007 17:28:00
There is quite obviously going to be some major decisions made this summer, particularly with regards to bringing in new faces and/or offloading old favourites. In view of that I am somewhat surprised in the decision to open talks right now with both Olof and Gavin. Both must obviously feature in MON's future plans, and while both have been good servants and given their all over recent seasons, I cant help but wonder if both aren't at the club on borrowed time right now? Obviously not.
22/03/2007 18:56:00
The problem at Villa is that we now have a lot of quite good and good players. It's easier to improve things if you actually have a couple of appalling holes that need fixing, but we have a number of old guard players not good enough for the next level up. The youngsters are obviously open to question and debate, but while it was obvious Whittingham would not make it, many of the others still might yet make the huge step up and deserve every chance as this season drifts away. Moore, Gardner, Osborne, Cahil, Davis and Ridgewell remain massive prospects and Arsenal keep showing if you're good enough you're old enough - there's only one place to find out - on the pitch - and they have not let us down so far.
22/03/2007 22:16:00
Have to agree with Spitfire, get Ridge back in the center along with Cahill, stick Olly on right and freddy on left. the two young boys could be the backbone for years to come.
23/03/2007 18:23:00
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