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D-day for Villa Players?

Martin O'Neill will enter into talks with several players to see where their futures lye.

Players such as Thomas Sorensen, Olof Mellberg and Gavin McCann have contracts expiring in a years time. Then we have Lee Hendrie and Jlloyd Samuel who are both out of contract and both very likely to be shown the door.

O'Neill is looking to sit down with them and explained on the official site:

'I haven't had a chance to do anything about that, mainly because the boys had a couple of days off after the Sheffield United game. But this week and in the early part of next week, I'd like to do something about that. While our season finishes on Sunday, it's not as if some of the players involved in international matches will be racing off next morning. So I've got a wee bit more time and it's something I'll be discussing with a few of them. It is pressing and I would like to get a few things in motion between now and the end of the season.'

Adding 'Gavin has a year left and any players with a year left to run, you need to speak to them, because people need to know. Thomas has a year left to run, Olof's got a year left to run, Gavin's got a year left to run and I need to speak to them. We'll be talking about things. I don't mind speaking to agents at all, but I should still be able to have very normal conversations with players about careers and how people are doing. I don't need an agent for that.'

'I need an agent eventually when we're talking about contractual stuff, but I'm not so sure I always need to be talking to agents whenever I speak to the players. Of course I do accept that when you're sitting down and talking about the nitty-gritty of contracts, that's when the agent comes in.'

So who would you keep? For me, to build a squad, we need to keep as many as possible at least until the end of next season.

It is obvious Hendrie and Jlloyd are off, but would you keep Sorensen, McCann and Mellberg?

I'd tie Mellberg to a long contract, have McCann on a year extension and bring in extra competition for Thomas Sorensen! There, problem sorted

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday May 9 2007

Time: 3:34PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I'd like to see Boaz Myhill brought in with Tom to battle for No.1 and release Taylor. Definately keep Olly long term (3 year contract) and McCann for 1 year as a squad player.
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09/05/2007 15:42:00

I'd like to see Mellberg Stay - the others can leave. Mellberg and Laursen together are comparable to any centre halfs in the Premiership.
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09/05/2007 15:44:00

Mellberg on a new three year contract. Sorenson on a two year deal and keep as back up. The rest can go.
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09/05/2007 15:50:00

Agree Jon.H, Boaz should never have been allowed to leave. I'd keep McCann as a squad player depending on who we bring in, we've got to increase the size of the squad before looking to offload.
The Fear
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09/05/2007 15:50:00

To be honest I don't think McCann has done badly for us. It puzzles me the criticism he gets sometimes.
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09/05/2007 15:54:00

I think McCann is absolutely useless, every time he steps on the pitch it irritates me. the last few games without him have been wonderful. When he came on as sub against Sheffield i nearly cried, thought id seen the last of him. He cant pass a ball to save his life. Mellberg has looked a different player along side the immaculate Laursen.
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09/05/2007 16:03:00

McCann spends half his time on the ground, seriously you look at how many times he dives into a challenge.
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09/05/2007 16:05:00

To be fair though, before christmas he was one of our better players and towards the end of O'Dreary's reign he was one of the few to retain passion and commitment to the cause. I'd keep him as cover and give Craig Gardner a run in the side.
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09/05/2007 16:12:00

I must admit I don't think McCann is useless and also thinks he always gives 100%. He might not be the best to take us to the Champ League but he has played an important role for Villa whilst we weren't spending big on players. He does do a lot of the scruffy work that goes unnoticed, although this year I reckon he gave the ball away a bit much at times. Still a good squad player but not sure he'd be happy being just a squad player after being such a regular. Amazing game how we all see the same games and read totally different things into it isn't it?! Mind you, only one opinion really counts, MON's !
The Fear
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09/05/2007 16:12:00

keep big Ollie, let the rest go. If we are to kick on we need a better keeper. I agree with Fear about McCann being worth keeping as a squad player IF he would stay for that. I do think it is more than a coincidence though that our recent good form has co-incided with him being left out of the team.
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09/05/2007 16:17:00

get rid of Sorensen, his mistakes are unforgivable, especially the ones against the blues. Scott Carson would be VERY nice....thank you!
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09/05/2007 16:25:00

youre true about opinions Fear. However i didnt say McCann was useless i said that he was ABSOLUTELY useless. HA ha. Im not doubting the mans commitment or passionand yes he does cover ground and tidy up when hes on top of his game, but surely we can do better now? I just dont see the point of a player like him in the top half of the premiership. Even holding players need to have good short passing ability and McCann hasnt got this. IMO
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09/05/2007 16:28:00

As Fear says, McCann does the scruffy work, we need someone of his ilk to do that. Gardner has done really well when he's been given the chance & definitely one for the future. Who is available that could come in & do scruffy stuff? As for Sorenson, he concerns me. At times he's brilliant & then other times he reminds me of Calamity James. Ollie needs to stay for a few more years, Hendrie, Samuel, DJx2 can go.
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09/05/2007 16:46:00

I'd like to see Boruc at Villa to keep Tommy on his toes. Melberg I'd sign up on a long-term deal. McCann - he has done a good job for us considering we only paid 2 mill for him. I'd sign him up to be a squad player but only on a short term contract. Industrial_musical - Carson is a good keeper but he has made quite a few mistakes. Notably against Blackburn, a game that potentially was there best chance of keeping them in the Prem, those mistakes are more unforgiveable.
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09/05/2007 16:51:00

I stand corrected paddy@! LOL
The Fear
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09/05/2007 17:05:00

Mcann should stay for anotoher season at most. You need your holding midfielder to be able to shoot and score (Carrick of late and Alonso for example). I like the fact that he goes in for leg breaking challenges and gives his all but he isnt top 6 pedigree........Jury is still out on Tommo, he's one of the best shot stoppers going but i still crap myself every time he comes for a cross......Mellberg we must keep and buy a world class defender to play next to him, Laursen will last a maximum of 12 games into the new season before getting crocked again, good defender though and wins almost everything in the air.
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09/05/2007 18:14:00

Come to think of it, Mcann could be good to have when playing against physical long ball teams sides like Everton, Blackburn and Bolton next season. Gardner doesnt really have the aerial power.
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09/05/2007 18:16:00

i see im on my tod with my opinion on McCann. i dont understand the slagging of sorenson, yes hes made some high profile errors but then so has every other premiership goaly apart from maybe Cech. he doesnt command his area as well as id like but hes a top draw shot stopper and has made some excellent saves this season. i agree that he needs proper competition though. Dont know enough about Boruc to comment.
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09/05/2007 18:26:00

Am thinking Mccann could possibly go back to sunderland? MON may well try get okey cokey regardless of the hammers survival or not.Deff go get Boaz and Bouric for nets tommy has had his moment but if we are to seriously mount an assult on the top 6/4 then we need to move for a higher standard of player all over the park with certain exceptions obviously i think the only players assured of their positions at the moment are Barry Carew Petrov(teachers pet)Bouma and Gabby.
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09/05/2007 18:30:00

I've seen a little bit of Celtic and while he doesn't look a bad keeper he also doesn't appear to be a million miles better than what we have now. Maybe commands his area a bit more and isn't a vampire,which is a criticism often levelled at Sorensen. Oh and he likes his flags!!
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09/05/2007 18:32:00

Skinner, I agree to a point but we shouldn't have any guaranteed places outside of Barry as the captain. McCann was until he got his 10 bookings (thank God.) Ever since we have been excellent as everyone knows. I admit that he gives 100% but after he has made one of his sliding tackles it takes him about 5 secs to get back up again. He was never that good and I feel we need to move the old guard out as they are too used to losing or drawing and the whole mentality needs to change. It has to a degree and I think that is why MON brought so many of his old Hoops crew in.
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09/05/2007 18:53:00

I think the players that have done enough to gaurantee themselves a place next season ( all things being equal) are Laursen, Bouma and of course captain marvel, no not Bryan Robson but our very own Gareth Barry. I think Carew has been excellent as well. Im trying to leave the McCann subject alone, it brings out the worst in me.
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09/05/2007 19:02:00

I think the main point with McCann is that he won't be a regular starter anymore, regardless of whether we buy anybody or not. At the moment he is the only player of his type that we have at the club and sometimes his game will be an asset as son of cher has said. Depending on the opposition or particular situations he could still do a job. Horses for courses and all that.
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09/05/2007 19:23:00

mellberg is a legend and should never be allowed to leave- agree him and laursen is quality but more cover needed. mccann has been decent but we've proven we can play without him, i'd keep him on short-term, and it sounds like o'neill wants to. i'd like to see a new keeper in to battle with sorensen - boruc is good but i can think of other keepers i'd rather have, like carson...i'm a bit worried about all these players coming from the scottish league - i don't feel you can tell if a player is capable in the premiership when they are tested against hibernian. excluding larsson.
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09/05/2007 19:24:00

oh and well done to juan pablo for scoring for ny on his debut...maybe we should sign him back!?
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09/05/2007 19:30:00

New keeper = Hildebrand Been saying it for ages and wont stop until we sign him :-)
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09/05/2007 19:44:00

Mccann has done a good job for us but then that coincides with the fact that since he came we have only had 1 season where we actually did anything, I mean since he got suspended earlier on we haven't missed him or looked back. Mellberg must stay Sorenson - Not sure 2nd choice but will he be happy with that ?
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09/05/2007 20:21:00

I can't see why we should keep Mccant when consider all the midfielders at the club ie Davies, Gardner, Osbourne etc
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09/05/2007 20:25:00

Nobody hardly has seen Boruc to make a judgement, but many seem to be pressing his case. He is good but a bit dodgy at times (sounds like someone else). As a follower of what's going on north of the Border I consider Craig Ggordon is easily the number one. Just because he is a Scottish keeper doesn't mean he isn't for once the man to get. Get him please Villa and a right back too. Not ultra worried about the rest but established or up and coming world beaters ok in any position.
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09/05/2007 20:33:00

the start of the season mcann was brilliant but it was obvious he was playing out of his skin. i knew straight away from the first game he couldn't possibly keep it up for the whole season. i think he got fatigued afer xmas, which didnt help him. but he cant pass at all, oh and he is shocking at shooting. i also think it made it harder for petrov to settle in because his central midfield partner let him down a lot. when mcann was out the team, petrov took his position and looked a lot better for it.
Its All Over FC
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09/05/2007 20:44:00

Stennyvilla - have to agree with the Gordon sentiment. McCann for a squad player but with all the other midfield cover I don't think he'll stop. He aint got long left has he.
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09/05/2007 21:34:00

Hildebrand is quality, i'm surprised he hasn't been snapped up yet. Though i'm intrigued, of all the keepers that i've seen this season Ben Foster has interested me the most, I think we could get him, if he's not willing to play understudy to Van Der Sar next season.
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09/05/2007 22:54:00

Sorensen is ok and McCann and Mellberg deserve to be given new contracts albeit may be 2 years max. Just keep squad grwoing until we can let them go for nothing f needs be.
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10/05/2007 06:12:00

If the rumours are true, it would appear that there will be a lot of clubs in for Foster but if we did manage to get him that would be a real coup and would send out a statement of intent to the rest of the prem as did the Young signing. I have a feeling that Fergie will probably loan him out for another season, but having said that Van Der Sar has started to look a bit dodgy of late and Kusczack was a bit erratic last night so they may opt to keep Foster anyway.
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10/05/2007 07:28:00

I reckon a riduculous fee for foster would securre his signature - 6 Mil would do it?? or perhaps a little more. He has stated that he wants first team football and Utd have the Sar
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10/05/2007 07:29:00

Scoot Carson...much better than Ben Foster according to the stats :)
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10/05/2007 09:17:00

I'd certainly keep Olof and Tommy, but allow Gavin, JLLoyd, and Lee to all move on.Olof and Tommy both still have a lot to offer as the re-birth of the club on the playing side continues, but the latter three would all benefit from moves away. They've been decent servants, all playing their part in varying ways, but none of the three looks likely to figure in MON's plans next season.
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10/05/2007 13:40:00

Also worth remembering the club is in a strong position, more so this year than any other. With money available to buy players this will give the club the upperhand. MON also has to consider the wage bill, so I wont be surprised if some of those mentioned above play next season with a contracts end in sight.
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11/05/2007 10:24:00


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