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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Hare Would Be Great For Villa

Why are so many fans getting annoyed that Aston Villa are in talks with West Ham's out-of-favour (and form) striker Marlon Harewood? The reaction of many this afternoon has been nothing short of stunning.

Marlon Harewood may not be the best striker in the world but the best strikers in the world would never agree to be squad players, and that is exactly what Martin O'Neill needs at the moment. Not the cream-of-the-country, but players to make up the numbers who will help in the season long war of attrition.

When Nigel Reo-Coker, a far superior player to Harewood in practically every way, signed it should have been clear that not every other summer transfer was going to have the same "Yippee" factor. Perhaps some fans thought Randy Lerner and Martin O'Neill were going to replace the players who left - players who were, by and large, woeful - with 10million-plus signings. That was never going to happen.

Amusingly, Harewood has not even signed yet. He is merely in talks with Martin O'Neill. The striker has already chatted to Wigan, and if they offer him the chance of more first-team action then surely he'll go there. He has to go somewhere, after all, as he has made it clear that his time at West Ham is over. So he needs Villa far more than Villa needs him.

But the talk of fans sending their season tickets back, and comparisons between David O'Leary and Martin O'Neill, and even Randy Lerner and Doug Ellis, would be laughable if they were not so worrying. Signing a player such as Harewood for back-up purposes is clearly a step forward - under O'Leary and Ellis, Harewood would have joined as a first-choice striker, and possibly the best signing of the season.

However, to add a disclaimer...If I am completely wrong and Harewood (assuming he signs!) is used as a first-choice striker, or if he is the second best summer signing, behind Reo-Coker, come the end of the transfer window, then my opinions may change. They won't change much. I'll still back the boss, back the board and back whoever is wearing the famous Claret and Blue. We're Villa fans, after all, and we won't leave them like rats deserting a sinking ship.

And on that subject, if Harewood does sign then any fan who boos him at Villa Park should be banned for life. Sure, some may say "I paid my money, I can do whatever I want" (though that seems to be singing about a club that I don't want to hear about for 90 minutes) but we've all seen Villa lose matches because the shameful actions of the "fans" have disturbed the players.

Another two signings apparently set to be unveiled soon are Luke Young and Anthony Gardner. Personally, I don't rate either as first-team players but as back-up players they'll be ideal. Once again, under O'Leary and Ellis they would start every game - more proof that we've moved on.

Once those two have signed, assuming they do and Harewood does as well, we'll have three decent-level back-up players on the books and a classy midfielder in Reo-Coker. Then the real fun can begin as the ever-canny Martin O'Neill signs the players who will make us shout "Yippee"!

When that happens, we can all look back on today and laugh. Even those who have made comments about the board and management that should never, in all honestly, be made by true fans of our great club...

Keep The Faith and Up The Villa!




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The Journalist

Writer: DerryVillan Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday July 16 2007

Time: 7:09PM

Your Comments

Who wrote this article?
villacross
Well said DerryVillan!! I couldn't agree more! I've been quite shocked at the reaction to the news that Harewood MIGHT sign for us! I feel quite sad that having listened to virtually all of the fans stating "In MON we trust" that they should change their attitude so much within a second of hearing we're talking to Harewood. It's a little short-sighted if you ask me....
Mylerneredfriends
To be blunt it is embarrassing. Can't we talk to players? Does every player MON even considers have to be a 10million signing? Let's live in the real world. To go forward as a club after so many years of neglect we need to build in every area and sustain it. Harewood be a good way of showing that we are looking at every are, if he does sign. MON will get us there, with Randy's backing, and he knows how best to do it.
DerryVillan
If it`s the player MON wants,then he has to be backed by the fans until we can make a true opinion over a number of games.
ASPINALL
Forget Harewood, I'd rather see us blood one of our kids when needs be rather than use old hacks. Defoe? Yes, definitely if poss. otherwise just get one or possibly two top-flight defenders plus a goalie as a top priority.
villacross
Agree with everything (except your disclaimer). I support Aston Villa, the current regime and what it is trying to do. O'Neill is the manager and will buy who he wants and is able to buy and must be allowed to do so. Much of what I have seen on this site this afternoon is childish to the extreme but no worse than I imagine on other sites I don't visit. Maybe it's a good that many of you have received a reality check. If Harewood does sign he'll get my backing.
pongo wearing
He's not a player i care for, but i can see he's not supposed to be a first choice striker, more cover for JC and as such i too have been staggered by the vitriol on this and other sites aimed at Harewood. If he was the only other signing we made this summer then i would be concerned, but that aint gonna be so. MON knows what he's doing, and Carew has a history of picking up knocks (Touch wood) so someone like Harewood may prove useful in a squad. anything else is to me an over reaction.
The Usual Suspect
well your right there Mylerneredfriends and im sure that all of the fans here trust in MONs managerial skills but harewood? my self included is just shocked in this. Thinking about it harewood would make nice cover but we need calibre like carew. from a champinship winning team + champs exp - my last statement was "im gonna cry" but if harewood is cover then we do nead the numbers. i just have had a sinking feeling bout this. On the flip side MON could motivate the hell out of him and hopefully im made to eat humble pie
Eaton_thevillafan
Good article, well said. Bottom line - we need squad players. It would be funny if he chose Wigan over us though just the hear the moaners change there tune and start moaning about how we can't attract players.
PBAVFC
Is it not me who believes that this could be a smoke screen for a few signings at the press conference tomorrow afternoon?
KSarge1
Football is a subjective game, and whilst I agree that it would be a very bad thing if Harewood does sign and he gets booed. However, as things stand I do not want him to sign, and therefore I personally go with those that do not want him to wear a Villa shirt. I am not sure about the squad comments though. I would rather sign someone in the Defoe category. Defoe and Carew would be awesome. We have alternatives for the squad in Maloney, Moore, Gabby (he needs to not play so many games this season) - We do not need Harewood - I could be wrong and I will be glad to eat some humble if he scores the winning goal at Wembley - i just can't see it - I will never boo if he wears the shirt and will support him - I just don't want to see him have the chance!
VillaBob
MON has got rid of 7 players from a thin squad. He has only talked about getting in 4-5 players. If Harewood is one of these - squad player or not - it is a bit disappointing. Sure, fine, great - Harewood is a Sutton replacment, strong to boot so a good cover player for JC. But if we are getting rid of players like Steven Davis, why are we bringing in players like Harewood. The reason people are getting so upset is that we needed 4-5 players ON TOP of 7 squad players to cover those that left. It seems unlikely that we will get in 11 players before the deadline so there seems no method in the madness?
simonbigron
You're right, DerryVillan, MON knows what he's doing. Harewood would surely be a good squad player and a nice backup for Carew.
delirium
on the other hand.... there is a pattern. GABBY recommended YOUNG (ENG U21), YOUNG recommended REO-COKER (ENG U21).... could it be Nigel has had a few words and recommended someone to MON...
simonbigron
Defoe is another small fast player. The type to playh off a big striker a la Carew/Harewood. This is how MON likes to play. WE have small fast front men a plenty. We only have one big target man. Surely as a back up for Carew this isn't as bad as it first seems.
Adam Deuce
Stop moaning you moody *****s, if he becomes a villa player than he should get our full backing.
samtozer
Please tell me its not true!
myleftfoot
Good article. At last some real thought instead of off the cuff reactions.
Gordonsleftboot
Come on we were promised exciting new signings as well. I just can't believe we have waited so long for this.
myleftfoot
Reality check, Were we expecting a top 4 finish and some world class players????? Its not going to happen until we get moving up that league table and get soem european football, a strong squad is what we need. Remember he scored 14 league goals in 05/06. So there is goals in the lad.
iomvilla
were Newcastle not interested in him last year for about 8m,was Luque not a flashy signing for about 8-9m,Beattie 6m,when Crouch left Villa he was utter rubbish now some (editor of avfc blog) would consider paying 20m for him.Don't believe the hype.
Pking
that sounds a bit mental,my point is Harewood could easily be worth more next season.
Pking
i Just don't think they should claim to be chasing champions league football, and in the process get the fans hopes up, when clearly we will be nowhere near champions league football with signing like that. and if he is the only forward that we sign this summer, we will be going backwards compared to the other teams that are spending lots of money on decent players
liamo1981
Not impressed I'm afraid. How is he cover for JC - he's nowhere near as good on the ball or off. I am utterly down in the dumps...I just can't believe it. You can try and make me believe otherwise but it won't work. I do not have faith in him, he is not good. We will be his last Prem club and are going to be losing money every second he's on the paypacket. How can we attract others if this is our new level. The future is bright....please Villa don't do it.
koolbill
Star signing
myleftfoot
There's method in MON's presumed madness. Good signing? Maybe, only time will tell. We need a reality check here. Some of the names tossed into the ring by supporters both on here, on other sites, in the pubs etc. etc., have been ridiculous, little short of laughable. We are not in Europe. We've been an also ran for as long as I care to recall, a backwater player in premiership terms. The 'bigger' names are not going to fall over themselves in a rush to turn up at Birmingham B6. We finished eleventh last season, hardly earth shattering proof that the lion is about to roar once again. The huge rebuilding project has to be taken step by step. If MON believes that MH can bring something to the table as we attempt to build a squad with depth, then thats fine by me. Harewood will enable us to bring along two highly talented youngsters in Luke and Gabby, he will help to take a little bit of pressure off of them. There's been 'Drama Queen' talk by some supporters of returning season tickets etc. etc., in protest at the possible arrival of Harewood. How pathetic. Hopefully in 24 hours time, after the dust has settled, and should Harewood by then be a Villan, I hope supporters to take five, and reflect on their initial outbursts. Return season tickets? How childish. MH's imminent arrival sure as hell wont have me rushing to cancel my flight to North America. Jeez! Give the guy a break, and give MON some credit.
glensider
I'm concerned now that Martin O'Neill may have "lost the plot". Since the end of last season - 9 out, 1 in and now, a "near relegation" club's reject. Oh dear, oh dear; it's going to be another disappointing season unless he's got a hot-line to the Almighty! Randy, please, please give us some really exciting news!!!!!!!
villacross
''Gutted thought these days were over'' morons.Hopefully Harewood sees all this crap and rejects Villa just to shut yez up.
Pking
At 3-4m, he ain't a bad squad player given his experience and today's stooopid prices. Scored 16 in 2005/06. Only 4 last season, but no one at West Spam had a good last season.
DoLpHiNaToR
great article DerryVillan, exactly what i think. Over on villa message board they are saying O'Neill out etc. All i can say David O'Dreary was right when he said there is a section of genuine supporters and there is a section of fickle supporters. Hate to say it but the bloke was right, about the only thing he was right about! A couple of years ago he ripped mellberg apart and scored a hat-trick and was almost top scorer in prem, bad signing? looks not at his record!
randy.stand
MON's Celtic model was one big man up front (Sutton),and pace on the flanks.(Agathe, Guppy, Maloney etc). Harewood would be back up for big John, no more, no less. No need to panic yet. 4-5-1 defending, 4-3-3 pushing on. Celtic got to the UEFA cup final playing this way with less quality than we have now. In MON we MUST TRUST. UTV.
Madirish
I'm sorry but I don't subscribe to this theory that a player cannot improve at a club. Harewood has the ability as a striker to get goals, ok, it didn't happen for him last year, but that could be down to lots of things, and many West Ham players haven't 'done the business' since. MON has outstanding man management ability and we have all seen this, what is stopping him from getting the best from Harewood? Or do we only beleive that a player is worth signing if it's for a 10m fee? The way 'fans' have posted diatribe following this announcement is nothing short of stupidity, MON is the manager and he lives and dies by the choices that he makes. We should all take a leaf out of Lerners book and leave him to do what he does best, manage football teams.
Thegreatdando
AAAAGGGHHHHHH...STOP! We don't manage the football team, we don't lose our job if it's not successful, we don't get booed if we make a wrong decision at a football match.MON has been in football a very long time and managed all manner of players, winning trophies in the process.HE KNOW'S WHAT HE IS DOING.When the transfer window is shut and we have what we have and your not happy .Then moan!!!
OneloveVilla
If Harewood signs then it will be as a squad player, an alternative if we change tactics or if Carew is injured or rested. I think that all of this negativity is because we had hoped our next signing would be Defoe or SWP, but they may still be the next one. I really believe that MON knows exactly what he is doing and that we need to wait and see. Come the end of August i am sure that we will have a squad capable of mounting a challenge on that top 6 spot.
return of godzvilla
gotta say i completely disagree with the article. a load of tripe but you are entitled to your opinion cough. we have the squad players in place. if we want more unfinished articles they should be young, with potential. if you actually watched harewood play you would see his obvious flaws and realise this is not the type of player we need. If he joins of course i will support him, if anyone boos him they should be shot - but it won't mean im happy to see him wear the villa shirt.
ric112
Its midnight and 52 people are still logged on to Vital Villa, Mr Harewood have anything to do with this amount of Interest?
col8
Should be no more than 2 mill and i think great is to strong a word maybe OK squad player.
chris the villan
Harewood two years ago would have been a major signing and a first-choicer. Now he is just a stocking-filler and a bench warmer at bench. Even the top-four teams buy players who are never going to play more than a handful of games. It's all part of sustained development!
DerryVillan
If we signed him i would back him, sing his name and never boo him. However....we have not signed him yet so I think Im well within my rights to say its a massivly disapointing name to be linked with and personally I think he is not good enough to take us forward but MON knows better than all of us - of that im sure. sort of with ric 112 here.
bigdiondubs
Agree with Glensider with this one, we ain't in Europe so it is the beginning of the restructuring of the club. As for returning season tickets you should hang your head in shame after what you have had to put up with over the last 20 years or so. Up the Villa
Donzarra
Just because we are not in Europe is no excuse for this one. Surely there are better strikers out there - what about Mido or Beattie for squad players? Surely these guys are better options? Both are available.
myleftfoot
madirish you fool - "Celtic got to the UEFA cup final playing this way with less quality than we have now" ! Think the fact you finished 11TH shows that comment as sheer nonsense. There are no players at villa fit to lace Larsson's boots, nor is carew half the player sutton was. Harewood ahahahahahaa
LARSSON*7*CFC
Different leagues Larsson7.....both actually and metaphorically speaking. You can go look up the big words in a dictionary.
YatesyVillain
Sorry - just realised the dictionary is quite a thick book, and i'm sure you don't like thick books. Try google.
YatesyVillain
I'm afraid O'Leary was right.....(and it pains me to say it).....Fickle
astonmilan
What! astonmilan Fickle for questioning the Harewood purchase? So u are comfortable with this? I back MON 100% but I reserve the right to question potential signings. If Harewood signs and does a job for us then fine, however this isn't the kind of signing that most of us had in mind when exciting signings were planned. I sahll support him because he plays for Villa. To be called fickle because I dare to question a signing is just stupid. I would question spending 12 mil on SWP! Its called an opinion
myleftfoot
LOL. nothing more needs be said.
Epic
Excellent article. No one seems to realise that he is a BACK UP. We need to add depth to our squad and this is what MON is doing. There will be more quality signings on their way but we have to be patient. If you just look at Harewoods record you can see he a prolific goalscorer (any1 remember the hat trick against us?). 3.7 million sin't much these days, look at Camara for 6million?!?! Chopra 5million??!?!
Mr_North_Stand
Was initially dissapointed still not sure but if he actually signs it will be backup as it looks as if defoe dont want to move and swp is going to the spurs, just need a RB & Goalie now UTV
HuntysVilla
I must admit I am amazed at the depth of emotion the possible signing of Harewood has sparked. I can't say that he would have been on my list of signings but what the hey. What amazes me most is that we get threads like I have seen in the forums, fans with one viewpoint leaping in to attack fans with another. We are ALL villa fans whatever our views on Randy, MON, harewood or anybody else. Everyone needs to chill out, keep their sense of humour and stop disappearing up their own arses for *****s sake.
jonah
Just hope Marlon doesn`t read the websites as he`ll never sign !
ASPINALL
What a rubbish article. We shouldnt be selling deadwood squad players and replacing them with deadwood squad players, we'll never progress like that! We need to buy better players than we have and turn the current starting XI into bench warmers, thats the only way to improve. This is a terrible signing no matter which way you look at it.
DeanoVilla
Fickle is the way some are behaving..........3.7m on a squad player, who (like the whole shambles that was West Ham from the boardroom to the pitch) had a bad season last year. Its not a lot of money. He scored something like 15 the season before that, 17 the season before that and 14 before that. As I've said in other posts, I would have liked him on the bench last November when we only had 15 fit seniors, even if he had only scored 4 goals. It may have given us an extra 8 points. What if Carew gets injured ? MON always plays a target man, wheres the cover ? its time people started getting real with all this transfer s**t, to get world class players you need to have a world class team, with a world class manager, playing in world class competitions, unfortunately we haven't got any of these attributes yet. I watch Milan 7 or so times a year and have done for 20 odd years, as my family are from there, do you think they got where they are with a 5 year plan? where do you think the Kaka's and Messi's want to play ? In birmingham ? As as season ticket holder for over 22 years I have watched my beloved Villa slip backwards as other big clubs moved on. we are slowly moving forward now, so for gods sake give the board and manager a chance. We have spent 26m in the last 11 months, and I'm sure there are more to come in the next six weeks, when was the last time Villa did that ?............if MON thinks Harewood can do a job, then fine, he knows a little bit more about football than any of us. I remember a certain Peter Withe coming to Villa and everybody slated him..........he didn't turn out too bad in the end.......
astonmilan
A thought for a second here, say he does sign...comes off the bench in the local derby and puts a brace past the bluenoses!?! .Scoring goals is one thing scoring the goals that count is another.If we WERE to buy him and he did nothing but score the winning goals against the blues I would be more than happy. Team game guys, we need numbers and he would help make them up.
OneloveVilla
Anyone could have scored a hatrick against us that night. I don't think he a good enough squad player. It's obvious that the ammers don't think so.
myleftfoot
Pking, hope you're not calliong everyone morons sonny. We have a right to be excited or NOT. Some are a touch melodramatic, I agree, but save the moron attacks for Chalky76 and Foreverhoop mate.
koolbill
Being dissapointed is one thing but the overreaction is reaching a level of embarassement now.
Pking
Here here Pking, well said
astonmilan
he gives us alot more depth up front, what if carew gets injured?
Stig
most of us weren't happy about losing Davis because he had such a good season in 05-06 just like Harewood.
Pking
The bloke is a gentle giant, but do we want a battering ram or a footballer????????????????
Villan444
 

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