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O'Neill - Striker To Fight For Place

O'Neill - Striker To Fight For Place

Martin O'Neill has reacted to the signing of Marlon Harewood telling the official site:

'I'm delighted that he's accepted the invitation to come and join us. I know there were other teams wanting to take him, but he's prepared to come here and challenge to try and work his way into the first team.'

Manchester City and Wigan were linked and the papers had thought he was on the way to Wigan earlier in the week before Villa jumped in.

'I'm delighted to have him. He's a strong lad, very athletic and if he can recapture the form he showed in the two seasons before last, he will definitely be a big asset.'

Interestingly he also adds: 'He's coming to join a squad. We've let some players go during the summer and we're now rebuilding the squad again. Marlon's prepared to come in here and battle for his place and that's what we want at this football club. He's a confident lad who's willing to fight for his place.'

As BarosBarryBoumas just said to me in a pm:

Harewood - 27, scoring ratio of 1 goal every 3 games, £3.7 million, probably around 20k a week. Hard worker, strong and athletic. We're the third club he's signed for.

Craig Bellamy - 28, 1 in 4, £7.5 million, estimated £70k a week, obnoxious, outspoken, swings a mean golf club, 7 teams in 8 seasons.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Tuesday July 17 2007
Time: 3:17PM

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Precisely Fear, a welcome and needed squad player. Hasn;t set my pulse racing, but isn't about to cause me to return my season ticket either. Honestly, did people think we'd become Chelsea overnight? Not every player coming into VP is going to be £8m+.
The Usual Suspect
17/07/2007 15:41:00
Harewood or Bellamy, yes, we have by far the best value, even if the purchase price had been the same, and given what MON has said that he is a squad player, who will have to fight for his team place then 'good'. We need to have enough players to challenge the incumbent, whoever he is, for a place in the team. We are not there yet, so hopefully, more new faces will appear.
17/07/2007 15:46:00
5% of voters reckon harewood is a great signing and they can't believe their luck!?! what what what!?! by the power of greyskull that is hard to believe!
17/07/2007 15:53:00
As we all presumed and claried by MON.He is willing to fight for his place, we have let some players go and we are buliding a squad.Now, what about the new kit.I think the marketing pictures are quality.Showing the city landmarks the NIKE brand and setting a real professional tone.Rome was not built in a day, and we won't reach dizzy heights in a season, but we are on the right track. UTV
17/07/2007 16:01:00
I can't see much oposition if, as MON says he is willing to fight for his place. Think Gabby and Luke had better hope he can't run as fast as them ;)
17/07/2007 16:05:00
I'm very disappointed by this signing. If this is the best striker talent that can be attracted we can forget Europe unless the youth system can produce players that clubs like ManU, Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle, Spurs and Chelsea seem to pull, with ease. It's obvious to me that Lerner has underestimated just how much is needed to get the "best of the best". SWP is available at £10k+. Is this over his transfer threshold? or is £60k / week in wages too high for us to pay? If either answer is yes; forget Europe forever!!!! We'll just continue to be Premiership Top6 Club's training fodder.
17/07/2007 18:14:00
He is here now so lets get behind him.
17/07/2007 19:55:00
I think this is great, it shows a great attitude from Harewood, not expecting to just take a first team place but on arrival stating his intention to fight. How great it will be to have Carew on the pitch knowing that if he's having a bad day or gets hurt we have Harewood ready to step in. And to be honest, despite believing that Carew is the better player (and I could be wrong i my next statement) I think Harewood has the better scoring record.
Villain Of The North
17/07/2007 21:15:00
He's coming into the club with the right approach and attitude, knowing that he needs to perform to break into the starting line up, and keep performing to stay in the side. No favouritism because he's a big signing. Thats how it should be. Its up to our strikers to fight it out amongst them, prove who deserves to be getting the nod each weekend. If Gabby and Luke are the gems that we all like to think they are, then they need to step up to the plate, and lay out their credentials for a starting spot. Competition, its what we need. We're not there yet, but hopefully the competition will improve our strike ratio, because we cant have another shot-shy season like the last campaign. We need more goals, and hopefully Marlon can contribute his share.
17/07/2007 21:30:00
Don't be too dispondant by this signing. We are all happy with Carew's work rate and ability, and if Gabby can score 11 goals playing right-wing, imagine how many goals he can score playing striker. We could have signed (and possibly have been attempting to sign) a big name South American striker for £10m+, but it's important in todays climate that we give our younger players, whom have progress through our academy, the chance they deserve. Say we signed Forlan for £15m, whom failed at Man Utd, there would a large amount of pressure on the player, manager and board if he didn't succeed. Secondly, the manager would get slated from the fans for not playing the lads that have progress from the academy. Luke's career has so far been stop-start, and Gabby's had 1 full season applying his trade in a unfamiliar position - their progress will continue next season and I'm excited by this! With Young and Maloney in the mix the possibilities upfront are endless (well not quite but you catch my drift!?) - and importantly there are goals in these combinations!... so long as they get the service! Lets look at the positives, and what is good for our football club - and a big plus to come out of the Harewood transfer is that Gabby Agbonlahor and Luke Moore will get their chance!!! It is imperitive that we continue to produce excellent young players, and just because we have money to spend we must not discard the work done by McAndrew and Cowans, and the work they continue to do. The acedamy also requires £££$$$'s and so hope the owners continue to invest in this. The manager and owners require and deserve their opportunity in giving youth a chance as previous regimes have attempted, but didn't turn the younger players into winners.... if it doesn't work then so be it - the concequences won't be drastic. We won't go down or qualify for Europe, but we gave the kids, the community, our people a chance - something that the "big spenders" this summer aren't doing. But give it time, we will get there (easier said than done I know), and Randy needs to invest heavily into youth development - it's not just about improving 'the Villa experience'! Most importantly and in a nutshell, lets not destroy the soul of our football club! Up the Villa!
17/07/2007 21:54:00
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