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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.






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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday July 17 2007

Time: 3:17PM

Your Comments

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
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.
Obediah
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!
ric112
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
OneloveVilla
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 ;)
Villan444
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.
villacross
He is here now so lets get behind him.
bigdiondubs
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
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.
glensider
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!
bazzah
Liverpool signed an 06-07 WHU failure in Yossi Benayoun for 4m and they've welcomed him with open arms...
bazzah
?? Benayoun was their best player other than Tevez and he was cheaper than the hairlesswood
Villan444
Ok,please read Timesonline interview with Marlon and he seems to be self-motivated and hungry to succeed and that is what all of us really care about !
ASPINALL
I still think people are trying quite hard to rationalise this signing, which in itself isn't a great sign. Even for a squad player IMO we should have been looking for better. I'm not just talking about Marlon here either - everyone seems to think big John Carew is the be-all and end all, but even he isn't going to get us 20 a season. Are our youngsters? Who knows. I actually think they could well be capable, but where is a PROVEN GOALSCORER? We should have been looking to sign someone who is going to put pressure on these guys week in week out if they are not performing - not just someone to step in if Big John gets injured. Someone like a Defoe, an Owen, a Saha (Fergie's had enough). Having said all of that though I really do wish Marlon well - he's making all of the right noises, and i'm praying MON has seen something in him that the rest of us haven't. Squad stronger? Yes, Definitely. But that's not my point. UTV.
YatesyVillain
Never in the history of Aston Villa have I known a player signing to cause so much debate. Over the years we have had to moan about the clubs failure to actually acquire players. He is now a member of what is still (compared to some) a thin squad.
col8
Col, I agree with you. Lets give the guy a chance. I like his attitude upon signing, and if his presence keeps our other strikers on their toes, then surely thats good for business?
glensider
 

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