Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Villa's Melly Good For Now, But...

Villa's Melly Good For Now, But...

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has said he is planning on holding talks with Olof Mellberg in the near future regarding the defender's future.

The 29-year-old Sweden international, who has been at Villa Park since 2001, has just one year left on his current deal and will be free to talk to other clubs in the January transfer window - if he hasn't signed on the dotted line of a new contract by then.

O'Neill told the official site: "I intend to sit down and talk with Olof's representatives very soon."

However, as Villa continue to build for the future (the current worries surrounding yesterday's signing of Marlon Harewood won't affect anything) it could be argued that now is the time to bring in fresh blood to work alongside the old guard.

While few fans would want to see the former skipper given his marching orders, the upcoming contract negotiations do give Martin O'Neill the chance to consider whether Mellberg is worth keeping for the long-haul, or just a short-term answer.

We all know what Melly can do, we've seen him perform time and time again in the claret and blue, and we know he is a class player. But he turns 30 next season and, given our much-heralded five-year plan, perhaps the boss should be looking at players who will be able to perform at the highest possible level in a few seasons.

Contracts are puzzling things at the best of times, and football contracts seem to have more clauses than a Father Christmas convention, but could an offer not be made for a three-year deal that only guarantees regular first-team football for the first year?

Then, Melly would still be contracted to the club for a further two years but could be used as cover, or to work with the younger players who will be coming through to ensure they will be able to cope with the demands of Premiership football - and possibly Champions League football.

Some will think I'm being negative with regards to Melly, but we really must be forward thinking if we are to go forward. We all love certain players at the club, but at the same time we know that the current group of players can only go too far.

I am sure Martin O'Neill will also realise this - he's the manager, thankfully - and when he decides whether to hand out fresh contracts or tell players they are not needed, or not needed as they have been, he will realise that where the club go in the next few years is far more important than we it has been in the past.

Mellberg is just one example, and there will be many other decisions to make over the upcoming few seasons. But if we are to get back to where we belong - the top of English and European football - then we need players who can perform in the future, not ones who have performed in the past.

Please help Vital Football by spending 3 minutes on our survey: The 3 minutes Vital Survey

Date:Wednesday July 18 2007
Time: 11:56AM


more clauses than a Father Christmas convention, LOL, that is a new one on me!
The Fear
18/07/2007 12:05:00
Couldnt agree more. Love Melly to bits but I always refer to how ruthless Alex Ferguson has been in the past when he thinks someone is best their best he ships them on, no questions asked (i.e. Japp Stam). Theres no room for sentiment when you aspire to be the best!
18/07/2007 12:13:00
D'oh! That was supposed to say 'past their best' not 'best their best', damn front page with no edit facilty! ;)
18/07/2007 12:14:00
The 5 year plan to get us into CL will inevitably mean bringing in new/younger faces and Olof is one of the older players that will have to eventually give way to reach this target. Hopefully we can keep him to help nurture through the youngsters, as our team is now full of them and experience is seriously lacking. Unfortunately for Mellberg he has been with Villa throughout a very poor period of managers but he has always been professional throughout and always given 100% to the Villa.
Hoss The Villain
18/07/2007 12:37:00
Re the length of the contract: I'm not sure it really matters how long his new contract is for, they don't seem to be worth the paper they're printed on these days anyway.
18/07/2007 15:57:00
I know that Melly is one of our oldest but remember that CBs tend to continue at the top level longer than any other position except for goal keepers. A player of his class could, quite concievably be playing CL football at age 35. I know he's not Paul McGrath but he's the nearest we've had since then and look how long he carried on even with dodgey knees. Personally I'd like to see Melly continue at the club as long as he wants to, moving him over into a coaching role when he is no longer up to 1st team football. He is and always has been commited to the Villa and has shown a passion and flexibility towards the club that so called life time fans like Vassel have never shown. The guy is class and Claret and Blue to the core, we should be using this to our advantage not moving him of becase he's not quite as quick as he once was. Most CBs have their best years between 30 and 32 as this position, more than any other outfield possition, is more dependant on a good footballing brain and the ability to read play than it is on physical prowes, just ask McGrath.
Villain Of The North
18/07/2007 18:28:00
Deano, Stam left MUTD at the peak of his career, he waas no way past his best. Fergusson shipped him out because of inappropriate remarks made about team mates (or about him, I don't fully remember) causing disharmoney at the club. I agree that this shows him as even more ruthless than you say but the fact remains that he was not sold for lack of form or quality.
Villain Of The North
18/07/2007 18:32:00
Please sign up the Nordic Warrior asap - i love the man.I`ll say it again,1-0 @ the Blues and whistle blows - off goes the Bearded wonder,sprinting around the pitch with both arms aloft ! A true Villa legend.
18/07/2007 18:34:00
Mc Grath, still god. Mellberg best apostle since god left. Sign him up and build around him. Never forgave O'Leary for dropping him at Portsmouth in his first match in favour of Judas Alpay (scum) UTV
18/07/2007 22:39:00
Sooner or later all of our favourites hit the VP exit door for one reason or another, possibly past their best maybe, the opportunity to bring in a better player, or because they fall foul of the manager and/or his coaching staff. None of those categories apply to Olof, certainly not just yet. A new deal will surely be his reward for outstanding service to the claret and blues, although whether the actual length of any proposed deal will be to Olof's liking is another matter.
21/07/2007 03:28:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Thug Paul Robinson Charged For Violent Conduct

If we did this, we'd be charged by the police, kicking and hitting out at someone. Not sure why they are allowed to do it in the name of sport?

Fans Do Villa Proud Despite Disappointing Season

By the time the curtain on the Championship campaign of 2016/17 comes down, almost 750,000 Aston Villa fans will have been in B6 for matches following relegation.

Four Generations Of Villa Fans Attending From France

DJFRRANCE attending the Villa v Blues with four generations including passing on this wonderful heritage to his grandson.

U23s - Blackburn 0 Aston Villa 0

Premier League 2 disappointment for Aston Villa following scoreless draw with Blackburn Rovers in our final fixture of the campaign.

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Mike Field
Editor email
Steve Wade
no email
no email
Turkish Penguin
no email
no email
Chris Heath
no email
M Calucar
no email
JuanPablo Angel
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Birmingham MotM
Suggested By:
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Brighton 44 28 8 8 92 35
P Newcastle 44 27 7 10 88 40
3 Huddersfield 44 25 6 13 81 3
4 Reading 44 24 7 13 79 1
5 Sheff Wed 44 23 9 12 78 15
6 Fulham 44 21 13 10 76 27
7 Leeds Utd 44 22 7 15 73 14
8 Norwich 44 19 9 16 66 12
9 Brentford 44 18 9 17 63 12
10 Derby County 44 17 12 15 63 2
11 Preston 44 16 13 15 61 2
12 Aston Villa 44 16 13 15 61 0
13 Cardiff 44 16 11 17 59 -2
14 Barnsley 44 15 12 17 57 0
15 Wolves 44 15 10 19 55 -3
16 Ipswich 44 13 16 15 55 -6
17 Bristol City 44 14 9 21 51 -6
18 Burton 44 13 12 19 51 -12
19 Q.P.R. 44 14 8 22 50 -12
20 Forest 44 13 9 22 48 -11
21 Birmingham 44 11 14 19 47 -22
22 Blackburn 44 10 15 19 45 -15
23 Wigan 44 10 11 23 41 -16
R Rotherham 44 5 6 33 21 -58
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Honda to hand McLaren duo more reliable engine?
Latest Vital Boxing News
Is Tyson Fury on the way back?
Write for Vital Football

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Apr 29 2017 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
May 7 2017 12:00PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

2.Pride of Lions341
4.The Fear231
6.Melon Donkey165
The Vital Football Members League