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Stewart Downing To Play In The Centre When Fit?

There is a report in The Express today by John Wragg where Martin O'Neill suggests that Villa new boy and former Boro star Stewart Downing could switch to the centre when fit and compete with Gareth Barry for that berth in the England set up.

Our 12m man can, according to the Villa boss, play in a 'number of positions' explaining 'He can play wide left or wide right, he can play centrally and he can play off the strikers, which he has done many times for Middlesbrough.'

He also says he's had positive reports from Fabio Capello who enquired to the players progress recently. MON is sure if he plays centrally for Villa he could become a 'contender' for that spot in the England team as well.

Interesting, does this mean that is the position he has brought Downing in for? So when people ask when are we replacing Barry, have we already done so with Ashley Young and James Milner remaining in the wings?

MON also says that the players pin (in his broken foot) is removed in September and from there the medical staff can assess how long his recovery will be.




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 8 2009

Time: 10:00AM

Your Comments

uuuggggggghhhhhh
ric112
uuuggggggghhhhhh
ric112
I dont rate downing at all, sorry. :-(
JT_daniel
I dont rate downing at all, sorry. :-(
JT_daniel
I think he will be a really good player for Villa, whether or not he is the Barry replacement - time will tell I guess. He certainly provides us with more options, with the number of positions he can play - hopefully he can make a quick recovery!
JOHN.CAREWS.CREW
I think he will be a really good player for Villa, whether or not he is the Barry replacement - time will tell I guess. He certainly provides us with more options, with the number of positions he can play - hopefully he can make a quick recovery!
JOHN.CAREWS.CREW
I'm sure O'Neill at the time of signing Downing said that he wasn't Barry's replacement. If he is now contradicting his earlier statement we shouldn't be surprised as this would be entirely consistent with his generally muddled thinking. As for Downing challenging Barry for his England place, one can only laugh. Besides the fact that Downing isn't fit to spit on Barry's boots, let alone lace them, Downing will never, ever be able to play as a holding midfielder. He has neither the physical presence, tactical acumen or quality of distribution necessary to play that position. Mr O'Neill, you don't have a clue.
Albarnista
I'm sure O'Neill at the time of signing Downing said that he wasn't Barry's replacement. If he is now contradicting his earlier statement we shouldn't be surprised as this would be entirely consistent with his generally muddled thinking. As for Downing challenging Barry for his England place, one can only laugh. Besides the fact that Downing isn't fit to spit on Barry's boots, let alone lace them, Downing will never, ever be able to play as a holding midfielder. He has neither the physical presence, tactical acumen or quality of distribution necessary to play that position. Mr O'Neill, you don't have a clue.
Albarnista
Defensively Downing is *****e, Barry was a top player for winning 50/50's and getting tackles in. Downing IMO will only ever play on the wing.
danvilla2
Defensively Downing is *****e, Barry was a top player for winning 50/50's and getting tackles in. Downing IMO will only ever play on the wing.
danvilla2
One of the best left-footed crossers in England playing in the centre would be a waste
Kiwivillan
One of the best left-footed crossers in England playing in the centre would be a waste
Kiwivillan
NO ONE HAS SAID HE IS A REPLACEMENT , JUST SAYIN MAYBE, CALM DOWN FFS, OF COURSE MON GOT A CLUE. N BARRY AINT HERE NO MORE , SO FORGET ABOUT HIM, IF CAPELLO AND MON RATE HIM SO HIGHLY ILL SIDE WITH THIER JUDGEMENT EVERY TIME OVER YOURS ALBARNISTA,
..doctorwho..
NO ONE HAS SAID HE IS A REPLACEMENT , JUST SAYIN MAYBE, CALM DOWN FFS, OF COURSE MON GOT A CLUE. N BARRY AINT HERE NO MORE , SO FORGET ABOUT HIM, IF CAPELLO AND MON RATE HIM SO HIGHLY ILL SIDE WITH THIER JUDGEMENT EVERY TIME OVER YOURS ALBARNISTA,
..doctorwho..
no Albarnista, to be fair that is my pondering, just from his quotes I wondered if he was hinting that might be a role he will look at playing Downing in. Didn't realise Downing was quite so versatile to be honest, always looks ok to me but never watched a great deal of Boro apart from when we were playing them. Looling forward to seeing him in a Villa shirt and seeing what he can do for us... fingers crossed, could fit in very nicely.
The Fear
no Albarnista, to be fair that is my pondering, just from his quotes I wondered if he was hinting that might be a role he will look at playing Downing in. Didn't realise Downing was quite so versatile to be honest, always looks ok to me but never watched a great deal of Boro apart from when we were playing them. Looling forward to seeing him in a Villa shirt and seeing what he can do for us... fingers crossed, could fit in very nicely.
The Fear
I dont see why Downing can't do exacty what Barry has done. MON obviously sees him as versatile as Barry was. Remember Barry was playing out wide on the left under DOL then MON came in and put him in the centre and improved him as a player and got him back into the england set up. So who knows what Downing is capable of.
VillaSlice
I dont see why Downing can't do exacty what Barry has done. MON obviously sees him as versatile as Barry was. Remember Barry was playing out wide on the left under DOL then MON came in and put him in the centre and improved him as a player and got him back into the england set up. So who knows what Downing is capable of.
VillaSlice
Oh dear. Once more where most of us read your comments as musings, Fear, and responded accordingly with interesting debate, they were simply seen by the increasingly expert and future England manager, Alby, as just another opportunity to bash our manager.
BobTheBuilder
Oh dear. Once more where most of us read your comments as musings, Fear, and responded accordingly with interesting debate, they were simply seen by the increasingly expert and future England manager, Alby, as just another opportunity to bash our manager.
BobTheBuilder
Yeah because Downing plays best as an attacking winger doesn't he! Nonsense, a holding centre midfielder will see him shine, the lad can tackle I tell ya! I remember once seeing David Platt play in goal, idiots the managers at the time he didn't become our first choice! I give in.
mike_field
Yeah because Downing plays best as an attacking winger doesn't he! Nonsense, a holding centre midfielder will see him shine, the lad can tackle I tell ya! I remember once seeing David Platt play in goal, idiots the managers at the time he didn't become our first choice! I give in.
mike_field
 

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