Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday January 1 2010
A new decade, same old rumours?!?! lol
The Daily Mail today link us with Stoke City striker James Beattie a player we have been linked with numerous times over the years at different stages of his career.
Now I must admit, I'm not totally sure I believe this link BUT we do need another striker, this might not be the marquee signing we'd all like but do any of us really think a top class 20 or more a season striker will be available to Villa (or anyone else for that matter) in the middle of the season? Certainly none of our closest rivals will be selling their best fire power to us.
So Beattie? Well, he has better application and a greater attitude as far as I can see (despite the argument with Stoke boss Tony Pulis recently) than the 1 in 10 attitude of John Carew. Only a personal opinion, I know for some JC is THE striker for us, funny old game and we all see things differently I guess!
His career: Click Here for Wiki started as a youth at Blackburn before moving to Southampton (98/04) where he had a 1 in 3 goal scoring rate - a rate that earnt him a move to Everton where he scored 13 in 76 games (1 in 5.8). That 'flop' saw him move to Sheffield United where he sparkled with a better than 1 in 2 goal ration between 07 and 09 before moving to Stoke where he has scored 9 goals in 34 appearances.
Does that show he'd be a decent body for us with maybe one more attempt at the 'big' time worth a go or does it suggest Sheff United was more the level where he is at now? Question with no answers I'm afraid.
The signing wouldn't exactly have me on the edge of the seat but in some ways, if nothing bigger and better is available, that would make sense as we need options, if we get an injury to Emile Heskey or JC we have to rely (over rely?) on Gabby Agbonlahor who at this stage of his career does still seem to go through long lean spells which obviously we can't afford to suffer if we truly do want to push on.
Beattie good enough? To help for the top six, maybe, just maybe. To push into the top four? Doubt it.
The report says that 31-year-old Beattie might go for as little as £2.5million and that Stoke would go for Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones, another player recently linked to Villa. The reporter Simon Jones also points out that Beattie has a habit of making a quick impact at new clubs.
The Daily Mail also claim that despite interest from Liverpool, Fulham, Wigan, Chelsea and Sunderland, MON will keep hold of Emile Heskey unless an 'irresistible offer' comes in.
We asked, following early paper reports linking Heskey to Liverpool, in a poll on 23 Dec 2009, would you sell Heskey in January. The results:
Under no circumstances no 53%
Only if replaced with Robbie Keane 29%
Only if replaced with Carlton Cole 7%
Yes, replacement or not 5%
Yes and give Fonz a chance 3%
(It was pointed out I should have had another option 'only if replaced by a.n.other' but hey ho, I didn't!)
Meanwhile another report links Villa, Liverpool and Benfica with 'one for the future' 16-year-old Slovenian U21 goalie Jan Oblak at around 2million euros.
Finally, Nicky Shorey and Isaiah Osbourne have seen their loan spells at Forest and Middlesbrough respectively extended: Villa Loan Activity
Meanwhile I'm told that Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has had enough of life in London and due to his major interest in roads and motorways, fancies a move to Villa so he can push us into the Champions League and also study Spaghetti Junction more closely.
(The last item may or may not be true. Actually, the last item may not be true at all so the 'may be true' part of this warning is in fact, not true) :o)
Date:Friday January 1 2010
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