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The Heskey Debate

The Heskey Debate

I’ve watched with great interest the debate that has existed over the pros and cons of Emile Heskey as an Aston Villa player since we signed him last year. I’ve never weighed in with my opinion to be honest, basically because I’ve not had the opportunity to see the lad play live. Watching a player/team on telly is never going to give an accurate insight or perspective…

Heskey tackling

With all that said, I’ve finally had my opportunity to see the boy play now, and to be honest I’m firmly in the corner of Martin O’Neil and his coaching staff on this one (ie. I truly believe he should be playing when fit, although rarely for 90 minutes).

Before I offer my point(s) of view, I’ll start by saying that I’m a lifelong Villa fan, having stood on the Holte End as a boy and young man, before emigrating in the early 90’s. Since then, I’ve become a professional coach and have obtained all of the coaching licenses and handled some very good teams and players. I say this not to “toot my trumpet” but simply to make the point that I maybe see things a little differently nowadays. Maybe my views echo those of the staff at Villa Park a little…..

Before the cup final I was probably on the “he’s not good enough/overrated” side of the fence. I thought that he was a passenger in many games and simply didn’t do enough for the team to justify inclusion. So, I was more than a little interested in watching him play last weekend….

What I saw was a very intelligent, hard-working footballer. “On the ball” he is an average premier league striker/target man. He doesn’t score many goals – British fans insist that this is the hallmark of any forward, and I can understand why. BUT, his movement off the ball is simply second-to-none. He creates space when checking into the gaps between the back four and midfield; he attracts defenders away from other players and areas; he is rarely, if-ever challenged fairly by a (minimum of one) defender and rarely is beaten cleanly in the air. He works back to help the midfield constantly and drags defenders away from the place where defenders like to be and should be. He gets physically punished and rarely wins free-kicks. He defends from the front – he shapes the way other teams play out of the back because of how he moves and pressures….

Heskey Back Of Shirt

When Wayne Rooney scored at Wembley it was like someone turned on a switch in the brains and mouths of all those surrounding me in the stands. Suddenly everything was Heskey’s fault. Scapegoat maybe??? Two women behind me started saying “Heskey’s useless, we’ll never win with him on the park,” in reaction to Gabby mis-placing a pass! Seconds later a ball was deflected towards him from about three yards away – he had virtually no time to react yet managed to get a toe to the ball at least. “Useless t**t Heskey” they cried all around me… Now if Jimmy Milner or Gabby had done the same thing it would have been “ooh, great try son, good effort, he’s class that Milner.”

I saw comments on the Reading report reactions today, suggesting that he was “always going to miss” the one-on-one with the ‘keeper. If you get a chance, watch the replay – first he had to regain his balance as he was bearing down after being chopped from behind (he chose to ride that challenge rather than go down) and he then placed the ball across the keeper, who was starting to go the other way – the ‘keeper threw up an arm – good save….. a bit lucky to be honest. By the way, I was praying for Vidic to foul Gabby at wembley – ‘cause I’ve got even less confidence in Gabby in those situations….

Imagine if the missed header by Richard Dunne late in the game (and it was a miss) had been good ole Emile? I doubt he’d have been given a rousing round of applause while he lay prone on the ground as united counter-attacked. In fact, he’d probably be getting blamed for us not leveling the game even now. Thank goodness Phil Dowd was a bigger figure of hate! Come to think of it, imagine if he’d made the mistakes that led to both united goals that were made by our two centre-backs…..!?

I have absolutely no doubt that the fact that Emile Heskey is a former Birmingham player affects the way he is treated by our fans. Can we please get over this? He’s too good for the noses – that’s why he’s with us… (while we’re on the subject, I’ll jump up on my “stop wasting energy singing about the blues when you should be supporting our team” soap box).

Emile Heskey is not perfect, far from it. He should score more, of that there is no doubt. But, despite getting little or no respect from his own fans he continues to give his best in a Villa shirt, even when we’re singing ferociously about a supremely gifted forward from Norway who decides when he wants to play or work for the team (which he rarely does); tries to play like a little quick guy despite being a natural target man, and yet could, if he wanted, win games single-handedly.

I’m not Martin O’Neil, and I’m glad I’m not. But if I was, I know who I’d be playing the majority of the time. Emile Heskey is a great professional and makes those around him better. If you don’t believe me then ask Houllier, Capello, McClaren, Eriksson, Bruce, Rooney, Owen…… If John Carew wants to be “the man” as he clearly does, then perhaps he should spend less time blowing kisses to the crowd and more time being a professional.

Regardless of your own feelings on the subject, I’ll leave with this….. Players DO get paid very very well, better than coaches by the way! And we SHOULD expect, as fans to be able to have our own opinions. But if there is a single person out there that thinks players are not/should not be affected by negative comments, moans and groans from the stands then you’re simply being unrealistic. They’re not going to be getting any better anytime soon while that sort of behavior continues. Confidence is a powerful, but very delicate emotion….

gmvillan


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The Journalist

Writer: GMVillan Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 8 2010

Time: 11:25AM

Your Comments

Interesting reading, sometimes he is made to play deep, almost in midfield and from there it isnt' as easy to score BUT the one on one miss yesterday for instance was just awful. Also, I know what you are saying about running into spaces or drawing defenders away etc but if our others don't take advantage of that then ..... ? John Carew I think half the time is a show poney but on his day - like yesterday (note to JC, you need to do that against the top teams to be a top player) - he ripped the opposition apart, the same can't be said for Heskey at any stage of his Villa career. I root for him as he is the underdog at Villa so to speak but .... Not sure it has all that to do with his Blues days, the memory of the Leicester City who had the hoodoo over us with MON in charge and Heskey up front was enough to scar me ! Certainly don't think Emile is as bad as he is made out to be BUT if he is being played as a striker, he will be judged as a striker and on that, goals have to play a major part surely?
The Fear
Interesting reading, sometimes he is made to play deep, almost in midfield and from there it isnt' as easy to score BUT the one on one miss yesterday for instance was just awful. Also, I know what you are saying about running into spaces or drawing defenders away etc but if our others don't take advantage of that then ..... ? John Carew I think half the time is a show poney but on his day - like yesterday (note to JC, you need to do that against the top teams to be a top player) - he ripped the opposition apart, the same can't be said for Heskey at any stage of his Villa career. I root for him as he is the underdog at Villa so to speak but .... Not sure it has all that to do with his Blues days, the memory of the Leicester City who had the hoodoo over us with MON in charge and Heskey up front was enough to scar me ! Certainly don't think Emile is as bad as he is made out to be BUT if he is being played as a striker, he will be judged as a striker and on that, goals have to play a major part surely?
The Fear
Heskey at fault for Rooneys goal. More like Cuellar, and Oneill for STILL PLAYING HIM AT EFFING RIGHT BACK! I thought Heskeys performance at Wembley was superb, and yesterday he was spot on aswell. I totally agree with GM's well articulated assessment - good read. He does a job for us, and when on song is a right nause for any defence.
Stig
Heskey at fault for Rooneys goal. More like Cuellar, and Oneill for STILL PLAYING HIM AT EFFING RIGHT BACK! I thought Heskeys performance at Wembley was superb, and yesterday he was spot on aswell. I totally agree with GM's well articulated assessment - good read. He does a job for us, and when on song is a right nause for any defence.
Stig
Good write up GM . I have a mind of my own , but a hell of a lot a fans go with the flow and have preconceived ideas on certain players. Heskey never had a prayer of being popular at Villa did he ! Even his "song" is derisory !
villan57
Good write up GM . I have a mind of my own , but a hell of a lot a fans go with the flow and have preconceived ideas on certain players. Heskey never had a prayer of being popular at Villa did he ! Even his "song" is derisory !
villan57
Very interesting, and I agree with most of what you say. Heskey was our best player yesterday in the first half, but Carew gets the plaudits for sticking the ball in the net. Poor old Emile has got stick wherever he has been for his lack of goals and his ability to make Bambi look steady on his feet, not just because he played for the noses. In my opinion, when Carew is in the mood, he is a better option with Gabby up front than Heskey, but Heskey is a more consistent performer who does more off the ball and is not as prolific in front of goal. It's great to have options at an important time of the season and I would be delighted to see both of them do well, because everyone needs a plan B, and we will need the very different skills of both these fine strikers before the end of May if we are to achieve what we all crave, Champions League qualification and the FA Cup.
Madirish
Very interesting, and I agree with most of what you say. Heskey was our best player yesterday in the first half, but Carew gets the plaudits for sticking the ball in the net. Poor old Emile has got stick wherever he has been for his lack of goals and his ability to make Bambi look steady on his feet, not just because he played for the noses. In my opinion, when Carew is in the mood, he is a better option with Gabby up front than Heskey, but Heskey is a more consistent performer who does more off the ball and is not as prolific in front of goal. It's great to have options at an important time of the season and I would be delighted to see both of them do well, because everyone needs a plan B, and we will need the very different skills of both these fine strikers before the end of May if we are to achieve what we all crave, Champions League qualification and the FA Cup.
Madirish
Great article, I think the stick Heskey gets is evidence of how little us fans know, top player, you don't have score 20 goals a season to be a top striker in my view as very few players do hit that many anyway. As the season has gone on I have noticed more and more the link up play between Heskey and Agbonlahor and they are forming quite a nice partnership in my opinion, would like to see more goals from both of them to be honest, but with so many goals from other areas of the field at the moment I am not too worried, yet.
young_jonah
Great article, I think the stick Heskey gets is evidence of how little us fans know, top player, you don't have score 20 goals a season to be a top striker in my view as very few players do hit that many anyway. As the season has gone on I have noticed more and more the link up play between Heskey and Agbonlahor and they are forming quite a nice partnership in my opinion, would like to see more goals from both of them to be honest, but with so many goals from other areas of the field at the moment I am not too worried, yet.
young_jonah
I find his attitude very admirable, if I got half the stick he gets despite all the effort being put in, i'd be tempted to give the crowd the finger, he obviously has thick skin and always gives his all, he doesn't score many and he used to play for blues, i couldnt care less as long as he is putting the effort in and is part of a team that is winning each week.
young_jonah
I find his attitude very admirable, if I got half the stick he gets despite all the effort being put in, i'd be tempted to give the crowd the finger, he obviously has thick skin and always gives his all, he doesn't score many and he used to play for blues, i couldnt care less as long as he is putting the effort in and is part of a team that is winning each week.
young_jonah
Nice bloke, Honest workhorse, but a steaming pile of dung. No matter what you say about Carew at least he scores goals! Heskeys strike record is amongst the worst in world football
BigPat
Nice bloke, Honest workhorse, but a steaming pile of dung. No matter what you say about Carew at least he scores goals! Heskeys strike record is amongst the worst in world football
BigPat
I’ve been supporting Villa and going to VP for nearly 20 years now… sorry but he’s the worst Villa player I’ve seen in this time (only counting regular 1st team players). In the PL the only regular striker I wouldn’t swap him for is Jason Scotland. He’s absolutely awful on the ball (and not just in front of goal, I mean anywhere). He looks big and strong but he doesn’t use it at all- he’s always on the floor, and rarely when this happens is he at least winning FK’s. Fair play he runs about a bit to make some space, but every ‘striker’ does that. I don’t think this is intelligent running all the time though- half the time he’s too knackered to get into the box when we’re attacking. We know he doesn’t score goals, but he doesn’t even create them. Oh, and now he’s old, he’s only going to get worse. If I was a PL defender I’d love playing against him, you know he’ll never do anything to get past you, and if by some miracle he does, you know he’ll miss. Anyone singing his praises is just trying to jump on the bandwagon of “what he brings to the team” just to sound like an intelligent football fan. I do however support him whenever he’s playing, but he certainly tests me with that……oh and none of this is because of his days at Birmingham.
MrZeus
I’ve been supporting Villa and going to VP for nearly 20 years now… sorry but he’s the worst Villa player I’ve seen in this time (only counting regular 1st team players). In the PL the only regular striker I wouldn’t swap him for is Jason Scotland. He’s absolutely awful on the ball (and not just in front of goal, I mean anywhere). He looks big and strong but he doesn’t use it at all- he’s always on the floor, and rarely when this happens is he at least winning FK’s. Fair play he runs about a bit to make some space, but every ‘striker’ does that. I don’t think this is intelligent running all the time though- half the time he’s too knackered to get into the box when we’re attacking. We know he doesn’t score goals, but he doesn’t even create them. Oh, and now he’s old, he’s only going to get worse. If I was a PL defender I’d love playing against him, you know he’ll never do anything to get past you, and if by some miracle he does, you know he’ll miss. Anyone singing his praises is just trying to jump on the bandwagon of “what he brings to the team” just to sound like an intelligent football fan. I do however support him whenever he’s playing, but he certainly tests me with that……oh and none of this is because of his days at Birmingham.
MrZeus
emile..... is that you?
100% Prepared
emile..... is that you?
100% Prepared
Very interesting article.For our third goal Heskeys run took the defender with him and created space for Carew to run into.Having said that for a player of his experience thats what he should be doing.
sirdennis
Very interesting article.For our third goal Heskeys run took the defender with him and created space for Carew to run into.Having said that for a player of his experience thats what he should be doing.
sirdennis
I still think he isn't worthy of Aston Villa, Around the top 10 maybe, but we are trying to get into the top 4 and you need a striker who can actually strike the ball, otherwise why not stick a bloody defender up there that can hold the ball up and win headers ? Sorry you have your own opinion and so do i, Heskey should of dinked that ball over the keeper, he just blasted it at the keeper, he could of even attempted to bring it round to the edge of the box and have a better angle and basically open goal. Heskey isn't rubbish but he isn't great, Imagine Agbonlahor partnered with someone like Keane, Crouch, Bent, not only would it be a great partnership but they would also get their fair share of goals, Heskey has a lot chances to score but he buggers them up, he has scored like 5 or so in 34 games or something.
Villa 4 Ever
I still think he isn't worthy of Aston Villa, Around the top 10 maybe, but we are trying to get into the top 4 and you need a striker who can actually strike the ball, otherwise why not stick a bloody defender up there that can hold the ball up and win headers ? Sorry you have your own opinion and so do i, Heskey should of dinked that ball over the keeper, he just blasted it at the keeper, he could of even attempted to bring it round to the edge of the box and have a better angle and basically open goal. Heskey isn't rubbish but he isn't great, Imagine Agbonlahor partnered with someone like Keane, Crouch, Bent, not only would it be a great partnership but they would also get their fair share of goals, Heskey has a lot chances to score but he buggers them up, he has scored like 5 or so in 34 games or something.
Villa 4 Ever
I totally agree however I do find him frustrating at times, but like I do (I think we all do) with Carew! - The difference between the two is, we all know Carew knows where the net is and he drifts in and out of games, with Heskey - what u get is an objective player who's unselfish and tried to create space and helps out in all areas of the park (he's a great defender of set pieces) - but unfortunately we have to accept - start Hesket and we're playing 4-5-1. Simple
leelindsay
I totally agree however I do find him frustrating at times, but like I do (I think we all do) with Carew! - The difference between the two is, we all know Carew knows where the net is and he drifts in and out of games, with Heskey - what u get is an objective player who's unselfish and tried to create space and helps out in all areas of the park (he's a great defender of set pieces) - but unfortunately we have to accept - start Hesket and we're playing 4-5-1. Simple
leelindsay
Sorry he is at least 10 goals a season short, when CB's are scoring more than the strikers, I worry. Great article, even better debate and one which we shall never all agree on and that's fine. I think Emile would be ok if he were playing with a Torres or Rooney, a striker who will score more like 30 a season, we don't have that so need both our strikers scoring and as infuriating as big JC is, he does score!

Now i'm not using Emile as a scapegoat, personnaly I don't Downing is good enough yet and I would drop him for a game just to motivate him (would also be a potential tactic for numerous other players as well sometimes!). In summary, I agree with much of what you say but sorry unless we have a truely World Class striker up with him to swallow the lack of goals, not good enough for me.

Must admit, I didnt' really miss Gabby much yesterday either.
davidsands1982
Sorry he is at least 10 goals a season short, when CB's are scoring more than the strikers, I worry. Great article, even better debate and one which we shall never all agree on and that's fine. I think Emile would be ok if he were playing with a Torres or Rooney, a striker who will score more like 30 a season, we don't have that so need both our strikers scoring and as infuriating as big JC is, he does score!

Now i'm not using Emile as a scapegoat, personnaly I don't Downing is good enough yet and I would drop him for a game just to motivate him (would also be a potential tactic for numerous other players as well sometimes!). In summary, I agree with much of what you say but sorry unless we have a truely World Class striker up with him to swallow the lack of goals, not good enough for me.

Must admit, I didnt' really miss Gabby much yesterday either.
davidsands1982
An excellent article GMVilla, with some compelling points. I agree with all that you've said, but the truth it, forwards are meant to score goals. Heskey might have talent in other areas, but we could do with someone of his skill in drawing others into the game, who can also score. Easier said than achieved i'm sure, and i'm firmly behind you in that we shouldn't boo our own players, but support them. Odd that many people call themselve villa "supporters" but rarely offer actual support but criticism of the staff and players.
johnnyuk
An excellent article GMVilla, with some compelling points. I agree with all that you've said, but the truth it, forwards are meant to score goals. Heskey might have talent in other areas, but we could do with someone of his skill in drawing others into the game, who can also score. Easier said than achieved i'm sure, and i'm firmly behind you in that we shouldn't boo our own players, but support them. Odd that many people call themselve villa "supporters" but rarely offer actual support but criticism of the staff and players.
johnnyuk
I agree too, Heskey is definitely an asset to us.. but unfortunately once you get labelled its hard to lose it.. I even heard on the radio that Heskey missed a sitter, (as described by gmvillan) It was hardly a sitter, Heskey had done well even to stay on his feet.. Its a difficult choice who to pick between him and Carew to partner a fit Gabby, but thats what the managers there for. I just know he deserves our backing.. I was a bit dissappointed yesterday that when the Reading fans started chanting "Heskey is ******** *****" (clearly just venting their frustration at seeing their 2-0 advantage get blown apart and looking for an easy target). Villa didnt back him up with something.. I dont think it will change though I think the majority of Villa fans have made their mind up about him..
hazza01
I agree too, Heskey is definitely an asset to us.. but unfortunately once you get labelled its hard to lose it.. I even heard on the radio that Heskey missed a sitter, (as described by gmvillan) It was hardly a sitter, Heskey had done well even to stay on his feet.. Its a difficult choice who to pick between him and Carew to partner a fit Gabby, but thats what the managers there for. I just know he deserves our backing.. I was a bit dissappointed yesterday that when the Reading fans started chanting "Heskey is ******** *****" (clearly just venting their frustration at seeing their 2-0 advantage get blown apart and looking for an easy target). Villa didnt back him up with something.. I dont think it will change though I think the majority of Villa fans have made their mind up about him..
hazza01
Great article and pretty much sums up my opinions on Heskey. He is a great team player, but not a great goalscorer. This would be more helpful if we possessed a 25 goals a season man alongside him. However he gives 100% every game and as supporters that is all we ask of the players. It is up to the manager to decide if ability matches his work rate. The best way to sum up Emile is 'he does a lot of unseen work for the team, unfortunately the work that is seen, is distinctly average'.
voiceoftheholte
Great article and pretty much sums up my opinions on Heskey. He is a great team player, but not a great goalscorer. This would be more helpful if we possessed a 25 goals a season man alongside him. However he gives 100% every game and as supporters that is all we ask of the players. It is up to the manager to decide if ability matches his work rate. The best way to sum up Emile is 'he does a lot of unseen work for the team, unfortunately the work that is seen, is distinctly average'.
voiceoftheholte
some players never get people's likeness
adrogbafan
some players never get people's likeness
adrogbafan
all this talk about strikers are meant to score goals is rubbish. Like the author of this article, I am also a coach. During my studies I have realised that the game has evolved, there is more to being a striker than just scoring a goal these days. Look at Henry, Drogba, Torres, Rooney etc. Heskey does have a role to play...only in the right team. The Cup Final was my first game in a while also, and I noticed how many times Heskey did come deep and actually win the ball. In a midfield consisting of Lampard and Gerrard (like for England) that would open an awful lot of space between the defence and the midfield to be exploited. However, whether it is MON or the players, our boys don't seem to take full effect of that with our final delivery. In this case we do need a goalscorer alongside Gabby, and that for me, this season at least, is Carew. If the Midfield get their shooting boots on for the remainder of the season though, he could have a big role to play.
Francobaresi13
At last - some posters looking at the bigger picture.I'min the camp that notices what Emile brings to the team - maybe it's watching football from the 60's to the current day. I've seen it at all levels not just the premiership years. Emile does so much "unseen" work on and off the ball. Most fans follow the ball and do not follow what happens elsewhere. His linkup play is better than most - he takes defenders/midfileders away and creates space for others. Alas there are some "experts" who no matter what fail to see what certain players bring to a team. You see it's simple to play the game on paper or on a computer - it's a damn sight harder in real life. As the commentator said yesterday it was a good save by the keeper. How many times has our own keeper done that against "better" quality players - does that make them crap or was it a credit to the keeper?.
nazvfc
At last - some posters looking at the bigger picture.I'min the camp that notices what Emile brings to the team - maybe it's watching football from the 60's to the current day. I've seen it at all levels not just the premiership years. Emile does so much "unseen" work on and off the ball. Most fans follow the ball and do not follow what happens elsewhere. His linkup play is better than most - he takes defenders/midfileders away and creates space for others. Alas there are some "experts" who no matter what fail to see what certain players bring to a team. You see it's simple to play the game on paper or on a computer - it's a damn sight harder in real life. As the commentator said yesterday it was a good save by the keeper. How many times has our own keeper done that against "better" quality players - does that make them crap or was it a credit to the keeper?.
nazvfc
Heskey is a good footballer, and is intelligent in his runs and general movement. As a target man he does a very good job in my opinion, but as a striker he needs more goals. If he could score 10-15 overall in a season then that would more than enought to justify is place along with his other attributes, but he doesn't. Whether he or you like it or not strikers will always be judged largely (not completely) on goals. But I would take your assessment that Heskey should play over the lazy waste of space Carew. The Carew who rips teams apart single-handedly starts every time though. He creates a massive goal threat and no defender in the league can live with him.
AstonVillaFC
Heskey is a good footballer, and is intelligent in his runs and general movement. As a target man he does a very good job in my opinion, but as a striker he needs more goals. If he could score 10-15 overall in a season then that would more than enought to justify is place along with his other attributes, but he doesn't. Whether he or you like it or not strikers will always be judged largely (not completely) on goals. But I would take your assessment that Heskey should play over the lazy waste of space Carew. The Carew who rips teams apart single-handedly starts every time though. He creates a massive goal threat and no defender in the league can live with him.
AstonVillaFC
great post/article...totally agree about heskey's contibutuion to the teamwhen he is on his game. But we do need a top striker to compliment Gabby/The Fonze/Carew/Heskey....a Torres type...then we would be motoring.. UTV
Bangkok Villan
great post/article...totally agree about heskey's contibutuion to the teamwhen he is on his game. But we do need a top striker to compliment Gabby/The Fonze/Carew/Heskey....a Torres type...then we would be motoring.. UTV
Bangkok Villan
I'm sort of with GMvillan on this one, 2 of Englands best strikers of recent years love playing aolngside Emile (Rooney and Owen) and that's because he pulls the oposition defense apart creating space and opportunities for them to exploit. And he did the an awful lot of 'off the ball' work yesterday, and JC took advantage and took all the plaudits. If Gabby or JC were getting 20+ a season (or if Rooney or Owen was playing in a claret and blue shirt) I don't think Emile would get half as much stick as he does. But on the flip side we don't have a 20+ a season striker and Emile will always be judged for what he doesn't do (score enough goals) until we do !!
AV-Damo
I'm sort of with GMvillan on this one, 2 of Englands best strikers of recent years love playing aolngside Emile (Rooney and Owen) and that's because he pulls the oposition defense apart creating space and opportunities for them to exploit. And he did the an awful lot of 'off the ball' work yesterday, and JC took advantage and took all the plaudits. If Gabby or JC were getting 20+ a season (or if Rooney or Owen was playing in a claret and blue shirt) I don't think Emile would get half as much stick as he does. But on the flip side we don't have a 20+ a season striker and Emile will always be judged for what he doesn't do (score enough goals) until we do !!
AV-Damo
... btw, i do like what he offers the team and i do support him, i just think the rest of the team don't read his play well enough to exploit what he offers !!
AV-Damo
... btw, i do like what he offers the team and i do support him, i just think the rest of the team don't read his play well enough to exploit what he offers !!
AV-Damo
Square peg, round hole. His strengths are bringing attacking midfielders into play so people can benefit from his hold up ability. Our attacking midfielders are far too wide, and so cant benefit. I do agree with some of the comments in the article, but sadly, he just doesn't do enough for me in the attacking mould. 1v1 summed it up for me yesterday..
thorpyuk
Square peg, round hole. His strengths are bringing attacking midfielders into play so people can benefit from his hold up ability. Our attacking midfielders are far too wide, and so cant benefit. I do agree with some of the comments in the article, but sadly, he just doesn't do enough for me in the attacking mould. 1v1 summed it up for me yesterday..
thorpyuk
I'm in the pro heskey camp and it drives me bonkers that when the bloke actually scores we have to have the ironic "heskey scored my lord" garbage. How the hell is this going to give him confidence, so what if he played for the evil dead next door. Still need a 20+ man in the summer though!
SidGodSid
I'm in the pro heskey camp and it drives me bonkers that when the bloke actually scores we have to have the ironic "heskey scored my lord" garbage. How the hell is this going to give him confidence, so what if he played for the evil dead next door. Still need a 20+ man in the summer though!
SidGodSid
I would like to see Nathan Delfouneso given a chance he looks like there are goals coming. The main job of the forward is to score goals so sorry Heskey is not for me. Heskey is shocking in front of goal. What about the full back young should play ahead of cuellar he can not pass the ball. he is a good centre half but no full back.
ShaneBlack
I would like to see Nathan Delfouneso given a chance he looks like there are goals coming. The main job of the forward is to score goals so sorry Heskey is not for me. Heskey is shocking in front of goal. What about the full back young should play ahead of cuellar he can not pass the ball. he is a good centre half but no full back.
ShaneBlack
Heskey would be a good player in the Coca Cola division but i don't think he's good enough for the Premier League , I thought he was overrated when he played for Leicester and couldn't believe it when Liverpool bought him but thought he played well for Wigan so thought he had matured into a decent player so i wasn't too disappointed when he signed for Villa . He made a good start scoring in his first game and things looked rosy but it didn't take long for him to start tripping over the odd blade of grass and looking like he was out of his depth . I don't think it is a coincidence that the end of our fantastic season coincided with Heskey's signing , we had a season of two halves .. Fantastic first half with no Heskey .. Drab second half with Heskey .. I do appreciate the effort he puts in but we need effort and a certain amount of skill as well . I think that we need to be using Carew and the Fonz the same way we are using Carew and Heskey now . Start the games with Carew and bring Delf on as a sub and I'm sure Delfouneso will be outshining all our strikers (even Gabby) in a very short time .. And play Luke Young at right back .. Then lets win the F.A Cup and finish 4th
Doug4ever
Heskey would be a good player in the Coca Cola division but i don't think he's good enough for the Premier League , I thought he was overrated when he played for Leicester and couldn't believe it when Liverpool bought him but thought he played well for Wigan so thought he had matured into a decent player so i wasn't too disappointed when he signed for Villa . He made a good start scoring in his first game and things looked rosy but it didn't take long for him to start tripping over the odd blade of grass and looking like he was out of his depth . I don't think it is a coincidence that the end of our fantastic season coincided with Heskey's signing , we had a season of two halves .. Fantastic first half with no Heskey .. Drab second half with Heskey .. I do appreciate the effort he puts in but we need effort and a certain amount of skill as well . I think that we need to be using Carew and the Fonz the same way we are using Carew and Heskey now . Start the games with Carew and bring Delf on as a sub and I'm sure Delfouneso will be outshining all our strikers (even Gabby) in a very short time .. And play Luke Young at right back .. Then lets win the F.A Cup and finish 4th
Doug4ever
I could run up and down the pitch all day but would I be premiership class? No chance. Effort is all good and well but Heskey does not have the talent to play at this level. Look at the stats - heskey has the lowest number of shots, shots on target, goals and assists out of our three strikers. So in other words, he is the worst at doing what he is put onto the pitch to do - play as a forward. Gabby is a very incomplete player still and JC only plays for 5-10 minutes some times but yet they still offer more as a striker or forward. Its simple statistics - they are unbiased. Yet virtually every statistic you look at has Heskey at the bottom of the pile. In fact this year is actually one of his worst as a professional player! He has provided one, yes only one, assist all season in all competitions. So for someone who runs around like a headless chicken, he actually doesn't provide any opportunities for anyone to score. And we don't really need to comment on his goal scoring record or lack of goals scoring. So what does he offer that I won't? Cause seriously I'll take 1/4 of what he earns per week and I will happily run up and down the pitch for 90 minutes!
Astriel
One other note - this heskey opens up space for owen and rooney is hilarious. Oddly enough these players score bundles of goals even when they are playing without heskey. Just a brief bit of analysis and I couldn't find ANY result showing that a striker is more prolific when playing next to Heskey (including owen, Rooney, gabby and carew). So I'm pretty certain that strikers who operate with Heskey don't actually benefit that much in terms of goal scoring. Now I haven't done any rigorous statistical testing but preliminary stats don't show any statistically significant benefit to playing next to heskey so I'm pretty certain that the result would carry over. This also talks to how many assists Heskey provides each season. So strikers aren't really more prolific next to heskey and he provides a very low number of assists. Sounds like a waste of space to me.
Astriel
Personally i don't think any amount of him making runs has assisted in us scoring goals or winning games. If you're going to play him deep, then play someone better there, maybe milner with someone else in centre mid i.e a 4-4-1-1. Someone who holds the ball up better than Heskey and someone who is more creative and can lay the ball off to the wingers or full backs...........
nottinghamvillain
I notice there is a common agreement on here that Heskey doesnt score enough goals but does a lot of 'unseen work'...isnt that the work of midfielders ?
MASON_PARKER
agreed Mason, at times he has obviously been asked to play as good as the 5th midfielder role but then, as an attacking midfielder he should still wade in with a few more than he does so he is a bit buggered for excuses!
The Fear
Agree with astriel - if he provided a lot of 'unseen' work, his assists would be a good deal higher than 1....
thorpyuk
Agree with astriel - if he provided a lot of 'unseen' work, his assists would be a good deal higher than 1....
thorpyuk
Unseen work, garbage, some people like to imagine they are more intelligent than the rest of us, it is obvious to the majority for a reason, sod all goals, sod all assists, runs around, falls over, he creates space because the opposition defenders are scared he's going fall on top of them
ant1ant1
Unseen work, garbage, some people like to imagine they are more intelligent than the rest of us, it is obvious to the majority for a reason, sod all goals, sod all assists, runs around, falls over, he creates space because the opposition defenders are scared he's going fall on top of them
ant1ant1
 

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