Writer: Mike Field
Date:Tuesday March 9 2010
Mark Delaney has backed James Collins to be the future long term Wales Captain after his brief spell as deputy recently.
Collins has taken over 'armband' duties with the absence of Craig Bellamy, for the matches against Lichtenstein and Sweden, and Delaney believes the 'no nonsense defender' would be a fantastic permanent choice.
Delaney was speaking on the Official Site and saw enough of Collins in the Welsh set up when he was playing to know that there's a very talented centre half in Collins.
'I played with James quite a bit in the Welsh set up. He will head it but he can pass the ball too, he's not just a hoofer.'
Delaney also says his commitment is second to non, and that's he's just as aggressive and determined on the training pitch.
'He's the same in training as he is in games. That's what you want to see - a will to win. That speaks volumes for his attitude.'
Fair enough this isn't very Villa related unless (apart from Collins playing for us and Delaney being a former player) but I like comments from ex professionals like this about 'our' lads now. We went through that period where we really didn't have 'leaders' on the pitch. Lovely quiet lads for so many years, and quiet captains and now we are almost deluged with leadership material. Quiet words when needed, the ability to outshout the fans when needed and all capable of simply using their own performance to motivate the team when words won't work.
We all know the difference the likes of Dunne and Collins have made since moving to the club, not only in terms of how strong we are now in general in defence, but a hell of a lot of our ability to fight back when behind or under the cosh can be put down to it aswell. Any forward player seeing a team mate put their body on the line in defence is going amped up to take control further up the pitch, it helps drive them on and of course it doesn't hurt when one of the lads at the back pops up with a goal or two or makes a nuisance of themselves in the oppo's box.
And from a purely selfish perspective, the experience Collins will have had as Captain for Wales, can only improve him for us. Better experience, will help mature him more, and moreover he'll learn quicker to deal with additional pressures - I fail to see how that won't help us in the long run.
Date:Tuesday March 9 2010
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