Got to say this is a bit of a strange one. I was listening to the Radio WM phone in (I flick on and off with Tom Ross as well depending on whether a Villa fan or another Midlands club fan is talking, only interested in us Villans!) and Martin O'Neill admitted that Richard Dunne and James Milner both had achilles problems before the game.
Emile Heskey also limped off quite early on in the match, again with an achilles (although according to the interview, he'd not complained of soreness before the game)
Stiliyan Petrov has also had an ankle problem.
Now this is where I can understand the frustration of some fans (many fans?) about the lack of rotation.
This isn't meant to be a negative article, just one asking really.
Surely this is where rotation comes in?
Now I'm not a medical man, not on MON's staff and I'm not the boss (whose job it is to make these decisions and whose job is on the line) so I'm not trying to be clever or claim to be an expert.
However, despite James Milner wanting to play, if he had a soreness surely he for his own good could have been rested? Richard Dunne has been immense this season, was it worth risking a longer time out with a worse injury?
Dunne out = Cueller and Collins in the centre with Luke Young where he belongs, in the team on the right.... That isn't exactly a bad set of options is it? We have waited years for some options, now we have them but they aren't used.
Not got the answers.
Fabian Delph I don't believe to be injured, although he hasn't made the bench the last few times. He could step in for a game or two for Milner so as not to knacker his achilles? Or Steve Sidwell? Ok, I know he hasn't set the claret and blue alight but he can play and was brought in as an option.
Fair enough with strikers the options are more limited as Gabby is already out. However we could have gone one up front or started with Nathan Delfouneso ? Fair enough, as MON said, Nathan will be a great player for us but he is still a kid etc, but as said, one up front can be an attacking formation if done right and Big John is well on form and up for it (now it is warmer again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
MON told the official site:
'Gabby is improving daily - I'm not sure if he'll be ready for Saturday (v Chelsea). He might be. We will see where we are.'
'Emile came off with an achilles problem. James did well to play for as long as he did in the game. He was sore beforehand but psychologically I wanted him on the field. He was prepared to play. He wasn't going to exacerbate things greatly other than playing through a bit of pain, which he has done. I was delighted with him. His achilles was very sore. They are all going - Emile, Richard and James - for scans. It's the number of games we have played. Overall we have been really lucky with injuries - but they can take their toll.'
Funny old game. As said, not trying to be clever here (that would be difficult for a thickie like me) but I don't understand why we have a squad and won't use it?
Could this be Martin O'Neill's very own achilles heel?
Aston Villa have six players away with their countries in the October international window.
Err. The Vital Villa man of the match v Stoke City...
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