Gerard Houllier has again gone on the record to restate the clubs' desire to keep Ashley Young at B6 and has confirmed he will not be going anywhere in the January transfer window.
With constant speculation that Ash is a target for Spurs, Liverpool, Man Utd and even Arsenal at points on slow news days fans should have a little festive cheer that Ash categorically won't be sold next month.
In addition Houllier has implied that if a new deal can't be struck with the player in the summer then it's not beyond possibility that he will allow his contract to run down, and in order to get that extra time and benefit for the club out of the player, he believes Randy would be supportive of such action subject to the obvious proviso of a bid that is too good to turn down.
Quoted on the Birmingham Mail Houllier said:
'You may think that with him you are better and can finish in a better position. Let's wait and see, at the moment I can tell you that we'll assess that a bit later on. He won't go in January, he told us very clearly that he would like to end this season and see what he'll do and we respect that.'
'The club's will is to keep him. I'd keep him in until the end of his contract to keep the club developing. Obviously if somebody comes in with crazy money...'
Therein lies the rub. Some fans are delighted we secured the money we did for Barry and Milner given they wanted to leave, others think we should've run the contracts down and not cashed in.
The club are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Cash in with silly money and you hear cries of 'selling club' and 'selling your top stars' which is slightly ignorant of the fact that if a player wants out it's not a matter of if, it is purely when.
Hold a want away player to his contract and people will be harping about damaging dressing room spirit and not cashing in, especially if a players form dips.
What can't be disputed though is whether Houllier really wants Ash to remain at the club.
Speaking on the Official Site Houllier praised Ash's 'bravery and moral courage' in our last clash against the Baggies as he took the Captain's armband.
'He was a good captain. I can tell you why, he got an injury and he was sort of wobbling. For about four or five minutes I thought I was going to replace him. But I asked him and he said 'No, no, I'm staying on'. So that's a good captain.'
Gerard adds that if a captain has to be replaced on the pitch, it's because he's going straight to hospital. He also adds that having taken a knock given we were 1-0 up, Ash could easily have decided his work for the day was over.
Certainly not the words or praise you'd get from a manager if you weren't wanted at the club.
Vital Villa on:
Vital Villa on:
Manager Tim Sherwood has spoken of his disappointment - and shouldered the blame - for today's one nil loss to Stoke City.
All the stats from Aston Villa (0) vs (1) Stoke, Villa Park, 3/10/15 Att: 33,189
Statistics, damn lies and Aston Villa..
Bit of a mix and match today from manager Tim Sherwood's pre Stoke press conference.
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