Aston Villa - Forgotten Villa Man
UK time is: 04:15:59
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Forgotten Villa Man

Whilst watching television one morning, a segment on J Lloyd Samuel popped up. I confessed that I had long since forgotten all about the the 32 year old ex-Villa and Bolton fullback. On reflection, I'm not sure there was a lot I remember. J Lloyd was being interviewed about playing football abroad. The talk quickly swung round to the fact that he was open to other footballing opportunities; that he'd consider all offers. It is transfer season so I thought no more of it when he assured us that he was equally prepared to stay at his current club. I did have to put my toast down, however, when he informed us that his current club was Esteghlal Tehran FC. In case you are poor on geography, that's in Iran.

I am not big on Iranian Football so I had to look them up. I discovered that Esteghlal are one of the most successful teams in Iranian and Asian football. Since 1970 they have won 7 league titles and 2 AFC Champions League titles. And if you think this is a tin pot club in a tin pot league think again. Games against Tehran city rivals Persepolis FC will fill out there 100,000 capacity stadium no problem. This is a club with millions of fans in and around the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan- and one of there full backs is J Lloyd Samuel.

Political spin aside, Iran is an immense country both in geographical and cultural terms, home to to an incredibly welcoming and hospitable people. Though I have to look at the screen again- Iran, J Lloyd? Really. Could you not give Sheffield United a ring? I hear they have space. I imagine J Lloyd would turn his head and scoff at such a suggestion. He has been to the Iran Pro League and conquered. Language and cultural difficulties? No problem, son.

This led me to think about a more recent forgotten man- Jean Makoun. Remember him? Signed by Houllier in January 2011, the midfielder arrived at Villa as an international class player with UEFA Champions League experience. With over 198 and 105 appearances for Lille and Lyon respectively, we felt were getting a midfielder of some clout. However, after a measly 8 opportunities, talk began to filter out that with Houllier's departure, language and cultural difficulties would be an obstacle for the French speaking player and that he would struggle to settle. Really? Either way, McLeish decided that he was better off somewhere else. Wages would be saved and a better replacement, more suited to the Premier League, could be brought in on the cheap. Jermaine Jenas duly joined Villa in August 2011. In my opinion he did not have anywhere near what Jean Makoun could have offered. Neither was he cheap.

Owing to injury Jenas did not start for us until November of that season, coming on as a sub against Swansea. He had another sub appearance in his second game against Norwich before promptly suffering a ruptured Achilles injury in his first start against Manchester United. I was gutted for the player but I cannot say I was surprised. Rogue cheese rolling at Cooper's Hill would attract less injuries. Though trying telling that to Jean Makoun who was seen as surplus to requirements.

Fortunately, Champions League bound Olympiakos thought differently, taking him on loan. Makoun is probably happier and better for his experience in Greece than he would have been if he'd had have stayed under McLeish. (Indeed, I wish I had been in Greece myself.) Makoun, to his credit, made the most of his time in Athens, despite his injury set backs, returning to us with a Greek League winners medal in his back pocket. He is also reported to have impressed, so much so that Olympiakos would have liked to keep him. Language and cultural problems? Again- No problem at all.

Makoun has been the forgotten man. At 29 years old he is a proven player both at European and International level and we don't have too many of those. We need power, strength and guile in midfield. He may be one of the players to ensure that we get it. Even if his game does need reinvigorating, we know that the ability and the ethic is there; that there is dormant pedigree. It is down to us to ensure he has every opportunity to flourish, imposing himself in Claret and Blue. After that it is down to him to make the most of the opportunities he is given. If not, then as we know, football can be a cruel business. One minute your in the Premier league and the next minute you're in Iran. Forgotten by the fans. Lets hope it isn't so.

Jean Makoun Profile.

Jean Makoun Forum Thread.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Villa_Grizzly Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday July 10 2012

Time: 3:39PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
good read!!
Gruck
Report Abuse
10/07/2012 15:52:00

Nice article Grizzly.
Green Villan
Report Abuse
10/07/2012 16:00:00

He's a good addition to the site isn't he?! Better than that Fear *****, talk about a jumped up self important pratt!

Clean slate time for any player Lambert decides to keep really isn't it?!
The Fear
Report Abuse
10/07/2012 16:12:00

LOL Fear, yeah he's a good member, always a good read are his posts.
Green Villan
Report Abuse
10/07/2012 16:26:00

Have we heard Lambert mention Makoun at all?? Would Jean II want to come back to us??
nottinghamvillain
Report Abuse
10/07/2012 16:34:00

He is back with us
Villa_Grizzly
Report Abuse
10/07/2012 16:36:00

It's a clean slate, but I can't help feeling that PL's signing of KEA puts him in pole position for the defensive mid/string puller position. They're like London buses.
BOF
Report Abuse
10/07/2012 16:57:00

Perhaps his idea is to play KEA and Makoun in a 4-2-3-1 style???
Green Villan
Report Abuse
10/07/2012 17:00:00

Excellent article!
bbj
Report Abuse
10/07/2012 19:32:00

Great article, well written and an entertaining read. My stance on J2M is that despite being somewhat successful elsewhere he hasn't yet proved he has what it takes to compete in the EPL. I'd very much like him to be given a chance, though.
Minicooper
Report Abuse
10/07/2012 20:07:00

J Lloyd was put off going to nightclubs in Tehran. Apparently they're full of women dancing round their handbags singing; "It's Iranian men, hallelujah, it's Iranian men, uh-uh-uh..! Sorry.
Gazgecko
Report Abuse
10/07/2012 20:26:00

Between Jean II's appearances for us we've had injuriy, an unfortunate sending off and subsequent suspension, and then he had family illness back home so was allowed to return home for a while. Then Idiot decides....well we all know don't we. So someone please tell me when he's a real chance to settle into the team and prove himself. People may say he lightweight and not suited to the EPL, but hang on - lightweight?... not suited to the EPL?..... er, the name Barry Bannan comes to mind!......
Pride of Lions
Report Abuse
11/07/2012 01:14:00

Oh, and by the way, fair play to Savaloy Samuel!
Pride of Lions
Report Abuse
11/07/2012 01:15:00

The bit that cracked me up was "Makoun is probably happier and better for his experience in Greece than he would have been if he'd had have stayed under McLeish. (Indeed, I wish I had been in Greece myself.) I think we all agree with Grizley in regard to last Season
kevinl48
Report Abuse
11/07/2012 03:23:00

Good article as usual Grizz I can only go on what I have seen so far in a Villa shirt of Makoun and to be honest thought he was one of the worst signings I had seen couldnt tackle distribution was awfull and the dance of the headless chicken summmed up the rest of his game BUT I agree he wasnt given much game time to prove himself happy to leave this one to Lambert.
Merlin128777
Report Abuse
11/07/2012 10:19:00

Great articly Grizzly ! Gazgecko - get your coat son.. lol
ExpatVillaShirt
Report Abuse
11/07/2012 10:31:00

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Aston Villa Articles

A Brief Sherwood Round Up (Saturday May 23 2015)

Pre Burnley Injury News (Saturday May 23 2015)

Villa In The 90s (Saturday May 23 2015)

Sherwood - Build After Burnley (Friday May 22 2015)

Sherwood Talks Delph & Sinclair (Friday May 22 2015)

No Burnley Party For Sherwood (Friday May 22 2015)

Benteke Looking For Burnley Joy (Friday May 22 2015)

Archived Aston Villa Articles

List All Vital Villa Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

Vital Members League (view all)

1. ClivetheVillan 933
2. Pride of Lions 921
3. col8 448
4. kefkat 384
5. The Fear 346
6. thefacehead 255
7. BodyButter 196
8. HeathfieldRoad1874 192
9. Fulford 183
10. sirdennis 167

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
13. WBA 37 11 11 15 -10 44
14. Leicester City 37 10 8 19 -13 38
15. Sunderland 37 7 17 13 -20 38
16. Aston Villa 37 10 8 19 -25 38
17. Newcastle 37 9 9 19 -25 36
18. Hull City 37 8 10 19 -18 34
19. Burnley 37 6 12 19 -26 30

Breaking League News

Leicester City v QPR - Match Preview
Q.P.R. : 24/05/2015 00:44:01
Monk Hopeful Of Finalising Squad For Start of Pre-Season
Swansea : 23/05/2015 20:13:01
Monk Thanks Pardew For Voting Him Manager of the Season
Swansea : 23/05/2015 20:00:01
City v Southampton - Preview
Man City : 23/05/2015 18:59:00
Hull v Man United - Preview
Hull City : 23/05/2015 18:37:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Villa v Burnley (home) will:
Suggested By:  Mystic Mug's Stunt Double
Win 86%
Draw 7%
Lose 7%