Writer: Mike Field
Date:Wednesday July 9 2014
Long forgotten Charles N'Zogbia made his return to pre season training on Monday after finally recovering from his Achilles tendon injury, and manager Paul Lambert has tipped him to be a big player for us this year.
The £10million winger has been out of action for 12 months and has been a fond conundrum for fans with his ever changing shirt number, somebody might have even made up a chant for the player regarding the bombsquad and 'in and out' and then various shaking it about with the youth squad following a series of tweets from him suggesting he too was out of favour.
But the bomb squad is no more, our manager has welcomed them all back, presumably whilst he still plans on rarely using them and selling them as soon as we get a sniff - but it's a start eh.
The only hurdle to get over now is N'Zogbia himself, after all he did say if we weren't challenging for Europe in three years he'd be off as we wouldn't be matching his ambitions and we are now into that third year.
Maybe that's why he's fit finally? Cynical?
Well if he does get the chance to play, and he actually performs to a level justifying his share of the transfer fee let alone his wages, and doesn't look for excuses like he hasn't been played in his best position, whilst ignoring the fact he was moved out of his best position because he wasn't performing in it, maybe we'll know the answer to that question.
Anyway, Lambert - interview - Official Site.
'Charles has come back from his injury and is looking pretty good. I thought he looked pretty good considering the injury he has had. His injury was a really bad one, but he looks really good at the minute. He is doing great. Charles can definitely be a big player.'
Some would say that saw that from some of the photos.
In other injury news concerning players who aren't injured for a whole 12 months - becoming a pattern isn't it - can two be a pattern?
With Brad Guzan, Philippe Senderos and Ron Vlaar all having extended breaks owing to the World Cup, and Christian Benteke missing through his own Achilles injury that's not expected to keep him out for 12 months, the only other absentee was Libor Kozak following his leg break, but the Czech striker has now resumed light training.
Jores Okore is also back in the full swing of things, following his own season ending injury that also didn't last 12 months.
'Jores also looks great. It's just the World Cup lads that are not here and the injured lads. Christian is still doing his rehab and Libor is training on his own (not with the kids). The two of them are doing really well. So other than that we've got a clean bill of health.'
Apart from the club seemingly dying off the pitch and the fans falling into a coma.
'Samir Carruthers has recovered from his knee injury so I'm looking forward to seeing him. It will be interesting to see how he does.'
And that final line ladies and gentlemen of the good ship Vital Villa is the only pleasing line in that interview. We saw in his brief cameo's that whilst Carruthers probably wasn't ready for a first team slot, he was more than ready to start being an option and an outlet at the end of games and for some reason he was ignored as an impact player with very little fear around him.
Hopefully his experiences at MK Dons last term, which were hampered by the knee injury he picked up, have stood him in good stead because it's been a long time since we actually saw a player just go at the opposition and try and make something happen.
Same as Jack Grealish, unless we want to destroy their confidence like we have done many of our youngsters the last two years, we aren't talking starts, but 20-30 minutes on a regular basis as impact players, well it would be something to cheer about and look forward to wouldn't it.
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Date:Wednesday July 9 2014
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