If you would have told me at the start of the season that by the end of December Aston Villa’s big summer signing Stephen Ireland would have been a flop and James Milner had made the worst decision of his career by moving to mega rich Manchester City then I would have laughed off any suggestions. But as we enter the latter stages of the Christmas period this could be no wrong.
This week saw Mr Ireland come clean in expressing his desires to leave Villa Park after 4 dismal months. As a Villa fan I was actually happy to see the Milner transfer go through because we were able to purchase such a fine player in exchange. How wrong could I have been. Ireland’s performances on the pitch have been dreadful and instead of rolling up his sleeves and digging deep he’s opting to leaving the club for pesters new. Gerard Houllier should grant him his wish and let him go Ireland as never looked comfortable at Villa and as always looked disinterested when wearing the claret and blue jersey.
I would easily accepted five million pounds for the midfielder and not a penny less. Put this with the five million we earned from the Milner deal and we have a good 10 million to spend on a good midfielder. Recent reports have linked us with Juventus and former Liverpool player Mo Sissoko. This in my opinion would be a good signing as he already as Premier League experience and could easily adapt to Villa defensive formation and style of play.
I also believe that shipping out Ireland would also improve the changing room atmosphere. I’m not pointing any fingers but when Ireland was a City he didn’t get on with the manager and whilst on International duty he quit because he didn’t get along with the Irish senior squad. Over the last 20 years whilst I’ve been a Villa fan I’ve never heard of any changing room bust ups but it was made publicly by young midfielder Barry Bannan in a recent television interview. I’m just saying it’s a big co-incidence, don’t you think?
Anyway onto James Milner. Every time I talk about Milner to others football fanatics I always tell the story of that cold Tuesday night at Wigan last season. Milner was playing centre midfield and Villa were still in a shout for fourth position. With the score at 1-1 Milner popped up with the winning to secure Villa all three points. That evening Milner ran his socks off and looked as good as any Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard. On Monday Night I watched him again start on the right wing for City. This position does not suit Milner one bit, he gets isolated and sticks to the touch line. It saddened me to see this as I still believe that Milner is England’s future and his not being able to show his abilities down the middle under manager Roberto Mancini. Lets hope Milner gets unhappy at City and wants a quick return to Villa Park. Well you can dream can’t you.
The boxing day fixture sees the visit of Tottenham. Again and I bet you lot will be sick of me saying this but I believe that we will come away with all three points. Villa have been poor of late but we did secure a crucial win against rivals West Brom which will definitely boosted confidence. Spurs in the league have been performing brilliant at home this season, this not so much away from White Hart Lane with a number of draws against the likes of Bolton and Birmingham City. I’ve not seen any team news yet but the return of Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor up front will strengthen Villa.
My prediction 2-1 Villa win.