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Richard Dunne Shows Manchester City What They Need

During the takeover of Manchester City last summer, City’s Chief Executive, Gary Cook made several rather tasteless comments but one stood out above all the others for me. During an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Cook was outlining City’s plan for world domination. As Wednesday’s defeat at Tottenham showed, sometimes things don’t go to plan.

During a rather ill-judged interview, which looking back, is quite hilarious now, Cook had this to say: “China and India are gagging for football content to watch and we’re going to tell them that City is their content. We need a superstar to get through that door. Richard Dunne doesn’t roll off the tongue in Beijing. Ronaldinho brings access to major sponsors and financial reward”

Going on their current way of doing business at Manchester City, they’ll try sign Ronaldinho, who is nowhere near the player he was between 2003 and 2006. Yet Richard Dunne has been instrumental in Aston Villa’s fantastic form this season by continuing in the same vein that saw him Manchester City’s player of the year in 4 out of his last 5 seasons at the club. A great club build from the back by having a superb defence which allows the flair players to express themselves. Cook was out of order to pour scorn on Dunne especially judging by the comedy defending Lescott, Toure and Bridge have offered so far this season.

If anything, Manchester City are crying out for a player like Richard Dunne, but as Cook said, he doesn’t sell shirts in China. Why on earth would Manchester City want someone who can defend but just isn’t glamorous enough. He just gives 100% and puts his body on the line, always pushing himself to keep his side in every game. For club and country, Dunne has always been Mr. Consistency over the last 6 seasons and Aston Villa are now benefiting from his work rate.

Since joining Villa, Dunne has slotted in seamlessly and allowed O’Neill’s side to concentrate on their effective counter attacking game. By knowing they have such a dependable and reliable player behind them, Villa’s attacking quartet can concentrate on trying to run teams ragged. With the pace that Villa have, Dunne’s strength and presence at the back allows the team to quickly break out and take advantage.

With the experience last season will have given some of the players, they’ll know that they have to avoid a repeat of running out of steam once the season came down to the run in. With Downing now almost fully match fit and Collins complementing Dunne at the back, Villa have a real squad that can enable them to stay the pace.

Everyone has been surprised by Everton’s slow start, but they’ve been ripped apart by injuries to the point they were reliant on the youth set up at Goodison, but Spurs and Manchester City are also up there with Villa. For once we have 7 or 8 sides battling at the top of the table and the Premiership is all the better for it. Liverpool continue to press the self destruct button too which strengthens the pretenders attempts to gain a top 4 slot.

Under Martin O’Neill and with the reliable Richard Dunne in the team, Aston Villa will be hoping they can look down on Manchester City. I wonder then if Gary Cook will see any Aston Villa shirts with Dunne on the back during his summer holidays. I really hope he does.

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  1. Keith

    December 21, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Nick, as another American Villan, you do know that Sidwell’s only contribution to our current run of form came when he was warming up as a sub, right? I think you meant Milner there.

  2. Evan

    December 21, 2009 at 8:13 am

    As a man city fan, I knew it was the wrong choice to offload Dunne. Now we’re stuck with one of the worst defenses in the premiership even though it costs around 60 million pounds.

  3. Nick

    December 21, 2009 at 7:53 am

    As an Amerivan VIllan, I gotta be honest when I thought that this side was going to be @ a loss without Barry/Petrov. I knew Dunne was a good signing, but all I really knew about him was he was a solid, reliable defender. Clearly I wasnt noticing the Leadership and Pride he brings to the defense. Just the confidence this years Back 4 has compared to last years is incredible.

    Now..Were back in 4th place (which I never thought we were going to be again) and appear to be getting better. If this teams attack force stays healthy (we cannot lose Gabby or Sidwell) then I can see VIlla hanging around till the very end fighting for a Champions League spot.

    Then Ill sit back and watch and see what other surprising signings MON brings on board.

  4. Jose

    December 20, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I only wish that Arsenal had been able to sign him.

  5. ovalball

    December 20, 2009 at 10:56 am

    I’m sure Brad Friedel is only too happy to see *Dunne* on the shirt in front of him. 🙂

  6. Pete

    December 20, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I think highlighting the Dunne problem is very appropriate. Gary Cooke is a problem, no doubt, and his comments about Dunne were ill advised and slightly offensive. However, I do think it was Hughes who forced Dunne out of the club not Cooke. I don’t imagine Lescott or Bridge particularly sell shirts around the world either but the club has signed them for sacks of cash. When Hughes decided that he was going to force out Dunney then he was taking a big gamble. If the defenders he signed did not perform or if injuries at the back caught us out then he was going to die by that decision. The defence has got worse and worse, they have defended like school boys in recent weeks, and now we have injuries as well and a club with a bttomless pit of resources is struggling for back up in the key area of central defence. Basically, if he’d kept Dunne, we’d be tighter at the back and would be in the top 4 and Hughes would have his job still. The club has treated Hughes no worse than Hughes treated our marvelous Dunney. C’est la vie…

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