The Varied Fortunes of Some Recently Ex-Villans

stephen ireland transfer stoke

Ex-Villan Round-up


It’s been noticed over the years that some Villa fans seem to be more fond of Villa players when they leave the club, than when they were actually at it. Comments such as “if only he was given a proper chance” have been banded about for everyone from Stephen Ireland and Barry Bannan to Nigel Reo Coker. Just flicking through a couple of papers at a cafe today, a few ex-Villa players were in the news for various reasons, so here’s a quick summary of those stories…


Stephen Ireland Loving Life After Villa Nightmare

I’m sorry, but Ireland had more than en0ugh chances to prove himself, with the last big chance coming in the 2nd of the ill-fated League Cup semi-final legs against Bradford City last season. When he went to Stoke, Villa did well to get him off the books, the season may not be over quite yet, but I didn’t expect Stoke to be a team that would potentially finish higher than Villa (not to mention beat them comfortably at Villa Park).

“I would have done anything to get the chance to come here,” said Ireland, this week of his Stoke move. “The Villa thing is a really long, strange story, purely because I had five managers in two-and-a-half seasons.

“For some reason, as soon as they walked through the door,they decided I wasn’t for them – no matter about all my good intentions. It didn’t matter.

“In the summer, it was difficult for me to know where I was going to be. Would I be playing in the Championship? Would I be going on loan? My time at Villa wasn’t very nice, you’re going to lose a bit of passion when you train on your own for six months.

“When you’re on your own with a football for that amount of time, you wonder what direction you’re going.

“What direction can you go in? My hands were tied. Thankfully, I’ve come here [Stoke] and things are starting to go well.”

Lets just hope he doesn’t score against Villa next season. Sod’s law, says he will though.


Nigel Reo Coker Injures Himself Falling Over a Bike Rack.

Now at the Vancouver Whitecaps, several fans still feel that Reo Coker could have added a bit of muscle to today’s Villa midfield. Maybe so, but it’s just the shame the rest of his game was so limited. Anybody remember him being clean through on Petr Cech against Chelsea in the dying minutes, with a gilt-edge chance to give Villa three points?

Anyway, Reo Coker recently had an accident that left him concussed, after he fell over a bike rack. I bet Charles N’Zogbia wished he had thought of that one earlier…

Reo Coker’s Whitecaps coach jokingly commenting on his midfielders injury, at the same time pointed out why Reo Coker was never going to work out at the Villa going forward.

“I don’t think he was looking where he was going, which is never a good sign for a midfielder,” said coach Carl Robinson.

“It’s quite a serious injury, but one that makes you chuckle.”


Alan Hutton Extends Loan at Bolton

While the strange reappraisal of bomb squad players continues with Hutton now being mooted in some quarters as a better right-back than Bacuna and Lowton, after both have been guilty of their far from convincing showings for Villa this season, at least Hutton is getting first team football for the rest of the season, after extending his loan with Bolton until May. It will certainly help Villa get rid of him come the summer.

Is he better than Lowton or Bacuna? I doubt that very much. Both of them offer Villa much more going forward (and have proven that), but perhaps fall victim to Lambert’s tactical deficiency when it comes to his team’s defence.

Lambert had the same problems managing Norwich, it has to be remembered. The Canaries were always a threat going forward, yet were always susceptible to leaking goals at the back. In the case of Villa, beefing up the midfield with more of a presence would certainly go a long way to helping out matters at the back…that, and teaching the current defence not to ball watch! UTV