Date: 10th October 2005 at 7:00pm
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So Stephen Cooke’s time with us has finally come to end. Doesn’t matter which way you look at it, it’s another sad day for Villa.

Firstly it’s another nail in Ellis’ claims of jam tomorrow and the golden youth of the future, moreover, you can’t help feel that Cookie will go onto a brighter and better future once he gets the chance to.

Tipped by many to be the next big thing; the reincarnation of Cowans some even called him, never quite got a chance despite being the mainstay of the successful reserve sides over the last few years. GT gave him 3 sub appearances but just as you thought he might find his feet injury usually dragged him down. He hasn’t even bench warmed under DOL despite the constant cries for some imagination in our midfield.

You can’t quite put your finger on why, even when fit and shining, he was never given the run that under performing first teamers have received. Was it his size as oft quoted? Being a midget didn’t hamper Juninho much did it – certainly hasn’t hampered Cookie at all other levels? Would giving him a shirt number destroy the small squad excuse??? Who knows!

Don’t suppose it really matters now does it. He’s more likely to show us all what we could’ve had wearing red and black than he ever will in claret and blue.

As said the cynic in me expects him to become the next Crouch for our glorious club. If he can shake his nagging ankle injuries then it won’t take him long to prove DOL wrong, just like Crouchie now has.