Date: 16th July 2007 at 7:10pm
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Why are so many fans getting annoyed that Aston Villa are in talks with West Ham’s out-of-favour (and form) striker Marlon Harewood? The reaction of many this afternoon has been nothing short of stunning.

Marlon Harewood may not be the best striker in the world but the best strikers in the world would never agree to be squad players, and that is exactly what Martin O’Neill needs at the moment. Not the cream-of-the-country, but players to make up the numbers who will help in the season long war of attrition.

When Nigel Reo-Coker, a far superior player to Harewood in practically every way, signed it should have been clear that not every other summer transfer was going to have the same “Yippee” factor. Perhaps some fans thought Randy Lerner and Martin O’Neill were going to replace the players who left – players who were, by and large, woeful – with £10million-plus signings. That was never going to happen.

Amusingly, Harewood has not even signed yet. He is merely in talks with Martin O’Neill. The striker has already chatted to Wigan, and if they offer him the chance of more first-team action then surely he’ll go there. He has to go somewhere, after all, as he has made it clear that his time at West Ham is over. So he needs Villa far more than Villa needs him.

But the talk of fans sending their season tickets back, and comparisons between David O’Leary and Martin O’Neill, and even Randy Lerner and Doug Ellis, would be laughable if they were not so worrying. Signing a player such as Harewood for back-up purposes is clearly a step forward – under O’Leary and Ellis, Harewood would have joined as a first-choice striker, and possibly the best signing of the season.

However, to add a disclaimer…If I am completely wrong and Harewood (assuming he signs!) is used as a first-choice striker, or if he is the second best summer signing, behind Reo-Coker, come the end of the transfer window, then my opinions may change. They won’t change much. I’ll still back the boss, back the board and back whoever is wearing the famous Claret and Blue. We’re Villa fans, after all, and we won’t leave them like rats deserting a sinking ship.

And on that subject, if Harewood does sign then any fan who boos him at Villa Park should be banned for life. Sure, some may say “I paid my money, I can do whatever I want” (though that seems to be singing about a club that I don’t want to hear about for 90 minutes) but we’ve all seen Villa lose matches because the shameful actions of the “fans” have disturbed the players.

Another two signings apparently set to be unveiled soon are Luke Young and Anthony Gardner. Personally, I don’t rate either as first-team players but as back-up players they’ll be ideal. Once again, under O’Leary and Ellis they would start every game – more proof that we’ve moved on.

Once those two have signed, assuming they do and Harewood does as well, we’ll have three decent-level back-up players on the books and a classy midfielder in Reo-Coker. Then the real fun can begin as the ever-canny Martin O’Neill signs the players who will make us shout “Yippee”!

When that happens, we can all look back on today and laugh. Even those who have made comments about the board and management that should never, in all honestly, be made by true fans of our great club…

Keep The Faith and Up The Villa!


61 Replies to “Hare Would Be Great For Villa”

  • Well said DerryVillan!! I couldn’t agree more! I’ve been quite shocked at the reaction to the news that Harewood MIGHT sign for us! I feel quite sad that having listened to virtually all of the fans stating “In MON we trust” that they should change their attitude so much within a second of hearing we’re talking to Harewood. It’s a little short-sighted if you ask me….

  • To be blunt it is embarrassing. Can’t we talk to players? Does every player MON even considers have to be a £10million signing? Let’s live in the real world. To go forward as a club after so many years of neglect we need to build in every area and sustain it. Harewood be a good way of showing that we are looking at every are, if he does sign. MON will get us there, with Randy’s backing, and he knows how best to do it.

  • If it`s the player MON wants,then he has to be backed by the fans until we can make a true opinion over a number of games.

  • Forget Harewood, I’d rather see us blood one of our kids when needs be rather than use old hacks. Defoe? Yes, definitely if poss. otherwise just get one or possibly two top-flight defenders plus a goalie as a top priority.

  • Agree with everything (except your disclaimer). I support Aston Villa, the current regime and what it is trying to do. O’Neill is the manager and will buy who he wants and is able to buy and must be allowed to do so. Much of what I have seen on this site this afternoon is childish to the extreme but no worse than I imagine on other sites I don’t visit. Maybe it’s a good that many of you have received a reality check. If Harewood does sign he’ll get my backing.

  • well your right there Mylerneredfriends and im sure that all of the fans here trust in MONs managerial skills but harewood? my self included is just shocked in this. Thinking about it harewood would make nice cover but we need calibre like carew. from a champinship winning team + champs exp – my last statement was “im gonna cry” but if harewood is cover then we do nead the numbers. i just have had a sinking feeling bout this. On the flip side MON could motivate the hell out of him and hopefully im made to eat humble pie

  • He’s not a player i care for, but i can see he’s not supposed to be a first choice striker, more cover for JC and as such i too have been staggered by the vitriol on this and other sites aimed at Harewood. If he was the only other signing we made this summer then i would be concerned, but that aint gonna be so. MON knows what he’s doing, and Carew has a history of picking up knocks (Touch wood) so someone like Harewood may prove useful in a squad. anything else is to me an over reaction.

  • Good article, well said. Bottom line – we need squad players. It would be funny if he chose Wigan over us though just the hear the moaners change there tune and start moaning about how we can’t attract players.

  • Is it not me who believes that this could be a smoke screen for a few signings at the press conference tomorrow afternoon?

  • Football is a subjective game, and whilst I agree that it would be a very bad thing if Harewood does sign and he gets booed. However, as things stand I do not want him to sign, and therefore I personally go with those that do not want him to wear a Villa shirt. I am not sure about the squad comments though. I would rather sign someone in the Defoe category. Defoe and Carew would be awesome. We have alternatives for the squad in Maloney, Moore, Gabby (he needs to not play so many games this season) – We do not need Harewood – I could be wrong and I will be glad to eat some humble if he scores the winning goal at Wembley – i just can’t see it – I will never boo if he wears the shirt and will support him – I just don’t want to see him have the chance!

  • MON has got rid of 7 players from a thin squad. He has only talked about getting in 4-5 players. If Harewood is one of these – squad player or not – it is a bit disappointing. Sure, fine, great – Harewood is a Sutton replacment, strong to boot so a good cover player for JC. But if we are getting rid of players like Steven Davis, why are we bringing in players like Harewood. The reason people are getting so upset is that we needed 4-5 players ON TOP of 7 squad players to cover those that left. It seems unlikely that we will get in 11 players before the deadline so there seems no method in the madness?

  • You’re right, DerryVillan, MON knows what he’s doing. Harewood would surely be a good squad player and a nice backup for Carew.

  • on the other hand…. there is a pattern. GABBY recommended YOUNG (ENG U21), YOUNG recommended REO-COKER (ENG U21)…. could it be Nigel has had a few words and recommended someone to MON…

  • Defoe is another small fast player. The type to playh off a big striker a la Carew/Harewood. This is how MON likes to play. WE have small fast front men a plenty. We only have one big target man. Surely as a back up for Carew this isn’t as bad as it first seems.

  • Stop moaning you moody *****s, if he becomes a villa player than he should get our full backing.

  • Come on we were promised exciting new signings as well. I just can’t believe we have waited so long for this.

  • Reality check, Were we expecting a top 4 finish and some world class players?????
    Its not going to happen until we get moving up that league table and get soem european football, a strong squad is what we need. Remember he scored 14 league goals in 05/06. So there is goals in the lad.

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