Date: 17th November 2005 at 9:27pm
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Jumper Jumper has denied criticising David O’Leary and has said he is happy at Villa. However Eurosport have stuck to their story and the fact they have the player on video being interviewed might just back their claims up!

http://www.eurosport.com/home/pages/v4/l0/s22/e10028/ sport_lng0_spo22_evt10028_sto790954.shtml

The full interview as taken from the Eurosport site:

Q: Eurosport: What’s wrong at Aston Villa?

A: Eric Djemba Djemba:
I think it’s the manager. Because the manager sometimes needs to change the team. When we lost, you need to see what needs working on and try to change the team. So now we’ve lost four games, it’s too bad. So if the manager doesn’t try to do something, maybe we’ll be relegated to the first division.

Q: You’re obviously disappointed not to be playing?

A: Djemba-Djemba:
Very disappointed. It’s unbelievable because you come from a big team, and you go there and don’t enjoy yourself and it’s too bad. Maybe the manager doesn’t understand how I play so maybe I need to wait and try to get my chance. But I know everything will be OK for the second half of the season, and maybe I’ll get my chance to play.

Q: Where do you think the problem lies?

A: Djemba-Djemba:
I think it’s the tactics, we need to change the tactics. Every time we play forward, we don’t keep the ball and it’s too bad. We need to keep the ball and try to play. Because when we play it only forward, we run after the ball and it’s no good. We need to try and play, enjoy ourselves and keep the ball and if we do that we’ll get more goals.

Djemba-Djemba however claims he didn’t say he blamed O’Leary. He told the official site: ‘Two weeks ago I did an interview with a local newspaper and I was asked about not playing. I said I was upset at not playing, but it is up to the manager. So this article has come as a surprise to me. Everyone in the Cameroon squad spoke to Eurosport. They asked me to do the interview in English. But I did not say the manager needed to change anything, because that’s not good for me. I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t question his tactics.’

The player had to have a meeting with O’Leary but wouldn’t apologise for something he didn’t say. ‘The manager was surprised because he knows if I have anything to say, I go straight to him and say it. The manager called me in this morning. He showed me the papers and when I saw them I was shocked. That is no good for me. I didn’t say he needed to change tactics. I think what I said was interpreted wrongly.’

He also claims ‘I have a four-year contract. I will bide my time and try to get into the team.’

All very confusing really isn’t it? Mind you, everything at Villa is these days. These public spats do no one any good, that is for sure!