Date: 29th March 2009 at 1:18pm
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I had to think twice before writing this one up because a lot of fans have said similar to the comments below from former Villa winger Tony Morley only to get shot down in flames as ‘anti Villa’ or ‘blue noses’ and sometimes it is better to TRY to be positive rather than rake up old ground.

That said, this is a former Villa hero, someone who has played at the top level AND WON major honours with and for Villa, so even if the so called negative whingy fans don’t get respected for their opinions, surely Tony Morley has done enough to earn the respect for his comments?!?!

Tony spoke to the Express & Star last week and questioned Martin O’Neill’s somewhat baffling policy of playing players out of position. MON said earlier in the season it does players good to be out of position as they learn a more all round game. A lot of players would argue with that and maybe if you think about your role at work, how would you feel going to your office, factory or other place of work on Monday morning to find you have a totally different role? Would you slot straight in and be up to full speed or would it take you time to get going? Hmmmm.

Morley said, specifically about Nigel Hokey-Cokey who gets slated by many Villa fans without them considering (in my opinion) that he is never played in HIS position. In fact I think all of have forgotten what his position is now haven’t we? ‘It would fill me with joy if I was playing against a midfielder at full-back. I would love it. We all know in the modern game you’re not allowed to tackle so if you run at defenders they just let you past.’ Adding that he sympathises with Hokey-Cokey and says he is a ‘good professional’ who would be hurting playing out of position the way he is.

‘At his age now he’s never going to be a right back. Personally, I think once you get to a certain age you can’t completely change positions.’

He also sticks up for the fans over the Gabby Agbonlahor incident when MON said that Gabby was booed whereas (to a lot of fans opinions) the substitution was jeered and cheered, a reaction aimed more at the manager for finally making the substitution rather than the player.

‘What’s happened with Agbonlahor has been coming . . . Martin O’Neill might have managed that situation a little better and taken him out of the side.’

And in a hatrick of comments I agree with :o) he says the Villa fans were ‘short-changed’ by the manager in the UEFA Cup surrender adding: ‘The club have not respected the wishes of the fans by winning a trophy. They decided the Champions League was the goal but there is no trophy at the end of that.’

Interesting comments from a former hero, surely he can’t get flamed the same way some of us have been in recent weeks for expressing our heart felt – claret and blue soaked – opinions?!? On the other hand…..!


13 Replies to “Tony Morley Scores A Hattrick Of Comments!”

  • All three comments amount to one thing for me, MON’s inability to use the January transfer window correctly. I think NRC is the next best option for us after after Young (Luke that is!) at RB but the doesn’t mean he’s any good there. I also think MON maybe did make the right call with the Uefa by resting a few players. Unfortunately it ended up being pretty much the entire first team as we had no one to else to call on, still, there was never a guarantee a fully fit first team would beat CSKA. I hope MON learns from this is our best player won’t be with us next season either!

  • When Reo-Coker joined Villa he was captain of England under 21’s. There have been various aticles from time to time of how its his ambition to move up the the full England squad. Now I’m not sure whether he’s good enough, but one thing I do know is that he sure as hell won’t make the England squad as a right back!!!!!!!! Do you think he’s happy playing at right back????????? I don’t think soooooooo!

  • Nope, don’t think many/any of the players being played out of position will be that thrilled, it certainly doesn’t show them at their best, including the left back on the bench position!

  • There is a chain of command in our squad whereas some players are rated above others. The player at the top of the list that isn’t playing in his correct position (either due to formation or somone higher in the chain beating them to it) will then play in the next available position regardless of their choice of favoured playing foot and experience playing there. MON won’t change his ways for anyone so it doesn’t matter who comes out in the press and says whatever!!

  • “… surely he can’t get flamed the same way some of us have been in recent weeks for expressing our heart felt – claret and blue soaked – opinions”. I’m not sure you’ve been ‘flamed’ for your opinions, JPF. I might not agree with them but you write your take on what you see and do so coherently. Unless you are saying that people shouldn’t question your views (which I don’t think you are), the only person who has been ‘flamed’ on here is avfc48, for pretty obvious reasons.

  • As for Tony Morley, does it mean that I’ve ‘flamed’ him if I question his views? Yes, he’s entitled to his opinions, and of course he can voice those opinions – but that doesn’t mean he’s right, and it shouldn’t mean that others can’t disagree with him – does it?? Great player that he was, TM has never been a successful manager to my knowledge. I hold no brief for MON. All I would say is watch what you wish for – you may get it …

  • Does this mean The Fear might get his wish of seeing the Villa win a trophy again in the near future?

  • Not sure, Hoss. All I would say is, look at the teams who desperately wanted to win trophies and thought they could do it quickly by changing managers every five minutes. Anyone fancy being a Barcodes supporter this season? (Or any season … :o))

  • I haven’t seen Fear suggesting that we change the manager. He just has an opinion that MON has made some strange decisions of late, which a few of us have found baffling. Questioning that doesn’t make us wish for a new manager, however you wish to spin it.

  • Bob, I’d be seriously ******ed if people didn’t question my views – on everything…! :o) No, I was really talking about some of the comments against other posters (who do go on the negative route a lot but also get totally castigated for doing so!) who have expressed similar to Tony Morley and been shot down in flames for even thinking such thoughts! Interesting times as ever but the thing that delights me now is we are all back to talking about football, managers, players etc. Things are as they should be imho!

  • good grief, just got caught by the swear filter saying s p ooked. Will have to get that removed!

  • Of course Tony is entitled to his opinion but that doesn’t make him right, as Mr Saunders used to point out quite regularly. And of course, I would remind him that Alan Evans started as a striker and made his name at centre-back, while Ken Swain also started as a striker and was brilliant at RB. Should Ron have not tried these things? Con Martin played everywhere, even in goal. No one can stake a claim to place in the team, let alone a position. Reo-Coker was given the opportunity to play at RB and sometimes he’s done okay and others not – a bit like every other RB in the country. Luke Young has not always looked great either. As Clough would have said, everyone is entitled to their opinion but the manager is always right.

  • Hoss: I don’t have a problem with people questioning MON’s decisions, but defending some of those decisions doesn’t mean I think MON is “the Messiah” or that I’m flaming anyone. I’m simply debating! :o) My feeling is that opinions on this forum have been polarized by certain negative articles aimed at Martin O’Neill the man, rather than at Martin O’Neill the manager, for personal reasons beyond our knowledge. If those articles had not been posted, the debate on here might be much more balanced.

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