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Your Aston Villa Most Under Rated Player Ever Award.


villa-revolution
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This challenge here perhaps may be a little bit more demanding than naming our greatest ever player  to play in defence, midfield or attack but as always you get your own chance to debate & decide.

 

You know the player, he usually goes quietly about his business, works really really hard for the team & the only time fans normally realise just what a good player he is, is when he is not actually in the team. Conspicuous by his absence if you like? Ron Vlaar being the contemporary classic example.

 

Sometimes too you find players of this nature go oblivious to the fans but are actually recognised for what they bring to the team by their fellow team mates. I have never thought much of Emile Heskey because he didn't do what he was paid for, which was obviously to score goals. However, nobody could fault his work rate or the amount of set piece headers that he won when we were defending. Also, too, to his eternal credit, given the believable/unbelievable amount of stick he received,he never ever went into hiding. He would always show for a throw in or work the channels & he did put himself about tirelessly for the team. Both Micheal Owen & Alan Shearer wanted him as their attacking partner so may be that tells you something? Anyway, poor old Heskey is not for me but I use him here merely as an example to highlight the potential criteria in the possibility of being considered as under rated.

 

In the many roller coaster years I have spent following our beloved Villa I can offer up a few potential candidates for the prize. To begin with those Villa fans circa late 1970's will be familiar with a great water carrier in the guise of Frank Carrodus. He wasn't the most gifted of players but he was an integral part of that Villa Midfield that saw us promoted & win the league Cup in 1975 & also go on to win the League Cup gloriously again against Everton at the 3rd attempt in 1977. Additionally, that Villa team of 77 was easily the most exciting attacking Villa side that I have ever had the privilege to see & especially so at Villa Park.

 

Next up we have a name that might surprise a few as he was also a former Villa Manager too. Also from the late 1970's & picked up for a bargain £40K by Super Ron Saunders  from Northampton Town step forward the one & only John Gregory. Again not the most skilful of players but he was a real grafter & somebody you could rely on. Perhaps his biggest attribute was his versatility as he could comfortably slot into defence, midfield or attack when occasion demanded. He also had a terrific eye in front of goal & was excellent in the air too in both boxes.

 

My next potential candidate was also a very versatile player too, namely Stuart Gray who helped us regain our rightful place in the top echelons of football under Sir Graham Taylor in 1988. He comfortably slotted in at Left Back, Centre Half & Midfield & many fans fondly remember his debut in a crucial 4-2 Villa win at Valley Parade when Bradford were looking out of sight in the early promotion running that season. He also scored a crucial last minute equaliser against Middlesbrough in 1989, which effectively saved our bacon, as those extra 2pts gained would have kept Boro up & sent us down.

 

Another absolutely fabulous Villa side to watch was Big Fat Ron's Class of 93 for the inaugural Premier League. However, hidden amongst the talents of McGrath, Saunders, Dalian Atkinson & Dwight Yorke were three extremely talented players, all surprisingly playing in midfield & yet non of them ever received the accolades they they deserved for what they brought to that team.Who is the most under rated player from the tigerish ball winning & keep it simple team captain Kevin Richardson, to the stylish Garry `Nosey` Parker & the busy & intricate Ray Houghton?

 

Then we come to another player lucky enough to manage the Villa, Brian Little, though he is not the nomination. No.The player I have in mind although little is huge in stature. Miniscule Alan Wright was as brave as a lion, never shirked a tackle & at 5 feet 4 inches could leap like a salmon. He must have been one of the most consistent performers ever to pull on a Villa shirt.

 

Unfortunately, during the degeneration of the David O' Leary era mediocrity seemed to be the key word. Perhaps unfairly, one player who always gave 100% to the team without ever getting proper recognition was good old Gavin McCann. Unspectacular yes. But a real grafter who always put in a shift.

 

Martin O' Neill's reign is always controversial. I loved the guy to bits & still do & although totally unconvinced, I fully understand from all the reasoned debate here on VT as to why others should beg to differ. Still in those halcyon days of 6th, 6th & 6th respectively their is one player whose name jumps out at you immediately as flying under the radar with his outrageously consistent displays whether playing at left back or right back, to which he was adept at either & that is of course the ever reliable Luke Young. He for me is a prime candidate for the award, but he is not the winner.

 

My next nomination too is also from the MON era & is probably controversial because you either loved him or hated him. The fella' goes by the name of Reo Coker. Not everybodies cup of tea granted. But he was a superb ball winner & he worked wonderfully with Gareth Barry along side him when they played together & we still havent replaced his ball winning attributes yet IMO. He was absolutely fabulous in the `Makelele` role & his speed & energy made it easy for him to get across the park to cover either full back.

 

Under Paul Lambert, there are quite a few under rated players to be had, no question. Vlaar I have already mentioned, but there is also Ashley Westwood who keeps the midfield ticking over sweet as a nut. Then there is Andi Weimann who runs himself into the ground game after game, creating space for others & pressurising the opposition. I could also make a huge case for Gabby too as again I believe he has never been given the true accolades he deserves.

 

However, down to the final reckoning. Ron Saunders was extremely clever putting together that fantastic European Cup winning squad & every body already knows how wonderful Morley, Withe & Shaw were for us in that team. Rimmer in goal was simply magnificent too as was his deputy `Spinky` & the partnership of Evans & McNaught. As per normal, full backs rarely get the recognition they deserve & the same can be said here of Kenny Swain, Colin Gibson & Gary Williams too. Gary Williams was easily the best outfield Villa player in that famous Rotterdam triumph. Don't take my word for it, just dig out the DVD. It was a great pity that `Gibbo` missed out on that Final because he was a fabulous left back when he played. Cowans & Mortimer will always be Villa legends & rightly so. However, the one player in that team who always gave 100%, continuously broke up the oppositions play & did all the donkey work to allow all the other midfield players carte blanche to fully go & express themselves was non other than my nomination here for this award the one & only `Super` Des Bremner.

 

Step forward & receive your award Dessie & take a bow son, take a bow. :hooray::clap:

Edited by villa-revolution
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Only going to go from when I started supporting, so around 95. Always felt Alan wright doesn't get much credit And I thought he was great. More recently Shaun Maloney wasnt given a fair run, could have been good for us. Was always a big Tommy Johnson fan too.......and mark draper....been a few

Edited by ForfarVillan
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my dad always takes the mickey out of me for it but when I was younger I had a soft spot for Julian joachim.

I remember him being brilliant and scoring a lot of goals(probably helped by the 98/99 season being one of the first I fully remember) but my dad tells me I was wrong, haha

of course I still don't believe him =]

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Good shouts there for little Alan Wright - perennial scorer of screamers from the edge of the box.

 

Our midfield under BFR was quietly under-rated too - I would have said Ray Houghton. I am to this day still amazed that Liverpool sold Staunton, Houghton and Saunders to us for relatively cheap money. Certainly for the service they gave us.

 

I really liked Andy Townsend... Though he's technically Irish (yeah, right), he was a lovable cockney - and not actually that many about imo.

 

Somebody quoted Sean Teale - very under-rated in comparison with McGrath in that 91-94 time frame.

 

Whatever happened to Dariuz Kubicki?

Edited by Raver50032
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While he was playing for us - Petrov.

 

We all now realise the important role that he played for us, but he used to come in for some unnecessary stick from the fans. (That said, I acknowledge that he did win FPOTY on the one occasion).

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While he was playing for us - Petrov.

 

We all now realise the important role that he played for us, but he used to come in for some unnecessary stick from the fans. (That said, I acknowledge that he did win FPOTY on the one occasion).

 

Petrov was always getting stick for passing the ball sideways, not being athletic enough and holding the team back.

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While he was playing for us - Petrov.

 

We all now realise the important role that he played for us, but he used to come in for some unnecessary stick from the fans. (That said, I acknowledge that he did win FPOTY on the one occasion).

 

Petrov was always getting stick for passing the ball sideways, not being athletic enough and holding the team back.

 

 

Yeah, exactly. Rarely got the praise he deserved for holding the team together.

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Hamilton, Carrodus, Bremner. All 3 did the donkey work, all 3 were vastly underrated but played such great parts in Villa's successes.

 

I always thought that Ray Graydon was a better player than he was given credit for.

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growing up I always thought kevin 'rico' Richardson went a little under the radar, and was an excellent captain. Another one, all be it for a very short spell was Colin Calderwood, I laughed when Gregory signed him, but he held us together really well when ugo got injured for a while that season. I would like to second the shout for Julian Joachim, if you look at his goal scoring ratio, for the money we paid, he was outstanding, and on his day at that time, was quicker than henry. I will also raise my hand for garry parker, unbelievable left foot, great passer of the ball. why BFR ever sold the guy I will never know.

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Garry Parker for me, one of my favourites of all time at the villa.would play some fantastic through balls and his accurate goals from distance.Coincidentally villa and forest played there best ever football when he was in their teams, best football I have ever seen at villa anyhow.

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Hamilton, Carrodus, Bremner. All 3 did the donkey work, all 3 were vastly underrated but played such great parts in Villa's successes.

 

I always thought that Ray Graydon was a better player than he was given credit for.

I saw Frank Carrodus dribble the ball from the half way line past about five players get to the opposition box and fall over!

 

Des Bremner for me all day long and twice at weekends

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