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The Clear Out Continues


villafan306
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MON continues to swing the axe at Villa Park, with two players set to have left the club by the end of today.

Juan Pablo Angel, Jlloyd Samuel, Lee Hendrie, Gavin McCann and Steve Davis have been identified as deadwood by MON, and today news of two more departures is hardly surprising.

First of all we say goodbye to former Manchester United midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba. Djemba-Djemba's contract was terminated by mutual agreement meaning that he is now a free agent. Eric never really impressed at Villa or Manchester United for that matter, however he did look impressive alongside former Villa man Matthieu Berson at Nantes a few years back and had a good loan spell at Burnley.

With the arrival of Nigel Reo-Coker and the emergence of youngster Craig Gardner, his prospects at Villa were non existant this season and a parting of the ways for the 26-year-old was inevitable.

O'Neill stated: "It is fair to say that Eric has not really experienced the best of times since he arrived here from Old Trafford a couple of years ago.

"We have agreed to part company and this arrangement will give the Eric the opportunity to rebuild and reignite his career and he goes with our best wishes."

And the second guy to head for the exit door? Liam Ridgewell. Ridgewell makes the long journey across the city this morning to complete a medical with Small Heath ahead of a £2.5million move. Ridgewell found it hard to get a game last season, with Mellberg, Laursen and Cahill battling it out for the two available slots in the centre of defence. And with the rumours of Brede Hangeland signing increasing by the hour, Ridgwell could have been the 5th choice for the CB slot this year which is why he is moving on.

Ridgewell, for whom agreeing personal terms will not be a problem, will be the first player in recent times to make the direct switch between the two fierce second city rivals.

But it has been commonplace in the not too distant past with the likes of Tony Morley, Robert Hopkins, Dennis Mortimer and Alan Curbishley playing for both clubs.

The £2.5million deal should be finalised this afternoon and whilst I wish Liam Ridgewell all the best I can't help but hope he is playing Championship football in a year's time.

Meanwhile, defender Mark Delaney's days at Villa could also be numbered after a longstanding battle against knee problems.

When asked about Delaney's future, O'Neill would only say: "I think that Mark may make that decision in the next few days for himself.

"I would rather anything that has to be said about that would come from Mark first. That is probably the way he would want it."

Delaney has been on a monthly contract with Villa since his previous deal ran out in June in a bid to try and prove his fitness.

So that's two out, maybe three and still no official word of another in. Next week will need to be a busy one for us if we are to have a hope of making those European places this season!

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Villafan306, I was thinking about this last night trying to get to sleep (...and no I don't need alternative suggestions on how to come over all sleepy!!!), but as far as a first team I don't think we're that far off. Obviously we need strength in depth especially with Villas traditional Xmas injury period (I'm sure some players just want extra time to do their Xmas shopping). But from the back I think TS days are numbered, he occasionally has a blinder but he's just not consistant enough, there have been several GKs linked this summer and I'd like to see Jussy from Bolton or Graig Gordon. In addition to that, with what seems like Delaney's imminent retirement we no longer have ANYONE in the right back slot of note. Ideas on a postcard please?????? The one I'm keeping my fingers crossed on is Hoyte, he's pure class. I saw him play for Sunderland when he was on loan there the season before last, and although he was in a dire team at the time (no offence Cats, good luck this season!!!) he was head and shoulders above any other player on the pitch and would be my first choice RB. The only reason Wenger would let him go is 'cus he's not French!!!

But here's what I think is our probable starting 11: New GK (???), Bouma, Mellberg, Laursen, new RB (Hoyte), Barry, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Young, Carew & Gabby. To me, I can't wait to see these lot in action. Add to that Maloney (or Mal-Moany if sources are to be beleived), Moore, Berger, Harwood, Hangeland (next signing?), Lichaj (know nothing about this guy), Osbourne (maybe put him in the lower divisions on loan for experience?), Taylor, Cahill & Gardner. All Villa fans should be praying Laursen has a complete season and stay injury free this year... Barry can always drop into left back and has always impressed there making way for Maloney of Bouma gets a knock.

We need a bigger squad, no-one's doubting that BUT we've gotta go with MON's point of view that he only wants to bring in players who REALLY want to come, and until we elbow our way into Europe the 'bigger' players aren't gonna want to sign for us until our profile raises. And then who's to say that'll work??? It's more exciting to see big names come in and the cash splashed but who'd you rather be? West Ham (cheats), Man Citeh or Villa of the new 'Big Spenders???'. Who do you think's gonna come highest in the table? Wanna wipe the smug smile of Spurs faces who seem to think they have the right to be the next club in line to break into the top 4??? Newcastle???? Don't make me laugh - from the tales coming from St James Big Sam might not have the patience to be pi**ed about for ever by the new owners, especially if Big KK comes in.

Last of all I have to say its a big rough to describe the departing players as 'Deadwood', it's just their time at Villa has passed and many gave their all for us. Hats off to JPA (sorry u didn't get the ball service you should have - you are a STAR!!!), McCann, Ridge (a-hem), Sutton, JL Sam, Davis (star in the making).

Up the Villa and here's to next season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

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Last of all I have to say its a big rough to describe the departing players as 'Deadwood', it's just their time at Villa has passed and many gave their all for us. Hats off to JPA (sorry u didn't get the ball service you should have - you are a STAR!!!), McCann, Ridge (a-hem), Sutton, JL Sam, Davis (star in the making).

Up the Villa and here's to next season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Great post, I particularly agree with the above paragraph. Some of those 'deadwood' players are responsible for the fact that we are in the premiership experiencing a new dawn and not scrapping in the Championship. That season where we nearly got relegated (05-06) would have been interesting without Davis and McCann.

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Oh I don't personally think deadwood is the right term to describe them but then again it seems to be right in MON's opinion as they did not have the quality we need to get into Europe therefore technically deadwood is the correct term.

FWIW I agree with your post there, our first XI is not too far away from what we need but the squad is lacking imo.

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It will be a real shame to lose Mark Delaney,he has suffered horribly with injuries after being an exciting prospect and a well balanced footballer.

I understand MON not rushing in to buying just anybody and I also understand the impatience of many with the sluggish pace of new arrivals,yet even now I cannot ever conceive of feeling the depths of despair under MON and Randy..... They may well equal the glories I saw in my youth but I also saw that wonderful side disintegrate and the club relegated within a decade. We are much better and stronger than that now.

I for one believe in our future,let the hard work begin.

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