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Carew: The Return of The Traditional Villa Centre Forward


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by PB

The transfer market has finally come to life for Villa, writes PB, as Norwegian hard man John Carew trades places with Milan Baros.

So, Martin O’Neill pulls another rabbit out of the hat, as he manages to get rid of a “problem” player in the shape of Milan Baros and replaces him in the same bit of business with a guy who looks very much like he should be able to have an instant impact on the Premiership.

Villa fans have always liked their centre forwards to be the kind of lads that won’t take any nonsense and know how to rough up a defender or two. The old ‘urns will tell you all about Andy Lockhead and how he led Villa’s heroic charge to the 1971 League Cup Final as a third division side, beating Manchester United en route. The slightly younger ones like me remember Andy Gray before he wore sharp suits in a TV studio; back in the late 70’s when Andy’s bubble-permed head was wherever the ball happened to be.

While the 6’3” Carew doesn’t exactly have that kind of scoring record, I have a sneaky suspicion that we might just have a cult hero here. (Yes, I know I said that about Baros, but I was wrong, OK?) He is big, he is strong, and he is the kind of player with a real physical presence to make defenders work for their money. Vastly experienced, with loads of Champions League experience with Rosenborg, Besiktas, Valencia and Lyon, Carew will give the Villa front line exactly what it has been missing – muscle. The Norwegian heavyweight will be a real favourite of the Holte End I am sure.

In the same breath of course we bid farewell and “bon voyages” to the sadly indifferent form of Czech striker Milan Baros. O’Neill has a reputation that says that he will not stand for people that give less than 100%, and you’d have to be a pretty blinkered fan of our Milan to believe he always tried his hardest. Too many shrugs, too many dives, too many invisible performances in a Villa shirt masked a talent that is, when the lad can be bothered, one of the brightest in the world. I wish him all the best at Lyon, where I trust the slower pace of Le Championnat (or Ligue 1 or whatever we're supposed to call the French league these days) will be more suited to his often languid style. What a shame.

Anyway, I believe that this deal is really quite extraordinary, as it offers pretty much everyone exactly what they want. Baros gets to play on the big stage again, Carew gets to play week in and week out, Lyon get shot of an unhappy squad player as do we.

Once again, congratulations to all concerned. What a smart bit of work Mr O’Neill!

PB

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no but close, id say he's a more advanced version of a traditional CF i.e he's big, strong, tough, good in the air, target man....but also skillfull with pace with the odd trick or 2....

wonderfull bit of buisness, even if it doesnt work out I'd rather try Carew out than get a poxy 3 mill for Baros...

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Carew is not good in the air, he is very strong but not good in the air. He is skilful, but not a goalgetter. He is really fast and is very difficult to disposess. He will make Terry look weak and outpace Henry on any day.

Well, that is Carew to me...

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I've not seen that much of him TBH but he looks like a player who can steam roller defenders Jonah Lomu style, yet has a bit of skill to boot. He will hold up the ball, and do well with long balls, which is what I suspect MON will have him in the team for, a bit like a John Hartson, with a little added skill and bags of pace if you like.

I could be totally wrong about the player so I'll wait until I've seen him properly before I make any firm judgements on the man but on the face of it he does not look like my sort of player, and one who may take the teams style of play in a direction I personally hoped we would not go down. On the flip side he may be very effective at doing it though.

As a kid growing up supporting Villa in the Saunders, Atkinson era I've always thought a Villa front line and team should be about skill and flair. But none the less I wish JC the very best of luck and hope his time with us is a long and successful one.

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My thoughts went back to Andy Lockhead when i found out what type of player/position Carew was.

Its about time we started terrorising defences with some real teeth.

Incidentley, I was at that cup game against ManUtd in 71 Happy days, and more to come i hope.

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I'm fully in favour of Carew making a difference at Villa Park - he will be a physical threat that will take the heat of some of our other forward pushing players. Also, with good delivery from the flanks, he will be an aerial force to be reckoned with.

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How JC turns out will be an interesting exercise and we have to trust MON and his scouting set up.

But on the icBrum forum, one Villa fan who lives in Norway thinks Carew is overated and lazy and isn't thought much of in his home nation.

However, a big man up front to take the pressure of Luke, Gabby and even maybe JPA could be a real boost.

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I think his ability to tie up defenders and make space for others, will make wonders for our current players with flair and pace.

spot on Tarj.

I think he'll work wonders as the middle man in a front 3, tying up defenders and creating room for the like of young and gabby/Moore to exploit.

I think he'll suit the 4-3-3 MON seemingly wants to employ down to the ground.

I'd be shocked now with these 2 purchases and the return of Moore if MON didn't go back to 4-3-3

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I was reading back through the Carew thread on the main board and I noticed that he arrived on a private jet.

Doug will be murmuring over his cocoa - Not the way we did it in my day y'know. EasyJet all the way and a bus from the airport to my house for a cup of tea where I'd regale them with stories of my fantastic career. These new fellas are pampering them too much, will all come to nowt

Amazing really, its the small thigns like this that make a club a professional organisation. How things have changed in such a short period of time

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I think he'll play the 'Heskey' Role that O'Neill had at Leiceste - he'll cause problems and I'll look forward to seeing him in a Villa shirt.

They were talking about Carew on talkSPORT this evening, and the Norweigan football expert on there was saying that he thought it'd be a good signing, and would benefit Villa, and expected him to do well in his first year but O'Neill will need to work hard to keep him motivated and playing wellinto his second as he likes to swap around clubs so much.

I hope he's scoring goals and settled in Villa for years to come.

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The Premiership is a little different from most leagues, British football is a madhouse. Players from abroad seem to either love the Premiership or hate it. If he likes it, I don't think we'll have too much trouble keeping him interested.

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I'd be shocked now with these 2 purchases and the return of Moore if MON didn't go back to 4-3-3

I dont see him fitting a 4-3-3 at all to be honest. If he was a goal machine, then yes, maybe, but his record to date doesnt exactly speak of that kind of player.

Personally I think we will play 4-4-2, with Gabby or Luke (for now) being Gary Shaw to his Peter Withe, and Ash giveing a Morleyesque cameo only on the right.

Now, if only we could find a Sid or a Dennis we'd be laughing....

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I've not seen that much of him TBH but he looks like a player who can steam roller defenders Jonah Lomu style, yet has a bit of skill to boot. He will hold up the ball, and do well with long balls, which is what I suspect MON will have him in the team for, a bit like a John Hartson, with a little added skill and bags of pace if you like.

I could be totally wrong about the player so I'll wait until I've seen him properly before I make any firm judgements on the man but on the face of it he does not look like my sort of player, and one who may take the teams style of play in a direction I personally hoped we would not go down. On the flip side he may be very effective at doing it though.

As a kid growing up supporting Villa in the Saunders, Atkinson era I've always thought a Villa front line and team should be about skill and flair. But none the less I wish JC the very best of luck and hope his time with us is a long and successful one.

In hindsight I don't think he'll be used just to 'hold up' the ball, he seems to like to run at defenders rather than have his back to goal, I'll retract all my above comments about him not being 'my sort' of player until I've seen him play properly.

Although from what I've heard he seems like a bit of an enigma, I'm sure he'll do well in the premiership and suit our style better than Baros or Angel have.

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I'm very interested with all these views on how Carew will fit ina nd be the ideal target man and a 'bruiser' able to rough up opposition defences, scoring goals for fun.

Looking at his stats, looking at his CV, reading and talking to fans who have seen him, some regularly I can't see where these views are coming from. He's not a younger Sutton that's for sure, I doubt he was even O'Neill's first choice, I'm worried he will stay motivated beyond the first few weeks or months.

That doesn't mean he's not more suited to us than any other, Sutton excluded, as a striker but I'd remind everyone Petrov has allegedly taken time to find his form and he came across Hadrian's wall not the Channel

I'm excited by the signing, we need someone with a shot like his, especially from a dead ball, I'm encouraged by his size and potential aggression too, I'm pleased O'Neill has a big man up front, he doesn't seem to be able to manage without one, and he's added a real attacking wide player with tremendous skill who will help

If he could find a tackling hard man in midfield and a fit version of Laursen we really would be cookin

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I've not seen that much of him TBH but he looks like a player who can steam roller defenders Jonah Lomu style, yet has a bit of skill to boot. He will hold up the ball, and do well with long balls, which is what I suspect MON will have him in the team for, a bit like a John Hartson, with a little added skill and bags of pace if you like.

I could be totally wrong about the player so I'll wait until I've seen him properly before I make any firm judgements on the man but on the face of it he does not look like my sort of player, and one who may take the teams style of play in a direction I personally hoped we would not go down. On the flip side he may be very effective at doing it though.

As a kid growing up supporting Villa in the Saunders, Atkinson era I've always thought a Villa front line and team should be about skill and flair. But none the less I wish JC the very best of luck and hope his time with us is a long and successful one.

Baz.... you may find he will allow the precious space for our young forwards to flourish and if they all benefit from his presence that may be worth its while alone.

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I'd be shocked now with these 2 purchases and the return of Moore if MON didn't go back to 4-3-3

I dont see him fitting a 4-3-3 at all to be honest. If he was a goal machine, then yes, maybe, but his record to date doesnt exactly speak of that kind of player.

Personally I think we will play 4-4-2, with Gabby or Luke (for now) being Gary Shaw to his Peter Withe, and Ash giveing a Morleyesque cameo only on the right.

Now, if only we could find a Sid or a Dennis we'd be laughing....

John Carew played at his best in Rosenborg, who always have played in a 4-3-3 formation. Jürgen Kohler at Borussia Dortmund said playing Carewin the CL, was playing against a monster forward.

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