Three Players To Save Our Season


Results have gone from good to bad to very, very bad indeed and, with fans’ patience with Lambert running out, it is time for Lerner to dig deep into his pockets and let Lambert splash some cash on much needed reinforcements. In recent press conferences, Lambert has stated the obvious: he needs to buy experienced players. This is an understatement really and is something all Villa fans have realised for some time.

I have decided to try to help Lambert by listing three players who could fit our bill perfectly in terms of transfer fees, the infamous wage budget and attributes.

I believe we need a creative midfielder, a centre half and also a striker who has the instinctive touch we need while lurking in the bottom half of the Premier League table.

Centre half: John Heitinga

The Everton centre back wants a move in January and, due to his contract situation, he should be a fairly cheap player to get hold of. The Dutchman could link up well with Ron Vlaar and has plenty of experience under his belt to help guide the team. He is built like a tank, unlike Nathan Baker and Ciaran Clark. Heitinga was quoted as saying,

“The interest is there, so I’m confident that I can find another club before January 31st. I want to play every game again because I still have a huge appetite for the game. I am fit and as a footballer in the prime of my life.”

Heitinga meets our needs perfectly and even as a short-term solution is worth a shot. I believe he is available for a couple of million pounds based on West Ham’s bid the other day. I have always admired his ability and as he is a Dutch international he is a must buy for me.heitinga_empics-451610

Creative midfielder: Wes Hoolahan

His name has been flung around in the press for some time and I would love to see him at Villa Park. Available for around £1.5 million, the Irish international has shown what he can do in the Premier League when given time by Lambert when at Norwich. Hoolahan can dictate games with the cutting edge assists Villa need and works wonders with a dead ball too. He is cheap and offers a great repertoire of tricks to get the ball forward to a clinical striker, like Grant Holt in his Norwich days. He suits Lambert’s bill perfectly and he really is Lambert’s player. Despiute Hughton denying Hoolahan will leave, a move is definitely possible.


Striker: Nikica Jelavic

Jelavic is another forgotten Everton man with a lot to offer. I believe he could be the perfect man for Benteke to link up with given that Kozak is out for the remainder of the season. The Croat is powerful with the ball at his feet and in the air. With Martinez opting for Lukaku and Kone over Jelavic, I can hardly see Everton kicking and screaming to keep Jelavic at the club. His recent brace in the FA cup against QPR highlighted the ability he still possesses with the right players behind him to feed him the ball. He should be on Lambert’s radar as the price tag would not exceed £5 million and wages are not that high at Everton in all honesty.

Nikica Jelavic

The three players I have suggested could, I believe, propel us up the table as they offer all the attributes needed and fit Villa and Lambert’s structure.

Any suggestions you may have are welcome so feel free to comment and share your thoughts.


  1. John Heitinga – hahahahaha have you ever seen him play. I can’t believe you put John Heitinga & save our season in the same sentence. Saying that all 3 are laughable. Wes Hoolahan can you ex[plain to me what this bloke does at Norwich to suggest he’s our savoir? And as for Jelavic he not a forgotten man at all he’s just playing like most of our team so he’s actually;y fit in but wouldn’t save much.

    Back to the drawing board me thinks!! but very funny!!!

  2. Definately not Heitinga. Way past his best and has no pace at all (something we are already badly lacking in defence) . Hoolahan would be a bargain at 1.5 million and would bring much needed experience and a bit of cunning to midfield. Jelavic is no better than forwards we already have, so no thanks.

  3. For me the three should be Lescott, Defour and Holtby.
    Lescott >> Heitinga and is a Villa fan!
    Defour would potentially work well with either Delph or Westy, would be a mate for Tekkers AND, most importantly, would allow us to sell KEA!
    Whilst I would be happy with Hoolahan – he has to be better than no no.10 and is a decent player who could be a good mentor for Caruthers next season – I prefer Holtby as he has more energy and drive and that would fit better with our team. He is also obviously a lot younger with room for development.

  4. Interesting thoughts. Can’t agree with Heitinga though. Lescott would be perfect IMO cos he has experience at centre back and left back. If not him, Kaboul from Spurs. Midfield, I think we need two and to let KEA go. Defour, Hoolahan, Dembele, Holtby. Any of those two would be brilliant. Up front or wide, I would still welcome the Young diver back. Would also be interested in Guidietti but not Jelavic or Samaras. Need four players IMO of which two or three would be loans. With those in place I am sure the standard of football and points haul would improve dramatically

  5. Bring Shaun Maloney back to the Villa he has guts and determination
    Bring back Alan Hutton from his exile he is a bit fiery and we need a bit of steel somewhere in the back four
    Cristian Ceballos the solution to Lambert’s No10
    David Bentley the England player who succumbed to the pressure of the English press but is older and wiser now.

  6. I would go for Lescott on loan , Charlie Adam as a straight swap for Ireland , Defour because he keeps the ball and needs to play , Hoolahan because he can turn a game and is a bargain and a new one to add to the list Jordan Rhoades from Blackburn he has a point to prove just look at his goal record

  7. Bring Hutton back?! Haha. We can’t even give him away he is so rubbish!
    Charlie Adam? No better than what we have. Lescott’s wages are beyond us.People need to wake up and realize Hoolahan is probably the best we can hope for.

  8. I can’t believe people are even entertaining the idea of Hoolahan!! He had maybe 1 and a half good seasons and is 31! He’s only played for ROI 7 times, hardly screams quality.

    Heitinga was class two years ago but then for some reason lost his head.

    Jelavic was good at Rangers, but to be fair I’d be good at Rangers.

  9. The position we need to cover most is Goalkeeper! Guzan isn’t good enough, not even close. I was watching the Forest – West Ham match at the weekend and thought, it’s a pity we don’t have a good young keeper like Forests and then i find out we had him on our books and released him.

    Blame the defenders if you want but the fact is technically Guzan is a poor keeper, his positioning is poor and he’s too hyped up. We haven’t had a good keeper since Friedal left and the results have shown that!

  10. richrvillian : now that had me riled. Any goalkeeper (me included) is reliant on his defence, we could have the best keeper in the world and it wouldnt matter if the defending is adequate at best and that is where we are failing badly, guzan is a very good keeper and has made some excellent stops for us, give him a decent back line in front of him and his value / confidence and more importantly performances will improve.

    I dont see us keeping Brad beyond next season anyway someone else with a better defence will poach him and you will be back with your tail between your legs saying how we had him on our books and let him go.

    for me, its someone in the lescott mould (experienced) and us revert to delph and westwood dropping deeper – more 2 holding players and those that can push forward aka wingbacks, a midfield trio of delph westwood and dafour would be very nice with gabbys pace one side and someone else the other.

  11. So the Bentley and Hutton solution got shot down; fair enough. What about Shaun Maloney and Cristian Ceballos? Cmon David Sherwin you have got the bit between your teeth, give some feedback on Maloney and Ceballos!

  12. OTV i’ll never disagree with you about Guzans shot stopping ability, it’s the rest of his game i have a problem with. Watch him closely next game, his communication with the defence at set pieces is non existant, and worse watch him at corners he’s bouncing up and down constantly, most keepers do that for a few seconds to warm up and then they settle and get ready for the set piece. Guzan doesn’t, he bounces as the set piece taker runs up, he bounces as the ball comes in, and then he does bugger all cos he’s off balance when the ball arrives in the box. It’s a basic of goalkeeping, you’ve got to be balanced to jump, to catch, to come out, he never is, he relies completely on his reactions. That’s why you like others think he’s good, he pulls off fantastic fingertip saves, the problem is if he was actually a better keeper he wouldn’t have to pull of those saves. He’ll always be a decent keeper but he’l never be a great keeper. That’s why when we released him he didn’t get another club and the only clubs seriously lnked with him were from the championship. If we stick with him between the sticks thats where we’ll end up playing!

  13. One of Guzans best qualities is his corners and set peices. Sorry but I can’t take your point there. He’s one of the best at coming out and taking control of the ball.

  14. Ben, I was delighted when we resigned Guzan, I thought he had huge potential. But not now.

    You can believe me or not, it doesn’t really matter to me, but watch Guzan over the next few games and I mean really watch him, don’t just applaud when he makes a save or catches a cross. He doesn’t settle himself at set pieces and has been at fault for a large number of goals, i know he pulls off spectacular saves but I don’t blame a keeper if he can’t claw a ball away from the top corner, i blame a keeper when he pretty much allows the ball to roll over his foot (a slight, but only slight exageration) cos he’s so far off balance. A goalkeepers primary job is to organise his defence and to stop simple shots, great reflex saves are a bonus. Unfortunately with Guzan he does the bonus work but can’t do the basics. With that type of keeper we’ll we’ll never move the right way up the table. The coaches should be working with him on these problems and they don’t seem to be, he’s not improved these facets of his game, so some of the blame also haas to lie at the feet of the goalkeeping coach.


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