John Carew – discuss… The former Villa favourite has had a dismal beginning to a stop-start season in which he has re-fallen out with former manager Gerard Houllier and produced some abject and effortless displays in front of his adoring Villa fans who are becoming less so with every day it seems. The Norwegian, now 31, is yet to score in any competitions this season, missing a penalty in the process, and has slipped to the bottom of the striker pecking order. The big man has not even been involved in warming the Villa bench in the last month after disagreements with the boss over some pretty unoffensive comments in the press. With his contract out at the end of the season, Houllier urged Carew to prove that he warranted a new contract and was met by angry reactions from the striker after the quotes were allegedly ‘lost in transaction’ between somewhere between Birmingham and Norway (if you can find them please let me know as I can’t really see the Carew’s problem?). West Brom were linked with an interest last month and in the last couple of days, manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed a desire for Carew to make the short switch. To read the Italian’s comments along with input from ex-Villa, now Baggie, Nicky Shorey and Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov, click
“I think we’ve been linked with a number of players because we said we were looking for a striker – like the whole country!
“Carew is one we’ve looked at, but we’re not sure about the availability of the player at the moment.”
“John on his day is tough to mark. He is a really good player and a really nice bloke as well so he would fit in well. I wouldn’t like to mark him. (I can’t remember Shorey wanting to mark anyone at Villa though!) On his day no-one in the Premier League would want to mark him so that says it all really. He can score goals with his head and his feet as he has proven over the years.
“He has had a few injuries but if he can go somewhere and get games, I am sure he will get goals. He is a laid-back character but there is nothing wrong with that at times.”
When asked if he felt that John Carew could make his way back into the Villa set-up and build bridge’s with manager Gerard Houllier, Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov stated:
“Is there any chance Carew might get back involved? You know what, I hope so, I hope so. It is really frustrating. I won’t go into details but, I’ll tell you what, if John wants to show these fans that he wants to belong here, he is going to help us because we really need him.
“At times like this you need characters and he is definitely one of them and we hope we can have him because he has been a big figure here. We’ve missed him.”
“I think they (Houllier and Carew) need to sort that between themselves. They are grown men and everything is about the club. If you want to have someone in the team, you just need to go and see what he can do. If we have him, it will be great because he has scored goals for us and we know what John is capable of.
“If they can work it out, we will definitely welcome John because he is a big part of this team.
“Would I pick him? I’ll pick anyone that is available because we’ve got good players and we need everyone available now.”
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