Writer: Jasper's Parrot
Date:Friday November 9 2007
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill appears to be panicking that his players will lack the discipline they need to compete with the Blues in the Birmingham derby on Sunday.
The former Northern Ireland international, who incurred the wrath of sections of the Villa support by signing the likes of Marlon Harewood, saw his team finish with nine-men when they were demolished by Manchester United earlier in the season.
O'Neill has, of course, experience the Old Firm derby while manager of Celtic - but this will be his first second city derby and he is expecting a tough encounter. He must also be aware that a loss on Sunday would increase the volume of the currently quiet murmurs about his managerial ability.
O'Neill told Sky Sports News: "I've never been involved in a Birmingham derby before, but it's a game I'm looking forward to in an odd sort of way. It should be a decent occasion. In the past I've seen them on television and they're pretty tough encounters.
"What you'd be hoping for is the game would be a good game and that everybody behaves in a reasonable manner. It'll be hard, it'll be very tough for us. We would need strong discipline and we would have a better chance of winning the game if we remain with 11 players rather than nine as we did against Manchester United."
The chances of a flurry of cards, including those of the red variety, are always higher in the inter-city match than any other clash. And, with the likes of Nigel Reo-Coker in their team, it can only be hoped that Birmingham players don't rise to their baiting.
Reo-Coker, who moved from West Ham in the summer but has yet to show the sort of ability Villa fans claim he has, is easily their most indisciplined players this season - picking up five yellow cards and one red.
Hopefully, Steve Bruce will encourage the players to let Villa's superiority complex get the better of them and send them away from St Andrews with their tails firmly between their legs.
Date:Friday November 9 2007
Sask's Thoughts On Josh Martin (Saturday November 28 2015)
Opinion: Vaughan Represents Good Business (Friday November 27 2015)
Opinion: Predicted line up Vs. Brighton and Hove Albion (Friday November 27 2015)
Opinion: Is Greg Halford really worth all the abuse? (Thursday November 26 2015)
Versatile Rotherham United man joins Blues on loan (Thursday November 26 2015)
Birmingham City borrow former Everton striker (Thursday November 26 2015)
Rowett and the Rumour Mill (Thursday November 26 2015)
One To Watch: Beram Kayal (Thursday November 26 2015)
Blast from the Past - Matthew Upson (Thursday November 26 2015)
Five-a-side: Best of both! (Wednesday November 25 2015)
|3. Derby County||18||10||6||2||15||36|
|4. Hull City||18||10||5||3||16||35|
|8. Sheff Wed||18||7||7||4||3||28|
» Forest : 28/11/2015 17:06:01
» Huddersfield : 28/11/2015 17:04:00
» Fulham : 28/11/2015 17:03:00
» Cardiff : 28/11/2015 17:02:01
» Brighton : 28/11/2015 17:00:01