Martin O’Neill is ready for a long and arduous season

Over the last few days this furore about the commitment and ability of one of Villa’s first team strikers has been causing unrest among the clubs devoted support.

When I first saw the article in the paper I didn’t read a great deal into it and assumed that he would be here till January and if he still wasn’t playing or was playing badly the possibility is he may move or he might not.

I certainly don’t feel that this has been the attack of 9/11 proportions towards the club and its fans that some feel it has been and while Heskey wasn’t misquoted, the context and gist of what he really wanted to say were misinterpreted.

Heskey is a nice guy, but he doesn’t strike me as the sharpest tool in the box. Journalists writing for large newspapers have degrees, excellent vocabulary and experience in asking the right questions to get the answers they want. Heskey is a big lump who plays a sport for a living; he’s never going to be as sharp as an Einstein or Newton, maybe not even a Paul Konchesky and has obviously mumbled his way into hot water after being asked questions involving words with more than three syllables.

Our manager has come out and supported the player and I think this is the right thing to do. Heskey is a confidence player and any criticism is going to damage his game further than it already has. He is being kept out of the side by a hungry young player in form and the general consensus is to get rid of him.

The reality is that Gabby may very well get injured between now and January and Heskey is the only player in our current squad with the experience and capability of leading the line in a 4-5-1. Carew is not mobile enough and it would be a big ask of Delfouneso at his age given that he is still yet to make an impact in the first team.

We all know how gradual Gabby’s progress has been, first playing down the right then in a front two and now on his own; it’s a learning process and the Fonz has a lot to learn.

My opinion is that Martin O’Neill is spot on. We know Heskey’s best role is up on his own and he just hasn’t had the opportunity to do it yet. This is no reason to throw him out of the club and I certainly don’t see him as a liar. If we get to January and he hasn’t played and wants to leave then there will be no hard feelings from me. I have some reservations about O’Neills desire to play him at centre back, but I for one would have been interested to see it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’d rather shatter my jaw bone on a concrete bollard than have anyone think I’m a ‘Heskey lover’, I’m just thinking about the club as a whole and am convinced that he can do a job for us. Players take time to settle in some cases, as we have seen with Nigel, Sidwell, and Petrov. Heskey has not had as much time at the club as this lot, is out of the side at the moment and is suffering from a lack of confidence.

Can anyone post up Andy Cole’s goal scoring record at Man U between him signing for the club and the signing of Yorke and what about Coles’ scoring record for England being as prolific as the Iranian bobsled team’s haul at the last winter Olympics?

We have all seen players turn it on in fits and starts and Heskey may just need a goal (I’m not comparing Cole to Heskey, just trying to prove a point). I am going to stand by my prediction that if he stays with us till June he’ll get ten goals. Many will scoff at this, but I said it so I’ll stay with my convictions.

I’ll now prepare myself for the tirade of abuse from Chiefy.