Surely not: Emile Heskey asked to play in defence against Fulham

Someone emailed in telling me about this, saying they heard it on the radio this morning but I didn't believe it. I know Martin O'Neill likes to play his players and doesn't like to change the team, but wanting Emile Heskey at centre back, can this really be true?

You might think it rubbish but The Times are running with it and I doubt Peter Lansley would run with this unless it was true, but you never know.


For those that don't remember that was the game we won 2-0 and Ciaran Clark was fantastic and was praised by Martin O'Neill afterwards.

But this article by Peter Lansley is quite specific.

The Villa manager asked Heskey to play in defence for the home match with Fulham in August to bail the team out at a time of defensive crisis, and the player replied that he was not comfortable with the idea, having never played a full game there.

Now, when I first got told about this, I was convinced it was pure speculation and if it were true I can understand why Heskey might not like the idea, but could it really be true? Lansley is also suggesting that this could be why Heskey hasn't featured that much since although 'sources at Villa reacted furiously last night to the idea that this had led to Heskey being frozen out by O’Neill'.

I suspect, if that was last night, then the source that was furious was Brian Doogan, the new Head of Media at the club and it was probably not the best second day someone has had at the club, again, if all the above is true, but again, would Peter Lansley write it if it wasn't?

We've got the likes of Ciaran Clark and Shane Lowry that when asked, have stood up and demonstrated that they are capable, so why would O'Neill ask Heskey to play unless he didn't have the confidence to throw the younger players in at the deep end.

I also apologise if this is old news, but I hadn't heard it before or if I did, I didn't connect the dots.