Football Hall of Fame winner, Davies, Dunne, Collins and Martin O'Neill

It appears that if Marlon Harewood were to join any team and then come back to Villa Park, he'd get a good reception. Most accept that he gives 110%, probably hasn't had a proper chance and well, that it can't be nice for him and that he deserves to be playing football and if that is in Newcastle, so be it.

But it does appear that you either love or hate Emile Heskey and he came in for a bit of stick yesterday. For the record because I like dividing opinion, I thought he was a fantastic purchase but I think O'Neill is playing him wrong. Heskey, for me anyway, would be a very good striker running the channels in a 4-5-1 and still has the energy for it and if he were to do that, I think we'd all be happy.


But today isn't about Heskey. He'll have a good few games this season, hopefully one after the other and he'll win a few over, but if he doesn't, we shouldn't get to worried about him, he isn't the future of this club; believe it or not, that goes to Gabby and Delfouneso.

But, a few people have been talking recently, mostly our manager and the new players, so I've taken the best bits and I'm pasting it here, for discussion.

Martin O'Neill on Collins and Dunne
It's just great to get them in. I think it gives everybody a boost around the football club and hopefully they stay injury-free and are ready to go.Richard Dunne has been around a long, long time. He's 29-years-old and has been at Manchester City for around eight years now and Everton before that. His pedigree is pretty well established.

Maybe less so for the likes of James, who I remember seeing play as a young kid at Cardiff.

Well, we didn't really expect O'Neill to say anything different did we, but it is nice and as he has said, it's given everyone a boost. Woop woop.

Richard Dunne on what is possible this season
I’m delighted. It’s a great opportunity for me. Hopefully I can be part of a squad that can challenge for a Champions League spot.

I think with Aston Villa, with the experience they would have gained from last season - they went so close for so long at the top end and the manager has bought in some new players into the squad this year - maybe it might help us go that bit further.

You know, I don't think he is wrong and it comes down to nerve, call it bottle if you want. The lads need to keep their nerve this season and Dunne, I think is one of those players that I think will bring it. If he wasn't a footballer, he'd be up at 4am digging for peat before breakfast. What I mean is, he's solid and he's got bottle.

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James Collins on joining Aston Villa
I loved my time at West Ham – but I believe I have taken a step forward. I have come to Aston Villa to improve as a player and hopefully that will help my international career no end. I love playing for Wales and one day I hope to captain my country – hopefully this move can help.

Well, while one player has come to get Champions League football, the other has come to help his international career. I don't mind why he has come because for him to well at international level he has to do well for us, but I fancy Collins was someone we showed late interest in, mostly because of the injury to Davies.

The injury to Davies wasn't something new but I think O'Neill was hoping that it wasn't as bad as it was but when he went off the other day and straight down the tunnel, I think that was sort of the writing on the wall.

O'Neill thinks Davies is going to need further surgery on the shoulder that kept him out of the West Brom team for five months three seasons ago and while he'll find out for sure this week, if he does need surgery, it's likely going to be another three to five months.

Now, I like Davies and think he can be a rock for us in the back line but this isn't going to help him this season or his chances of getting a seat on the plane heading to South Africa next summer, I mean, Davies is better than Upson, you'd fancy a full season and he'd have been on that plane, which is unfortunate.

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However, he is still only 24 and as long as the shoulder is fixed, he'll be on the plane to Brazil in 2014 and you never know, he might even lift the trophy on home soil in 2018 but I suspect that might be Ciaran Clark instead after Ashley and the Fonz score the winners against Germany in the final at Villa Park, the church of football.

Right, before I start going off on one, the winner of the competition to see the team from 1982 inducted into the Football Hall of Fame, something not even the club are offering up, is Chris Flatley of Walsall. He'll be getting an email from me soon, but if you know Chris, congratulate him, this is a fantastic prize and remember Chris, it's black tie, so look smart.

You can still go to this event by clicking here to order your tickets for the evening.