Andy Townsend's Boot Room: Aston Villa need a touch of Yorkie's magic

26 March 2010 08:56
Aston Villa's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League have suffered a massiveblow in the last 10 games - they've drawn seven of them.

I don't think they are ready to make a serious assault on the top four and it will be tough for them at Chelsea today. Villa are a very good top six side but they're just lacking that little bit of magic.

Dwight Yorke: The current Villa side could do with his creativity

I was lucky enough to play with Dwight Yorke at Villa. He was anoutstanding talent, an absolute match-winner and Villa are lacking aplayer like him. He used to score goals, create them, hold the ball upand bring the midfield into play, which is why Manchester United paidso much money for him.

John Carew is in among the goals at the moment but they do get bogged down in tight matches - like against Sunderland in midweek.

I can remember so many games when we were a bit ordinary and Yorkie would come up with something to rescue us.

A good indicator on how far they have to go is looking at how few Villa players would get into the Chelsea team. Stephen Warnock at left back would, with Ashley Cole injured and you'd find room for Ashley Young and possibly James Milner, but you'd struggle to name many more. But Martin O'Neill needn't worry too much, as they have still had a great season and they are the right type of team to upset Chelsea.

The teams that have caused Carlo Ancelotti's side problems recently are the ones who have had good movement. Inter did it with Wesley Sneijder, Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito; Manchester City with Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy. Villa have that in Young, Milner and Stewart Downing but with Milner out with an achilles injury they could struggle.

Hull's clash with Fulham is massive at the other end of the table.Fulham haven't won away in the league since the opening day of theseason, they looked pretty exhausted at Tottenham on Wednesday and Ithink Iain Dowie's side have a chance.

IT'S NOW OR NEVER I know David Gold and David Sullivan have a principle of not rushing to sack managers. But if they don't see Gianfranco Zola as the long-term boss at Upton Park, then they should get rid of him sooner rather than later. Because as things stand, West Ham are in serious danger of going down.

He has been brought in to make an immediate impact and I remember Dave Webb coming in at Chelsea for a few games when Ian Porterfield was sacked. We were without a league win in two months and were heading down but he turned it round and we finished 11th.

Players who have been out of the team start enjoying coming into work as they sense they might get a chance, players who have been coasting step up their game and the whole feel at the club changes. Dowie and Hull have to win today and if they can, they'll have a great chance of staying up.

The stats, the facts, the tips, the teams.


Source: Daily_Mail