Burned his Villa bridges?
Nigel Reo-Coker has been told to stay away from Villa Park this weekend after Martin O’Neill sent the player home from training yesterday and dropped him for Aston Villa’s Barclays Premier League home game against Portsmouth today because the pair had a confrontation.
The Villa manager confirmed that Reo-Coker has been suspended for “breaking the rules”, although he refused to specify the nature of their “contretemps”. O’Neill will decide after the weekend whether to fine the player, but while the manager insists Reo-Coker will be in contention for Wednesday’s Carling Cup third-round tie against Cardiff City, it appears that his days with Villa are numbered.
Reo-Coker, signed from West Ham United for £7.5 million two years ago, has become increasingly frustrated with his role at Villa. Last season, after losing his place in midfield, he had to fill in at right back. Even since regaining his place in a five-man midfield recently, he has been visibly peeved when substituted in the past two games.
The 25-year-old seemed set to return to London this summer when he was linked with moves to Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham and, although O’Neill said yesterday that “no bridges have been burnt”, his future at Villa looks on thin ice at best. He is midway through a four-year contract but a departure at the earliest opportunity looks a likely outcome. (Times Online)
Whilst Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill claims that his recent spat with former West Ham midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker will not cause bridges to be burnt it could well be that the Londoner looks for a new home, especially since he has fought a constant positional battle with his manager.
For large parts of his Villa Park career he has either warmed the bench or found himself playing in all manner of ill judged positions, including most annoyingly for the former England Under 21 captain, full back.
Harry Redknapp made moves to capture the battling midfielder in January and now it seems that the Tottenham boss is looking to add some steel in his side and after failed attempts to secure Patrick Vieira and Brazilian Sandro, Harry has admitted that the lack of alternatives in this position could be a problem for the side as they look to make the most of their terrific start to the season. Reo-Coker could well be the perfect solution and now that he may well have played his last game for the midlands outfit.
Given recent events there is no doubting that the White Hart Lane side is closer to getting their man in January and given Redknapp’s obvious admiration for the 25 year old a deal could well be a likelihood.