Laursen Blog: Beating Albion would send out perfect signal
Martin Laursen on Villa matters.
16th Jan 2013
Laursen Blog: Beating Albion would send out perfect signal


Our next game is a big derby with West Brom - and the thing that stands out for me is the fact that this is the perfect game to start our revival.

It would send out the right signals in the fight to stay up if they can win the derby. I believe this strongly.

It would be absolutely perfect to change the situation.

Albion are doing well but this is the ideal game to start all over again and begin that fightback.

I really enjoyed the big derby games. We did well against West Brom in my era. We had a good record.

I remember the 2-1 win from 2008 when Gabby Agbonlahor and John Carew scored.

It's great to win these matches. It's always three points for the club, the team and the players, but we know it means more for the fans.

You can tell because of the atmosphere, it's more intense and special.

You have to embrace that atmosphere in the derby, that's key. Our players on Saturday must not feel anxious and the pressure from the crowd.

They must think about what the manager has said, what they need to do individually and just go out there and run their socks off and work their socks off.

They must remember they need the three points for the table. It's such an important game.

I will be following the game, no doubt.

People outside Villa will see me as a former player and nothing more.

But I can assure you, I am a fan of this football club.

I spent five of the happiest years of my career in claret and blue and I still live and breathe the club now.

So our struggles over the past few weeks have really hit me hard. I hate it when we're not winning games. At the moment I really feel sorry for the boys and for everyone around the club.

I shout at the television screen, I scream - not as loudly as a Holte Ender, of course! But I get irritated when we lose and delighted when we win.

I hope I'm delighted on Saturday night!


After the Baggies match, it's the big Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Bradford City.

Villa can still get through, of course, despite the two-goal deficit. It's still very possible.

We need to win the battles all over the pitch. Every player must win their individual battle.

Against these teams, you need to win the battle first and then you can show your Premier League class.

We must be stronger all over the pitch on Tuesday.

A good start - one or two goals in the first half - would be fantastic. That would get the fans onside and get Villa Park rocking.

Playing a fantastic game and getting to a final would create a good atmosphere at the club too and lift the young players.

It will give them confidence, which can push them on with the league programme too.

Trust me, playing in a final is a massive, massive thing!


Vlaar

I read the comments of the manager last week that he wants a strong, physical defender in the transfer window. I agree with him.

I think a solid defensive addition could make a massive difference!

I know I'll never play again. But when I heard the manager's comments, it really made me want to lace up my boots again. That's for sure.

I'd give anything to be out there playing for Villa again and helping them. But I cannot do that. I can think about it. I have drifted back in time before. Unfortunately know it won't happen.

The manager is astute. He's a proper football man and knows how things are and how things work.

Ron Vlaar has been a big miss for the team. I rate Ron highly. He's a top-quality defender. He's a big player and he's been a big miss.

He's a solid defender and he has experience too.

He has been in the Dutch national team and that's a quality side. He's strong, powerful and quick - those are the attributes you need in the Premier League, especially power, which he has in abundance.

He brings that physicality to things. He has a good character too. He's a good lad in and around the training ground.

I hear he trains very hard too. He's clearly a top professional. The more people you can have like that around your football club, the better.

But we must also not put too much pressure on his shoulders either. It's his first season in the Premier League and he's also been named team skipper. It's not an easy transition in your first year of English top-flight football.

That's why I would like to see another strong, solid, powerful player in the ranks, alongside the likes of Ron, Ciaran, Nathan and Chris.

I have confidence the manager will get the right man!

 

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