Arsenal v Villa: Sylla - I'll be like a fan cheering the team on
Yacouba Sylla is set to miss out at Arsenal but the combative midfielder insists he will be like a fan cheering the team on at The Emirates.
Sylla injured his ankle in the Development Squad's game at West Ham, making him a serious doubt for the Gunners clash.
But the former Clermont Foot ace will be willing the claret and blues on from the sidelines if he is ruled out this afternoon.
The 22-year-old says this 'all-together' mentality is normal in football but stronger at Villa because of the unique bond between the youthful charges.
He said: "Any time I don't play, whether it's because of tactics or injury, I will be watching the team as a fan, willing them on to victory.
"We are a close group of players who have a real bond as a squad. It's a strong connection throughout and the new players are very much part of that.
"Even when I'm not playing, their joy is my joy and their pain is my pain. We all work together as a unit. We are one team always."
Sylla could well be absent but he's confident Villa have fine midfielders to fight and create at the Emirates.
He continued: "The competition for places is very good in midfield. It's very healthy, very strong and it helps us all progress.
"We are all young players and determined to impress but it will be the best players who play in the midfield for Villa each week. It's as simple as that with Paul Lambert.
"We have some really good players in the centre. They all have their different qualities.
"Westwood is very clean technically. Delph can move forward and acts very quickly. El Ahmadi has great vision."
Etampes-born Sylla was looking to make an impact at Arsenal and admitted it would be nice to play on the same pitch that one of his football heroes - former French skipper Patrick Vieira - graced so admirably.
He added: "He was a huge player for Arsenal and also in the history of the Premier League.
"He's a very humble guy. You can see that about him. That's the right way to be.
"He was a leader of men too. He's someone everyone looks up even now.
"He was a big, big player who really made his mark at Arsenal.
"He's a role model for me. He led by example to all the other players he played with."
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