Aston Villa Message Board
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It is going to be a difficult time for the lad as he moves from 'Youngster with potential' to '23 year old International footballer with expectation. You can see this on TV, Hansen, Shearer, and god knows who on Sky are now starting highlight technical flaws rather than focus on the good.
This is where the coaching staff and the senior players have to help the lad fulfill his obvious potential. Who know better the pitfalls of moving from promising youngster only to struggle with expectation than Emile Heskey. There is enough at the club to help him hone his technical ability and build his confidence and hopefully that is what they are currently doing.
I am not believer in the 'drop a player, to build his confidence' school of thought. If he is fit he should play, this is the only way to build confidence and with the support of O'Neill and his staff I'm sure he will become the player he has the talent to be. But he does need to stand up, because you can't live on 'potential' for ever or you become another Lee Hendrie!
I think its amazing how well the club has done without his production. He is still our leading scorer and we need him now, more than ever, to help stop this tailspin and produce in the most critical time of year. I wish the lad all the best and I know that more expectations have been put his way...but surely as a player, this is what you want...the top four finish...Champions League spot...the England Jersey...and eventually, some nice silver trophies to put on your shelf.