I’ve said ever since we signed him, that “N’zog” is, in my opinion, a very good player. One that offers something different; a twist and turn and a jinking run, that set him apart from many of his peers playing in the Villa side in the time when McLeish ruined, sorry, managed the team.
My opinion says he would be an even better option in the current side, but for some reason he hasn’t seen the light of day under Paul Lambert, this season.
Some of you will no doubt immediately jump up and say “it’s because he’s injured, you idiot” and on the face of it, you are of course correct. He has a major Achilles problem.
Now, while I do have some time for conspiracies, I also, over the years have come to realise that very often, what you see is not actually what’s happening behind the scenes. A PR facade, that covers what’s really going on, if you will.
And ever since N’Zog’s injury, I’ve often said that he’ll never kick a ball for us again.
It was just a conviction, but something I never really analysed.
So why have I bought it up now?
Well, the Birmingham Evening Mail and the Star are both running a story that suggests that N’Zog might play for us again this season, with quotes from Lambert included;
“You would think he would play before the end of the season, yes, but it’s not nice, that injury. I think his Achilles heel just went and once you get that it’s a major injury.”
Except if you look more closely, my understanding is he won’t get into the first team squad this season.
For one, he doesn’t have a squad number, which automatically precludes him, I think.
From the Beeb’s footy site;
“- Changes (to the squad, my words) can be made only during transfer windows, although in exceptional circumstances (eg goalkeeping injury crisis) moves could be allowed.”
So at best, he might make the reserve side.
(In fairness, I’m not sure what happens if you haven’t filled your quota, as I don’t believe we did.
I’m happy to be pulled up on that.)
And then, there’s the nature of his injury.
His Achilles apparently went while jogging.
Fair enough, this sort of thing happens, but are you really telling me a professional footballer at his peak can sustain an injury in this manner and can’t be recuperated in short time, given the facilities and medical skills that top clubs can call on?
I’ve just done a bit of research and a snapped Achilles should heal in 4-12 months.
I’d take that 12 months to be a worst case, eg a very aged person, whereas I’d expect a reasonably fit bloke, let alone N’Zog, to be included in that 4 months.
I quite frankly never believed the story and I’m convinced he’s quite simply been ostracised, just as Given and Hutton etc were.
The difference between N’Zog and the rest?
Charles was signed for £9-10 million, on a rumoured £57k a week (from memory), on a shocking five year deal, which means we have him on our books until July 2016!
This is quite simply bordering on criminal and makes you think of a few things.
First, who on earth sanctioned this signing?
Second, it says something about McLeish, who has boasted that he did a good job in cutting the wages (?!). The fact that he said that also goes back to the first point, if you think about it.
Was it just a marquee signing done over AM’s head?
Third, was this “all too convenient” injury just a nice, quiet way of sidelining a totally embarrassing signing that Lambert can’t handle with the aim being that we might just forget about him?
My further questions are, if indeed N’Zog has been ostracised as I suspect, isn’t this just total madness?
And shouldn’t we be looking to get him back in the side, given that I also suspect he’s been asked to leave, but has basically stuck two fingers up and said “I want to play and I’m not going anywhere for less money”?
But how’s that going to work, if Lambert simply doesn’t want him because he costs too much?
A total disaster, whichever way you look at it, in that case.
Of course, I could be talking total rubbish and he is quite simply injured, as the club say.
In which case, go on then, let’s hear the slating. I can take it.