One game is too less to judge a player, but if the Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool game was anything to go by, Martin O’Neill has made the right decision in signing Nigel Reo-Coker.
For starters, Reo-Coker was given more freedom to go forward which, as we’ve seen with United’s Carrick, gives the player’s game a new dimension and almost always produced an improved player. Reo-Coker may not have scored goals but he was creating chances for Aston Villa and over the course of the season I’d expect him to be at the heart of Aston Villa’s top-10 charge, along with Gareth Barry of course.
At West Ham Reo-Coker was overwhelmingly blamed for West Ham’s ‘dressing room troubles’ and his and Harewood’s exit (along with Sheringham’s) led Magnusson and Curbishley to proclaim that the dressing room was a ‘much happier place’.
Having seen several players thrown out of clubs on such whims, I think that the treatment handed out to Reo-Coker by the fans was unfair and there is a chance that the club also dealt with him unfairly. I’m sure that Reo-Coker did have problems – the gambling issues have been well-discussed in the past – but it’s not as if he’s complete shite and at the end of the season Reo-Coker would have gone anywhere, he just wanted to leave West Ham.
For Aston Villa’s sake, I hope that Reo-Coker doesn’t turn out to be a Bellamy or a Barton – players who build a reputation for causing trouble wherever they go.
What do Villa fans think? Was Reo-Coker a good buy, and how do you guys expect him to do at Aston Villa?