Is Spurs’ very own ‘man of mystery’ really the answer?

Football FanCast columnist, Greg Symonds, wonders whether Villa should really be looking to Jermaine Jenas as the ideal replacement for Gareth Barry.

When Martin O'Neill talked of the thankless task he has of trying to replace Gareth Barry, the media has thrown a lot of potential candidates our way. Some have been good, some have been bad, but the general feeling around Villa Park is that Jermaine Jenas is the man that Mart wants to fill Barry's shoes. I would be lying if I said I didn't have my own reservations, about a player who more often than not seems to flatter to deceive.

Over the years there have been many Jenas' of this world who bring mixed opinions amongst supporters, with many finding it somewhat of a mystery that he is continually called up for England. I never rated David Platt whilst he was at Villa or for England, yet he always seems to get picked regardless. Kevin Richardson was another player I could never understood why he played so often at Villa, but he always was. Jenas seems to be a player that is cut from the same cloth with every England manager I can remember taking a chance on him at one time or other and pundits praising his contribution in games. Perhaps I missed it, but at the same time I am not a football manager therefore hardly qualified to understand what their actual contribution is.

I think something that is worth noting is that there aren't many Spurs fans planning any demonstrations against his sale, which in itself raises my own doubts about his suitability. The North Londoners are crying out for a Barry type player in their midfield (hence they tried to sign him this summer) yet they clearly deem him surplus, therefore how is he going to be the solution at Villa Park? As much as I despise Harry Redknapp I feel he is in the same bracket as O'Neill when it comes to motivating players, therefore if he can't achieve it then what's to say that Mart can?

So how do we replace someone like Barry and is Jermaine Jenas really the answer? Can O'Neill succeed where a whole plethora of managers have failed?


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