Nicky Shorey: Where did it all go wrong at Villa Park?

NickyShoreyTwo years after playing for England, Nicky Shorey finds himself out on loan at Championship side Nottingham Forest. It is tremendous turn around in fortunes for a left back who at 28 years of age should be in the prime of his career. His successes at Reading during their two year stay in the top flight helped achieve the biggest feat in his career by being called up to the England squad as a reserve to first-choice Ashley Cole. He made his debut in Steve McClaren’s side in May 2007 against Brazil and impressed with his performance during the match.

After the relegation of Reading back to the Championship two seasons ago, England international Shorey had a plethora of Premier League sides chasing his signature, and he opted for Aston Villa, signing at three year contract at the start of the 2008/09 season. With fellow left-back Wilfred Bouma out of the side with a long term injury, Shorey tried to make the position his own, establishing himself at left-back for the opening months of the season. Things quickly went wrong for the English left-back however, as a string of poor defensive displays by Villa led manager Martin O’Neill to take action.

Shorey was the casualty of the inquisition and found himself sitting on the bench while Luke Young, bought to fill the right back slot, became a permanent fixture on the left of defence. It seemed that very quickly Shorey had become out of favour with the Northern Irishman and he was in and out of the side until the end of the season.

Things started promisingly for Shorey at the start of this season, he made three league starts, but it seems that for O’Neill he was only a temporary solution on the left side. Stephen Warnock was signed from Blackburn Rovers at the end of the August transfer window and proceeded to take Shorey’s place in the team. Realising that first team opportunities would be hard to come by, Shorey has decided to go out on loan to Notts Forest. He not only wants to get first team football but also wants to prove himself and get in the shop window for potential suitors in the Premiership:

It’s a chance to put myself back in the shop window again. It’s extremely frustrating but the manager makes his decision and you have to get on with it. I’ve learnt a lot at Villa in terms of the other side of football, when you’re not playing and feel you should be. I want to enjoy it again at Forest.

Only time will tell if he impresses enough to get that switch he desires. At 28, there is not a lot of time left to get back in the big leagues and he will need to try his up most to get back in the big time as soon as possible.

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NEW Soccer AM IIII DVD OUT NOW – Order your copy now