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Author Topic: Chris Sutton  (Read 1837 times)

Offline Ivo Stas

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Chris Sutton
« on: April 19, 2017, 09:18:45 PM »
I happened upon a copy of Chris Sutton's autobiography ("Paradise and Beyond") so I thumbed through to see if he had anything much to say about his brief time at Aston Villa (surely the highlight of his much-traveled career, I assume the aforementioned "Paradise" refers to Villa Park). This is what he had to say about his short time at Villa Park:

Quote
I trained on my own during the summer, self-policed myself. When I felt ready to step up my training schedule and join in on games, I closed in on a decision about where I wanted to play my football. I chose Aston Villa and signed for them in October 2006. I fancied working for Martin again. Aston Villa is a huge club and I had the best years of my career under him at Celtic. I also had tremendous respect for his backroom staff, John Robertson and Steve Walford, and enjoyed the thought of working with them. Also, because I was in the latter stages of my career and with the injuries Iíd had, I knew the way Martin and his staff would treat me. Travelling from my home in Norfolk was going to be an issue. It was more than a three-hour drive from my house to the training ground and I found the journey to be quite hard. Being stuck on a motorway isnít my idea of fun. I would travel to Birmingham on the Monday and if we had a midweek game Iíd stay right through until the Saturday. It was hard on me and hard on Sam and the boys.

If our schedule permitted, Martin would give me an extra day off here and there and trust me to do my own thing. I worked hard when I had to train on my own. I wouldnít have messed him around. He was like that at Celtic and I found the training at Aston Villa to be similar to the way it was at Celtic. If players had little niggles he would let them judge what was best to do when it came to training.

I played a few reserve games and my fitness improved. I then got into the first team. Martin had inherited a squad that had just avoided relegation the previous season under David OíLeary. He had a tough job on his hands because the players and club had under-performed the previous year. The players were low on confidence and Martin had his work cut out. But he is a fantastic manager and soon started to get things moving in the right direction without making any drastic changes. He was a brilliant motivator and started to get a bit of momentum going. He brought in Stiliyan Petrov from Celtic for £7 million. He played me as a central striker and I played with Gabby Agbonlahor alongside me. Gabby had great potential but was very raw at that stage. He was learning the game but had great pace. I also played alongside Juan Pablo Angel. He was a more rounded player than Gabby at that time but lacked his pace.

I was under no illusions about the fact that I was a short-term fix. I was thirty-four and hadnít built my hopes up that my move to Villa would be for two or three years. But I was at an age and a situation where if I was playing well enough and still performing at the highest level, then I would carry on.

I felt I produced decent performances and scored the winning goal in a 1Ė0 win over Everton. I was delighted to score again in the Premiership. I felt good about myself, especially considering I had one or two concerns after the adductor operations. With every passing game I played, my confidence grew.

Martin was really getting things going at Villa. The players wanted to play for him and he was building up the kind of mentality within the dressing room that we had had at Celtic.

I played against Manchester United at Villa Park in a league game on 23 December 2006. A long ball came forward, Nemanja Vidic and I both went for an aerial challenge and I got a blow to the side of my head. Iím unsure if it came from his elbow or his head. I went down and when I got up I felt dazed. I went in at half-time but still didnít feel quite right. I didnít know whether I was concussed or not but the vision in my right eye was hazy.

We struggled to live with Manchester United in the first half and I didnít feel I was contributing as well as I should have been. I was up against Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, two exceptional defenders and a good partnership, up there with the best ever in the Premiership. So, it was in my mind that maybe, sub-consciously, I was using the challenge from Vidic as an excuse for not being at the level I wanted to be at. I was really motivated to cause the pair of them problems in the second half so I played the rest of the game. I wanted to do better but we were well beaten 3Ė0. After the game, I knew my right eye wasnít as it should be. Again, I thought I may have been concussed so I spoke to the medical staff and they told me to keep them informed as we had a game seventy-two hours later.

Sadly, that game against Manchester United was to be my last ever as a footballer. I never played again.

We were playing Tottenham in London on Boxing Day and I reported to the hotel in London on Christmas Day night. I told the club doctor, Roddy MacDonald, that my right eye was still blurred and that I had doubts Iíd be available for selection. I donít think Martin was overly pleased but I had already voiced my doubts immediately after the Manchester United game.

Roddy didnít want to take any chances and he arranged an examination with an eye specialist at Wellington Hopsital in London. I left the team hotel and headed straight there. The first set of results endorsed my own fears. I had problems with my vision in my right eye and it was suggested by the doctors that I shouldnít play the following day.

Being told I wasnít able to play against Tottenham wasnít the news I wanted to hear. I desperately wanted to be given the all clear. During the following few weeks, I went for more tests with different specialists and I was advised to stop playing. I was told it was the sensible thing to do. It was a massive shock.

And this is what he had to say about Stiliyan Petrov (in a best-players-I-ever-played-with section):

Quote
[Stan Petrov] signed for Aston Villa when I was there and he found it difficult in the initial period because, for me, not enough of his team-mates were on his wavelength. The Villa fans got on his back but like a lot of fans, they didnít understand the game. Heíd be two moves ahead of some of the guys he had to play with and that cost him. Some guys would be on the back-foot and Stiliyan would be playing passes around corners. Theyíd be used to players taking a touch, while heíd be passing first time and moving. I felt angry with what was happening but it showed the measure of Stiliyan that he had to adapt his game to suit them. He now plays the holding role at Villa, which he makes look extremely easy. For me, heís wasted playing in that position. He has a great football brain, makes good decisions when in possession and great runs off the ball. He was very confident on the pitch.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 09:24:57 PM by Ivo Stas »

Online kippaxvilla2

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 10:12:57 PM »
Sadly in this case 'Paradise' will refer to Celtic.

Offline SoccerHQ

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 10:47:13 PM »
Can't argue with too much of that. He is however a moron on BT and 5 live, not a fan of him as a pundit at all.

Another player we signed too late really like Robbie Keane, Ginola etc. Didn't Gregory try to sign him in the late 90s when he was at Blackburn.

Offline manic-road

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 10:49:54 PM »
I agree with his thoughts on Petrov, some fans were soon on his back.

Offline Rudy65

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 10:56:01 PM »
Can't argue with too much of that. He is however a moron on BT and 5 live, not a fan of him as a pundit at all.

Another player we signed too late really like Robbie Keane, Ginola etc. Didn't Gregory try to sign him in the late 90s when he was at Blackburn.

Agreed. He drones on incessantly.

Online Sexual Ealing

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 11:02:39 PM »
I've never been to court, but if I was contesting the points on my license and the British Transport Police's case against me was delivered in such verbose, flowery, frilly language as that with which Sutton used in that passage I'd put my foot through the magna carta and send the repair bill to Mr William Self.

Footballers' autobiographies are supposed to depict an insider's view of what a characterless automaton remembers about a career. They're not a mere platform for sub-Russell Brand rhetorical showboating. I'm livid.

Offline olaftab

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 11:04:50 PM »
I don't remember much about his time here.

Offline SoccerHQ

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2017, 11:06:04 PM »
I don't remember much about his time here.

Pretty much covers it!


Offline Villan For Life

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2017, 11:09:01 PM »
I don't remember much about his time here.

Absolutely. Filed away under the "I forgot he played for us" thread. Didn't he also play for the unwashed?

Offline tomd2103

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2017, 12:19:15 AM »
I agree with his thoughts on Petrov, some fans were soon on his back.

I disagree slightly.  I genuinely admire the man for what he has been through and the way he dealt with it and he has become a cult figure, but I think he was a bit on the slow side to play a more advanced role in the English top flight and he struggled until he moved to a deeper role.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 12:21:22 AM by tomd2103 »

Online cdbullyweefan

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 12:39:04 AM »
Struggling to see much to get angry about. We were poor prior to his arrival. Agreed. O'Neill improved the team. Agreed. Sutton was unlucky to get injured. Agreed. Petrov had the crowd on his back at first but was a a very talented player. Agreed.

Offline Monty

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 12:40:16 AM »
It's probably the dullest collection of sentences I've read this month.

Online cdbullyweefan

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 12:41:08 AM »
And lovely cross from Isaiah Osbourne. Must say I'd forgotten he made a positive impact for us.

Online ACVilla

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2017, 05:37:54 AM »
And lovely cross from Isaiah Osbourne. Must say I'd forgotten he made a positive impact for us.
I was at that game and thought Isaiah Osborne would be the next big thing.

Online Zouch Villa

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Re: Chris Sutton
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2017, 07:06:10 AM »
It's probably the dullest collection of sentences I've read this month.

Certainly doesn't encourage me to read an ex-player autobiography any time soon. Reminds me of the diaries we were forced to keep on school trips, 'we did this, and then we did that, and such and such said this, and the weather was.....' ZZzzzzzzzzzzz