Jol expecting summer of change
Wolves have lost their bid to have Jamie O’Hara’s three-game ban
reduced after their appeal was rejected by the Football
O’Hara, who was sent off during Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to
Huddersfield, will miss Tuesday night’s game against Hull City
followed by the clashes with Charlton and Burnley.
The midfielder reacted angrily to a challenge from Terriers
substitute Keith Southern and subsequently pushed him, leading to
Wolves had accepted the decision itself but were unhappy with
the mandatory three-match ban and asked the FA for leniency in the
Under FA rules a club may appeal the severity of a suspension if
they feel there are extenuating circumstances, but in this instance
the FA decided to reject the appeal and O’Hara will have to serve
the full three-game ban.
Delph’s girlfriend Natalie is due to give birth early next month
and he is desperate to be present when the baby arrives.
But the 23-year-old former Leeds player, who scored an own goal
in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Fulham, has also stressed the
importance of keeping himself available for Villa at the moment –
something he is ready to prioritise if necessary.
“We have spoken about it and we know it’s a possibility,” Delph
told the club’s official website.
“It could happen as one of the games is about to go on. But this
is a crucial part of the season and if I’m down to play in the
games, I need to be playing.
“Natalie appreciates the situation and is 100% behind me.
“I want to see my baby being born and hope it happens. Ideally,
it will happen on a Wednesday.”
Villa are currently 17th in the table with five matches left to
play, three points clear of 18th-placed Wigan, who have two games
in hand over them.
After losing the likes of Clint Dempsey, Mousa Dembele and Danny
Murphy last year, there again looks set to be another high turnover
of midfielders at Craven Cottage.
Giorgos Karagounis, Mahamadou Diarra, Chris Baird and Simon
Davies have all yet to extend their contracts past the end of the
The on-loan quartet of Urby Emanuelson, Emmanuel Frimpong,
Stanislav Manolev and Eyong Enoh also see their stays expire in the
summer, although Fulham have an option to make the latter duo’s
Jol has some tough decisions to make over the coming months in
regards to those players and knows new midfielders need to arrive
ahead of the new campaign.
“If you look at the defence, I think we are fine,” the Dutchman
“If you look at the midfield, I think Steve Sidwell is probably
the only one left if you think of all the players we had six or
seven months ago. We have to do something.
“Up front, Mladen Petric we will talk to him as he is on a
one-year deal [which expires]..
“Sascha Riether we have an option in his loan [to make it
permanent] and we will probably take that.
“For the rest, I don’t see any problem but in midfield we can do
something because there is only one or two left.
“Karagounis is also on a one-year deal so Sidwell is probably
the only one who is on a long-term contract.”
As well as shoring up his midfield, Jol wants to bring in a new
Regular number one Mark Schwarzer has yet to sign a new deal
past the summer and understudy David Stockdale, currently on loan
at Hull, is frustrated at a lack of opportunities in west
“Mark Schwarzer is for us almost a hero,” said Jol, who also
today played down of a move for Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando
“He saves games for us so I would like him to stay but we are
looking for a goalkeeper.
“Neil Etheridge is young and has no experience. He will go on
loan, 100 per cent, to gain experience to be the number one in the
“We have Csaba Somogyi, who was man-of-the-match four times out
of the last six games at Dartford, but we still look for a
“We are looking for a good goalkeeper so if Mark decides to stay
I have two good goalkeepers, plus Stockdale because he is still
there. I have to talk to him.”
While next season is not far from his mind, Jol’s immediate
attention is on tomorrow’s derby clash with Chelsea.
The Cottagers have a miserable record against their west London
neighbours, winning just one of 23 Premier League clashes, but
could be playing them at a good time given the Blues’ hectic
“I am not sure,” Jol said about the timing. “Sometimes you have
the rhythm, which gives you the advantage.
“We played on Saturday, we will play again Wednesday and then
“It is about legs so it depends on who is playing. If they play
the same team, that probably could help us.
“If not, they are big enough as a squad to play four or five
different players and I think they probably will.”