Size not an issue for Bannan

The diminutive midfielder is just 5ft 5in, but he is determined to

prove he is big enough for the Premier League. Bannan feels the

likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi show size does not

matter. “Look at the best players in the world. The world champions

and Euro champions are Spain. All the midfielder players are 5ft

8ins maximum,” said Bannan, who has just been called up to the full

Scotland squad. “The best players in the world are Xavi, Iniesta,

Messi. They are all small. I’ve heard a lot of people say ‘your

height this, your height that’. But when you look at players like

that it boosts your confidence. You think if he can do it then why

can’t I? “I’ve always been small – tops didn’t fit me at younger

ages! But it has never affected me when I have stepped out on to

the pitch and I don’t see why it does now.” Bannan is one of number

of Villa prospects to be getting a chance under new boss Gerard

Houllier, and he hopes that will continue. “We’ve had a great youth

system over the years and hopefully a few of us can kick on,” he

added.