Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey injured his knee in practice and now requires surgery, leaving him out of contention for at least a month. With Gabriel Agbonlahor still not recovered from groin surgery, even though the Villa said it would be a week, and John Carew having forgotten how to play football, unable to do the simple things like pass, Aston Villa are, in proper terms, "screwed." Discounting Carew--and I do, because he's actively hurt the team--Villa have just one striker left at their disposal:Nathan Delfouneso.
Delfouneso is great. He's the future of the Villa, certainly. But for some reason, unlike others that are meant to be the future and are suddenly playing often, including Ciaran Clark and Barry Bannan, Delfouneso has played in just one match under Gerard Houllier. He came on for the final fifteen minutes of the match against Chelsea, and his pace changed the game a bit, allowing Villa to send their passes up the sides of the field rather than direct them precisely at Carew, who in addition to everything else is about as slow as molasses. Still, with Carew continuing to get the start over Delfouneso when Heskey is out of commission, and rarely coming in off the bench, it makes a fan wonder if Houllier doesn't have much confidence in the young striker.
This is Aston Villa's season of change. The team is likely not going to claim a European spot. So it's time to take chances and let the young talent play. We've seen what John Carew can do, and while he might be bigger than me or you, he's not much else. Considering no one is going to allow Villa to buy an emergency striker, it's time to give Delfouneso the start.