Barry Bannan, Chris Herd, And Fabian Delph Will Not Go Out On Loan

Gerard Houllier reassures AVFC fans that Barry Bannan won't be going out on loan this season. Giving us even more reasons to use his photos (and by "us" we clearly imply "Kirsten") (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Despite Eric Lichaj completing a month-long loan to Leeds United yesterday, Gerard Houllier has insisted that the midfield babies of Aston Villa -- Barry Bannan, Fabian Delph and Chris Herd -- will not be allowed out on loan. While those of us proudly sporting Baz shirts and listening to Herd interviews again and again should be pleased with this news, there's also the question of, Why?

It seems to me that Houllier is a bit hung up on the midfield problem. Although he did allow Jonathan Hogg to go to Portsmouth, his other loanees were a defender (Lichaj) and a striker (Andreas Weimann, off to Watford). This, coupled with the fact that he said he wants Michael Bradley to provide cover in the case of another injury-pocalypse, makes me wonder what on earth Houllier's midfield obsession is about. Don't the Villa need depth at defense just as desperately?

The article also included an interesting quote from Houllier about Bannan:

Barry will be training with the first-team which was not the case before, so in terms of intensity in terms of pace of the game he’s got to for the four months coming up.

It will be part of a learning process and learn about the game and of course they’ll play some games.

You can’t put the horse before the cart, you’ve got to work and then you’ll play games.

That last part reinforces some of the speculation of why Baz is being left off the bench. Perhaps he's not working hard enough? But at the same time, it appears that Houllier wants to keep him around. He wants to make use of the wee man's cleverness. That's a start, I suppose, and a hope I will cling to as I watch formations shift and get a better idea of where, exactly, Houllier is taking this team.

And I guess the likes of the Villa babies simply weren't ready for first-team competition when they took to the field earlier this season. Which makes sense, but still rather hurts the heart a bit. I'm ready to see the players that Villa developed in regular first team action.
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