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Playing mind games with Norwich

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The Canaries rejected Wes Hoolahan's transfer request. Play it cool now, Villa.

Hang on now...just let me take off my shoes and do a little dance
Hang on now...just let me take off my shoes and do a little dance
Jamie McDonald

Every armchair shrink has figured out that one of the best tricks to getting someone to do your bidding is to employ reverse psychology. And every good marketing agency knows that, by reducing availability of a product and driving up its demand, you're going to create a buzz that prompts the consuming public to camp overnight in lines stretching around the block.

Wes Hoolahan is now Norwich's iPhone 5. He's the Playstation that people stab each other for inside Walmarts on Black Friday. He is the Birkin Bag that has a seven year waiting list. Yes, the 31 year old midfielder who's started just five times in the league for Norwich City is now at the top of many Aston Villa fans' most wanted lists.

And why? All because the Canaries rejected his transfer request.

Villa can't have him. And now we want him. So it's time to employ that bit of reverse psychology. Hoolahan is 31. He's barely able to get playing time at Norwich, a squad suffering worse than Villa. Hoolahan has eight appearances for the Republic of Ireland, all in friendlies. This is the guy that's going to prop up the Villa midfield? Ha. We're tenth now, and we can do so much better.

Let it go, Villa. Turn away from the window. Back away from the end of the line, pack up the tent, and go get a full night's sleep. Look for other attacking midfielders. Admire the crisp passes of this one, the swerving shots of that one. Talk up how so-and-so directs play, creates chances, injects pace and energy onto the pitch.

Soon Norwich will come running back, begging you to take Hoolahan off their hands. But will you even want him anymore?