Loads of Aston Villa supporters responded to a tweet from Birmingham Mail’s football editor Mat Kendrick asking “which Villa players, if any, would you regard as hard men, and why?”
Due to the pandemic, football fans across the globe have been trying to fill the void left by the beautiful game, and the Midlands journalist’s question provoked plenty of replies.
Kendrick then compiled a long list of notable AVFC hard men, including the likes of club legends Andy Lochhead, Shaun Teale, and Dion Dublin, who famously headbutted Birmingham City’s Robbie Savage during a derby defeat at home in 2003.
Unsurprisingly, a large section of the Villa Park faithful clearly have fond memories of Olof Mellberg. The former Swedish international amassed 79 yellow cards in over 500 appearances for all clubs throughout his career, including playing in 258 games for the Villans, before leaving for Serie A side Juventus on a free transfer in 2008.
Several Villa fans paid homage to Mellberg and Martin Laursen, with one fan noting they were “giants amongst men,” whilst another paid tribute to John Carew, dubbing the Norwegian “unplayable on a good day.”
Have a read through some of the best answers we could find…
Hard on the pitch but a softy with the fans.
— Craig Murphy (@Murfolator) April 14, 2020
Always thought boeteng was class at putting a foot in.
Some mentions of hourihane on the next hand jesus wept
— The General Draper (@DraperGeneral) April 14, 2020
Laursen and Mellberg were giants amongst men.
— Michael (@stig7_7) April 14, 2020
John Carew, bullied tough cb’s, first season he took a lot of them by surprise, was unplayable on a good day.
— Marcus Parry (@the_parrots) April 14, 2020
Villa have lacked real hard men over the last few years. Tough footballers. Tough men. That death stare. Action not words. Jedinak and Mellberg had it. Can’t think of many others.
— Adz | Stay Home (@AdzW90) April 14, 2020
Conor. He’s always at the front of the line when there’s a ruckus
— Stevie Green (@StevieGreenXI) April 14, 2020
I always think Conor Hourihane looks ready for a scrap 🤷♂️
— STAY HOME! (@AVFCcommunity) April 14, 2020
Reo-Coker was great in the tackle……which was lucky seeing as his second touch was generally one.
— My Joneration (@grindrod1874) April 14, 2020
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