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Familiar foe for Jamie

Posted on 13 March 2009  - 12:00

Jamie O'Hara had an inkling back in September that Aston Villa might just ruffle a few feathers at the top of the Premier League this season.

Familiar foe for Jamie

Jamie O'Hara had an inkling back in September that Aston Villa might just ruffle a few feathers at the top of the Premier League this season.

The midfielder was an unused substitute when Martin O'Neill's men beat us 2-1 in the Premier League at White Hart Lane on September 15.

Villa impressed that night and, six months on, remain fourth and three points ahead of Arsenal in the race for a Champions League qualifying place.

"I remember sitting on the bench thinking 'this is a team with a chance this season'," reflected Jamie as we prepare for the trip to Villa Park on Sunday.

"They looked like they might be able to push on and they've shown that by playing consistently this season.

"They've been firing on all cylinders and if you look through their team there is a lot of quality and English quality as well in the likes of Agbonlahor, Milner, Young and Barry.

"One thing they have done is continue to win away from home (10 wins in 14 matches so far) and that's never easy in the Premier League."

Jamie knows Villa's young pretenders well having played with a number of them for England Under-21s over the past year or so.

He gave us this insight...

"Ashley Young has raw pace, great quality and he has a fantastic final ball. This season he's been phenomenal. He's really progressed.

"When I've played with Gabby Agbonlahor he's been different class. He's got everything. You can hit the ball into his feet at 100 miles per hour and he'll deal with it but you can also put a pass 10 yards in front of him and he'll get there. It's a bit like having Azza (Aaron Lennon) up front.

"James Milner has played 40 times for the Under-21s and he's a great lad, a great player. He gives 100 per cent in every game and loves football, he loves the game. He's a real winner and that shows in his play."