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GOING DUTCH AT CITY

Posted on 16 March 2006  - 12:00

Edgar Davids is hoping his Dutch compatriot Mario Melchiot doesn't suffer relegation with Birmingham - but doesn't intend to help his cause on Saturday.

Edgar Davids is hoping his Dutch compatriot Mario Melchiot doesn't suffer relegation with Birmingham - but doesn't intend to help his cause on Saturday.

City defender Melchiot was a junior pushing through the ranks at Ajax when the more experienced Edgar moved on to Italy and AC Milan in 1996.

Three years later and Melchiot followed Edgar's footsteps out of the Dutch league and joined Chelsea, enjoying a successful five years at Stamford Bridge including an FA Cup triumph in 2000, the last final at Wembley Stadium.

After over 150 appearances for Chelsea he moved to St Andrews at the start of the 2004-05 campaign but after finishing 12th last term, the Blues have suffered badly from injuries this time around and are fighting for their lives third from bottom.

"I think we might have trained once at Ajax but we didn't play together because I'm four years older than him," said Edgar. "But I know him from a long time ago because I was best friends with his brother.

"I think has done well, he played for Chelsea for a couple of years and I watched him play in the FA Cup Final, they won it and I was proud to see him do so well.

"Now he's at Birmingham and he's one of the important players there."

It was pointed out that Melchiot has gone from one extreme to the other in Premiership terms - leaving the Blues challenging for all honours and going to the Blues that are now scrapping for survival.

We travel to the Midlands with Steve Bruce's men three points adrift of West Brom and many people in the game - including Edgar - surprised at their plight.

"It was Mario's choice (to join Birmingham) and when he made the decision, Birmingham at that point was looking quite good," added Edgar.

"Things happen and I don't think they would have expected to be in this position. It's a surprise but I hope for Mario that they do well - apart from Saturday of course - and they stay in the Premiership."