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And it might be considerably more than that.
If he is fit and working his bollocks off in training then it's wrong he isn't involved.
But if he isn't fit, or isn't working hard in training, then playing him sends out the wrong message to other players.
There are lots of rumours, as there were in the summer (and a few last season), god knows what's true. Irrespective of anything, I don't think Benitez would #### him off, if he was completely fit and showing hard work and dedication in training.
I'm a big fan of James, I was made up we signed him and would love to see him on the pitch. But only if he is fit and right minded.
The money side is just unfortunate
contributing a lot to the club's progress.
We might have been 1 down earlier due to him not defending, or because he isn't fit.
I'm not sure he's the solution to today. But I do think if fit, he'd be very useful against Norwich.
Rlk (I think) said the other week that Rodriguez asked not to be on the bench against Brighton, so maybe him not being involved isn't just the manager not picking him. Maybe he isn't fit, maybe he isn't arsed, we don't know.
a killer pass or a pinpoint finish at 0-0 could have led to a very different game. There certainly wasn't anyone on the pitch who looked likely to do that for us today.
Missing key players and key personalities.
Rondon hasn't played for ages and will take time to get up to speed. It's the annoying thing about not signing him 4 weeks earlier to give him a pre season.
Villa are no mugs either
10 points after 5 games. Bounce back next week against Norwich. We didn't play terribly (first half was better than against Burnley), and the season will have ups and downs, we all know we aren't winning every game.
Challenge for Benitez now is getting the right balance with the injuries.
Oh and before anyone starts, Rodriguez wouldn't have made a difference today.