Martin - can we have a Freddie, please?

I know this is purely a Villa blog. But for heaven's sake the transfer window is becoming interminably dull, there's precious little to write about or even comment on, so while Damian gives you the lack of news each day, maybe I can at least cast the net a little wider.

I'm not a passionate or knowledgeable cricket fan, though I'm known to crack open a beer and spend a few hours in front of anything with a ball in it.


But England's fifth-day victory in the second Ashes test at Lords, and in particular the performance of Freddie Flintoff, got me thinking.

Villa have had a couple of lionhearts with dodgy knees, both of whom have been worshipped by The Holte End.

But have we ever seen, in our footballing world, a performance of such sustained aggression, focus, hostility, precision and - dare I say it - fun?

Freddie was really enjoying himself. Grinning wildly as he knew the Aussies were at his mercy, snarling and swearing at the green-caps all the way, yet at the same time putting 92 and 93mph deliveries over and over again into the danger zones. Wow.

And what struck me was this: how long is it since we saw a player at our club who played with such aggression, focus and ferocity? Keane and Rooney have both shown the same levels of intensity for Man Utd, and trophies have followed. Yet I have to go back years to find similar examples of focused aggression and hostility...

Gareth Barry cruised his way through the last couple of seasons, John Carew was very big and very threatening, Ashley Young was jinkily jinky and Gabby was bloody quick.

But where is our Flintoff? Where is the driving force who insists on victory and just will not be beaten? Where is the player who strikes fear into opponents as soon as the team sheets are printed? Where is the talisman?

My worry is that we may go into next season with a good, deep squad of very capable footballers. Just like the Aussies went into the second test with a good, deep squad of very capable cricketers.

They got beaten. Just like Man City will get beaten, and just like Arsenal will keep getting beaten. Because they don't have a Freddie.

Martin - we need a desperado. We need a player in the centre of our midfield who cannot even spell the word "lose". We need a player who will rise to the occasions of the big games, take centre stage and enjoy it. We need a character - a real character - who will entertain us while at the same time rubbing the opposition's nose in the dirt through sheer aggression and total quality.

Martin - we need a Freddie. Find him.