If Eric Djemba-Djemba is trying to talk himself into David O'Leary's Aston Villa team he's going a strange way about it after a second rumoured outburst in a week.
The Cameroon midfielder will return from international duty and be asked to explain comments allegedly made to a foreign television company in which he criticised his manager?s tactics.
If the veracity of the inter-view can be established the central midfielder could be in hot water days after suggesting that, unless O?Leary does something ,the club could be heading for relegation.
This time Djemba-Djemba reportedly called for the Irishman to slow down the team?s approach play after watching from the stands as his teammates have won only four of the last 24 Premiership points.
?We need to change the tactics,? he is alleged to have said. ?Every time we play it forward we don?t keep the ball and it?s too bad. We need to keep the ball and try to play.
?Because when we only play it forward, we?re chasing the ball and it?s no good. We need to try to play, enjoy ourselves and keep the ball and if we do that we?ll get more goals.?
Although Villa refused to comment on the former Manchester United man?s remarks it is clear that they will want to speak to him when he returns from his country?s 0-0 draw with Morocco in Paris.
If only because if Djemba-Djemba has spoken out of turn - it will be for a second time after he claimed O?Leary was to blame for Villa?s poor run.
He had said: ?It?s the manager, because the manager sometimes needs to change the team. When we lose, you need to see what needs working on and try to change the team.
?So now we?ve lost four games, it?s very bad. So if the manager doesn?t try to do something maybe we?ll be relegated.?
On a more positive note Villa are the latest club to have been linked with Celtic?s Stilian Petrov as the Bulgarian?s contract winds down.
Petrov has only 18 months to run on his current deal and speculation is rife that he could be heading to the Premiership. Villa, Blackburn and Newcastle are all said to be showing an interest in the player.
Celtic have said they have not received any offers for the player but that has not stopped speculation suggesting Villa are ready to bid #4 million for the talented playmaker.
Villa have had scouts present at Celtic games and Petrov is the player they have been watching. Celtic are hoping to agree a new deal with Petrov but it is believed the player wants a crack at football south of the border.
Julio Arca, meanwhile, is losing the race to prove his fitness ahead of Sunderland?s clash with Villa on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Argentinian has not started a first-team game since the 2-0 win at Middlesbrough - the club?s only league victory this season - on September 25 because of a fractured toe.
He has been working hard since to return to fitness and was used as a substitute in the 3-2 defeat at Newcastle on October 23, a decision which ultimately set back his recovery.
Arca had hoped the break for international matches might give him enough time to regain his fitness but he says his chances of being ready for the game at the Stadium of Light are receding with his return to full training still to come.
He said: ?At the moment, my chances of playing look slim but my toe does feel a lot better. I?m hoping to do some running tomorrow and then maybe return to training before the end of the week.
?If I can do that and everything is OK, I might be on the bench against Villa.?