Hull midfielder George Boateng insists Aston Villa can not afford another trophyless season

By Arindam Rej for MailOnline

George Boateng has warned Aston Villa that this season will be a 'make-or-break' year for the club.

Former Villa midfielder Boateng returned to Villa Park on Saturday with his new club Hull, who lost 3-0.

But outspoken veteran Boateng, 34, says that, even though Villa were impressive, they have to win a trophy this season.

George Boateng

Dutch veteran: This season marks Boateng's twelfth in the Premier League

The former Holland midfielder, who left Villa to join Middlesbrough in 2002 after a three-year stint, said: 'The reason I left Villa was because I felt they weren't moving in  the right direction. I had a drive to win silverware and in the five years since I left, Villa didn't achieve anything.

'But this season, if Villa want to achieve anything, want to win silverware,  this is it. They've got good young mainly British players who know what this league requires, know what it takes to win matches and they're in the  semi-finals of the Carling Cup.

'Martin O'Neill is a manager who's won silverware so this could be the season. If Villa don't win anything this season, it's going to be really difficult to achieve this goal.'

Stewart Downing

A Hull lot of praise: Boateng says Downing should be in England's World Cup squad

Boateng says that the return of Stewart Downing from injury is a massive boost  to Villa's hopes of a successful campaign.

Boateng knows Downing well from  their days together at Middlesbrough and he predicts a shock call-up from Fabio Capello for the Englishman.

'Villa fans have not seen much of him yet but I promise you, he will be a  bargain buy for you guys,' he said.

'I tip him to go to the World Cup. He's  exceptional.

'He can do three games (in quick succession) easily. He's a powerful runner and  he's quick, but most importantly he's got a delivery which no-one else in this  country can offer from the left-hand side. 

'Villa have bought a star in the making there, to go with the other young  quality players, so hopefully he will drive Villa on to great things. I wish  Villa well.'

Boateng praised the Villa crowd for their reaction to Jimmy Bullard after the Hull playmaker went off after 18 minutes with a knee injury.

Boateng said: 'It  was a warm feeling to hear all the home supporters applauding Jimmy as he  walked away. Jimmy's a great footballer and a good entertainer.'

Enlarge   George Boateng and David Beckham

Former Villain: Boateng made over 100 apearances for Villa between 1999 and 2002

The Dutchman denies that Hull will lose their way without him, saying: 'We  showed against Everton that we are not a one-man team, when we played really  well without Jimmy. We're lucky now that we have Blackburn at home because  we've just had two really tough away games, to Man City and Villa.'

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