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Where we need to strengthen in the Summer


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by Cicottrell

Cicottrell continues the theme of analysing the squad and comes up with some suggested areas of improvement ....

What first team positions are up for grabs and and what squad positions need filling?

Lets start off working on the theory that Sutton, Hendrie, Delaney, Djemba-Djemba and Samuel will leave us this summer.

This leaves us with:

Goalkeepers - Tommy and Stuart Taylor. Verdict - can do better, but what options are there? Carson possibly or unknown foreigner?

Right Back - Desperately need a new first choice right back. No-one springs to mind, I hope we can do better than Luke Young. All assuming Richards considers himself above the likes of Villa.

Left Back - Bouma is a certain first teamer - but (Barry aside) we have no backup. I'd like to see a good young player like Shorey (Reading), Bale (Soton) or Baines (Wigan) but would they put up with being a backup player?

Centre Backs - Laursen is a certain starter, as is Olof, although Ollie could be dropped if we found a very good (and expensive) replacement. Distin is in my opinion no better than Olof. Cahill and Ridgewell are very capable backups, but maybe we need a bit of experience in reserve. Hyypia maybe? I think we will only add to our centre backs if we can get a truly world class player, an ageing pro happy to add experience to the bench or if MON decides Laursen is too much of a risk, which i hope he does not.

Right Wing - Young - First Team certainty. Could be very special. However, we have no backup at all (Gabby is a forward). Potential targets include Wright-Philips (unlikely), Milner (swap with Hughes?) and my personal favourite, Bentley from Blackburn.

Left Wing - Hmmm... depends on whether we are now classing Barry as a central or wide midfielder. Assuming he is a winger, we need a backup, unless we get one of SWP, Milner or Bentley, in which case Young could be used on the left. (or Milner for that matter). I'd like to see Richardson (Man U) challenging Barry, and Kewell could be a cheeky bid.

Central Midfield - Petrov - a certain starter - will be much better next year - in the more attacking role of the two central midfielders. Maloney and Berger to provide a mixture of youth and experience as backup.

The more all round midfielder player (not a defensive player, more of a box to box type of player) won't be McCann, as he's simply not good enough. We need a very strong player in this position, to be the heartbeat of the team, the glue between defence and attack, the type of player we've been missing since Ian Taylor. Such people are rare, but I would suggest Scott Parker, Steve Sidwell (although he might be a Chelsea player by the time you read this!), Tim Cahill or Jermaine Jenas. Gardner and Davis would be more than adequate cover. (Osbourne being too young to include).

Forwards - Carew is a certain starter but not the man to get us 20 goals a season, so he needs the 20 goal man alongside him. Will Gabby suffer second season syndrome? I'm predicting yes (although he will be brilliant in the long run), and will Moore get into the team? I'd like to think so, and i think he would score more goals than Gabby but would he get 20 a season? I can see us getting a big name striker in, with Darren Bent being my clear first choice. Dean Ashton would be my less likely second choice. Alan Smith has been mentioned but I'd prefer Loius Saha. Viduka could play backup to Carew.

So my ideal first team (with squad backup in brackets) next year would be:


(Tommy S)

NEW RIGHT BACKOllieLaursenBouma

(Hughes)(Cahill)(Ridge)(NEW LEFT BACK)


(NEW WINGER)(Gardner/Davis)(Maloney/Berger)(NEW WINGER)



Let's hope Randy has a big cheque book! I make that 7 players coming in with 5 leaving (6 including McCann).

As a side note, we have several players able to play in more than one position, although I'd like to keep that to a minimum, but for completeness:

Barry - Central midfield, left back, centre back.

Gabby - Right Wing

Young - Striker, left wing

Ollie - Right Back

Stan - The other midfield role, less advanced

Hughes - centre back, left back

Berger - Left Wing, Striker

Maloney - Either wing, Striker

Bouma - Centre back

So I think this would be a squad aiming to finish in the top six.

Roll on August!

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I think a new world class right back must be our first signing. It should be our top priority. Once we get him on board he can start training with the solid 3 of Ollie, Mart and Willy.

Salgado would do for me......such crazy optimism!!!

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I know they say aim high but I don't think we're yet in the position to compete for the likes of Bale, especially for squad cover. I also don't think many of those players named would be at all available... Cahill, Jenas, Parker.

Yes we have a considerable amount of money but as yet we can't compete in terms of European football or recent Premiership positions. I can only see some smaller name targets coming in to push us into a position where we can compete for better players.

Also I think Bent will go to Spurs to replace Defoe, who could possibly on his way to us.

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I disagree with plenty of those suggestions. We will see how the summer pans out, but I wouldn't be too pleased if some of the players mentioned above came in. Richardson? What an egotistical little word removed! Not MON's type of player at all.

We can attract better players (not saying world class) and certainly more players from outside of the usual mid table box!

Up the Villa!!!

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I wouldn't turn my nose up at Richardson, he gets an awful slagging on here but he's a decent versatile natural left footer. He's been hanging on to his Man U career for so long but the guy wont ever be good enough for them and I think he could be available for relatively little. Anything less than £3 million and I'd say in today's market that would represent good value, unless anybody knows of a better option? Duff perhaps? Two footed Milner (as we know from his days here) is a pale imitation of himself on the left, a little like our Young I suspect. Are there any good left sided players on the continent? I feel a natural left winger would really add something extra to us.

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Well, where do I start, I'll start off positively. Cicotrell, your backline theory and plan looks well thought out and I agree with you whole heartedly. So I won't go any further on that point.

Your midfield is all rubbish though. We have to remember MON wants to start a rotational squad, especially with new signings this summer (obviously). Petrov and Berger should be starting together, they compliment each other. If younoticed the matches that Berger started, the fluidity of the match is phenomenal. He isn't a backup, he needs to start. And so does Maloney, the creativity and the pace on the kid is brilliant, he needs to have a start in the 11. Davis can be a backup to Barry, and Gardner can be a backup to Maloney. It's simple. (I'm a fan of the 4-3-3), That being said I think it should something like this


(Tommy S)

NEW RIGHT BACK Ollie Laursen Bouma

(Hughes) (Cahill) (Ridge) (NEW LEFT BACK)

Young Berger/Petrov Barry

(NEW WINGER) (Gardner) (Davis)

Gabby Carew/Maloney Moore


Again, rotational, especially with the strikers and midfield. Anyone we sign that is "topclass" and expects to start in the starting 11 should be playing to replace Gabby and Moore. I wouldn't mind seeing Claus Jensen, he'd fit well into our Scandinavian clik. He's beefy too, and can hold off a good number of top class defenders. (And he's tired of playing long ball with Fulham, and we're starting to play a very pretty short-ground passing match, remember Berger's last goal!)

Anyways, I'm outtie, I'd like to know what some of you think of the formation...it certainly works wonders on Fifa07...Villa's in 1st with 70 points, lol.


El Avila

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Ela villa, I tend to disagree, in actual fact I would say you are are very mistaken asdont want another card. When has MON said he wants a rotational squad, is that for the champions league games. Claus Jensen, maybe on FIFA07 but not in real life me thinks

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Hahahha, yea I don't have Claus Jensen on my team in FIFA07, I doubt i would try buying him even. Alan Smith would be a great buy for villa, but I know his nose is stuck in SAF asshole, so i dont think he will be going anywhere, anytime soon. i dont think many players will be leaving Manure...being that they just won the premiership title. we have to be realistic with our signings. Claus is a realistic purchase, but probably not the best skilled. if i had my way we'd spend a load and try and get someone like defoe. he's on the transfer list for the spurs and i really think he will be on our squad by the end of the summer.

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, Steve Sidwell (although he might be a Chelsea player by the time you read this!),

yep! :)

FWIW I think barry is this man.

The way he was controlling central mid towards the end of the season spoke volumes for me.

I think we might well see Barry and Stan dominate the 2 central midfield positions this coming season.

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we need a holding midfielder such as wesley snijder we are interested in him and also kim kallstrom, these would be two good holiding midfielders. we also need to strengthen the wings an the left an right backs even tho bouma has been on top from this season in my opinion!

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we need a holding midfielder such as wesley snijder we are interested in him and also kim kallstrom, these would be two good holiding midfielders. we also need to strengthen the wings an the left an right backs even tho bouma has been on top from this season in my opinion!
could't have put it better myself!

I think we need around 5 signings.

i'd have:

Sorensen/and new keeper possibly gordon from hearts, heard good things about him.

coloccini from deportivo(they failed to qualify for europe and always sell their best players) or salgado(no longer needed at real) with hughes back up

Bouma and a new young left bk, baines possibly but dont think he'd be back up

laursen mellberg cahill and a new ecperienced centre back, would have liked distin but pompey have snapped him up now! maybe bring mcgrath out of retirement???

midfield looks good as it is but maybe one new signing, like the sound of sneijder but will united or arsenal get there first??!! hoepfully not

and up front i wouldn't mind seeing bellamy or defoe and viduka to challenge carew

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i would have to say that wesley sniejder dosen't interest me at all. I would much rather we signed someone like florent malouda or franck ribery. i also think it would be a bold statement to the rest of the prem!

i would like to see bellamy come in because we all know that MON is the only person who is likely to get the best out of him

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think Villa have already got themselves a strong team and Martin O'niel has brought them along way since taking over although i did think Stillian Petrov would have done a little better in the English league. Lets just hope they do well this season and hope to see some exciting signings from Martin :)

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