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I Reserve The Right To Be Disappointed So Far


JohnCresswell
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Ramblings, thoughts and ponderings on what has (or hasn’t) happened since the finish of the 2006/07 season.

We’re now in the beginning of July, and what is officially the start of the Transfer Window. A concept that since it’s introduction, I’ve nearly every single second of it. No longer can a team buy or sell depending on the situation that they find themselves in, the manager, chairman and fans now have to second guess what the forthcoming season will bring and you get stuck with the squad that you take into battle with (we keep being told that nobody signs anyone in the January window).

There seems to be two rather distinct camps setting up at the moment with Villa fans. The first is beginning to panic. On the face of it, they have a good reason to do so. Out of the doors (or about to go) of Villa Park has gone Hughes, Davis, Sutton, Hendrie and Bardsley. They may not have played a massive part in the season, but four of those have all held down first team places due to the squad being down to a thin level after many, many injuries once again decimated the squad. I’m hoping that the new training ground and facilities will cut down this injury ‘hit rate’

After another anonymous season, Villa need to build - in quality and quantity, and I’m sure most would agree with me there. So I can understand frustrations and worry when people have seen every club in the Premiership, other than us and Manchester City (who can’t sign anyone yet due to the takeover process similar to what we saw last season).

On the other side, there are the intensely optimistic group. I’ve seen some rather bizarre things here – including one person who honestly claimed that they thought Villa were interested in a player because they hadn’t been mentioned in the press.

There is a genuine feel that no player is out of touch, that we will be signing a minimum of six players and next season will be nothing like the last three or four.

And I can understand where this is coming from, even if, in all honesty, I find it harder to agree with. I can see the money is available – the chairman certainly hasn’t held back on spending so far and I can’t imagine him just stopping everything – especially without explaining the situation to the fans of the club.

The atmosphere on the final home game was all down to Randy Lerner, and proof that he really meant business.

The problem I have, I suppose, is that I have a foot in both camps. I have no doubt whatsoever that Aston Villa will sign players. I don’t think it’ll be the six players we need to challenge for Europe, but I have no doubt players will be signed. I also have no doubt that they will be the players which Martin O’Neill wants - however high the price.

However, it may not seem it at the moment, but time is ticking away fast. In a couple of weeks time, we’ll have our new season ticket cards and in no time at all we’ll be at Villa Park for the Inter Milan game and then the first game of the season – one of the toughest that we’ll see – a home game against Liverpool.

And that’s why I’m not going to apologise for beginning to get frustrated. I genuinely believe the intentions of the club to succeed on the pitch. I believe the money is there – so to not see it being spent is worse than knowing that there was no money to be spent and that there was no point in even thinking about new signings.

Even the links to players seem to be sparse. We of course, have the ongoing, and to be honest, tedious Nigel Reo-Coker saga, but other than that the links seem to be the same four or five players just re-circulated. Yes, it’s more than likely just lazy journalism – but we go from the exciting links of genuine top quality players, to names such as Jason Koumas and Marlon Harewood. When Richard FitzGerald told fans we’d be signing ‘top class’ players this summer, I bet not many people immediately thought of those two.

I find it hard to understand why we are selling before we buy – a policy which other clubs seem to be operating in reverse.

This next season is an important one. It’s time for O’Neill to start pushing us up the table. He’s had the time and money made available to him to make it ‘his squad’. I’m not expecting immediate success, but I’m expecting progress.

That’s what I want. The other things are secondary – It’s absolutely fantastic that fans are now welcomed to Villa Park, that the players now have the best facility in England to train in and have the support to succeed. But for me, I want something on the pitch to get excited about – to see Villa making genuine progress on the pitch so all that enthusiasm, that hope wasn’t misplaced.

And that’s why I’m not going to apologise for being disappointed with transfer market dealings so far.

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Good summary JC. It's down to the manager, and his personality as much as anything - under BFR in 91-92 was it, we hada bloke who just couldn't wait to get spending, and we saw Dalian, Rico and others - Stan Staunton etc come in in a whirlwind of publicity and TV, but undr MO'N now we have a guy who is much more reticent about publicity and "stunts" and razmatazz.

But at the end of the day he'll get people in. He just treats it like his own money, IMO, and won't want to waste a penny of it.

It'll come. Might take a while, though....(chews nails, hopes for some news soon)

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So when we sign 4-5 quality signings by the end of this window (remember that in the Jan window basically no club did as well as Villa in their signings) what will you say then?? "I always knew it would happen??". Or will we have this worried/frustated thread(s) every single window for the next few years?

AFAIAC MON is building his squad. Getting rid of players HE doesn't value and getting ready to bring replacements in. Anyone who thinks there won't be replacements for those who have left is crazy, as MON would hardly want to limit his own chances for success.

We may be bored with nothing happening right now in terms of transfers but that doesn't mean nothing will...we just need to accept everything won't happen when it suits us...rather when it suits MON/Randy. If nothing has happened by 11th August and we lose 3-0 to Liverpool then I'll be pissed off. Till then, I'll let the professionals do their job and wait and see...

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On the "sell to buy" point - in previous years this would have worried me, because it would have meant transfers were heavily dependent on the scrapings from the barrel. With the current departures, I mostly see no problem. I don't think they would have played a part this season, and losing them just underlines the commitment to replacing with better.

The one exception for me is Davis. As some people have said, he's not an outstanding player. He's a pretty good one though, and I suppose I would like to be sure we will replace him with better before losing him. Since so much depends on the market, I would have found it more comforting to see the replacement first.

Still, in the end the manager, CE and owner have to back their judgement. I'm impatient for news, but I'm confident they will do a good job, based on track record to date.

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I am fully behind this sentiment, i am pleased we are not in the position of previous years / regime. On the other hand i truly believe that MON has found it harder than he thought to get the players he wants/needs. I am not only disappointed but very concerned about the quality and quantity of players for 2007/2008 season. The blind optimism of some i find astounding and if i'm not wrong they are the same folk who predicted bigger than forecast spending under DOL/Ellis a couple of years back and we all know what happened then! I am an official optimistic sceptic with a season ticket, i'm used to it after 33 years!

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You make some good points, even though I have quite different opinions regarding the frustration. But everyone is entitled to their opinions, and I really hope the optimists here slag off the frustrated people when we see the result of the transfer window.

Going into the third day of the transfer window I can't wait to see what's happening this week.

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The one exception for me is Davis. As some people have said, he's not an outstanding player. He's a pretty good one though, and I suppose I would like to be sure we will replace him with better before losing him. Since so much depends on the market, I would have found it more comforting to see the replacement first.

NRC Peter?

I'm a fan of Davis, so i'm not convinced how much better he is than SD.

certainly stronger and a better DM IMO, but i'd say SD was better offensively.

Personally, i'd like to see SD stay, but i don't think he's going to get enough pitch time as he's too far down MON's pecking order now, and will want to move on .....

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I’ve seen some rather bizarre things here – including one person who honestly claimed that they thought Villa were interested in a player because they hadn’t been mentioned in the press.

Hey! That was me! :oops:

Just trying to pacify a panicky fellow-VTer.

Seeing as the process seems to be

1 - 14-year-old suggests player

2 - His name is debated around VT and other forums

3 - Bill Howell puts it in the Mail

4 - Next day the Mirror reports that Villa are closing in on lining up a shock swoop for the player

and the fact that no one seems to have the faintest idea about what's going on at VP, there may well be something in it.

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under BFR in 91-92 was it, we hada bloke who just couldn't wait to get spending, and we saw Dalian, Rico and others - Stan Staunton etc come in in a whirlwind of publicity and TV

I remember BFR saying he was going to wait six months, assess the squad then spend.

Then he took his first training session and said "Screw waiting, we need players!" :lol:

I would rather we had all our signings done too, John, but we can't blame the club for people like Harewood and Koumas being linked - it's just lazy journalism. They can't deny every rumour - in fact they help, bcause the clubs we ARE negotiating with will see we have other options.

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So when we sign 4-5 quality signings by the end of this window (remember that in the Jan window basically no club did as well as Villa in their signings) what will you say then?? "I always knew it would happen??". Or will we have this worried/frustated thread(s) every single window for the next few years?

You'll notice I've mentioned a figure of six players in the article - I feel that is the minimum of what we need following on from the sales. You will also notice that I have said that I think we will sign players, but I'm not going to apologise for feeling disappointed with being halfway through the window and no movement coming into Villa Park.

What you needed to do, is actually read the article before trying to put words into people's mouths into situations that haven't actually happened.

and I really hope the optimists here slag off the frustrated people when we see the result of the transfer window.

Any 'slagging' off for someone having an opinion will be banned from this website

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Good article John and i agree entirely.

It just seems to be same old Villa getting stuff done slowly, i know its not and am well chuffed with Randy and MON but its still blumin frustrating.

I think worrying what is going on and being disappointed with the lack of activity is fair enough, it doesn't mean you question MON or dont trust him, its just frustrating waiting :D

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Do you really think we need six players John?

Of the men released, only McCann was a regular after January, and he lost his place by the end of the season.

I know we don't want to get caught short in December again, but we actually had one of the biggest squads in the league last year. Numbers weren't the problem - ability of our reserves was the problem.

I think a right back, two midfielders and a striker would do us very well.

Although obviously I would like more quality cover everywhere, I don't think we're as desperate as all that.

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I find it hard to understand why we are selling before we buy – a policy which other clubs seem to be operating in reverse.

I don't think it's the plan to sell before we but as I think we're selling BECAUSE we're going to be buying better replacements - McCann and NRC (presuming he does sign) being a prime example. It's just that the outgoing deals have been easier to complete than the incoming ones so it's happened in an order that will put some fans in a concerned state of mind. I know that it would be better to wait until the replacements are signed before the old ones are shifted out, but I have complete faith in this manager and board that the deals are fae enough advanced that it's just formalities to be done and we won't be left in the lurch. Going back to the NRC thing, I honestly think they've known behind the scenes for maybe a month that we're getting him, but with people fro both clubs on holiday and the player himself away with the under 21s it's just dragged on a bit.

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I appreciate the value of Villa's new "professionalism" but it has to be said that with Villa's history, even though I know Mr's Learner and O'Neill won't let us down, its still really hard watching nearly all of our major competition strengthening their squads left, right and centre with some good players. whilst Villa merely clear the decks.

Pre-season training starts soon so I really hope to see some significant Villa movement in the transfer market over the next 10 days. Afterall, half of the fun of signing new players comes from spending the next 6 weeks dreaming about just good the new look team will be next year, before the season starts and reality comes crashing in.

This is hard to do when there is hardly any clues as to who we are looking at and the occasional worrying links to distinctly "B or C List" players!

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There is one word in your article JC that we have been unable to exponge from the previous regime, and that's saga. Transfers dragged along at a snail's pace under Ellis, and don't seem to be going any faster under new ownership. But as some one has already pointed out, I think this is more due to MON's cautious personality than anything else. The Petrov and Young transfers were both fairly protracted so we can expect any big name signing to be likewise with MON at the helm.

I understand that the club will not talk about prospective transfers until they are either done or dead, but it would be interesting to know once a signing has been made how long it officially took from first contact and what the negotiation process was.

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