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Transfer Window: Post Mortem


villafan306
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So, how did O'Neill perform in the transfer window? Villafan306 puts in his two cents.

Well after months and months of speculation, being linked with some big names and some not so big names the fun is over for another 4 months. Let's have a look, position by position at who was signed and what they can do.

Goalkeepers

In: Scott Carson (Loan from Liverpool)

Out: Stephen Henderson (Free to Bristol City), Robert Olenjik (Released to Falkirk FC)

Out go two reserve standard goalkeepers and in comes the former England Under 21 international goalkeeper who is now pushing for a spot in the main England side. While only bringing in a goalkeeper on loan is quite disappointing, Carson himself has hinted that the deal may become permanent next summer. Carson is a marked improvement on both Sorensen and Taylor, but the added competition for places has had a positive effect on Taylor. Taylor has started twice for Villa this season and has impressed in games against Liverpool and Wrexham. So the outcome? We have (at least for this season) a bright young prospect playing in goal for us, a man who is hungry to impress and in my opinion could prove himself to be one of the best in the league this season.

Defenders

Ins: Zat Knight (£3.5million from Fulham), Curtis Davies (Initial Loan from West Brom)

Outs: JLloyd Samuel (Free to Bolton), Aaron Hughes (£1milion to Fulham), Liam Ridgewell (£2million to Birmingham City) and Mark Delaney (Retired)

When the season ended I'd imagine most people could have guessed which defenders would be leaving us. None of them were good enough for top flight football at Villa and so their departures were no surprise. Delaney is one who was good enough but he finally lost his long running battle with injuries and unfortunately has been forced to retire. As far as the signings go, Curtis Davies is widely regarded as one of England's finest defensive prospects. While he is only on loan right now the deal will become permanent next season so this is effectively a 5 year deal according to most reports. With former Fulham captain Zat Knight in as cover for the position I think we are well covered against injuries and suspensions.

But I must say, as pleased as I am with the signing of Davies and contented with Knight, I can't help but feel disappointed there is no right back. We have had enough time to get one in but MON says his man isn't available until January. Maybe we could have got a short term measure in? Rumour has it that we tried to sign Chelsea man Diarra on loan, however he made a last minute move to Arsenal. So we enter the season with no recognised right back at the club. Mellberg, Cahill, Davies and Gardner could all fill in for the next 15 games until MON can get his man in Jan. Not too pleased with that to be honest but it's something we now have to live with.

Midfielder

Ins: Nigel Reo-Coker (£8.5million from West Ham), Moustapha Salifou (Undisclosed from FC Wil)

Outs: Gavin McCann (£1million to Bolton), Lee Hendrie (Released to Sheffield Utd), Steve Davis (£4million to Fulham), Eric Djemba Djemba (Released)

Again, no surprises in who left here. Davis may have surprised one or two people but I'll be honest and say I never really rated him too highly. He went missing in midfield too often for my liking, something which can't be said about new boy Nigel Reo-Coker. NRC is a former England Under 21 captain, and it is easy to see why. He is the guy box to box defensive midfielder we have been searching for since Ian Taylor left the club. Comparisons can be drawn to Paul Ince, and rightly so. After seeing Paul Ince play for Wolves a couple of years ago, the performance NRC put in against Inter in pre-season was almost identical. NRC is a fantastic signing and could very well be the difference between finishing in 10th place and 7th. As for Moustapha Salifou, well all I know is that he plays on the right wing. I'd see him playing for the reserves a few times in the coming weeks and maybe playing in the Carling Cup.

Strikers

In: Marlon Harewood (£4million from West Ham)

Outs: Juan Pablo Angel (Free to New York Red Bulls), Chris Sutton (Retired)

No surprises on the outs list then. But for those expecting the likes of Darren Bent and Jermaine Defoe, the signing of Harewood is sure to raise the eyebrows. In fact we all know it has. Harewood was good a couple of years ago but can he recapture his form? Well being pedantic he has started fewer games up front than Gabby or Carew and has scored more but that's not saying much at this point. Harewood is our fourth choice striker. He knows it, I know it, the American people know it....well Villa fans do anyway. As a fourth choice signing it must mean that MON has faith in Carew, Gabby and Moore to get the goals for us. Misguided faith? We'll see.

So overall then what are my views? Well here is my best X1 for Villa:

--------------------------Carson----------------------

Mellberg----Davies---------Laursen----Bouma

Maloney----Reo-Coker----Barry-------Young

--------------Carew----------Moore---------------

Subs: Sorensen, Cahill, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Harewood

Good enough for Europe? With a bit of luck yes.

Transfer Window rating: 6/10 - underwhelming. With a right back this could have been 8 but I'm going to trust that MN knows what he is doing and it will be interesting to see how the new signings effect performances (competition for places in defence and up front should improve the quality) and maybe come the start of November I'll be writing praising how our understated signings have outperformed all expectations....maybe.

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It's obligatory on Villatalk to mention disappointment at the absence of a specialist right back (and I'm not buying the almost religious insistence to have faith in what MON's doing). But apart from that, I think the club has done reasonably well over the transfer window. We seem to be taking the same appraoch as Spurs did a few years back - getting together a bunch of young would-be England internationals with the expectation that this will pay off over time. The new signings should improve our defensive stability and with Young and Maloney starting the season well, we should have enough spark and solidity to turn some of last season's draws into wins. Nevertheless, it will still be tough for this team to get into the top 6. So we need to be realistic and see this as another season of steady improvement.

One final point - is Villafan306's view that Carson will sign permanently next year based on anything more than wishful thinking (hope so, but haven't seen anything on this in the press)?

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Curtis Davies (Initial Loan from Fulham)

Have they been shopping at Tescos lately? :P

Don't know what you are talking about mate :winkold:

One final point - is Villafan306's view that Carson will sign permanently next year based on anything more than wishful thinking (hope so, but haven't seen anything on this in the press)?

Well I think Carson said something like "it may become permanent next summer but we'll see how it goes", I'm sure one of our fine members can find out if I dreamt that bit though! :D

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I pretty much hold the same view as 306. Very dissappointed at no RB, and can't understand why Aaron Hughes, our only right back, was let go before a replacement was brought in.

I liked Steve Davis as a player, and was sad to see him go, but understand why - although with an out of form Petrov and an injury to Bouma (lets hope not) meaning GB has to go to LB, we could well regret losing him. Lack of a back up LB might be a problem as a result.

Creatively with Ash, Paddy Berger, and Shaun Maloney and Mustafa Salifou we're well covered, Gardner and Reo Coker should be the midfield ball winners in the squad. Centre backs we've good strength in depth and up front with Luke Moore and Gabby and John Carew and Marlon we're OK, though only Luke to me looks like a possible 15+ goal man.

I think overall it's been an OK window, apart from a glaring right back weakness and look at the evolution of the squad as a work in progress still, though to me at least it's clearly a much better squad, and a re-invigorated one from 12 months ago.

I can imagine that Sorenson will go in Jan, and a couple more will go next summer, but for now, let's hope they all stay fit, and that a top 7 finish is achieved.

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I agree with everything that has been said. I also am disappointed by the lack of a RB coming in but there is always January hopefully... i believe MON has seen that the defence lacked confidence with the clown Sorenson behind them, and wouldnt be bothered if he left next summer as long as we get a capable replacement(Carson permanently, hopefully). I do think we will have a steady progression up table this season maybe 2 place improvement would make me happy, or pushing for uefa spot at best. If we get a bit of luck and the squad is motivated and kept fit then i do think a top 7 finish is achievable but id rather we didng run before we can walk.

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I agree with everything that has been said. I also am disappointed by the lack of a RB coming in but there is always January hopefully... i believe MON has seen that the defence lacked confidence with the clown Sorenson behind them, and wouldnt be bothered if he left next summer as long as we get a capable replacement(Carson permanently, hopefully). I do think we will have a steady progression up table this season maybe 2 place improvement would make me happy, or pushing for uefa spot at best. If we get a bit of luck and the squad is motivated and kept fit then i do think a top 7 finish is achievable but id rather we didng run before we can walk.

I agree. I think we'll finish somewhere between 8th - 10th, and maybe a little higher if a couple of teams implode during the season.

It is obvious that the Manager is going to give the young players every chance to develop this season, and if they don't meet the grade, will be replaced next season. I'll put my hand up and say that Gabby could be in that boat. He needs to start making intelligent decisions on the pitch or end up like Vassell.

I do think we needed to sign a RM to help provide width and variation in attack, as well with an AM who can play regularly and unlock defences. Gabby & Petrov aren't the players, and I think they may being looking elsewhere next season. But the Manager is giving them the opportunity, to prove me wrong.

It will be an interesting season, and hope we may nick a UEFA Cup spot, but I won't be betting on it.

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The absence of a recognised RB makes this a poor transfer window, whether or not this comes back to haunt us later this season we will see. The players we have got in all look purposeful, NRC looks quality and a good strong character being a former captain, Knight looks handy with good experience, and again a previous captain with character. Davies has great potential and again has character. Harewood is a battler and will press Carew to peform for his place in the team. Salifou, looks strong and creative, though looks like a big gamble and will need to train hard to develop into a premiership quality player. The overwhelming trait then in the signings this summer seems to be character and attitude, something MON values very highly and sees as a requirement in building the kind of team he wants.

One good thing is that we have had a total spend of £8 miilion this summer, to me that signals that MON didn't want to spend big money unless he was sure he was going to get the right players, and that he didn't want to spend all the money this season and have none left to spend for the next souple of seasons. Hopefully then if we get european qualification this season, next summer we will be able to attract bigger names to the club and still have money to spend on those players.

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I think the results have been good, but the window has been awful (too much nailbiting and some truly dire rumours)

If you look at the spine of our team now it looks excellent - Carson, Davies/Laursen, NRC/Barry, Carew/Gabby

I also think the young, british focus will help with building a strong team ethic

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Leaving aside the quality/or not of the signings MON has made, I cannot for the life of me understand how a premiership team can be allowed to start the season without a right back. To allow players to go before they are replaced to me is an elementary mistake. OK, they may not have been good enough, but, surely they were better than nothing, which is what we have now (No offence to Mellberg or Gardner intended). When/if MON gets his man in January, who will be putting pressure on him for his place, because unless we buy 2 RB’s he will be the only choice, without resorting to playing people out of position…..

My verdict on the transfer window………….Disappointing at best.

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and can't understand why Aaron Hughes, our only right back, was let go before a replacement was brought in.

at a guess Pete, i'd say that MON sees the non-specialist options of Ollie and TINA as improvements over what was served up to us by Hughes, and so didn't have any problem with selling him to Fulham.

I'd agree with him TBH.

I just thought Hughes was very poor.

as to the rest of the window - largely satisfied. MON knows what he is doing IMO, and the only signing i have really questioned is that of the Hare.

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