Jump to content

Silly Season: One Week In


Recommended Posts

Silly season: 1 Week In

Wahey silly season has really started now hasn’t it? cyrusr takes a look....

Bentley, Diego, Guzan, Milner, Carr, Doyle, hell even Henry have been linked. The season hasn’t technically even finished yet and Villa have been linked to 70 players (thanks Bickster)! We have had 1 week since our season has finished and we have 70 names. Obviously we aren’t going to sign all of them. It is obvious though that we need to strengthen. Even MON admits that but where is the key to getting success and what will we strengthen it with? I felt it was a good time to try and consolidate all the rumours into one place.

This is how I see the Team at the moment and what (I think anyway) we need to strengthen with:

Taylor/New GK/New GK

New RB/New RB - Laursen/Davies/Knight/New CB - Bouma/O’Halloran/(potentially new LB)

New RW/Routledge/Salifou - Barry/Reo-Coker/Petrov/Gardner/ (potentially new CM) - Young/Maloney

Carew/Agbonlahor/Harewood/New Striker/New Striker

This is obviously my opinion and I would say we need 7 new players. Others will certainly disagree but I definitely feel that we shouldn’t need to get rid of anymore players. Every one of them can do a job for us and unless they personally want to go I don’t think MON will let them leave. This year we were lucky with injuries but you can never tell what next season will bring. Plus with the (likelihood) of UEFA Cup as well we NEED a bigger squad to cope with the amount of games. That’s also with no one leaving which I don’t think will happen. Theres talk of Maloney, Routledge, Petrov and of course Barry. Of those I reckon only Barry could leave. I personally reckon he would stay but you never know do you. If any player leaves now though we will need to replace them as well.

So who do we need? Let’s start with Goalkeepers.

With Carson gone back to Liverpool and Sorenson left on a free we only have 1 first team goalkeeper. Hmmm... MON has stated that he will probably bring in 2 keepers so we don’t get stuck as we normally do. Options mentioned are Guzan, Jaaskelainen, Boruc, Carson, Given and a few I’ve almost certainly forgotten. I really think MON is going to try and bring in an experienced older goalkeeper with a younger one who has the ability to play European/Premier football but is not quite the finished article. Jaaskelainen, especially being available on a free would probably be ideal for the experienced GK. For the youngster another move for Guzan wouldn’t surprise me nor would a move for Carson, but only if Liverpool drastically reduces their valuation. £10million? Maybe if he was the finished article and had an amazing season maybe, but he is still learning. Yes he has got a lot of potential but we saw him take a knock on confidence and he wasn’t the same player. Given would be a nice signing but seems he is pretty settled at Newcastle and are they really going to sell the one thing that is actually saving goals? I think not... Total spend: approx £2-3million. Outcome: 3 decent keepers pushing for number 1 spot not spending a lot of money. Bargains ahoy and MON will be happy (along with a lot of Villa fans)

Right Back

WE NEED RIGHT BACKS!!! We now have Gardner/Reo Coker who can play there but we need actual right backs. Bosingwa’s going to Chelsea (shock horror) so who’s left? Well we got Hoyte, Carr, Stearman, Chimbonda and Nelson as the favourites at the moment. Again I reckon we need 2 and MON will go for the same again; 1 experienced and 1 younger player to learn his trade more. To me this signals Carr and Stearman, though Hoyte rather than Carr wouldn’t surprise me either in the slightest. We all know that MON likes his young English players and Stearman fits this role perfectly. With Leicester relegated to League 1 as well it is almost certain that he will leave. He hasn’t got the rep for a top 4 club left so we are pretty much in the clear for him. I wouldn’t be surprised if this deal is close to done already. The issue is who else will we sign as a Right Back? Carr is on a free and Hoyte has played about 100 mins of football. Just don’t reckon Nelson will come to us, especially with Man Utd looking for a Right Back at the moment as well. As much as I wish for us to be able to compete with Man Utd for signings, we aren’t quite there, yet. Chimbonda definitely seems set to leave Spurs but he definitely seems more of a mercenary and not a MON player. Don’t think we are going for him. This leaves us with Stearman who will cost about £1million I would say and either Hoyte costing £2-3million or Carr costing nothing. Let’s say we go for Hoyte, more because I would much rather prefer him and I think MON could help him improve a lot. Total Spend: between about £1million and £4million. Outcome: Again bargains and we get probably 2 Englishmen both with potential and competition. Yeah probably would want more experience in this position but we have shown confidence in youth before so why can’t we do it again?

Central Defender

Shame we sold Cahill. Shame Bolton got relegated so we couldn’t sign him back. With Laursen, Davies and Knight we have 3 Central Defenders who can play well. However as was shown this season a couple of injuries/bad form and we are in trouble. Although not first on MON’s shopping list, a CB should be on it. The problem here is, who the bloody hell is available? Also, who have we been linked with? No names really spring to mind except Ben-Haim, Ollson and that Danish bloke we got linked to during January. Apart from that (and trawling through 10 pages of villatalk) we haven’t been linked to any. Bit stuck here but I would hope we would get a young hot prospect capable of playing a few games in Premier League. Total Spend: probably between £1-6million on a good prospect. Outcome: we get cover for a position not in desperate need but need no the less.

Left Back

Don’t whole think we need a new player here as O’Halloran seems to be ready to make the jump to Premier League football and Bouma is definitely an unsung hero. However I wouldn’t say no to a young hot prospect, say in the form of Mattock. With he being available fairly cheap with Leicester being relegated could be a very good signing. Total Cost: approximately £1million. Outcome: Another young potential ready to burst the scene.

Right Wing

Now I know we have started playing 4-3-1-2 with Young in a free role but if we did get a creative right winger we could have a dual attack on the wings. Teams won’t know what hit them. Plus generally find wingers can play the hole role (like Young) e.g. Maloney (albeit not as well). To be honest it doesn’t need to be a Right Winger. We could bring Young back on the right and get a left winger but I do think we need someone here and the speculation seems to agree with this. Pratically every young, English, potential ridden winger in the Championship has been linked to us it seems. To be honest, we may sign one of them but I think this position is important. It was probably because we didn’t have a strong, confident right winger that we started playing Young in the hole. Petrov didn’t want to play there, nor Reo-Coker (though he showed more willing). Routledge has no confidence and Salifou hasn’t quite made it yet. We need someone who can pretty much walk onto the pitch and play. We have been linked to SWP, Farfan, Barnes, Gera, Scannell, Risse, the list gets longer. One name however definitely outshines the others and that is Bentley. He is a (relatively) young, English player who has definitely shown his qualities and he wants to play in Europe. With Blackburn not in Europe there is a definite chance that he would leave. The issue is, where? He wouldn’t go back to Arsenal, he wouldn’t sit on the bench behind Ronaldo at Man Utd, he may go to Liverpool but there he faces quite a lot of competition already and same could definitely apply to Chelsea. I mean, we have seen what they have done to Parker, SWP, Sidwell? These stars of their old team best chance of helping towards silverware seem to be the Reserve League title. The main competition for Bentley’s signature seems to be UEFA Cup contenders i.e. Everton, Spurs and Portsmouth. I don’t think Everton have the funds, all Portsmouth seem to have are Midfielders and Spurs have Lennon who I don’t think Bentley would want to compete with. Us however are a group of young English players who are forcing their way into the England team despite not being top 4 (Gabby, Barry, Young and Davies all being called this year). We are determined to do well and succeed and I think this ambition will help persuade Bentley to come to us. The only issue is cost but if Crouch is worth £15million (more on him and Liverpool’s insane thoughts on prices later) then Bentley at £15million is a bargain. Total Cost: approx £15million. Outcome: yeah a fair whack of a price but will almost certainly be worth it and will show that we mean business.

Central Mid

Not necessarily a position we desperately need since we already have 4 players (Barry, Petrov, Reo-Coker and Gardner) with a lot of experience plus Osbourne, Steibler, plus tonnes of youth players waiting for their chance. However the media seems to think the lure of Champions League will be too much for Barry and he will leave. I have my doubts but I reckon a new central midfielder wouldn’t go a miss. Competition isn’t the worst thing in the world and with playing more games, everybody is more likely to get a chance to play. Who we been linked to then? Sidwell, Deigo, Schnieder, Mendes, Eguren, Poulsen plus others (can’t quite remember everyone). To be honest if we were to go for one, Sidwell is the likeliest person. He’s English (seeing a pattern here yet?) not played a lot of football at Chelsea (yes he has played in 25 matches but not a lot since Grant’s been in charge) and has made a fair wad of cash whilst there too. If he wants to gain some credential as footballer back he would leave Chelsea, or he can be a reserve mercenary like Bridge and stay at Chelsea. I reckon he would leave but like I said before, unless Barry does leave, I don’t think we should be in the market for a central midfielder anyway. Total Cost: hopefully zero but may be about £5-8million. Outcome: not a whole lot different from this season hopefully but still a good bunch in the centre.

Left Wing

Young. Enough said. Yeah Maloney can play here, Routledge I think can play on the left and so can Bentley if we sign him or a fair few other wingerse as well. We don’t need anyone else. Total cost: zero. Outcome: Young. Woohoo!


Now this is silly season. We are down to 3 senior strikers, Carew, Gabby and Harewood. All definitely happy at the moment and definitely want to stay. Problem is we need AT LEAST 4 strikers even if we were just playing Premier League. Yeah Young and Maloney and (potentially) Petrov can play off the Striker but I would feel much more comfortable if we could get 2 strikers. However we have a few youngsters waiting to come and give first team football a whirl so wouldn’t be disappointed if we only got 1 striker, so long as the youngsters got their chance. We need someone however who can challenge Gabby for a place. Harewood can cover Carew but who can cover Gabby if he’s injured/out of form? No one. That’s who. Who can we get to help this position? Well we have had a fair list of names, Henry, Doyle, Zarete, Beattie, Owen, Ashton, Bent, but do any really fit in with Villa? Bent and Ashton would both excite me a lot. If we got both of these then I think we would have a most excellent strike force. I don’t think this would be likely however, particularly with Ashton as West Ham seem to want to keep him. I reckon a bid of £12-15million would be enough to tempt West Ham to sell though and this may be worth it. Bent however has not had a good season at Spurs. Rarely picked, he has made 15 starts scoring 8 goals and certainly not lived up to his £17million transfer fee. Although Berbatov is likely to move on, the potential of Eto’o joining signals even less starts for anyone that’s not Keane. This means Bent will be moving on and he definitely seems to be (again) a MON signing. Wouldn’t be surprised (or unhappy) if he played for Villa next season. Since he hasn’t had a good season, expect to see Spurs take a loss for him and sell him for between £8-12million. Total Cost: £8-£27million. Outcome: we would have enough competition upfront to ensure goals, goals and more goals!


This is what I reckon/hope our squad will look like next season:


Stearman/Hoyte – Laursen/Davies/Knight/new CD (still struggle with who to place here – Bouma/Mattock/O’Halloran

Bentley/Routledge/Salifou – Barry/Reo-Coker/Petrov/Gardner – Young/Maloney


With a lot of youngsters also pushing for places, this could be a very, very good season for Villa.

Total cost: Approximately between £28million-£64million. That may seem a lot but don’t forget that includes 2 extra players plus also the fee from Barry if he were to be sold would be deducted from this.

Outcome: A squad good enough to push on in the Premier League and to challenge effectively in Europe. To think as well it could be done for £28million is an excellent idea as well. That works out at about £3.5million per player. Not bad considering they are all pretty much from English teams with pots of cash. Also the team can allow for youngsters to get into the team. We have a fantastic youth team and we need to help give them the opportunity to get some first team action. We can get to the next step. We are heading into year 3 of the 5 year plan. This is the one is very, very important and we need to make sure we get it right. If we don't, we may have to start all over again. If not, well then next stop: San Siro!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...