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Pre-season briefing: Targets


villafan306
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The VillaTalk News Team and Moderators tell us their targets for the 2009-2010 season.

On the eve of the new season we wanted to find out what the news team and mods wanted to see from Villa in the upcoming campaign. Each was allowed to name and explain any three areas where they wanted Villa to improve this term - on and off the pitch. Below you can see the pick of the bunch:

OutByEaster?:

60 points - I'd love to see us get sixty points this season, it would represent something a little bit special. We've never reached 60 points in three consecutive seasons in our history. Now I know that's a little bit misleading as we only moved to three points for a win in 1982, but it's still something that we failed to achieve under Taylor, Little, Atkinson or Gregory and it would confirm our status as one of the biggest teams in the country.

Beating Manchester United - It's about time isn't it? We last beat them in 1999 when Sir Alex sent a team of kids to us in the league cup and we gave Bosnich a roasting in the United goal. That doesn't really count though and you have to go back to 1995 and the opening day of the season for our last win against a proper United side. Nathan Delfounso was four for McGrath's sake! It was the game where Alan Hansen famously opined "You'll win nothing with kids!"; by the end of this season most of those kids will have retired.

Fourteen years. It's just too long and it's getting silly.

Selling a million tickets - Alright, it doesn't mean much to anyone else (except perhaps those that work in the ticket office) but we came damned close to this last season and I'd be very happy to see us make it this time around. Even if it's only because it means we'll have had to play loads of cup games.

BOF:

Full steam ahead in Europe and see where it gets us - No sacrificing of European games in order to rest players for the league campaign (short of going for the title with weeks to go). We saw last season that any perceived benefit in lack of fatigue is more than offset by a morale 'hangover' and a slump in form and/or motivation that, not for the first time, showed us that teams who go out of European competition, more often than not, suffer in the league rather than flourish. But more to the point, I want to see just where we stand against European opposition when we give it our all.

Silverware - I don't care what kind it is at this stage. I just want to see us lift a trophy again. Obviously the bigger the better, but the wait has been too long to be picky. I still have images in my head of the league cup victory celebrations in '94 over Man Utd and I'd love to have something like that happen next season.

Break the top 4 - Kind of a cliché I know, but I feel given how close Villa came to doing it last season we, more than most, can justifiably hope for it to happen next season. Losing Barry & Laursen will be a massive hurdle to overcome but we must go into a season with lofty goals otherwise what's the point? It will require a big summer of activity if it is to happen and we'll probably know come September whether we have a hope or not, but given that we ran them all so close in 08/09, the experiences have to stand our youngsters in good stead if/when we find ourselves in that position again in a few months time with, hopefully, a bigger and better prepared squad.

ChrisVillan:

Silverware - this combines a few of my smaller targets, namely a run in which we really look like having a chance of winning the FA Cup, winning the League Cup and going to Wembley. It's (all) been too long.

Europa League Quarter Final - I think the latter stages of this cup are more competitive than we like to think, so for this year I'll be delighted to get into the quarters. Let's take it seriously.

Sixth in the league - and that's a minimum. I think it'll be way more competitive for that spot than it has been.

LancsVillan (who was kind enough to give us 4):

First Team - To challenge for 4th right through the season. No runs of games where luck is the things keeping us going, followed by a lull in results as has been the case in both of the last two seasons, thus costing us at the end. Beating sides in the the 'Sky 4' would be good, especially those based in the NW!!

Reserves - To continue where they left off, however, to see 2/3 of them progress into the first team squad by Xmas.

Success - Some silverware would be great. Aston was but a little babe inside Giselle when we last won something and it would be excellent to take him to see us win something.

Personal - Depending on finances admittedly but I'd like to get back into the realms of 10 games attendance this season, however, with Aston playing on Sunday afternoons this is one I'll probably have to give up. For the First Team and Success 'wants' I'd happily forego it

PB:

A Trophy - I want to go to Wembley and see us win a cup. I have a son, aged 13, about to enter year 9 at secondary school, who hasnt seen Villa win a trophy in his lifetime. Its just not right!

Football - I'd like to see us get back to the all out attack, never say die, you score three we'll score four attitude of O'Neill's second season. If we arent going to win the League or seriously push for the top four, and on current evidence you'd have ot say we wont, then lets at least be "mediocre with style" and win back those neutrals who abandoned us during last season which at times was a bit of a grind.

Europe - By way of healing the wounds created in Moscow, I'd like us to really have a proper crack at winning the Europa League. I think we have the ability in the squad, and a long European run would be great for the profile of the club, great for the younger players to experience and the Final is within easy travelling distance this year!

Villafan306:

Silverware - It has been too long since we appeare in a cup final (excluding the Peace Cup of course!). I think we have slipped on two many banana skins in recent years and should really have a strong run in one of the domestic cups this term.

A Goal Machine - I really want to see a 20 goal season from a Villa front man again. And if we are to seriously attempt to break the top 4 we need serious contributions from all of our hitmen.

Young Guns - Finally, I really want to see some of our youngsters get some impresive game time this season. Albrighton, Deplh and Delf are the obvious shouts but the likes of Clark and Bannan may prove useful too. I think these guys are ready to stand up and be counted.

Finally, John sums up what everyone wants to see in two simple sentences:

More points than last season along with better runs in the cup competitions and to do this we will need to have a stronger squad in place by the end of this transfer window. So continued progress on all fronts will do for me and if that treble brings a higher league placing or a trophy that would be a big bonus.

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