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How good is our squad?


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I think I started a thread like this a few years ago when we'd got a good team, with an analysis of who might be interested in the likes of Barry, Milner, Young etc if they were available for transfer. It gave a good benchmark of where we were and the quality of our squad.

With the transfer window looming - if we were to put our whole squad up for sale, who would be interested in signing them?

Brad Guzan - someone we have who has genuine talent. I don't think he'd trouble the very best goalkeepers in the league but it's easy to imagine the likes of Everton wanting him if Howard left, or for him to be a good second choice at any of the Champions League chasing clubs. Mark Schwarzer might be on his last legs - Fulham.

Shay Given - hard to say based on his wages really. He's probably a Reading / Southampton level player now, but is still on Champions League wages. We'll find it hard to get rid of him unless someone offers Celtic silly money for Forster and they decide they want to sign a replacement on the basis that he's Irish.

Matt Lowton - I think is another Everton level player. He'd be in or around a squad challenging for the European places anyway. Maybe even Arsenal as you've got to think he's better than Carl Jenkinson. Still got some learning to do though, so maybe someone like Stoke.

Eric Lichaj - I can't see who'd sign him. Nobody in the Premier League anyway. Wasn't he on loan at Leeds a couple of seasons ago? Somewhere like that might work for him. Or Derby County. Any Championship side who would look to sign "not quite" Premier League players. Leeds Utd.

Joe Bennett - speaking of "not quite". Right now I just can't see it. Maybe Middlesbrough would take him back, but you couldn't see another PL club chasing him down. Middlesbrough.

Enda Stevens - Sheffield United. A League One club looking to move up a division without spending lots of cash.

Ron Vlaar - possibly West Ham. So far, much as I want him to be the next Ronald Koeman, he's like a good-looking, not ginger, James Collins.

Ciaran Clark - I'm still undecided on him. I wonder how well he might do with real quality all around him. Might appeal to someone like Swansea who try to play football.

Nathan Baker - as above really. Can mix it a bit too so would be a good prospect for most mid-table clubs. Norwich.

Chris Herd - Leicester, Watford, Cardiff. Someone chasing promotion from the Championship who want a "hard man" when the going gets tough. He wouldn't get a look in once they got promoted though. Hull City.

Karim El-Ahmadi - back to the Eredivisie for you son. Or else a bog-standard Bundesliga side. FC Twente.

Barry Bannan - I'm sorry, but I just don't see it. He doesn't read the game and intercept the ball, he can't tackle, he can't shoot, his set-pieces are poor, he can't cross, he gets caught in possession, his Hollywood passes rarely come off and he's tiny. Motherwell.

Stephen Ireland - there's not a manager in this country would fancy their chances with this joker. I honestly think we'll be stuck with him until his contract expires and then he'll spend the rest of his days frittering away his ill-gotten millions on pink tat for his missus and pimped out motors or else going fishing with fellow forgotten-man Craig Gordon.

Fabian Delph - maybe Leeds, just because he was good when he first got into their team so they would have fond memories. Possibly Crystal Palace. Could be a Holloway type of signing.

Ashley Westwood - this is a guy who I think might interest Europa League challengers. He can play a bit and I'd love to see him with better players around him. Failing that a table topping Championship side for whom he'd be first pick when they were promoted. Cardiff City.

Marc Albrighton - somebody like Burnley or Huddersfield. Any team that is based where the whole world is painted grey so they'd mistake him for a "flair" player.

Charles N'Zogbia - on the subject of faux flair players, old Charlie Insomnia. His agent will have a good showreel of his goals for Wigan and a list of excuses about Villa being the wrong fit. Could land up at Marseille or Valencia or some other fallen European giant. Shit floats.

Brett Holman - it's the A-League for our Brett. He runs around a lot every other game but just lacks the basic technique to cut it in the big leagues. He was fairly well thought of in Holland though so might get a look in back there or again the Bundesliga. Newcastle Jets.

Andi Weimann - I think this lad has potential and I think other clubs would see it too. The Bundesliga would be a good destination for him, but I think PL clubs would look at him too. Fulham, West Ham, West Brom are the type who could nurture him and get the best out of him. Don't think he's shown enough to excite the big clubs. VfB Stuttgart.

Christian Benteke - still flatters to deceive a little bit at the moment but he's young and he's clearly got some real potential. He's been linked with Spurs and you could imagine that, or even Arsenal as an alternative from the bench. Probably the one player we've got who some of the CL level clubs would have a think about.

Darren Bent - Liverpool. They need someone who can finish and if there's only one thing (and let's be honest, there pretty much is) Darren can do it's finish chances. If Brendan Rogers wants someone to finish the work done by Suarez, Sturridge and Ince then it'd have to be DB. Those four would be a potent strikeforce. I can't see QPR going for him for the same reasons he's not in our team. Clubs at the bottom haven't got the all-round quality to carry him.

Gabby Agbonlahor - if ever there was a player who I wanted to "make it", it was Gabby. The local hero. The speedster. The occasional wonder goal. The dodgy tash and the daft Brummie accent in interviews. You've got to love him. But he's injured so often, and he just can't seem to find the form he showed under Martin O'Neill. Speaking of whom - Sunderland.

So there you go. I've left a few out as they either haven't played enough this season or are too young to really say. I'm sure most of you will disagree with most of my assessments but I find it an interesting way of looking at the players at our disposal.

Based on my thinking we're desperately lacking in quality and, as a few have said here, pretty much look like a newly-promoted side who are struggling to stay up. I really want us to have a team with some coveted players but right now we just don't...

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If you replace quality with League One standard players, you will eventually find yourself in League One. Which is where we will be going at our current downward velocity.

Relegation would absolutely murder this club. But Ive never been so certain of it happening than right at the moment. Lets face it, we are going to spend nothing in January. Even if we do, we will be signing more youngsters who wont be good enough.

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I didn't realise you were a mod NV, I really wanted to "like" your post. Thank you for putting in the effort.

The only change I would make would be to Ashley Westwood - I think he's already there. Between he, Guzan, Lowton, Baker and Benteke we do have a decent enough basis for a young, fresh spine. It's the utter dross surrounding them with that is giving me nightmares at the moment. Vlarr excluded if he ever drags himself from the treatment table. On that basis I'd be shocked should he ever need to step back down, somewhere like West Brom would be ideal for him.

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just got back from a weekend in london..went to all the posh shops, then it dawned on me in a flash! IM OUT ME DEPTH SHOPPING HERE, i knew the villa score v wigan & a sudden ease fell upon me..theirs no point getting eat up about villa these days,i blame randy for the demise of avfc,we have some be low average players,randy has downed tools,i am expecting a signing of two because randy has to show he doing something,i expect the same results,its just how it is..when all said & done my wife said put them things we brought in the harrods bag..whats the point i thought,its masking over/cheating your self,shopping in next etc the making it look like your jonny big bollox.. randy wont pay the wages & the results show it. i think you know where im coming from.

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We need a commanding centre half, a left back, two solid central midfielders and possibly another centre forward. The team has currently got no spine.

I doubt Randy will risk relegation and losing a minimum of £30m as a result - he could invest that and we could scrape survival.

The one thing I am hopeful of at the moment is Michael Henke. He was only appointed two weeks before the end of the transfer window and will hopefully have earmarked the players we need to get us out of the shit. Which is where we very much are at present.

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As said above. Guzan, Westwood, Lowton, Benteke, Baker (and Clark imo) are worth keeping, the vast majority of the rest can go.

I'd still keep some of the younger players, but not as permanent fixture first teamers. Also we need to keep Weimann. As for the rest...

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