Jump to content

You Learn To Walk Before Running


JohnCresswell
 Share

Recommended Posts

OK, so we now have fourteen days left of the transfer window - ten ‘working days’, and I don’t even want to think about how much more it can be shortened down if you include the days taken out to prepare for the game the next day.

And whilst I don’t doubt the comments that from Martin O’Neill regarding how he’s working hard on bringing in players, I can’t help wonder why all they have managed is borrowing a player with no Premiership experience from Manchester United reserves.

Firstly, I guess I need to make the same statement that has to be made these days when saying some that vaguely represents criticism. As Martin O’Neill would put it himself, I’m “absolutely delighted†that Martin is our manager, and obviously even more thrilled that Randy Lerner bought the club in the Summer.

However (and you knew that was coming),

Back in November, when this poor run of results started we began getting comments such as “I hope this squad and hold on until January when I’ll be able to help then with reinforcementsâ€, and the whole of the club seemed to be focused towards limping into January to bolster up the squad and make a second challenge to finish in the top half.

But there haven’t been any. It seems to be quite clear that the squad needs new players, better players if we are to not to waste yet another season. I appreciate the changes being made so far by the new owners, and some of the things they’ve done have been absolutely fantastic – for instance, what I did not realise is that the Holte Hotel redevelopment is apparently costing over £3million. That is some investment on a building which won’t bring in that much revenue for the club.

However, first and foremost we are a football team. The previous lot in charge lost sight of this years ago, and that’s what put the club in trouble in the first place. But whilst being made to fell welcome at Villa Park, for as a fan not to feel like a burden in great, there is only one thing I, and I’d wager most Villa fans want over everything else – We want a decent team.

And we don’t have one at the moment.

I can understand the people who are calling for patience, for time to bring in players. And I’d be 100% in agreement if we had a good side and were looking to add one of two ‘special’ players to push the team further that little be more to become more than a good team. But we are not – we have a small, tiny squad which is missing of quality in a lot of areas.

We must not try to run before we can walk. When Chelsea got taken over, they didn’t immediately go out and buy the likes of Ballack and Shevchenko. They tried to, but these players turned them down – Chelsea weren’t a European force and they hadn’t done anything in the league for years. They brought in players who were better than what they had to do them a job until they could attract the type of players they wanted.

That is what I can understand having patience for.

The trouble is, last season Villa were a huge flop. Awful season. This season, we find ourselves in exactly the same position as were this time last. We need to bring in a few decent players to help life the team up a grade – to get us going again – to more importantly make us look more attractive to the better players in Europe – because Martin O’Neill or not, the best players are not going to come to a club who has finished 16th in the Premiership for the past two seasons.

And this is my worry. If O’Neill is focussing on trying to get these bigger players, then I worry that if they are available then we are unlikely to get hold of them as there are probably clubs in a much higher, better position than ourselves chasing them or they won’t want to come – or even worse they won’t be available. It’s all very well saying clubs don’t want to sell their best players in January, but surely that’s always the case – why would a club want to release their best players at any time? In fact, there is an argument that as there is a fair few players who can do a decent job who are out of contract in the summer, January offers the chance to get a few of them on the cheap.

Still, we have another two weeks to do something – and I hope we do. However, should this run continue, or we take another dip in form and nothing has been done regarding squad size or quality then the excuses used before January will not hold up for me, I’m afraid as there has been the chance to improve it.

As I’ve said – I believe that they are working hard on players – but stop telling me – show me. Yes, we would all like a couple of top, top players – but it is also in need of some good, experienced players and I hope during the chase this isn’t forgotten.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think thats a fair enough piece john and I agree with it pretty much I think.

What I would say though is that from what I have read, and reading between the lines a little, the players that MON appears to be having difficulty getting at the moment arent your top class superstars, your Ballacks and so on, they are exactly the players you say we need - those who will move us up one level - your Robbie Keane's, your Ashley Young's and so on. I cant see either of these players playing for Villa in the Champions League final tbh. I dont think he is out there trying to sign Steven gerrard and getting frustrated that the boy wont come. if he is, then he is a first class fool, and I dont see him in that light tbh

However, I agree that our need for players is great. Not sure what else anyone can do to bring them in though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

JC -Well balanced piece. MON seems to be "digging a grave" for himself by making the commitments that you state. However, despite the frustration, as you say, we have got to give him another couple of weeks before making judgement. If we could land SWP, that would be excellent news.

Ashley Young? - not worth anything near the asking price, so no.

Craig Bellamy? -no, too much baggage.

James Milner? -yes, if available.

The Polish striker? -yes.

Robbie Keane? -yes.

Alan Smith?-yes.

Any 3 of these, with or without SWP would take the pressure off until the end of the season, when there will no doubt be more opportunities. As PB also has said, we won't attract top quality players until playing in Europe, so the short-term strategy surely has to build a squad, as Spurs have done under Martin Jol.

At present, they can rotate from 13 defenders, 9 midfield plus 7 strikers and they are still on the look-out to increase the squad. Comparatively we are 6 players short. I’m sure MON is addressing this..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I doubt very strongly that MON has somehow failed to grasp the need for immediate imports, or that he is not giving proper time and effort to acquiring useful squad players as well as stars.

However, should he prove unable to bring in any reinforcements beyond Bardsley... well, that would be a problem and a major disappointment. January is difficult, no question. But this team is too thin and the consequences of relegation too severe to risk going forward without immediate help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whilst I agree with your sentiments, the thing I have to ask is where is where on earth is MON going to find the talent we need .There are so many clubs in the same position as Villa in terms of needing players and there appears to be no talent out there worth buying. It really is a worry but I am definitely not going to point any fingers at MON if no players are signed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that if O'Neill is anything, he is a realist. He is not someone who has any delusions of grandeur and so, as PB says, I doubt he is out their wondering why Steven Gerrard is not returning his calls.

Indeed, O'Neill's first crop of players brought to Villa showed his pragmatism - Sutton, Agathe, Petrov - all players he knew, trusted and was aware of what they could/could not do.

The point about players being cheaper in January if their contracts expire in the summer is a moot one too - at some clubs (witness Distin at Man City) they are willing to risk a player running their contract out and play them for the entire season rather than lose them in January.

The worry about time running short is a real one, and is affecting all teams - we have seen very little movement so far anywhere. I expect a frenzy towards the end..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think thats a fair enough piece john and I agree with it pretty much I think.

What I would say though is that from what I have read, and reading between the lines a little, the players that MON appears to be having difficulty getting at the moment arent your top class superstars, your Ballacks and so on, they are exactly the players you say we need - those who will move us up one level - your Robbie Keane's, your Ashley Young's and so on. I cant see either of these players playing for Villa in the Champions League final tbh. I dont think he is out there trying to sign Steven gerrard and getting frustrated that the boy wont come. if he is, then he is a first class fool, and I dont see him in that light tbh

However, I agree that our need for players is great. Not sure what else anyone can do to bring them in though.

Agree with this entirely

In addition to all those worrying, dont. We wont get relegated this season, a worse manager than MON managed to keep us up last year I'm sure MON will as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But what the hell does DOL have to do with the circumstance we find ourselves in now. Just missing relegation isnt a satisfactory position for AVFC and its fans to be in.

Relegation is a possibility based on the current form and the squad strength as it stands today. The need for players of a good standard is an issue that needs to be addressed during January or at least the process of improvement started.

I dont want Aston Villa just to rely on the good fortune that there are worse teams than us

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We wont get relegated this season, a worse manager than MON managed to keep us up last year I'm sure MON will as well.

I'm sure we won't but being towards the bottom won't help in bringing in these 'top' players.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

JC -Well balanced piece. MON seems to be "digging a grave" for himself by making the commitments that you state. However, despite the frustration, as you say, we have got to give him another couple of weeks before making judgement. If we could land SWP, that would be excellent news.

Ashley Young? - not worth anything near the asking price, so no.

Craig Bellamy? -no, too much baggage.

James Milner? -yes, if available.

The Polish striker? -yes.

Robbie Keane? -yes.

Alan Smith?-yes.

Any 3 of these, with or without SWP would take the pressure off until the end of the season, when there will no doubt be more opportunities. As PB also has said, we won't attract top quality players until playing in Europe, so the short-term strategy surely has to build a squad, as Spurs have done under Martin Jol.

At present, they can rotate from 13 defenders, 9 midfield plus 7 strikers and they are still on the look-out to increase the squad. Comparatively we are 6 players short. I’m sure MON is addressing this..

The responses on this thread seem to all be in accord. MON needs to do something, but is finding it difficult, as are many clubs.

Of the players above, I'd guess MON is unwilling to pay £10m for Young or the money Liverpool want for Bellamy, and he needs to show Villa will not pay well over the odds for a player. It also seems, according to the media, that SWP and Keane are not available, so of the above, only Smith and the Pole seem to be possibilities. I know very little obout the Polish striker and personally, wouldn't want Smith except as an on loan player, almost as a last resort. The Milner possibility seems to have died, so I can only hope MON has others on his list.

I guess that in two weeks time should there not be any new players, or they are not of the quality expected, there will be more demands for MON's blood.

:cry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has, so far, been the quietest transfer window yet. Will it stay that way?

No.

Will we be involved in it when it kicks into gear?

Yes.

You state the argument of patience yet you don't really counter it. There are 2 weeks left, that's almost half the friggin' window, and almost all major deals take place in the last week, the last few days even.

Whilst I agree with some of what you say, my overall feeling is similar to that of OklahomaVilla TBH.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As it hasn't helped us this year Jez after last years finish?

Well, it appears not seeing the position we are in, and the amount of players we have managed to buy.

I'd also suggest that two seasons of shit, will make it harder to convince a player to come to the club than one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has, so far, been the quietest transfer window yet. Will it stay that way?

No.

Will we be involved in it when it kicks into gear?

Yes.

Just out of interest how do you know this?

I know its your opinion etc but its been the quietest window for a reason, the same reason why it might not kick into gear.

It could go either way.

But as its the quietest window after weeks of preparation Villa have still done jack, i will guess we won't sign anybody.

I hope i eat humble pie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you will, it ought to taste good.

Of course I don't KNOW this absolutely, I havn't spoken to anyone on the phone and my mate hasn't seen anyone in a hotel but Martin has all but promised reinforcements, and I believe him to be a man of his word, don't you?

The reason that there has been little activity is extortianate asking prices, but as the window goes on I expect many of these to drop.

We shall see Jez, but I'd get your cutlery ready if I was you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure that last year, and probably the year before that, most deals in January were done right at the end of the month. Just the way it seems to be, for whatever reason, but I'm sure that will happen again this window.

So, even though it's frustrating now, let's just hold on and see what happens. I've got no reason to think that if/when deals start to happen (and none are really happening anywhere right now apart from in the papers) Villa and MON won't be in the middle of them all, and we'll have some new players in the C&B by West Ham game at the latest

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two points.

One: Traditionally very few people move in January until the last week.

Two: The only player, the ONLY one, who has moved this January that I would want at Villa Park is Luis Boa Morte, so what can MON do? We're not missing out on anyone!

Robbie Keane? Spurs won't sell. Craig Bellamy? Liverpool won't sell, he'd be overpriced and carries too much baggage. James Milner? Is happy at Newcastle and they are desperate for players. There's no way they'll sell.

If we have to wait for the summer, we have to wait for the summer. We're not going down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two points.

One: Traditionally very few people move in January until the last week.

Two: The only player, the ONLY one, who has moved this January that I would want at Villa Park is Luis Boa Morte, so what can MON do? We're not missing out on anyone!

Robbie Keane? Spurs won't sell. Craig Bellamy? Liverpool won't sell, he'd be overpriced and carries too much baggage. James Milner? Is happy at Newcastle and they are desperate for players. There's no way they'll sell.

If we have to wait for the summer, we have to wait for the summer. We're not going down.

common sense speaks ...

JC, of aall the players we could get to improve us and there are a fair few, most are either at clubs who don't want to sell

so are you really advocating paying way over the limit for players 'just' to get someone in.

If as most agree we are not in relegation trouble as such then no real panic is there,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...
Â