Date: 4th June 2007 at 2:46pm
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I’ve seen several small articles in various Villa related sites, putting forward suggestions for why its better we sign players later rather than earlier, wonder why, does it have anything to do with O’Neill’s reputation for leaving matters until the last minute ?

In fairness some contributors go as far as to suggest its better O’Neill adapts this ploy, it ensures they say we don’t get panic buys like DJ x 2, which may be true.

Hence I’ve pondered the question ‘when is the best time’

Logically between season end and window closing is the answer, some 10 weeks is it? Bearing in mind O’Neill only had 2 weeks from when he joined last season, and we may surmise, maybe he had some major financial restrictions too. Obviously managers have different styles, seems O’Neill’s is for leaving things until late and buying in older experienced players usually on a downslope who return some great performances before being moved on after having earned more money than they dreamed of for two maybe three seasons.

I remember when Thompson left us for Celtic, I didn’t shed many tears, he’d done a decent job, but lacked that something, the fee paid was amazing for us we do tend to give players away. He did well enough though which again makes me wonder about the level of football in Scotland, 6 hard games a season ok for me.

The Premiership is a completely different kettle of fish of course, harder than ever now more teams have better financial backing, certainly harder than when O’Neill last managed there.

Leaving things until the last minute would I reckon, mean you have to pay more than normal, simply because as the season approaches selling clubs have less time to find replacements and are less keen to sell. Player also have made their mind to stay at a club and unless they are a player who knows he isn’t wanted will not be too keen to consider upping and moving, especially if its across borders, even continents.

Plus in this day and age of media friendly agents its bloody hard to find a player who isn’t available. From what I know, we all know, agents make it very obvious which players are or aren’t available, even, I’d suggest players who are available, even if their club doesn’t know it.

There will always be the surprise transfer or three, but usually they cost a fortune, and with all respect Villa fans, I can’t see an Essien or a Kaka being persuaded to join Villa no matter what fee or wage we
pay.Which in itself brings an added problem for O’Neill, he’ll be choosing from a limited pack, one which is diminishing as each week passes.I’ll explain further, hopefully.

First he needs quality, not the sort of quality he’s bought pre Villa mind, he doesn’t need Lennon’s, Thompson’s, Heskey’s although all might do a job as Sutton nearly has. If as it is rumoured he’s allowing Moore, Ridgewell, and Davis to leave if they want, I can’t see the point of replacing them with near past it, older players. He’s seemingly giving Mellberg, McCann new contracts, Berger has one already, are they better long term, even short term assets to the club than the above 3? No.

Back to transfer timings, European leagues are still in action and usually when they close the real transfer merry go around starts in earnest, two problems here, O’Neill has said he prefers UK based players
and many of those top players aren’t coming to Villa this season, we can’t offer enough. But when it starts the snowball effect comes into operation and more players are available who maybe weren’t before.

So although I’d have preferred to see a few positive moves, Parker is a huge miss as is Distin, I’m not too concerned yet, especially when I concede Young, Carew and Maloney were huge if mainly ineffectual buys in January, in comparison to other clubs.

Where I am very concerned is the number of players we require. We needed plenty before we lost Samuel, Hendrie, DJx2, and now Moore, Davis and Ridgewell maybe, but then that has nothing to do with timing 😉

Leaving transfers to last minute brinkmanship is no longer a viable Premiership tactic in my view, if O’Neill hasn’t decided who he wants by now, he’s plainly not been doing his job, this suggestion he’s waiting to make sure is just plain and simple daft excuse making. My thoughts are he needs others to start things off, Liverpool to buy before they sell, Man Utd to get their striker from Spain, and so on. Then we will see action.



31 Replies to “Best Time For Villa To Buy?”

  • I totally agree Ric, we won’t sell them )or Ridgewell for that matter), unless we have better replacements lined up. They are under contract and unlike previous years we are not worried if they stay in the reserves for a while. The top 4 teams will touting thier cast offs, a market we should steer clear of.

  • I’d ask a Newcastle Fan’s view on Parker. These “huge misses” seem to include the only two players we’d have been interested in so far . There’s a limit to what a player’s worth anyway. What frustartes me, is that they have such high opinions of themselves, part of the business they are in I suppose.

  • I think we need quality as we have enough average players, three players that generally improve the squad and two reinforcers would be ideal for me and if they take time to get then i’m prepared to wait

  • agreed, but quality is not easily bought with no CL footie on offer, where as potential can be.

  • Luke Young, Darren Bent, Defoe, Curtis Davis all names that were banded around. Nothing has happened there either.

  • I don’t believe for one second that the story about Luke Moore has originated inside VP – just some agent thinking he can earn a few quid by creating media speculation in the vain hope that it will unsettle the player into a rash move. UTV

  • Bent, Defoe and Davies are going to cost waaaay to much money and unless their price tags come down, they will be priced out of a move. Only a desperate club would pay that price and I dont think Villa are quite at that point lads!

  • MON definately knows who he wants….wouldnt you as manager? He had been out the game for a while and itching to get back. Now he’s got some money for the first time in his management career…..his list will be a long as Dion Dublins Schlong, hey that even rhymes

  • I think it would be wise to wait a little longer, say perhaps until at least the transfer window has officially opened before we start to worry.. even then when the 1st of september comes and we find ourselves disappointed with who has been bought, then and only then really can we point the finger at MON. We’re eagerly anticipating the moves, but these things take time clearly.

  • Luke Moore must NOT go. Neither should Ridgewell nor Davis unless better young replacements are brought in.
    If we kept the current squad and added Luke Young, Matthew Taylor, Nigel Reo-Coker (although I would have prefered Scott Parker) and a striker, say, Darren Bent (or Craig Bellamy) we would have a serious chance of European football and trophies coming back to VP.
    The icing on the cake would be if we could get Wesley Scneider in which case I would then be in agreement with Davis going. I suppose if we got Curtis Davies as well, then Liam could go!
    Kuomas is a good player, but we already have Shaun Maloney who I believe is very similar and is a great prospect.
    In fact if MON got a top quality keeper in as well we would be in Champions League! There I go, dreaming again. Back to work and reallity.

  • good article, we need to show we mean business! My only worry is attracting big names to Villa Park with out the promise of Europe. But then Everton and Spurs are no bigger than the villa.

  • leelindsay – you’ve got me worried now – therefore Everton and Spurs are bigger attractions! I believe the UEFA cup isn’t a big incentive for the modern day football player. It’s all about the CL

  • Tarzan its a bigger incentive than a club without any European qualification surely ?

    Apart from players still playing through their season, most of the ‘available’ buys have moved, without the transfer window opening many of the uk’s top buys are gone.
    Have we sniffed Koumas says so but has then decided the offer is so exciting he’s gone on holiday for three weeks to see if better ones come in, Celtic maybe.
    Is that the response we expect from new Villa. No.

  • AVFC48, you seem obsessed with youth? MON may have bought older players in up in Smelly Sock Land but of his buys at Villa, Young and Maloney are early twenties and Petrov and Carew 27ish. A mix of youth and experience it appears? And unless I was dreaming, didn’t Manure win the Premiership with the likes of Neville, Scholes, Larrson and Ole whatisname making contributions?
    Further “many of the UK’s top buys are gone”. Who exactly are we talking about? We all want action but let’s keep calm. The window has only just opened, players are on holiday and there’s plenty of time. Keep the faith and trust in MON to do what he does best, manage football clubs.

  • Who is panicking not me.
    Managers have differing styles, so far I’ve been most impressed by the old fellah who spent nigh on 50 million on the 3 best young and younger midfield players in Europe. Mind you he can 🙂

  • Villa and Everton have been linked to the same 50 players over the last month. Lets have some signings ASAP MON so you can plan demolishing Inter and we can have something concrete to talk about.

  • Best time to buy? – From a business point of view buying a player now would mean they’re on the wage bill. However, another point would be that in buying a top player it would encourage season ticket sales and perhaps encourage other players into thinking we mean business. Remember when the Milner deal fell through, it was because Castle never got a replacement. Apart from Hendrie and the Twins, no one should leave before there are adequate replacements. As for the links, I’d love to know what MON has in mind just so I could laugh at the speculation and links that are away in fairyland.

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