Date: 7th April 2008 at 10:13am
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Bolton are clearly a warning for Aston Villa. Bolton? yea that’s the one, not for the game on Saturday though.

I was wondering just how did Bolton end up where they currently are after having such a great season last year? I was looking at the two clubs, Bolton and Villa and a little alarm bell started ringing at the back of my head.

Could Villa do a Bolton next season?

Rubbish I hear you cry we are far better than Bolton they are shyte, well they were better than we were last season and finished with 6 more points than we did, that’s why they were playing in Europe and Villa were not.

Bolton finished last season in 7th place with 56 points just 2 points behind the top 4 + Spurs and Everton, I know they lost their manager who had done a great job for them but the fact remains they qualified for the UEFA Cup on the back of a decent season.

The UEFA Cup was a great run for Bolton they ended up playing an extra 10 more matches than Villa this season travelling all over Europe mid-week to play their fixtures, they had some really good results drawing with Bayern Munich and Athletico Madrid before going out of the Cup.

Before the January transfer window and the loss of Anelka their league results seemed unaffected by their mid-week exertions but that’s where the story starts to go a awry and their league form takes a tumble.

The point I am going to make is will Villa be better equipped side at the start of next season than Bolton were at the start of this?

Will we have the players to complete another 4 Intertoto & 16+ UEFA Cup games if we were luckily enough to get through them.

A decent run in the FA Cup and/or League Cup could add another 10 games to the list of fixtures net season. That’s a possible extra 30 games if we qualified for Europe.

Is the panic starting to set in yet?

Are we that much better than Bolton were at the start of the season? Our current League position and points tally suggest we are currently where Bolton were this time last season. IF and its a big IF we do manage to qualify for Europe I for one will be hoping we don’t follow the Bolton model and see the European adventure as the be all and end all of or footballing aspirations, yes having European football back at Villa Park will be brilliant but can we afford it?

I would at the end of the day wish we had never qualified for the Inter Toto if the manager fails to bolster the squad for the next campaign and we end up as mid-table cannon fodder for the likes of Newcastle and Spurs. It may be the European football could well do with given a miss this season as I may suggest we need another 10 players to be able to overcome the problems Bolton have suffered this season, I don’t want Villa struggling against West Ham on a Sunday because the same eleven players are still shattered after a Thursday Night match in Russia or one of the Baltic states.

Martin O’Neill and the management of Villa need to take a good hard look at Bolton and realise what playing in Europe entails. Go out get the players to prevent adventure turning into a nightmare and having an adverse affect on the league form and possibly our status as a Premier League Club