Date: 17th July 2007 at 3:10pm
Written by:

Did I misunderstand Villa ?

Although I often criticise the way O’Neill does things, and have often predicted his transfer dealings would follow form and be late in the window and varied in age and experience I did hope and suggest he needed to get at least 8-10 players to make the squad viable and that even allowing for his penchant for spending huge he would be expected to do a deal like Carew and Maloney along the way.

Throughout last season the management went out of their way to promote that Lerner would not have a pot of gold but he would meet any needs that his manager in whom he had complete faith had.
But when each day dragged by and we hadn’t signed anyone those who became nervous especially during the Reo Coker Saga, were continually placated by more reinforcing suggestions from various members of the management.

Still with 5 days to go before the squad flies to the states we have 1 new signing and our main board in the General, who does a superb job in a difficult position, has found it necessary to remind us of lasts seasons signings and the clubs achievement to finish 11th.

Now I came into this summer rest, of the opinion Aston Villa would be making moves forward on the pitch, that they would buy players to match the quality of Young, and certainly to beat the quality of all those so far sold and to be sold.

Reo Coker was a good start albeit too long in coming and too drawn out for a bloke whose club wanted to sell and who wanted to come, but the sort of minimum quality I’d expected.

Now judging by yesterdays response I would guess many other fans feel Spurs is the way we expected Villa to be and whilst, believe it or not, I fully understand O’Neill’s move for Harewood it hasn’t given me, along with the seemingly arduous job he is making of bringing players in, confidence that the management are in anyway, even allowing for Reo, meeting the promises made. The General said yesterday on this site, paraphrasing, that money wasn’t the problem signing the right player was.

Its a problem judging by most of the rest of the Premiership only we, Everton, Man City and Reading seem to be having and we all know they have much different expectations and basic squads to ourselves and other limitations we I thought didn’t.

If the owners had said we are a club who this summer will stabilise on our 11th finish and will be looking to stabilise the club and look to move slowly up into a higher position, carefully watching the pennies I’d have whinged, I always do, I’d have gone to great length to suggest we could aim higher, I always have, but I’d be less concerned than I am now.

In fact I’d have been very impressed we had signed another huge potential for 8 million to join Young, I’d be worried that so many players had left, but I’d be confident O’Neill would bring in O’Neill players to suit our season of consolidation and Harewood, Gardner, even Young would have been adequate stocking fillers. I think I’d still be worried with a few days left and several days into training more players hadn’t yet arrived but I’d still be hopeful of at least 7 or 8 more players albeit some being loaned in.

Thing is that’s not the message I have been given for months, its not the message the General was giving me yesterday Reo Coker’s signing was well within the guidelines as I saw them Harewood, Gardner, Luke Young most certainly are not.

That’s what worries me, when Ellis left I accepted dissimulation, false promises and rhetoric was a thing of the past, I’m starting to have doubts and judging by the universal response yesterday amongst Villa fans I feel justified in saying I’m not alone.


46 Replies to “Did I misunderstand Villa?”

  • More of avfc48’s doom mongering. He used to argue that Ellis did our club a “great service”. For the last time: The transfer window aint over yet. Relax, for fecks sake! as i recall nothing happened til the last week of january! We have time.

  • Sorry AVFC48, I have to say this makes you sound like somebody hoping and praying that MON will fail and that RAL will turn out to be another Doug Ellis so that you can say “Look, I told you so!” Of course we all want more and better signings, but they ain’t going to come on your timetable or mine, or just because we want them to, or because our club is Aston Villa. As for “Reo Coker was a good start albeit too long in coming” are you suggesting that MON should have rung Wham and said, OK, we’ll give you exactly what you want for NRC even though it’s over the top, just so I can keep AVFC48 happy? In my opinion, if we are lucky enough to attract a few more ‘good’ signings to our club, which is without European football next season, I’ll be happy. I have never suffered from the delusion that any signings we made would be before our USA tour just because that would have been handy. Anybody who knows anything about football recognises that transfers are all about brinkmanship, and waiting for the other guy to blink. They are NOT about showing the other guy how big your wallet is and how flash you are with money.

  • I understand where you are coming from 48, and the disappointment – it’s the kind of signing which you would have expected from the Ellis era, and after the other great links (true or not), the kind of timing.

    You may be right regarding O’Neill’s buying late into the window, it may be for the reasons that he is looking for strong, committed players for which money is not the only reason for joining. Which maybe makes the deals take longer than they otherwise should, West Ham for instance seem to be making quick, expensive signings – the type of players who will sign in 5 minutes with a £70,000 pw deal waved in their face. Will they be at their respective clubs as long as our signings, or the core of them will? I think not. We are building a SQUAD almost from the start, and Harewood, like all players, should be judged on his performances rather than his price tag. However I do admire the way, you’ve got your thoughts in early mate, but for me, if MON can give Harewood the confidence to play excellently when he gets his chance then that’s a great start for me, but we won’t know until it happens. I think it’s too simple to say ‘O’Neills let half the squad go, no-one else wants to join us so O’Neill has panicked and bought Harewood’. I think there are deeper motives and thoughts behind this type of signing, and look forward to seeing how it works out.

  • This article sums up my feelings as well. It seems to me we were promised more, but, if reality is that we must make haste more slowly, then so be it. All I ask is that the General and others tone down the rhetoric and tell it as it is, not as we would like to hear it.
    Regardless I am still 100% Villa, but after the Ellis era, please, tell straight, it as it is and no false promises.

  • 8 to 10 players at £8m+ a piece? To my maths thats about £64m to £80m in total fees plus wages. That is never going to happen and do we want it? It will be interesting to see how many of this year’s summer signings end up as flops, and once the money is spent it is gone for good. For heavens sake, why can’t some fans, avfc48 included, use a bit of sense. If you had money to spend would you squander it or be careful? I assume the latter. The Spuds have never got value for money – look at their league position in relation to total amount spent. I would much prefer we spent wisely and built a team on a sensible buying policy rather than throw money at players just to keep the fans quiet. Forget the spending of the top 4 – they have CL football. Who else has been buying players we would actually want? The managers and directors are in their jobs because they know what they are doing. We are fans because we have passion but are not perhaps the greatest judges of how to build a team. MON will live or get sacked by his decisions, so will Randy – who would lose a lot if Villa are not more successful this year than next. Do you honestly think these people do not know what they are doing?

  • Please note that avfc 48 exists in a different space/time continium to the rest of us. In his sad, deluded little world the transfer window is now closed. I the REAL world however it remains open for another 6 weeks.

  • lol….Harewood & reo-coker! u just need a couple of argies and ya in for a top 15 finish. my days. thought u might actually do summin this season. COME ON YOU SPURS!

  • 7 or 8 more because we’ve lost 8. Add the 2 signings leave us short 6 and even with that lot, MON said he didn’t want to be i the same position as last xmas with 15 fit professionals. I agree we need a lot more signings now just to get back to where we were last xmas.

  • haha. well i appreciate you avfc48. your words, and the arguments that ensue are enough to distract me from the fact we have signed marlon harewood for at least a few minutes.

  • I’m not sure how meaningful ‘we’ve lost 8’ is. We bought three damn good players in the January window and ‘lost’ JPA – who couldn’t find his scoring boots – later, so we already had a net gain of at least two in the latter half of last season. And of the 8 we’ve ‘lost’, how many of them were of any use to MON at team selection time? Just how many games did Eric or Lee play for us?

  • Here, Here Jonah….The muppets out there are already on the back of the club.The season has’nt even STARTED YET! F’N IDIOTS.

  • WE’RE ALL DOOMED!!!!!!!!!!!!! no we’re not, we have a top manager, a billionaire owner, a young squad who will gel and get better, a top kit manufacturer, money to spend in the transfer window that IS STILL open, a board WHO ARE living up to their promises i.e. Bodymoor, Holte Hotel, Nike deal, Ashley Young, Nigel Reo-Coker etc. We have bought one squad player and everybody is running around like it’s the end of the world.

  • We may have lost 8 players but only 2 of them played any real part in the squad last year, 3 of them never played a game. In the same time 6 players have been brought in. So if we sign another 8 players who are you suggesting gives way to the team that finished last year? An overhaul is needed but history tells us that changing the team completely in one season will not work or bring us success. MON has clearly dispossed of the players he didn’t want and now is building around the players he wants. This doesn’t mean bring in as many players as possible, this is just a knee jerk reaction, it means building the squad and strengthening positions.

  • i think 48 has a point its more the build up that mad eus all have this reaction, to be told of scouts going to europe for top talent, to hear MOn is at the Euro U21s championship eyeing talent, fitzgerald with “Top class players” mentioned as the expected targets and then to see Marlon Harewood turn up on the release date of the kit no less when we expected a big gun in is nothing short of shocking, its the transfer cost, the timing, its all just wrong, they wanted him out we should have done the new it thing and loaned with a view to buying at the end of the season, im amazed that the blue noses got Kapo and De ridder for less than Harewood 🙁 both are fairly young and hungry to prove themselves. oh well here’s hoping sneijder pops up or something

  • HERE’S a thought for all you ‘spend as big as you can and as fast you can’ types: I seem to remember a team called East Bacon (or something like that!) who had put together a decent little team in the Championship, won promotion to the Prem, and gobsmacked everyone (who thought they would go straight back down) by showing real team spirit, scoring loads of goals (mostly against AVFC!) and damn near winning the FA Cup. Then the board shoved a couple of TOP players – from South America if I recall correctly – down the managers throat, completely destroyed the team spirit and damn near got poor old East Bacon relegated. The moral of the story is: be careful what you wish for – you might just get it! Teams have to be built, not bought. Even Chelski, with their mega-billions of spending, took a few years to get anywhere.

  • And another thing: I keep seeing complaints about the club not revealing big name signings when the new kit was announced. Whenever did the club say that they were going to do that? I’ve seen plenty of posts from fans about it, but absolutely nothing from the club. Some of you guys are starting to believe your own speculation!!

  • Small point, by Randy is only a Dollar billionaire, not a Pound Sterling billionaire…

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