Date: 19th September 2007 at 3:33pm
Written by:

I see talk of Martin’s joining Villa, fans still suggesting Defoe is a target and so on. From the day the season closed until the 31 st of August, Martin O’Neill managed to get Reo Coker, Martin Harewood and Zat Knight for a spend of £15 million. In fact if you take into account the sales he made the actual spend is far less.

If in all that time the sum of O’Neill’s trading’s are summarised as above, why oh why, do people still offer such suggestions as Defoe and Martins?

Why are fans still believing that such purchases are possible, that O’Neill will even contemplate such. He had a full season, plus a full summer to deal, every other club did to their best ability so I assume so did we. No one has dared do a comparison of this summers deals to those of O’Leary and Taylor’s under Ellis I note, but considering the extra money available from media rights, and Randy’s wallet, the sum spent, the players bought are arguably far poorer.

Was Reo Coker a bigger buy or risk than Crouch, 5 seasons ago for 6 million? Was Harewood a better gamble than Allback, was Knight a better buy than Mellberg, Alpay, Bouma, Hughes?

Many don’t like him but Baros was a proven golden boots striker who had played several seasons in the Premiership, when he was bought with Hughes and Bouma did we all rain praise on O’Leary, was our expectation comparable to now.

It bloody well was not, complaint after complaint piled in O’Leary, this, O’Leary that, Ellis is a this, Ellis is a that, why can’t we buy better, what hope have we with such buys. This time around the Board have money and provided funds, the media funding was huge compared to that in Ellis times, especially under Taylor and O’Leary, yet the same fans who criticised and moaned who made a life on slating Ellis and his managers now sit quietly by the computers eulogising over the possible purchase of such as Defoe, SWP, Martins.

We have a 5 year plan but nothing in the transfer market so far has matched the off field improvements, especially when you consider the money available from all sources this summer. The spend indicates no more ambition on the field, especially when you account those sold, than at any time under Ellis, so why the continued insane suggestions?

We are still a club with mid table aims struggling to find players to move us centimetres at a time, thankfully O’Neill’s past record suggests he’s better at doing it that way than his two predecessors. He’s bought some decent prospects, in Young and Coker, but so did Taylor, so did O’Leary, so did Gregory, they mainly bought make do’s that’s why long term we didn’t progress well enough, is Carew, Harewood, Knight, Maloney anything more?


20 Replies to “Facts or Fiction, past or future”

  • You have purchased average players and expect them to get you into the champions league. (not going to happen). Now i dont want you all coming on and having a go just sit back and look at your squad(not good enough) i have been very impressed with your first 11 but the back-up is poor.

  • Sorry, have I missed this point of this? Why are you/we repeating this stuff? There are no new thoughts here – just the same old negative dribble. By the way, the article misses the acquisition of Davies – a permanent signing by any other name, only delayed for the baggies cash flow/ tax reasons. It also misses the acquisitions made in January. No I don’t think MON walks on water and yes the hype was too heavy in the early Summer and yes I did feel a bit let down by the process but yes I did renew my season ticket which, for AVFC48’s information is a season long pass to the ground that enables supporters to see all of the matches – not a TV couch pass. By the way I also live in N Wales which I surmise is probably not too far from the home of AVFC48. The point surely is that the Villa is being re-built, albeit more slowly than some would like. This year’s squad is more solid looking than last years. Progress is being made. Now let those who do little but complain please stop moaning and either support the club or leave. And can we all please move on.

  • Watching from afar, listening to my Villa fan girlfriend (and yes, risking egg on my face at the end of the season) I think Sven and Frank at city are showing you how it should have been done. My belief is that you have class guys at the helm, but O’Neill isn’t viewed as a top class coach abroad nor by big name players. That isn’t to say he won’t succeed over time with the cream of English yoof but you have such fickle fans that if he doesn’t get Villa moving forward in a big way by Xmas those rows of empty pink seats may have a few American bums a-twitching!

  • When did you start writing this article avfc48???…. 1st Sept??? Bygones, in the past… leave it be. You change your tunes every 90mins we play – if you win you sign our praises; when we lose you nit-pick. It’s cr@p journalism. So in your eyes we won’t improve on our tally of 52 pts last season?

  • Aston Smithy: I really wouldn’t get to carried away with yourself. You were crap Sunday and so were we and you got lucky. If you read anything more than that into it you are deluding yourself. And as for the old, old fickle villa fans (yawn). All I can say is villa don’t play their home games in a morgue.

  • Some good points raised and many we share with you…. however I feel there’s a new light at the end of the tunnel for villa players…. Players like barry who nearly left us under Ellis, see the club now going in the right direction… players now want to stay and fight for a place to play for AVFC, before players like Baros, Alpay along with many others did not and the performances/heart seen whilst wearing claret and blue colours spoke for it self.
    I do now see a team who collectively will strengthen over coming years, with the backbone almost cemented in Barry, Reo-coker, Laursen, Mellberg – some statute players with the young guys that have momentum and feist playing around them identifies a new forward looking villa….
    We will break into Europe in coming years with if the club continues to go in the direction it is, the Premiership isn’t for mugs, you have to be serious to contend in it…. I feel our management, back room staff, Board and Chairman are competent in doing so…

  • Aston Smithy – If Sven and Thaksin continue in the manner they are, and the same goes for Rafa and the American owners at Liverpool; they are threatening to destroy the souls of the clubs that they own. Can City keep hold of the kids that have come through the ranks, they have shown in the past to be a selling club with SWPs sale to Chelsea, and eventually they will have to balance the books and to do this they will have to sell some of they’re prize assets, currently their youngsters Richards, Johnson and Onuha. Liverpool have stopped producing kids decent enough to show ability in the top tier – so they’re resorting to buying the best foreign kids. OK, we want success, and for now we’re happy doing it our way – we’re doing English football credit! An improvement this season is what is targeted, and even the slightest improvement could guarantee us European football next term. Bottom line is we have improved on the field…. and this article is way off the mark.

  • Ever since the days of BL we have been a middle to top 6 team, sometimes up, sometimes down.
    Are we any different now.
    A golden opportunity from a seemingly switched on owner was missed during the summer, why?
    Could it simply be that Villa has always been since 82 nothing more than a mediocre side with mediocre ambitions, and whilst much has changed off the pitch we still buy the same quality and type of buy now as we have done over the years since Saunders.
    At least we have a manager who has shown in the past he’s good at dealing with such mediocre ambitions and spending.
    What fans have to decide is, is that because of the clubs, standing, the owner, or the manager. Whatever, to keep suggesting after all those years of evidence that SWP, Defoe type buys are on the cards seem to me, at least, ludicrous.

  • It is unfair to call 48 leader of the ‘knob squad’, he is a very very nice man. He is entitled to share his views regardless if they differ to most. As for signings, several people have highlighted that signing big name players does not guarantee anything. CSKAhelski signed Shevchenko and Ballack last season and went backwards. Spuds have spent fortunes and lost 4 of the first 6 games. This summer very few clubs have made what could be considered ‘big’ name purchases. Torres being the exception. The skill in football management is spotting and buying talent. Wenger has shown he is the master at this. Anelka, Petit, Overmars, Viera, Henry were relative nomarks who Wenger took the best years from and then sold for a massive profit. Only clubs that are currently at the top can attract the big names such as Rooney, Dogbreath, Torres etc. Look at Manure in the last couple of seasons, they have spent £35 million on Hargreaves and Carrick!! They have spent £30m on Nani and Anderson who are relatively unknown. Would we have been happy if that £65m was spent at VP on those players? Other than Torres what superstars have Murderpool purchased? Their other world class player is home grown. It has been proven with England recently, it is not about having the best individuals, it is about having the best team. Morinihio complained this week that he doesn’t have the ‘best eggs to make the best ommlette’ but has spent zillions. So what chance do the Villa have? Well I think the best chance is M’ON. Throughout his playing career he was succesful. His mangement record with Wycombe, Leicester and Celtic has mirrored his playing days. Outside of the top four he has lifted more silverware as a manager in this country than any other currently in the league. I am not sure why 48 mentions Defoe as a big name. Since when has the fourth choice striker at a club below the Villa, been a big name? I have said from day one that it will be the third season onwards when we will start seeing the difference. The impatience shown after just 14 months I find startling. After sales and wages are taken into account M’ON has spent approximately £24m since arriving. Equivalent to a Torres, Hargreaves, Dogbreath, Essien, SWP, Rooney or Ferdinand. However I would say the 2 most valuable players in the league at the moment are Gerrard and Terry and they cost nowt. 48 isn’t confident in M’ON, that is his choice. His preference for the job was Klinsman or Scolari. Me? I am confident in what M’ON can do for the club in the next few years. I think he will make our ‘unknowns’ into superstars. M’ON has often been described as lucky. Well maybe some of his luck has rubbed off on Barry, who has gone from being worth £5m to £15m in the space of a few weeks. In time 48 will be proved right or wrong. The downside is, I get the feeling he wants to be proved right, in effect, he is hoping for the Villa to fail. 48 is always the same after a bad result so maybe it is his love of the club that brings out the manic deppressive in him all the time?? Overall a good article, which as per usual, most disagree with.

  • And it’s MARLON…not Martin Harewood…if you can’t get to the games at least get someone to bring you a programme so you can keep up to speed with what’s going on 🙂

  • col8 – anyone that is secretly wishing the club’s current regime to fail, just to prove their small selves correct, is a knob in my opinion. Aren’t fans supposed to get behind the team? the thing about avfc48 is he is the worst kind of armchair fan, criticising from afar without offering any realistic alternatives, except for ludicrous statements like “We should have bought bigger players”. avfc48 also rarely responds to any direct criticisms of his posts and articles. He posts and hides.

  • I guess the flipside of the positives Jon.H are do we have a squad big enough to see us through this season? My feeling is no, hope injuries are kind otherwise we could struggle. Do we have a striker capable of scoring more than 15? no. Should we have got one in the summer? yes

  • Agreed Fear, which is why, in my opinion we are still very much a work in progress. I just think that we have the best people in place to carry out the re-building and I would expect a couple of signings in January, MON has already said he feels his first choice right back should be available and I think he has already shown that he evaluates then acts, so I would guess that he may look at the striker situation as well. Here’s hoping….

  • Amazingly some good and valid points for once, BUT most of the new players are under 23 and assuming MON brings them on in their careers they are all valuable British assets for the club and in 3 years time with a couple more additions ??? Everyone knows that without European football we can’t buy big, Simple As.
    If only we had won that Fair Play place in Europe then things would be totally different and if we are top 6 or 7 come Jan, we can surely get a couple of proven big players for the final push. As I said at the start some good points but still the Yawn factor..

  • God, I can’t bring myself to comment on these anymore. How about a decent article targetting the up and coming reserves with some quality Opta stats instead of this argument provoling stufff, tired now. If you want some inspiration- think STIEBER.

  • With all due respect avfc48, isn’t your article, relatively close to the truth though it may well be, simply made up of yesterday’s news? What is there to be achieved by going back and re-hashing what is now old, old copy. Everything that you raise has been discussed over and over on the forum, to the very point now where its become rather boring. You raise, comment upon, observations that are now way past their sell-by date, and there is no new or fresh way to respond. Had you written this article immediately upon the closure of the summer window, then fuelled by my frustration of our dealings I may well have responded differently, but like many other Villans all over the globe, I just cant see any positive objective in going over and over the very same topics that each and every one of us have already commented upon a thousand and one times. I’m not arguing against many of the points that you raise, in fact they are issues I have raised and discussed on here many times, have talked about over a pint or two in the local, chewed over with work colleagues, etc. etc., I just question whether we should not by now allow the curtain to fall on the activities of summer 2007, and move on?

  • Getting worried there for a moment. Thought AVFC48 had died in a traffic accident and we’d have lost the patron saint of the KNOB SQUAD. It’s easy to be negative because if you are wrong you feel great that the Villa are doing well and if your right you great because you feel vindicated. It’s hard being optimistic because you are open to dissapointment, however, isn’t that what being a fan is all about?

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