Date: 23rd July 2007 at 11:10am
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Interesting article by Tony Cascarino in The Times today – (O’Neill must think big and spend big )

To paraphrase, Martin O’Neill, spend some money, make Villa great again!

In a less flippant summary, he says that O’Neill is ‘one of the best managers in the business’ but then questions what is happening at Villa and why the millions available aren’t being spent.

The stated aim is the Champions league and yet the transfer window hasn’t exactly been an active one to date for the Villa and Cascarino questions the purchases of both Marlon Harewood who he says is a ‘hit-and-miss striker’ adding ‘last season he could not hold down a place in a team who were flirting with relegation’ and Nigel Reo-Coker (who he says hasn’t take us any further because he just replaced Steven Davis who was surprisingly sold to Fulham.)

He also questions why we’ve not gone for the likes of Scott Parker, Joey Barton (no thanks) or Mark Viduka but adds ‘I do not want to have a dig just for the sake of it, because for getting the best out of players, nobody comes close to O’Neill. He makes average players good and good players great, but can he make great players fantastic?’

As a former Villan, Cascarino says he knows that us Villa fans won’t tolerate being made to watch ‘direct football’ something we’ve been force fed through the last few seasons and he does have a point, I must admit I expected more than what we got at times last season with the long ball passes to John Carew – who is a far better quality player than just a big target man – and I don’t think we should be subjected to that this coming season, the performances of the last few games is what we all deserve to see. Leicester City were successful playing a certain way BUT that isn’t what will bring success these days, not at a club with a billionaire owner and pretensions for the Champions League. So to move on, we have 4-5 weeks left to bring in the right sort of players to help push Villa upwards.

Cascarino questions ‘If Tottenham Hotspur can buy players such as Darren Bent for £16.5 million, why can’t Villa? O’Neill does not need any advice from me, but if I was him, I would be moving heaven and earth to sign players such as Jermain Defoe. Players who defenders hate playing against. Players who can score for fun. Players who can make Villa great again.’

From reading the forums and speaking with fellow fans, I don’t think Tony Cascarino points out anything differently to what we are all already talking about. Where are the big signings, where are the big name players and when will Villa put down a marker of intent? Harewood is a fair enough squad player but as Cascarino says, he won’t get opponent defenders ‘quaking in their boots’.

I must admit the comments from Martin O’Neill last week about not being in the business of bankrupting a club and worrying about the cost of transfers worried me. (Villa Boss Worries On Transfer Costs) We aren’t close to going out of business, there is a good amount of tv money to spend even if Randy doesn’t want to dip further into his pockets (he funded the Petrov and Young signings). The prices of players are the prices of players. You either pay those prices or you remain a mid table club. Surely he should target the players and the club should decide what they can and can’t afford?

We’ve let a good few players go, we need to now replace them, if not there will be no point Martin O’Neill saying the squad is too small again, he had a case last season, but not this season now he has let Davis, Gavin McCann and Aaron Hughes leave, all squad players who would have given us extra options.

It is easy for the punters and us internet fans to pass these judgements, it must be more difficult in reality but then, that is why the managers are on million pound contracts, so basically, over to you Martin, our poll asks about this and 60% at the moment are saying they’ll give it two more weeks and then if there are no more signings, they’ll panic!

Give it 2 more weeks, then I’ll panic! (60%)
Plenty of time, no panic (17%)
Worried, decent players have moved elsewhere (10%)
Not many transfers made anywhere, not worried (7%)
Panicked, we need to buy now (6%)

Come on the Villa!


35 Replies to “Former Villan Questions O’Neill”

  • I agree with PKing. We can’t compete with Spurs or the top 4 for signings, West Ham have proved that. His assessment of NRC was ridiculous. No wonder he’s not ain management.

  • Cascarino ?? he was quality wasn’t he, F****n donkeyrino more like, how can he criticise others, he hasn’t got a clue.

  • yeah but if no more signings are made, or signings of similar stature to harewood, cascarino will not be far off with his comments. We definitely need more players, and we need them in during preseason hopefully they are just unavailable at the moment. But every time i see west ham, man city and sunderland sign another player i start to cringe and hope that we get some players in soon.

  • MON’s statements were took out of context a little, when he said he doesn’t want to bankrupt a club, I think he meant he didn’t want to get ripped off by big name wage hunters who aren’t really gonna give their all for Villa. Which would waste a significant amount of funds. I think a couple of real quality signings are on their way, we will have to wait and see.

  • hopefully the angst that fans like me are starting to show is just boredom, i would like to to think it is. We haven’t played any friendlies to take our mind our transfer dealing so far, so hopefully on Wednesday we can start concentrating on the players we have rather than the ones we need.

  • I dont really rate Bent, or at least i dont beleive he’s worth half of that £16.5mil. Parker is no better than NCR and Viduka was once a good striker but hasn’t been with it for a while now, so i dont think it’s right to compare those players to players that could play in the champions league. (i’m not even going to go into Barton!) Yes i would’ve like more signings already however look at January! left it all till the last day, and how many of us thought we would sign Carew until he put pen to paper? i dont remember his name being banded about forums (although i will admit i didn’t spend much time on them till Marchish) before he signed, thats the reason i’m being optimistic still, i think we’ll have to play the first few games of next season with a tighter squad than last year, however i do think we’ll have a bigger squad than last year come August 31st and i do think at least 2 of them will work out better buys than the likes of Viduka, Parker and Barton!

  • Parker is a hard tackling player who scores goals and is very experienced.
    Viduka keeps getting 15 plus goals a season as he did last, name a Villa player who keeps getting 15 goals
    Bent was the most Villa fans on here wanted until he went to Spurs then as usual he becomes a target.
    Where Cascarino has got it wrong is that he is one of the General’s ‘fools’ who believed Villa had money to spend, O’Neill is reported to have said when departing yesterday he had top sell to afford Reo and Harewood.

  • Parker is a hard tackling player that the barcodes didn’t want, avfc48, so why would we. Isn’t he what you would call “another team’s castoff”? In my opinion, Bent is vastly overpriced at 16M, and I didn’t see Manure or the Arse or Chelski going for him. And I have a sneaking suspicion that if MON had signed Viduka you’d have slated him for signing an over-the-hill player. Let’s face it, the current Villa regime can do no right in your eyes, and never will. Cascarino earns his money by writing (or ghost writing) articles for newspapers. In order to sell those articles he has to make controversial comments. So he does. Since when did the newspapers say anything good about Villa and since when did the pundits know more than the fans?

  • I am sure there is enough funds to procure what Martin needs.The club stated they wanted to to succesful and they know what is required to achieve that.I agree with liamo, boredom is causing everything to be physcoanalysed.At this juncture the due-diligence has been done with the figures asscoiated with targets.With time running out it’s a case of -do it, or leave it.MON is treating this as his own money.Would you go out and just buy a car -60k, or take time to weigh up the pros and cons.I think it will be bite the bullet time soon and with Randy’s blessing he will pay a “negotiated” figure for his targets.

  • avfc48, Now I know your full of that stuff that generally comes out of arses. Where did MON say he had to sell to buy any players?

  • Did MON steal your wife avfc48? Or scratch your car or something? What do you have against him? And give me a link to this “MON had to sell to buy” story you mention… or is that just another piece of BS from your miserable self?

  • Avfc48 – Man I used to laugh when you posted anything because it stirred evryone up but now I see u for what u really are – just a bitter and twisted idiot who has nothing positive to say but untruths and I for one don’t find you amusing anymore. In other words feck off!

  • Viduka is past his best (fatter than his new manager). Parker would have been a good buy, but NRC is a younger and better player. It’s funny how MON polarises peoples opinion, some pundits give him no slack at all, I am think of Cascarino, LeTissier and Andy Gray in particular. If MON had to sell, that must have been with the overall restructuring in mind. Everyone agrees prices have gone a bit silly

  • O’Neill’s comment re: selling:

    I’ve allowed some players to leave the club which we’ve got some money for and I’m using that to get Nigel Reo-Coker and Harewood in.

  • derryvillan: Thanks for the quote. he doesn’t say he HAD to use that money, just that he did.

  • avfc48:Parker is a perfect example of overrated crap. Lets not get players like him. Also, you have this site mixed up with a different one. Let your negative crap flow there-you have no audience here.

  • jonah, didn;t you hear? avfc48 said the generals a liar. It must be true! avfc48 said so!

  • Some people don’t like MON full stop – too intelligent and straightforward for them. He also doesn’t go along with all this hullabaloo around players and wants ones that want to play for us (sorry to sound like a broken record on the last point)

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