Date: 24th February 2009 at 10:51am
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Have Villa waved the white flag when it comes to the UEFA Cup?

The squad has been announced today and once again Martin O’Neill has gone for a less than strong selection, something he seems to do a great deal in all cup competitions. Now fair enough some will say that with the size of our squad we have to prioritise for the league push but I guess the counter question is who is responsible for the size of the squad and isn’t winning silverware – or winning at all – a good habit to pick up?

Suppose all depends on the result but looking at this squad, I’d certainly not place money on a win in Moscow and thank the good lord Paul McGrath that I didn’t buy tickets to go over there like four of my mates. Not sure how they will feel when they see this. I guess time will tell.

Martin O’Neill explained: ‘We have a couple of players carrying injuries and a couple of others who I believe need resting for the important final third of the season.’

There is no Gareth Barry, Ashley Young, Gabby Agbonlahor or James Milner and Brad Friedel also stays at home.

Goalkeepers

Brad Guzan
Stuart Taylor
Elliott Parish

Defenders

Luke Young
Curtis Davies
Zat Knight
Nicky Shorey
Eric Lichaj
Ciaran Clark
Shane Lowry

Midfielders

Steve Sidwell
Moustapha Salifou
Craig Gardner
Isaiah Osbourne
Barry Bannan
Marc Albrighton

Forwards

Marlon Harewood
John Carew
Nathan Delfouneso

Bit pathetic really, but hey ho.

 

29 Replies to “Have Villa Waved The White Flag For UEFA Cup?”

  • What do you think? We waited years to get back into Europe and now this. Baffling the attitude to the cups this season.

  • Strange one this as you could very feasibly have got through this tie despite Moscow having a slight advantage, I’d of backed you to at least score over there. As fans we’d all prefer silverware, but the Champions League is the be all and end all for money men at a club. Will mean now it will probably be 4 games without a win going into your next league game, I’m willing to bet you’d have put in a better performance coming back from a great win over there, and there’s definatly the possibility of getting to a final in the UEFA Cup.

  • i hate to say it but i think this is the right move. the one thing that clearly stood out to me in the chealsea game (first half especially) is we were fatiuged. now i would love to win the UEFA cup but beating moscow does not ensure that. we have a real good chance of getting a top 4 spot in the league and that appears to be the holy grail. give me UEFA cup glory and 5th in the league i would be as happy as can be, but this is the way to go unfortunatley.

  • Personally we are not guaranteed a place in the top 4 yet… places 3 & 4 only earn the opportunity to play a qualification match to see if you can get in…. on paper it looks bad.

  • Thank god. I dont think any fan can argue that even at home with a first eleven out against chelsea we look tired after playing midweek. If we go to russia and then back again for the weekend, we’ll be shot. I can see with people asking why we entered the inter-toto if we had no intention of going to win the comp, but come on – to get into the champions league at this moment in time is a ONCE IN A DECADE chance to A: get into the best european competition and B:get income so we can improve our squad to challenge on more fronts at the same time like the top 4. If we jeopardise our chances in the league then we will have honestly made no improvement from last year worth talking about. This is an experienced and absolutely correct move by MO’N. UTV

  • Have you heard some of yourselves???. Why enter the intertoto if we do this and that. Hands up (HONESTLY) all those who predicted we would be top 4 ahead of Arsenal and Everton and just 1 point behind Chelski and only a few off 2nd?. with just around a dozen or so games to go? Come one own up!. If this means we finish top 4 then Barry cannot turn around and say I want to play for a team in the top 4 so I’m off. We can then hopefully get better players – finishing 5th and perhaps winning the Cup (very doubtful seeing the quality in there) will not as most players who aren’t after money or the highlife in London will want CL football. You don’t know – starnger things have happened – we may just sneak a 1-0 win – forever the optimist. Anyhoo – even fans of other teams where I work (Man U Liverpool etc) say Villa should concentrate on 4th as this is the best chance we have. Once we break in we will go onward – I’m sure MON and Randy will make sure of that – we won’t justrest on our laurels as we did in the old days under you know who.

  • We could win the UEFA. Instead we’ll, at best, go into the qualifiers for Champion’s League next cocking season…after a summer of predictably not bolstering the squad. So what?!

  • Well said nazfc. MrZeus, Stoke are playing in a much harder league than Moscow and have already beaten us once this season. If our B-team can beat Stoke then they can beat Moscow. You have defeated yourself with your own argument. As for the need to replace. Who do we replace them with. There’s no point having 2 teams of players when we can only play 1 most weeks and most of them are U21 so have to learn their trade somewhere.

  • To answer your replacing question, I?d argue over the last couple of seasons our cup performances have proved that whenever we field anything less than a full-strength team, we get beaten, and usually by very average opposition. If we really want to compete with Arsenal and Man Utd, look how they do when they field their b-side. You?ve said that there?s no point in having 2 teams when only one can play, in the middle of an argument where people are annoyed about us sacrificing our UEFA cup place for picking a crap team, so you too have defeated your own argument!

  • The point that I was making is that ( should have explained myself better/slower if you’re not a big sports guy ;-D) the UEFA cup isn’t as good as the Premiership. In fact no leagues other than the Champions League are. So if we want to have 22 decent players then we have to be playing in both in the same way that Manure and Arsenal were. Thats maybe why Arsenal have only got 11 decent players at the moment because they aren’t doing very well in the Prem so you have defeated your argument again ;-D

  • Oi mate there’s no need to get personal! I’m not going to big up Arsenal much as i really dont like them, but they have been completely shafted by injuries. Was it last year their kids got to the league cup final, or the year before? anyway, there’s absolutely no chance our b team could do that. I think after a few years, we could’ve had some good back-up players by now.

    Anyways, no worries. I’m just annoyed that we’re not taking this seriously. My favorite ever villa match was watching us beat Inter Milan, and that was in the UEFA cup. I really hate the way the champs league dominates all thinking in football now, and it’s not even that good- there hasn’t been a single exciting game yet this year!

  • the team picks itself if you have a 433 formation. doesn’t look THAT bad to me. but even if we win we’re still gonna be in the same situation, at potentially an even more important stage of the season. are we going there TO BE knocked out?

  • Why do I always get the feeling MoN is constantly planning for the future. I can’t help but think he’s just safeguarding our place next year when we can properly challenge for everything. Maybe a taste of things to come…..

    At least I ******** hope so!

  • gotta feel sorry for those with tickets though. i reckon if we get soundly beaten, then the club should offer those that travelled some sort of discount on a champions league group game next year.

  • “I really do not understand all this talk about fatigue. For goodness sake these men are professional athletes and, if they are properly trained and fit then they should be fully recovered from their games within 24/36 hours max”. Given a level playing field, Obediah, I would agree with you, but what no professional at the very peak of his/her sport can do is continue playing matches against professionals of like skill when they have been putting more into their matches. Every pro at the top of their game gives 100% of what they have, and if the team you’re up against are in a mid-season break and do not in any case play Prem games week in week out, you CANNOT expect to match up, physically. Top athletes (i.e. track athletes) don’t run every few days …

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