Date: 29th January 2008 at 8:38am
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Villa boss Martin O’Neill has explained that not for the lack of trying, Villa are finding it nearly impossible to bring in the quality of players they want during this transfer window.

He said in the Birmingham Mail:

‘If there is somebody out there we think could improve this team for the next two, three or four years then if I get the chance to do it, I would. But you would be amazed how much other clubs want to hold on to their players. And it wouldn’t matter what position they are in the Premier League.’

He also says it isn’t down to the money, it is the fact that all the Premier League teams want to survive and so won’t allow their best players to leave mid way through the season.

You have to admit he has a point, IF for instance we were after Kevin Doyle, one of Reading’s top scorers, why would Reading, who could be sucked into a relegation fight, let him leave right now? The money they would earn selling him would be nothing compared to the money they would lose if they went down.

He also says there is plenty of competition for the players that are available, ‘It is a difficult time. Premiership sides are looking to push on and want to supplement their squads. Ask Mark Hughes. We are all in the same boat. I hear Liverpool say that they want to add players to their team. We are, in terms of numbers, a little bit short. What we want to try to do is safeguard things.’

‘It is a tough old time but I am not asking for sympathy because it is a tough old time for all the Premier sides.’

Be interesting to see if the window shuts with no deals done but I have to admit, it is a compelling argument, no matter how much we all – as fans – say ‘buy him, and get him, and why not him’ we don’t really know what the hell is going on and as MON says, why would teams let their best players go at this time of year? There must also be teams around us who won’t sell players to one of their main rivals as it could fire us into Europe at their expense.

I think the main let down was the summer, that was the time Villa could and should have laid down a marker or two with some large purchases. We are 5th now, with some top signings who knows where we’d have been! Still, on a positive note, we are building (see, I do try!)

You do have to wonder where that right-back who was worth waiting for is though?