Date: 5th February 2006 at 11:41am
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David O’Leary has been talking on the official site about the preparations for the 2006/07 season and has suggested he wants to set up tougher pre-season matches to stretch the team more.

O’Leary has said that the usual pre-season game against Walsall will no doubt be fixed up as part of the arrangement for the reserves playing at the Bescot during the worst of the winter, but that he won’t be looking to take Villa to Sweden for a fourth successive tour as the games are too easy.

He says that the results aren’t important, it is all about preparation and match fitness.
‘It’s not about results. Pre-season is about six weeks of getting sorted and getting that result at the end.’

Adding ‘I just think the lads have had enough of the Swedish thing. I think there’s no point in some of the games over there. What I’m looking for is to extend the players’ fitness….I want to try to get them into matches that test them. I’m not talking about going into matches to get beaten, but if we can get teams that are ahead of us in fitness, they can push us. That’s where we’ll change it.’

He says they may look at ‘tougher games in Germany to extend us. We’ll definitely look in Europe. Going to places like Dubai is purely a big money thing, it’s not about preparing for the season.’

So, here is an idea. Why not put our name forward for the much maligned Inter-Toto Cup, otherwise known as the Inter-Two-Bob Cup? I know it is panned by pundits and managers alike, but I still remember Paul Magic Merson talking about what good preparation it is as the players start the season already match fit and sharp. The draw back Villa have is that we have a small squad so they do tend to burn out towards the end of the season, but if we want tough games in order to get the season off to a flyer (lets face it, we didn’t get out of the blocks until Christmas this year after making our worst start in 35 years) then why not enter and get some competitive games?

And the bonus for doing so? A possible chance of Europe. Mind you, the way we are going, we may just make it into Europe via the FA Cup. STOP laughing at the back, Villa are coming into form just at the right time!

Why not have your say about this article, register and leave comments below or join in our poll, should we enter the Inter-Toto Cup?


8 Replies to “Should Villa Enter The Inter-Toto?”

  • Looks like 71% are in favour at the moment, will leave the poll another day or two. Thought the votes would be a bit more mixed, then again, the nice warm Inter matches are often a pleasure to watch as it breaks up the close season nicely!

  • It’s only worth entering the Inter-Toto if you can definitely win it, otherwise you will end up in a Newcastle situation.

  • Villa can only enter into European football when we have a squad capable of playing European football. That means qualifying by playing the right kind of football & getting the appropriate results from the Premiership. Until this is achieved, this would

  • Only perhaps in the fact that they get a competitive pre-season? I do agree though, no point in qualifying for Europe with our squad, we’ll only get stretched and then have the very real danger of doing an Ipswich dive into the Championship.

  • It’s all very well having a competitive pre-season, but doesn’t that do away with the point of having a break? If the Inter-Toto were to offer competitive matches against “friendly-standard” teams, it’s all worthwhile, but some big names often enter and t

  • Yes, it is a shame the cup isn’t played over a shorter period of time really, but it is still a great sharepener for players to start the season with.

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