Date: 6th August 2008 at 6:10pm
Written by:

What is The General up to?

If my name was Randy Lerner and I had put oodles of my own cash into Aston Villa Football Club I really think, given the scenario we have at the moment with regard to transfers out of and into the club; that I would be beginning to panic.

I could see all that cash and the hard work of the past two years starting to disintegrate because, whether you are a football expert or not, it is patently obvious that with the players we have available at the moment, we do not have a team that is capable of competing in the Premier League.

I know this is restating the obvious but, it needs to be said; we need two right backs, another good central defender to back up Laursen and Davies and we need at least one more left back. In fact, ideally we need two left backs or at least another left footed midfielder who could fill in should whoever we buy(if we buy) gets injured. Then in midfield we need a good winger to play on the right and a constructive playmaker/ ball holder to replace our latest proposed departure. And that is just to get us to a position whereby we might stand still and be in a position to compete for sixth place in the league again.

Given that, with the departures, the team will inevitably take time to settle. So where are we at the moment? In fact, apart from the goalkeeper problem being solved, we have made no progress at all. No, I am not discounting Steve Sidwell, he was not brought in to replace our defecting captain but to give us additional options and strengthen our team. We need these positions filled now, but all we have are vague newspaper reports and blogs saying we are looking at this player, perhaps enquiring about another, thinking about making a bid etc all in the £3 – £4m category. It has been going on for weeks now and we are still, apparently, no nearer strengthening our team than we were at the beginning of the transfer window.

Which brings the question, ‘What is The General up to?’ right into focus? As one of Randy’s right hand men, him saying publicly that, if he asked for it, MON would get £30m for one player is, in my opinion, making a very clear statement. It comes into the ‘Put up or step aside’ category.

Buy the players we need now and stop pussyfooting about.

MON cannot go through this transfer window with as little activity as in the previous windows because the team, as it stands, is not strong enough to withstand another season as demanding as the last. In addition though, the General’s statement goes even further and implies that to really make our team competitive with the top four we need players who are in the market at £10 – £15m even up to £30m, the Bosingwa’s and Nelson’s of this world to name but two. Rafa Benitez reportedly has no money, but can still find £38m to buy two top class players while we spend a reported £9m on two goalkeepers and a midfielder.

Why are we not buying players in the same category as Liverpool?

One further thought, Randy and the General must know that by making the statement they did that they would be putting pressure on MON to deliver the new players we need forthwith. In addition that the same statement would also invite other clubs to hike up the price of any of their players that we may be interested in. That however is the price we must pay if we are to make progress again this year. I sincerely hope we do!

Obediah