Date: 10th August 2007 at 1:06pm
Written by:

I’m well known for my less than positive views on O’Neill, and while I gain encouragement that many have over the last season seen the light where he is concerned I think it only fair to say that with the new
season about to kick off tomorrow, I’m a more relaxed Villan than I have been for many, many a season start.

The loss of Ellis and his list of managers, his ever changing team, his jam tomorrow, never achieved promises are all gone. In its place is an ever improving club with a great owner and reliable manager.

Last season start Ellis’ influence still affected the club as did the previous two managers tactics and teams. O’Neill just about managed, thanks to some spectacular backing from Lerner in January, to stabilise
the ship enough for us to stave off a relegation fight and enable a startling finish up to 11th.

Whilst I’m not at all happy with the transfer situation through this summer, O’Neill has virtually achieved his objectives, I’d guess. He has removed those he does not feel will do a good enough job for him. The jokers from the past are all gone along with some I’d have kept, players he felt he couldn’t motivate, nevertheless.

Again we are left with a paper thin squad, but one which is better than its been for 5 even 7 seasons, and one which has shown using negative tactics can survive if nothing else. Whilst I’m sure every other clubs fans are confident their squads have been improved for them to be ‘safer’ next season, few will be thinking they have improved enough to make huge moves upwards either.

I know our squad isn’t as well prepared as it could be, its not as good as it could be, its most certainly not as big as it needs to be yet and I have doubts even when these oft promised signings do arrive it will still be large enough. But, last season the team coped with players like Agathe, Sutton, then Bardsley, without Laursen from day 1, with Kiraly for several games, and with Bouma, McCann, Hughes, and Mellberg often on the injury table.

This season the table is one of the best in the Premiership,it will need to be, but the team that kicks off tomorrow is better than the one that finished in May, and it will get better soon. Its not what I expected, its far, far poorer than I’d wanted, but its good enough and its not stagnating, the trend is still up. How high depends on the next 3 weeks and how quickly new players fit in.

We’ll see.


25 Replies to “The Villa Trend Is Still Up”

  • Totally agree its gonna be an interesting season, wonder what players will come in if we beat all the teams in August and sit on top of the table? They will all be clambering to us near midnight on the 31st August – lets wait and see though.

  • Slightly more even handed then his usual attempts at subtle “I told you so” slights against our club’s management.

  • Completely agree with all of that, and if this continues over the next few years as has been promised then we should have plenty to look foward to.

  • “along with some I’d have kept, players he felt he couldn’t motivate, nevertheless.” – Just how do you plan to keep players at the club who aren’t happy with not playing? MON said from day one he wouldn’t stand in their way if they wanted to leave and sadly Ridge and Davis didn’t want to fight for their place, when they can walk into the starting 11 of an inferior team .

  • I don’t plan to do anything I’m not the manager.

    I didn’t say O’Neill is a toss pot for not keeping them, I didn’t say any manager that didn’t keep players until he had viable replacements should be sacked.
    I just suggested an opinion that I would have preferred to keep a few players just in case.
    The team would look better with Hughes at right back against Liverpool, than some unknown kid, an out of position Mellberg or a last minute signing, which now with a few hours to go doesn’t look likely

    so why the attempted point score onemad ?

  • Very interesting article. Good points made. Share your view about lack of transfer signings, frustrating I know, but PUT YOUR TRUST IN MON…

  • AVFC48, Would rather have Gardener or any of our centre backs at RB, at least they would be up for it and give 100%, Hughes could not pass atall and Ulysses DeLa Cruz would have been better. And at last you have realised that you are not the manager. Some good points but MON wants a squad who are all pulling in the same direction and are hungry not self obsessed wanabees. Patience is needed. At least he is not panic buying!!!!

  • A well structured piece avfc48, with which I largely agree. As you know I just wish all of your posts were as constructive. Some posters can only rant and rave – you don’t need to………. so keep up the good work.

  • We only rant and rave because of posters either, writing an article on what we already know or negative criticism of our club and board after only being in charge for 12 months. How about propper discussions on our youth policy ? backroom staff ? new training ground ? the Holte Hotel (to be fair Fear did a good article on that), the new season ticket card ? ……..but no……lets criticise a decent manager and fantastic board, talk about signing SWP and Defoe all season again and again……..I’ll do my judging from the terraces every game, and if we mess up sometimes …..fine thats football……but if people think that we are going to struggle this season……then they are very wrong.

  • astonmilan, I do cover all topics, holte, tickets, reserves, did one on the villa ladies recently, have interviewed directors, former players etc even the ticket exchange thing done today. part of the site is covering quotes etc, same as any other football news site and to be fair, this site is open to all, got something you want published, send it along, I’d be only too happy to print it, I like all opinions and views. At the moment the transfer window is the big issue and it is a bit negative, if we were making loads of signings, there would be other things to talk about. As said, the site is open for people to suggest polls and submit articles, feel free dude!

  • oh forgot, also comprehensively covered the Bodymoor Heath re-launch, the badge, the new kit (even had a competition with the money out of my pocket to buy it) etc etc. :0)

  • Sorry Fear, my post wasn’t aimed at this site in general, I know you yourself cover almost everything you can get info on, and brilliant, because without you, this site would be dead !!! …my point was aimed at avfc48, and how he should write about other issues rather than the ‘glass is half empty’ c**p he keeps posting, it really is getting boring now, and to us season ticket holders we can see improvements, slowly happening, some of us want it now, some of us are prepared to wait, but 99% of the fans are happy how things are going. The transfer market is a minefield, and is best left to the professionals, and if people think for one minute that MON hasn’t been trying to bolster then they are gravely mistaken. We cannot compete with Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs, no matter how much money we have £30m, £50m, £100m, full stop. It is about attracting established players or getting the right players at the right value, and that is so difficult. In time it will come, not now, maybe tomorrow, but it will come.

  • Thats more like it 48, much more optimistic than usual. Some good points there……We have a quality looking back bone to the team now, all we need to do now is add a couple gems over the next couple of season and we’ll be pushing for a top 4 place.

  • Sorry astonmilan, I write about what I want to write about not what will placate fans like yourself.
    I’m not here to express opinions to placate the odd fan or even the majority of fans, I post to put over a point of view I see as relevant, if its about something you wish not to face up to so be it.
    I don’t calss myself as being any betetr a fan than any other, be they in Aston or Canada, be they season ticket holders or have never been to a game.
    We all have views, we should all be allowed to express them, if you see them as negative offer counter views which you may think positive, why waste 2 posts having a go at me and doing a bad job of it anyway, your criticism bear no resemblance to anything in that article above.

  • and if we adopt your suggestions of wait and be patient, do you feel the present team that kicks off against Liverpool tomorrow will survive a season in the Premiership.
    O’neill doesn’t he’s already disgracefully I think, suggested we can cope for the 3 matches until the window closes as there are 35 games left.
    His mind set is mid table, mid table Martin strieks again

  • Enjoyed reading that piece avfc48, and your responses to the replies your article drummed up. You’re as positive and upbeat as I feel supporters can justifiably be right now. Anything more is just false optimism.

  • Can`t wait for that thread on the ” new season ticket card ” whooooooo – i honestly haven`t a clue what this team will do next season,gonna be a strange one i reck?

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