Date: 24th June 2009 at 3:56pm
Written by:

This Window – O’Neill’s Last Chance Saloon? Not for Me

Seen it said by many on here that this summers spend will be the one to decide O’Neill’s future.

Can’t see why, I don’t like his methods, I don’t like his transfer dealings, I think his lack of tactics stinks, but I don’t think he’ll not come up with enough to keep his job and ensure another decent season.

He’s no longer new to the job, he’s soon to be the longest serving manager since Gregory, and in 3 seasons of transfer dealings, he’s still doing it as he did at Celtic, so why would he change? He won’t.

I have little faith in his ability to assess players . He prefers 11 workaholics, players who never give up the cause no matter what. Not my idea but it works to a degree, always has always will.

Then of course there is the question of funds available. This must be the first window since Randy bought the club that his funding has not been brought into question. I predicted last summer that he would give plenty of cash and he did. This summer with 15 mill already in the kitty and more to come, from player sales, I expect at least another 50 mill plus spend.

That said, I can’t see us replacing Laursen and Barry with as good a quality player, I’m not too sure there are any under 40 mill, on today’s prices, but that in O’Neill’s terms may be a good thing. I just do not believe he will risk a high price on anyone, simply because he won’t put himself in that position. Not for him 18 mill for an above average right back, its simply not his way.

I think we can look to a new style of play next season, one less dependent on Barry’s ability more dependent on the style Leicester and Celtic played all those years ago.

Our defence, on which he spent so much still needs improving, but I’m sure he will keep faith with those he bought last summer, maybe not Shorey. Up front he has his options already, he must be happy with Heskey, Carew and I’m sure he feels Gabby is good enough, so given a season of no nightclubs, few injuries and no loss of speed, what would he need, He has cover in the Fonz, so any new faces. Yes, but its not , as I see he sees it, a priority unless he sells Harewood .

Its in midfield that the real problems arise. Not that he doesn’t have a surfeit of talent already.

Don’t forget my earlier premise that he will adopt a new style of play one that will be geared to using the skills of the likes of Sidwell and Coker, unless of course he feels they need moving on. That said, is the talent he has good enough.

For me, of all our squad, the midfield area is the weakest even if it’s the most rich in quantity. For me it lacks quality, even if as I suspect his aim will be to adopt a more aggressive running style around target strikers.No its back to a more energy filled in your face approach and for that you need more Milners, more Sidwell’s players able to run and run with an ability to arrive late and benefit from laybacks, also ideally able to go wide and cross a ball hard.

In many respects I hope I’m wrong, I hope those who dream of big named talent full of beautiful skills are proved right. Thing is this is Martin O’Neill and he doesn’t really buy such. He’s more a Lennon, a Thompson, a Petrov than a Barry, an Alonso or a Robinho. I think Barry being retained for 12 months has given him time enough to formulate a plan its been there at times.

What it will mean to Randy’s ambition of CL football, will of course depend on the quality of player he brings in, whether he plays them and whether they adjust quickly enough. This season will be the first where he will have little or no hang up from anything other than his own making and I cannot see any problem with surviving in the PL, if he gets enough decent players to stop this habit he has of playing half fit players like they did in the 80’s. That I think is where he feels he needs his 8 extra players. I think that will be pushing it, but I expect plenty of new faces, a few more exits and another top of mid table finish.



9 Replies to “This Window – Last Chance Saloon? Not for Me”

  • Folks.. especially those with optimism, please note article submissions are open to all.. not just those who don’t have the MON faith. So feel free to submit either using the link in the right hand colum or by emailing me (click the envelope by my name above in ed details)

  • You’re definitely right, he prefers a team of workers to skills, of graft over guile. But I think we could have a really good tem by having those workers as the basis of the team, with 2 or 3 real quality players to open up those tight games. A finisher of Owen’s quality, a midfielder of Bentley’s ability. Then we could turn those 0-0, 1-1 draws into a 2-1 win (and two more points). The last thing we need is to let the quality players go by and then bring in another Salifou (the new Zidane?!).

  • I think this is a pretty fair assessment. MON definitely seems to like big in the back, big up top, fast everywhere else. Also, you better work hard or you’ll ride the pine. Defence has to be his priority. You can’t play counter-attack football and let in soft goals and we let in too many last year. I still think a young poacher would be nice.

  • Good article. Our team of grafters did well enough until the injuries and fatigue piled up – more than anything we need depth, I think this is why we see players being played out of position and bizarre substitutions more than anything. Big names – really big names – might shut a few people up, but would upset the balance.

    MON needs more time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’d prefer to see us succeed his way as opposed to some of our competitors, waving ever huger amounts of cash around and buying up big names like some sort of Top Trumps game.

  • Good article, don’t think that its all bad to have an aggressive packed midfield as long as there is some skill on display to go with it and as long as less than half our attacks are built up rather than a HOOOOOOOOFFF. Whether its MON’s last season or not, it will be his least successful unless he adds more quality and depth and learns to rotate.

  • Dont normally agree with u avfc48 but on this its hard to disagree with much, think Mon has done very well till now but now is the time which dictates weather Mon can take us to the very top but he has earned the chance to try.

  • Okay, so over three years, Martin O’Neill has stabilised Aston Villa comfortably within the top third of the Premiership… 9 points above the seventh place last season. He’s got European football qualification once again. I guess the question now is whether he can enable Villa to kick on and make a breakthrough into the Top 4 and Champions’ League… Or should he give Villa time at their current level before kicking on. Well, I’m a believer that if you aren’t pushing forwards then you are falling back. I guess that’s the danger highlighted in avfc48’s article. My view is the article is right and that Villa will slip back two or three places if they don’t bring in the creative players which can turn the draws into wins and take Villa forward. But what do I know, I’m a City fan?

  • It seems that 48 is saying that M’ON prefers the ‘Ron Saunders’ way. If that is the case I am all up for it. Saunders built a team of workers with some craft within it. It got him so far after 6 years but not quite far enough. So he bought a journey man centre forward, put a centre forward at centre half and put a right winger at right back. Bingo! The rest is history. But no if M’On puts a centre back at right back and a right back at left back he is a tactical misfit. This isn’t a bad article. I don’t really agree with the comments made, but it is about opinions. However the muppets who complain about M’ONs apparent lack of tactical skill, I presume are also going to ridicule Saunders for doing what he did?? And as for paying fortunes to replace Laursen and Barry. Why? I think Laursen cost £3m and Barry was nicked from Brighton. There is no skill in spotting a great player and the person who has the most money buys him. The skill is identifying the player before he becomes great and getting him for a pittance. Platt, Yorke, Ronaldo, Fabregas. Moyes has purchased some right muppets at Bluescouse, but he did get Lescott, Arteta and Cahill for relative peanuts. Give me an unknown for a reletively little money who may be the next Laursen or Barry, rather than overpay for somebody who is not going to improve, or who may more likely decrease in value.

Comments are closed.