Date: 31st August 2007 at 7:54pm
Written by:

I’ve just read that anti-Mr O’Neill rant, and feel I should respond with my own perceptions on our situation. Remember – this is my perception, I’m not saying ‘This is it’.

Let’s look at the transfers

Transfers out

03/08/07 Liam Ridgewell Birmingham £2m

Questionable defender at best. Don’t believe the hype, I’ve seen him. He had British Rail timing, Royal Mail distribution, and a PeeWee Herman tackle. Somebody should have explained what the penalty box denotes, and how offside works. Rejoice that Blues must now suffer.

25/07/07 Jlloyd Samuel Bolton Free

What the hell happened to him? Either way he was terrible. His lack of effort was nothing short of disgraceful.

19/07/07 Lee Hendrie Sheffield United Free

The only good thing about him was his 100% attitude. Shame he didn’t have the ability to match. Off the pitch he was a complete loser, and not the type of professionally minded person we need.

05/07/07 Steven Davis Fulham £4m

Decent player, one-season wonder who clearly had an issue with his role at Villa park. Didn’t play much last season – perhaps he didn’t put the effort in? Maybe didn’t believe in the Villa Team Mentality? I don’t know. Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs didn’t even raise their eyelids when he became available.

05/07/07 Chris Sutton Retired

Good luck Chris

27/06/07 Aaron Hughes Fulham £1m

Shocker. Never had a good game ever.

13/06/07 Gavin McCann Bolton £1m

Smiler was hailed as the ‘poor mans Roy Keane’ – I don’t know how poor you’d have to go. He had a few good games in fairness, but not the consistency we need. I always felt like we were compromised when he played.

31/05/07 Robert Olejnik Falkirk Free

No idea

In summary, a bunch of average players – the best of whom (Davis) wasn’t the super player in his second season that he was in his first.

Transfers in

31/08/07 Curtis Davies West Brom Loan-£9m

Bedrock defender. More than adequate replacement for Olly. Bright future. He does have it all to prove to us, but it should not prove problematic for him. IS he the long-term Ferdinand replacement for England? I don’t know. Maybe?

29/08/07 Zat Knight Fulham £3.5m

An uncut diamond. Kevin Keegan and Chris Coleman couldn’t polish him, maybe Mr O’Neill can? A gamble, but an interesting gamble.

10/08/07 Scott Carson Liverpool Loan

The only transfer that concerns me. Villa shouldn’t be loaning players, unless we have the option-to-buy.

01/08/07 Eric Lichaj Unattached Free

See – Mr O’Neill is an impulse buyer 🙂

17/07/07 Marlon Harewood West Ham £3.7m

As per Zat Knight. Had a shocker last season. A bargain if he recaptures his prior form.

06/07/07 Nigel Reo-Coker West Ham £8.5m

The jewel in the crown. Reminds me of Steve McMahon (yes, yes let’s hear the jokes, but he was a great player). A terrific future ahead of him. Has an attitude problem according to the media, but so did Roy Keane.

In summary, some gambles but in the main planning for the future with young(er) English players. Definitely a refreshing approach to transfers @ Villa Park. I remember when we were famed for buying older players. We’ve also appeared to have avoided the duffers for sale – just read Birmingham’s players-bought-list if you’re not clear what I mean.

We might have a gap at right-back, but it’s clear from the interviews that Mr O’Neill has given that he has a plan for that. I agree that he will live or die by that plan, nonetheless it’s a plan. His plan could work, stranger things have happened. I’ve no idea what O’Halloran is like, nor do I know if Davies is a good RB. I’m not on the training field all day, Mr O’Neill is. While I’m disappointed, and part of me wants nothing more than to drive up to Birmingham and tell Mr O’Neill just what a fool he is for not getting Glen Johnson, the rest of me says ‘see what he’s got planned’.

Now, I’m not stupid but I’m no good at tactics. When I watch Match Of The Day, I’m always amazed by the insights shown by Hansen et al. Don’t get me wrong, I know my way round some pretty complex things, but tactics just fox me every time. However, what I see from Mr O’Neill is that despite obstacles he seems to pull things out of the bag. Not always, but he can do it, and does do it. I feel that perhaps the RB obstacle may be one of his own making and hence a pretty frustrating state of affairs, but it’s all ‘may be’ and ‘what if’. I haven’t seen a terrible blatant problem @ RB this season yet. Yes, I felt we never got started against Liverpool, but I’ll forgive him the first day of the season.

I look around at other clubs like Blues, Middlesborough and Newcastle and I feel we’re in a much better situation than they are. OK so they’re not the Tottenham’s, or the Liverpool’s of this world but Rome wasn’t built in a day. We’re not Chelsea. And to be honest I’m pretty glad of that. These boys will grow into stars. We won’t be accused of buying the title. I look at where we were this time last year, with the players above, and feel we’re also in a much better situation than we were last year. Maybe not perfect in every position, but on the whole, we’re in what feels like a significantly better place.

We’re all different. The Status-Quo isn’t acceptable for some. I’m glad for these people. They keep the rest of us sharp. But I don’t want to get depressed about our situation when it’s not a depressing situation.

Moreover I’m excited about the future – we’re going to get there. We haven’t bought for the future in a long, long time, and it’s thrilling now that we are.

 

9 Replies to “Transfer Window – We’ve Improved”

  • I got up this morning and checked the internet for new signings and was feeling rather down that we had not signed any one of note, although the new lad may turn out to be a bargain. Your article has cheered me up somewhat so thank you for that. I am still dissapointed though that we have not strengthened the right side of our team, I sit behind the dugout and last week against Fulham, Sanchez was telling his team to target our RB, he obviously felt that we were vunerable in that area. Don’t get me wrong I think CG is a great talent but you need a specialist in that position. I feel we are also weak in the RM area when Petrov plays there he comes in to the middle too much. At the end of the day MON is paid to make decisions so lets all get behind him.

  • And whilst we’re being positive, grats Mr Young… a week or 2 too late imo, thought he was going to get an inclusion for the friendly against Germany after being left off of Pearce’s team sheet but hey, i hope he plays and blows McClaren away!!!

  • Why not add in the signings made last January? They only had half a season and there is much more to come from Maloney & Young in particular. Yes there is progress here – just a shame the edge was taken off it by the apparent promises made at the end of last season – but hey lets get on with it.

  • Well said evoflash, Defoe and a RB would be good but we seem to have a better squad in depth. If Ridge gives as many pens away in small heath as he did in B6 i’ll be a happy camper!! Davies can play RB, did so for Bagheads and Luton. If we’re top 6 in January stand by for fireworks cos we’ll get the wee fella and the Portugese RB will be in. UTV. Now lets shove it up Chelsea tomorrow!

  • See, its not too difficult to be positive and upbeat, as this interesting and enjoyable article suggests. We’re in a much stronger position squad wise that we ever were when the whistle blew at The Reebok last May. Progress is being made, not as quickly as some would like seemingly, but its definite progress and development all the same.

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