Date: 24th June 2009 at 11:11am
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Peter Keogh asks: Where’s the ambition?

O’Neill has said that we have to sign players just to stand still. That was before Barry and Taylor left and when you consider we’ve already lost Laursen and will no doubt be getting rid of Harewood, that puts us four players down on last years self-confessed small squad. In an interview with a Birmingham paper early in the summer, Randy said we wouldn’t be spending silly amounts this summer and although that we can add £12mil from the Barry sale to the pot (plus the £2 from the Taylor sale), we can’t have more than £40m to spend.

We need a Laursen replacement and a Barry replacement out of that money (Sidwell and Gardner should be fighting it out with Petrov and one more top class midfielder) who you have to expect to cost the best part of £10m each – that would leave us with only around £20m. From that we need (I would argue) a creative midfielder to supplement Milner and Young, a goalscorer (I have faith in Agbonlahor but he needs time), a backup right back and a backup / first choice left back (assuming that either Bouma is (please no) forced to retire or that Shorey doesn’t make the grade). That’s four players minimum just to get the first team up to scratch.

On top of that, the last two years have shown us that we need decent quality back up players. The youth team clearly have some talent and players like Bannan, the Fonz and O’Halloran are bright prospects for the future but it’s too much to rely on them when we’re short in a UEFA Cup game. And we can’t rely on Young, Gabby, Petrov and Milner playing every game without injury. My question is how can we sign the replacements for the two Internationals we’ve lost, the players to bring the first team up to scratch and the numbers to bring our squad in line with those around us with such a tight budget?

I support the sustainable way that we’re building a team and maybe I’m hoping for too much, too soon but without any sniff of a trophy since 1996 and 3 years into the Randy project, I hoped for more. The Mail are reporting that we’ve missed out on Sturridge (who looks a real prospect) and now Hull are talking about speaking with Owen. Surely if we don’t have the funds, these are the types of players we should be looking to sign? My feeling this year is the same as the last few – MON (as great as he is) doesn’t like paying for players and waits for a deal to come. The trouble with this is that by the time it does, somebody else has already stepped in (Bentley, Milner (the first time) and Sturridge would appear to be examples of this).

My message? Show ambition, buy the big player early, give prospective signings the belief that we are the place to be – not Everton, not City, not Spurs. A lack of ambition is something that has been aimed at Villa since Southgate left. In spite of everything, I think it’s a cloud that we’ll struggle to shake until some is shown.

PS – for those who would argue that the c£10m signing of Young was showing ambition, I would counter that one Swallow does not a summer make.


28 Replies to “Villa Fan Asks Where’s The Ambition?”

  • Looking forward to some optimistic articles later in the summer once we’ve made our signings. I do think now would be the time to bring in a wow player or two but to be fair, it doesnt’ matter what I think or anyone else thinks, only what the manager thinks… A lot of thinking there, my head hurts!

  • No Optimistic articles till deadline day then Fear ?

    P.S I’d argue we had a sniff of the FA cup in 2000 as we were in the final – and had it not been for Calamity James…..

  • Are you saying showing ambition is buying big name players at a huge cost, or that you agree with the ‘organic’ sustainable approach.

    Surely the two are not compatible, and according to some, we are unable financially to compete with those spending big sums like the 15 mill spent by Everton on Marouane Fellaini, or Liverpools recent spend on Glen Johnson.

    O’Neill says we needed 8 men before we lost Barry, Laursen and Taylor, even 40 mill, 50 mill divided by 11 is around Ellis’ average yearly spend.

  • What do you mean wheres the ambition?What do you want us to do realisticly,Win the league?not going to happen unless you have man city money nowadays.Win a cup? we have the ambitions to do that,Compete in europe?We have the ambition to do that,Break the top 4?we have the ambition to do that.The club has the ambition to do everything that is realisticly possible for it to do.Just because we haven`t made a signing yet this bollocks is starting again.The title should be lets make some signings because as far as ambition goes the club is doin all it can.

  • I mean why are we not snapping up Sturridge? Why are we not saying that we’ll have a chat with Owen? Why are we not making that big signing early to stop people like me (and players like Barry) moaning about a lack of ambition? We need to be making a statement of intent and signing either Sturridge or Owen (or Bentley?!) early in the window would have gone a small way towards doing that. I’m worried that we’ll get beaten to all the early buys again. But you’re right, it’s early days, so let’s see. Unless something good happens this summer though I am worried about Man City, Everton and Spurs.

  • The argument that we are four down just doesn’t stack up. Harewood and Taylor will get nowhere near the first team again, as has been said, I think we are better off going with kids in these areas of the squad. As for Fellaini, he was a great buy I agree – let’s see if we sign Defour? It’s funny how Felliani is used in arguments as he’s good, but the shyte signings aren’t. My concern is MON playing players out of position and the lack of creativity in midfield. Wheater, Owen and Bentley appear to be the certs for me. Wheater=Knight=Davies=Cuellar right?

  • We are not snapping up sturridge because chelsea who are bigger and way better and richer than us at the moment were in for him aswell,If it was us against everton then he would have joined us.we are not saying we are “having a chat” with owen because o`neill doesn`t speak like that in public.Get real about it we are a b + level club who have every realistic ambition we can have at the moment.I understand the frustration but everyone should know by now what o`neill is like,For the last two seasons he has kicked us on from where we were so lets give him a chance to do it again.The problem is we are not a big a club as a lot of villa fans think we are,So some people will always be frustrated no matter what.

  • We are not snapping up Strurridge because, he’s been made an amazing offer by Chelski. £55k per week and the cut from a 10m fee?!? His agent must have the right horn. If Sturridge even plays a couple of dead rubber CL this season, his price will rocket.

  • Lerner – I agree, O’Neill has moved us on each year. I’m just concerned that this year is going to be a Vital one (excuse the pun) and competition will be the stiffest yet. Wheater, Owen and Bentley would certainly relieve some frustration!

  • I agree with the article a signing now would be good, the number of disgruntled fans is growing, 2 players out plus a retirement and 0 players in, its worrying and anyone who thinks O’Neill will be bringing in 11, even 8 players needs to take a look at his track record, I will be surprised if the club make more than 4 or 5 signings this summer.

  • Hold on, fellas. The window is’nt even open yet! Though just like you Villans, we are also getting seriously worried about the lack of transfers!

  • It’s a balance between youth and quality. I’m looking at the quality this time round. There’s no point signing- Shorey’s, Knight’s & Harewoods, we’d better off playing Delfounso, Gardner etc. The Glen Johnson fee is a worry.

  • That’s the next issue is that with the Ronaldo and Kaka transfer, there could well be quite a bit of money floating about making good players even more expensive. Young looks a steal at £10m if Johnson’s gone for £18m!

  • There isn’t any, no one in the long term will achieve much with MON’s transfer policy in todays premierleague. Before my time but if MON was manager in the 70’s when his demigod Clough was about, im sure whoever he managed would have honours, but as you would expect from someone who is obsessed with Clough he is a bit outdated for 2009. I thought the ‘statement of intent’ would come after Barrys loss but the more time goes on the more the pain of that will leave MON and im sure a Sidwell MK 2 will be only his way. I have said it before that we dont get in bidding wars for any of the players we sign, we hardly ever sign a player that anyone else wants and in the main we see the reason for that when they put on a claret and blue shirt. But MON’s arrogance/ego knows no bounds, when someone says Harewood is shit for example he just brushes it off because he is MR Man Motivator the transformer of players careers – he dosent need any top class players in his view.

  • Ooooooh! You’ve had a make-over Vital Villa! Nice one! I’ve an alternative idea on what’s happening to our game and the Villa – where do I post? Assuming I’m allowed to initaite a thread??? Vital Villa is still miles ahead of the other fan-sites… All relates to the above by the way… I’d just like to hear you thoughts?

  • Jesus Whats the world coming to economy is bad people starving but clubs must spend millions of pounds so that our club can win honours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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