Date: 19th August 2009 at 2:30pm
Written by:

Please, put your hands up all those of you, who, by late January this year, did not realise that this strange, unique and very special football team that we support was in need of more players. What, so few of you?

In other words, most of you knew by that time that, unless some major purchases were made in the end of season transfer window, we would be in trouble. When Martin Laursen was injured it was self evident that our current crop of CB’s was not up to the task so at the end of the season we sell the back-up CB and don’t buy another. Plus, we played most of last season with no consistent RB, just fill-ins and with the sole experienced RB on our books, playing out of position.

Only the most optimistic would have expected Barry to stay at Villa once the end of season decline had set in, so it was clear long before the transfer window opened that, even to stand still, we needed two exceptional players plus a number of others..

So, did we make a move to replace those two players whom, it would appear, are irreplaceable? No. At the end of the season our manager and the back room staff within the Villa Park set up, all disappeared from the radar for almost a month. I am not begrudging them their hard earned rest at the end of a long and stressful season, but surely it is not beyond their competence to have set up enquiries and offers for a number of players who might be able to fill the huge boots of our two missing players. Yes, yes, I know transfers in this day and age are complicated negotiations and take time, but surely, after the new season has started, we don’t need to be told by our manager firstly, that we need new players and secondly, that he seems to have just found out that we have a small squad and used many less players during the season than any other team in the league.

Mind you, the second point of revelation seems to have come after he has been telling us since September 2008 that we have a small squad. So, does it not become somewhat sickening to read in a Newsnow blog from the Birmingham Mail our manager has admitted that we need new players? It really is insulting our intelligence and our patience.

In addition, I wonder how many of you, like me, are heartily sick of reading every day that Villa are planning “a raid”, “a swoop”, “to snatch”, “to splash the cash” and so on. Yet the outcome is one midfielder/winger with a long term injury, an untried midfielder and a goalkeeper. None of whom are ever likely in the short term to fill Barry’s shoes and certainly not Laursen’s. So please, don’t keep telling us we need more players, we know that and it would seem we knew it before our manager.

But, of course, that is ridiculous, he has known for two years at least, that we have needed a raft of players that have never materialised. So what is going on behind the scenes at Villa Park? I suspect that given a free hand and the cash resources MON would have brought in the players we need and we would be seriously considering an attack on the Champions League this season, instead of wondering where our first three points are coming from. So is Randy being parsimonious because the cash is short or is there some other reason. I for one am not blaming MON, he is an intelligent and passionate man who is, perhaps, too loyal to Randy and is, therefore, prepared to take the blame, for the time being, for what is happening at the club. Do not be surprised to find MON is on his way to pastures new if the right offer, with cash backing for players, comes along. I do hope I am wrong, but I feel it in my water. Certainly MON has not been his usual ebullient self recently.

So, are we going to get those two urgent replacements for Laursen and Barry? Frankly, I doubt it. It is not that such players are not available, if you are prepared to pay the right price. It would seem, sadly, that the will to do so is missing and once again this season MON will have to make do with what we have, playing people out of position and making do. I really, really want to be wrong about all this, but somehow I doubt it.


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