Date: 8th August 2008 at 4:30pm
Written by:

Villa On The Up

Whilst the world will always give rise to opinions and interpretations that vary with impressive spontaneity, I am lost as to what has activated the recent negative view of MON’s craftsmanship to date. Just what and who else were we supposed to get at Villa Park? And just what has gone wrong in the past two years? If it is mainly the absence of a proper right-back (and there it was a lot down to hard luck in Delaney’s career being cut short), then still to be able to fill it sufficiently well to elevate the club to a well-earned 6th place has proved that a good craftsman can even get the best out of a piece of ordinary rock rather than seeking the glamour of a diamond.

MON himself as oft-spoken about the shortcoming at RB, and this week he has gone and done something about it that is significant. We now have virtual solidity in goal and right through the backs and centre-backs, though one or two more in numbers will not go amiss. The strength in that department should now provide the base for the launch of counter-attacks that will be exploited by the pace of Gabby and the other Young, and if the attack could score as many as they did last season, how many should they score this year?

OK I speak as though I’m high on ecstasy, and the reality is that it may well take 2 or 3 months before we start seeing the best of our team. But I do expect to see it, and in fact with the addition of more talent before this month is out.

There’s one more thing.

Having had the fortune to be able to read in great detail about the building of previous great Villa teams, I am immediately struck by certain similarities of today with the Villa team of the early 1920s that mostly came together in a short period of time. The strength and guile of the old full-backs Smart and Mort; the indefatigable resilience and creativity of skipper Barson and his colleague Frank Moss, and the remarkable speed and thrust of York and Dorrell all strike home with me as having their equivalents in the team now coming together at Villa Park.

In other positions there are similarities between then and now.

We are short, however, of one major player. An equivalent to Billy Walker.

Keep hoping and praying!

John Lerwill