Date: 16th May 2007 at 11:50am
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Part two (for part one, Click Here )

Up front, our U21’s have done superbly all season. Moore and Agbonlahor held us together at the start of the season, Baros disappointed, wanted away and got his wish, thankfully resulting in the Big Fellah arriving. In time O’Neill realised that punting the ball to his head limited our play, he stopped it, maybe by default and Carew and the team blossomed.

Some player, not a huge goalscorer, he misses too many sharp chances, he’s not a poacher, but he takes the weight off the kids nursing them through each game, as he runs around confusing even the best defenders, physically and with his speed. Not the target man, I think O’Neill wanted, but a superb target man nevertheless.

As to Gabby and Moore, we have two huge potential strikers, who from the seasons last few performances look to be up to the challenge of battling it out for the striker spot alongside Carew. I still don’t comprehend the logic of O’Neill playing them as wingers, especially Gabby, I still maintain had he or Moore been played as strikers we would have scored more. Still huge plus’ both of them.

Eventually Young got his winger role back, he got into his groove again and its obvious why such a huge sum was paid. If they add bravery to his locker, watch out, a rough but real talent, as a winger, not as a striker mind.

Maloney, came too for a pittance, and didn’t it upset the Celtic faithful, after all the money they spent to save his career after a bad injury. You hear that alot at Villa don’t you, anyway, for me the joker
in the pack. Reputably a perfectionist, a big talent, has everything but bulk, I’ve no idea how he’ll go, but I can’t wait to see, its going to be fun, he’s that sort of player, a match winner, a huge disappointment, who knows.

Midfield remains our big area in need of improvement. Barry, said it all, but where to play him. Berger, had left, never play for Villa again I heard, well he did, he has a new contract and at 33, injuries aside he could be the missing link. McCann, 29 and not been at his best towards the season end looks a favourite to be replaced. Unlike Sorensen there are plenty of even UK based players available to replace him, we’ll get one I’m sure, but will he stay as cover, I hope so.

Our last real signing, sorry O’Neill’s first real signing was Petrov. When he played his first match I was so enthused I nearly burst, he ran from deep, he passed the ball around, he held it up, he was a threat on goal, what a buy, a season of that and we had real promise. Since then I’ve read all the excuses, and there’s been plenty, but I keep being reminded of my Celtic’s mates laughing when we paid such a huge sum for him, and after I’d gone on to them after the West Ham game, I remember their parting words ‘ you just wait you’ll see, he’ll go further back, he’ll get a slight injury, he’ll start holding his hands up and complain to the ref, and he’ll get injured, come back, score a goal, get dropped or injured come back’. What did they know ?

Next season he’ll be huge reckons O’Neill, I hope so, for a bloke who has it all and in spades, he hasn’t done anything much other than show he can once or twice.

Gardner comes last replacing Davis as last years surprise of the season. On Davis I have to say I’m hugely disappointed, not in him but in the way O’Neill has treated him. Huge for Ireland, if he makes it at Villa I’ll be amazed, but that happens when you get a new manager, no longer do we have Baros, Angel, and soon no Davis, sad. Oh yes back to Gardner. A decent workmanlike box to box player, nothing special, really so what does O’Neill see in him. Err, his ability to be there when it matters, probably, What ? Well when the ball goes towards our net, up he pops, when a player breaks free, up he pops, when a tackle is needed he’s there, when a neat one two is required, he’s the man, when a deep cross is required, he makes it, when a neat flick at the nearside is required he does it, nice goal, and now he’s added the superb shot from no where. Age 20, prospects huge, will he do it, ask Davis.

That’s it then for me, looking forward, I expect a right back, I expect a new centre back, I hope and pray we get two midfield players at least and at least one striker, although I’d like two.

As to a keeper, he’d have to be good, we need one for sure, I don’t rate Taylor, his time is done, Hahneman maybe would Sorensen stay ? Give him one more season, spend elsewhere for me.

So its looking forward and looking up, what could go wrong………….

I’ll leave that to the season preview 🙂



18 Replies to “Villa Season In Review – Part Two”

  • i reckon davis will stay and come good again next season – at least i hope so. he did quite well off the bench in the last few games in the little time he was afforded, but its all about confidence, and o’neill knows how to treat him to help him get it back.

  • O’Neill knows he’s still young and can learn a thing or two off Petrov. Why must everybody constantly think he’s leaving? O’Neill is using him as back up for Petrov, what happens if say on the first day of the season Petrov breaks his leg in three places and is out for 12 months? Davis will get his chance. O’Neill knows he was rushed in under O’Dreary and has yet to refine his skills.

  • If Petrov is still at VP on the first day of the season. I’m not sure why, but I can picture him someone odd, like Lyon or Reggina!

  • AVFC48 has rapidly changed his mind on Young? Nothing wrong with this of course, but we are all too quick to judge. There’s more to the Davis situation than meets the eye, he’s obviously had words with O’neil about where he should be playing and Gardner has taken his place – tough, he’s not on peanuts, from what I hear he’s been very well rewarded for his season last year. Now Petrov, I am a fan, but he took a while to settle and since Maccan was dropped performed well. But us fans always need to moan/blame certain players for bad results. We need to set our expectation levels, yes we’ve had a good end to the season, but are desperate for a centre back to cover for Laursen, a classy midfielder and a goalkeeper. No mention here about our really unlucky cup draws and stupid fixture list that left us playing two games in 5 and 1/2 weeks just after the January window.

  • Good article. Well worded. Well done on taking the pills we prescribed. All the negativity seems to have disappeared :o)

  • Im shocked to say i completely agree with everything youve said bar one thing, I have real faith in Petrov coming good. Otherwise an excellent and interesting summary young man.

  • Still must do better 🙂 Can’t agree with you about Davis though. He had a good season in an O’Dreary side. If he can’t play in the system MON wants to play then he’ll have to be moved on. You can’t build a team around Davis, however good he may be if it doesn’t fit with the system and is detrimental to the whole team.

  • err, when did I say Young was anything but a huge talent?

    when did I say Petrov wouldn’t come good, I have huge doubts unless we get several quality players to carry him, but he’s quality even if he’s been rubbish for us.

    The review was a player review, not one on the season on the pitch, simply because that would not seem as positive believe me, so hence no mention of the stats in the league or the cup games, etc.
    As to Davis the point missed is that played in the right position even at International level, he’s been superb, played by O’Neill, he’s been as poor as Petrov.

  • An excellent part two avfc48. Agree with most that you say. Like paddy@villa I remain a huge believer in Petrov, while your summing up of young Craig Gardner is I believe spot on. Young Davis has to do better, or rest assured he will be moved on. I feel he suffers for the early hype he received when first breaking into the team. In Ashley Young I believe we have an outstanding young talent, a young man who can undoubtedly reach the very top.

  • Petrov hasn`t been rubbish for us,he hasn`t blew us away in every game but Jesus Christ what did we expect,a lot of good in the article however i`d give Carew and Gabby(1st choice)with Maloney,Moore(bench) until Jan to see what they are made of.

  • great part 2 avfc48. have to say i agree with glensider think petrov will come good next year when we get a proper holding midfielder to let him roam forward at will. one mistake though in article have to tell you about mate,it is dont think davis plays for ireland avfc48! lol. cant believe martin would envisage selling davis either as we are trying to build a squad not dismantle one. UTV

  • RE: Gardner, he has not had O’Leary to tell him that the sun shines out of his **** so I think that he will not go the same way as Davis, also he is Villa born and bred so playing for us means so much to him. O’Neill will nurture him through in the same way that he has with Gabby and he will get better and better.

  • Many players play well at international level and don’t reproduce their form at Club level. Positions where managers want you to play differ between Club and country depending on the style and opposition. If Davis can?t adapt to a different position in midfield then maybe it shows his lack of adaptability. I?m not saying he?s a bad player but he needs to show more consistency and flexibility otherwise teams will suss him out like they have this year.

  • You were doing quite well until you said ‘Petrov has been rubbish’. It is all about opinions but Petrov is one of the few players with a genuine football brain. As soon as a similar minded player was put in alongside him (Barry) he showed what he is capable of. He was hindered most of the season by McCann. That said, McCann is a grafter but is limited to tackling and the odd sideways pass. At the level we want to achieve, a midfielder has to be able to pass, tackle, be box to box and score goals. These are qualities in Petrov, Barry, Young, Maloney, Gardner, Berger (partly). Those who want a holding midfielder are very much mistaken. Having that type of player produces the uninspiring football produced by Redscouse and Chelski. Manure do not have a genuine holding midfielder and are the best footballing team (along with the Arse) by a mile.

  • Petrov cost up to 8.5 million and came with a reputation as a match winner, goalscorer and someone able to grab a match and turn it over for his side.
    Wrap it up how you like, excuse him all you want, promise he’ll be better come next season, blame others for his inadequacies, for a top quality player he has hardly figured.
    Young kids like Gardner even Osborne in flashes, came in and impressed around him, Barry was consistently brilliant and despite the knockers, McCann did his usual job, when he was good he looked decent, problem was he had too many poor games.
    The only consistency we got from Petrov was his team selection, he showed at West Ham especially, how good he can be, then rarely achieved that form again.
    He undoubtedly has the talent, and in a better side might be brilliant, but last season he was rubbish 🙂

  • avfc48 it didn’t take long for the usual negativity to come out again. Forget your pills?? :o) Petrov was rubbish????? He might not have been a world beater but he had a reasonable first ever season in the Premier League. I thought we had moved on from slagging our own players and left that self defeating attitude where it belonged ……. in the Ellis era. Obviously not. Interesting to know if you are a season ticket holder who gets behind his team and provides vocal support. Or if you are one of the silent (unless you are moaning) Trinity/Witton Lane supporters? Or worse still, somebody who turns up occasionally/never, and is basing their ideas on what they see on the TV??

  • Agree with VOTH. You have been negative again. BUT, you have been massively non-negative in many ways. Good lad. Agree that we shouldn’t slag our own players off though. Petrov has the ability to come good and like every player who sat in a comfort zone for years in Scotland; we should not judge him by one season – ala Henry. UTV.

  • avfc48, you admit in your next article you only attended 5-6 games due to your circumstances. How do you manage to comment on the performances of the whole team over a season when you see so few games?

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