Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday March 6 2006
So, you have to ask, with yet another wasted and pointless season, which players will be happy to stay at Villa Park if the status quo continues next season?
My worry would be the exits of Olof Mellberg and Gareth Barry. Barry especially has been a major influence this season, despite being in an average performing team. Without him I would think we would be in a very real danger of relegation this season. I would also expect Milan Baros to have a good world cup and to have his agent tout him around.
If Doug Ellis remains, there will be no ambition, he has proved that consistently.
If David O'Leary remains there will be no clear tactics, plenty of blarney about how good he is and loads of comments in the press about how nothing is his fault, that the board are nice people, that he has no money and that the fans aren't worthy of him. He'll also no doubt lambaste a player or two publicly then tell all who will listen - which isn't many people anymore - that they are honest and that he still 'has' the dressing room.
Denmark international shot stopper Thomas Sorenson told the official site that just avoiding relegation isn't good enough. Too right.
He said: 'We can't settle for just escaping the drop.'
Adding: 'But I believe we can start now looking upwards. Now we have gone past Fulham and we have still got Sunderland, West Brom, Birmingham and Fulham at home. There are plenty of points there and we need to keep going....This has given us a bit of breathing space and we need to exploit it. We can't be happy just sitting above the relegation zone.'
So, lets just hope we finally get a takeover resolution, that Ellis leaves and the new board have the good sense to send David O'Leary packing, or give him the funds he needs - as a cheque book manager - to bring some success before writing a book and losing the dressing room. Bitter? Me? Damn right. This is Aston Villa we are talking about. The Times a few years ago asked what had happened to this once 'Rolls Royce club'. The fans - who O'Leary has told to 'get real' are asking the same question, although in fairness, most already know the answer.
So, next season, farewell Ellis and O'Leary. Or farewell the fans and half the players.
Date:Monday March 6 2006
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