Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday December 13 2005
Here we go again. More doom and gloom! Ok, lets look what is up now.
David O'Leary has indicated that there will be no money to spend in the January transfer window and all he will be able to do is look at loan signings. OK, with Doug at the helm, maybe there are no shocks there. I have seen some fans on the forums also suggest that they don't trust O'Leary to be given money to spend anyway. In fairness, that is harsh. He has tried to bring quality in the form of the now England No1 Paul Robinson as well as players like Scott Parker and Mark Viduka etc. So to say he doesn't know the quality players isn't right, to say he can't make the best of what he has (which when all fit isn't a bad selection) would be more accurate.
He has also said that his main target will be a central defender. An obvious choice with the news that Martin Laursen could be out for another year. We do have cover in the shape of Delaney and Aaron Hughes although both have suffered injuries this season and both are favoured as right backs. Bouma has also played centrally for Holland, but O'Leary sees him as a left back - which has forced Jlloyd out of the picture.
The links to Huth won't go away, but with the news that Bayern Munich might move for the Chelsea and German international, a loan looks very unlikely.
O'Leary said: 'The bottom line is, if anything is coming in next month it will have to be on loan. We won't be buying because there won't be any money really. You wouldn't have to be a rocket scientist to say a target for me will be a central defender! Thank God Olof (Mellberg) and Liam (Ridgewell) have managed to stay fit.'
Every time O'Leary says things like this, Doug comes out and says there will be funds. Next we hear a player has been sold to generate the funds. You only have to look at the summer dealings, we got Milner in on loan and lost Nobby Solano. We brought in Milan Baros and lost Darius Vassell. People say that Doug spends the money, but they never take into consideration the sales.
O'Leary continued in the - it isn't my fault vein - 'In my first year here, we had to get the wage bill reduced drastically and get a lot of players out. Centre-halves went out of the club like Ronny Johnsen, Steve Staunton, Ozalan Alpay and Dion Dublin who had then moved back from being a striker. That left Olof Mellberg. We brought in Martin Laursen to compensate for those four leaving but we've had hardly any use out of him.'
Right, so no news on the takeover, no chance of any money for players and an awful start to the season. Lets hope the mini 'revival' continues! We have at least picked up some points recently, albeit against very poor Sunderland and Charlton teams, a draw v Newcastle who aren't exactly firing on all cylinders themselves and a well earned point against the very difficult to beat Bolton. With Man Utd and Arsenal coming up in December, we do need to pick up a few more good results before any sort of confidence returns.
I still say a takeover will happen, but as the transfer window gets nearer, it looks more and more unlikely that it will be in time to spend in the January sales. That said, clubs rarely sell their decent players at this time of year anyway, and the last thing Villa need is another teams rejects!
3 points against Manchester United at the weekend might get the Villa faithful smiling at least. Easy!
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Date:Tuesday December 13 2005
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