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Into Inter Or Outa Inter?

Into Inter Or Outa Inter?

Martin O'Neill has said he isn't a big fan of the InterToto Cup which Villa won in 2002, but admits be willing to enter the team into it as a way of getting into Europe.

'If you want my honest opinion, I'm not a big fan. The reason being that I thought players would need longer breaks during the summer...I think it's a big ask expecting players to step out of there and then needing one or two of them to step into an InterToto game.'

'Apart from the very obvious benefit of getting into Europe, the only thing I will say is that, with the breaks getting shorter and shorter, if teams use some of the younger players who are maybe itching to get in, maybe coming back a week earlier and using those games for pre-season games has a benefit. A couple of years ago, even with Leicester, I wouldn't have been overly keen on it. But now, if you were thinking about using younger players and blooding them, then there might be an element to that.'

'That's not me covering both bases. Initially I would have said 'InterToto, why?', if you hadn't been good enough to play in European football. But if there's a group of young players - the likes of Isaiah and people like that who haven't played that much during the course of a season - maybe getting them back ten days earlier would be something to consider.'

I always remember Paul 'magic' Merson talking about the inter-two-bob saying it was good and that it gave players the match fitness much quicker and meant the team got off to a better start in the Premiership. If we can get some strength in depth squad wise to cover for injuries setting in earlier, then why not? That said, we'll qualify for Europe through the league this season anyway....... won't we?!

So, our latest poll asks whether you think we should enter if we don't qualify through the league or FA Cup (now that would be a dream!)

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Tuesday November 21 2006
Time: 11:35AM


I've always been all for it. Rather see Villa playing in competitive games through the summer than meaningless friendlies and like MON says it would be ideal to give the likes of Isiah, Sam Williams, Peter Whittingham etc. more games.
21/11/2006 11:43:00
gets them going and gives pre-season some meaning I reckon.
The Fear
21/11/2006 11:47:00
Hopefully we should not need to enter it .
chris the villan
21/11/2006 11:58:00
Didn't Sam Williams leave?
21/11/2006 11:59:00
Don't think so. I thought he played for the reserves the other week. He was on loan for a bit but I dint think we'd sold him. Could be wrong tho.
21/11/2006 12:08:00
Well hopefully we will not need it, bust should we have to use it then why not! We should hopefully be increasing the size of the squad in January and over the summer so we should be able to cope with any extra early games. UTV!
21/11/2006 12:57:00
It's agreat pre-seaon and gives the playesr for a reason for playing in a diciplinned way early on, gettng them into good habbits, instead of the usual freindlies which no one really cares about.. That said, it should only be concidered as a good pre-season with a possible bonus of european football, the Uefa cup should not be the aim as, at this stage and with our squad as it is (it will take several seasons to build a squad of both quality and depth) our main focus has to be the league.
Villain Of The North
21/11/2006 16:04:00
My dad thinks its a joke cup
21/11/2006 16:22:00
We still hold the record attendance in the competition I believe. Most managers hate it because it can mean 'burn out' for the players early in January. However if you set up a normal friendly schedule for the senior players and the Inter two bob for the Youth then every body could benefit. The senior players get their match practice and the youngsters benefit from playing competitive football. Seems like a win win situationto me.
21/11/2006 16:48:00
We always drew decent sized crowds for out Inter Toto games compared to all others, so it was obviously a popular competition for Villa supporters.
22/11/2006 02:26:00
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