Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday December 4 2006
Said to Fear over the weekend that if we were in the top 6 come the end of this year, it would be a major achievement.
However, looking at current form, we have stuttered recently no doubt.
We've got to look at the fixtures ahead of us - 5 games before the year is out and look at at least 9 or ten points...realistically perhaps even 7 or 8 with our current form and squad.
If we went into the new year fixture with 33 points, it would be a major achievement but we have to convert those draws into 3 points. If we had beaten Boro ten days ago, Villa would have been in 3rd place today....even with the City loss and a hard fought draw at Pompey. We're 8th now and those draws are fast catching up with us.
Whilst we're not boring....we have however hit our critical patch and it is this time that our boys stand up and be counted.
Some questions however..
If we are in need of depth, why is Hendrie still at Stoke? I thought now is when we bring him back and let him feature in the team. Is Martin O'Neill planning something else? Another midfielder? Djemba will be on his way.....Berger certainly is and Hendrie?
I would also expect Mellberg to revert to central defence now that Hughes is fit again....and Cahill would probably have to make way. I'd also like to see Samuel given another chance..ahead of Bouma who is so inconsistent.
Barry has also gone off the boil in recent games and faces suspension soon. Do we bring in Whittingham or do we get Hendrie back on the left?
Petrov has not stamped his early season authority and seems to fade after 60 minutes. McCann has blown hot and cold.....although, he is one player I wouldn't want injured or suspended.
Up-front, keep Gabby.....and Sutton needs to get back asap...no one can hold up a ball anymore.Angel gets my vote over Baros...who in my opinion should head off to Hamburg in January.
Now for Santa's bag of goodies and sparkling pressies.....
Hmmm...much debate on who we should get....
All depends on what Martin O'Neill can attract...and if we're to beat off opposition, I believe Martin O'Neill has to ensure that he is convincing of Villa's ambition....and that we ARE an attractive prospect.
We'll compete with other Premiership clubs in the transfer market yet I hope we can bring in the likes of Keane or Defoe, Lucas Neill and dare I say it...David Beckham..even on loan till the end of the season.
All in all....come 2 January...against Chelsea....we need to be counted....and much the same team we have now will take to the field....and we should go out there and beat them (my youngest son will be one of the Villa mascots for this game ).
European qualification is a must this season....and there is no way we should allow the likes of Portsmouth and Reading to beat us to it.
Up the Villa!
Date:Monday December 4 2006
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