Aston Villa - Europe Is A Must
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Europe Is A Must

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 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!

By Reza

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 4 2006

Time: 11:26AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I think it's good for the premiership that Portsmouth and Reading are doing well, compared to last season we are a hell of a lot better and still only a couple of points off 4th place.
chris the villan
Report Abuse
04/12/2006 11:43:00

It's certainly an exciting league this season with Man Utd challenging Chelsea for the title, and 1 point seperating 3rd to 9th! Eurpope is there for the taking for any club who can string 6 results together.
Report Abuse
04/12/2006 11:57:00

that'll be us then Deano. One of the major draws for any player is who are they going to play for?? MON has a fantastic reputation and would be a major factor in any players final decision. UTV
Report Abuse
04/12/2006 13:56:00

Off message a bit I know, but did anyone else see 'Goals on Sunday' yesterday? McClaren was in the studio and they read out an email to him from a villa fan asking "what has gareth Barry got to do to get in the England side"? and McClaren replied "Watch this space"
Report Abuse
04/12/2006 14:38:00

If we can stay in contention for Europe over the Christmas period, it will give us much more clout in the market come January. Add to that the O'Neill factor and the buzz about the club, and Villa will look like an attractive proposition to the top players
Report Abuse
04/12/2006 14:42:00

I am realistically hoping we can get another 8 points out of the next 5 games - Sheffield Utd -win, Bolton -draw, Man.Utd -lose, Tottenham -Draw, Charlton -Win. This will give us 32 point from 21 games. Maintaining this form for the rest of the season will give us 57 points minimum - which is probably not good enough for a Top 6 finish - but certainly Top 10 which is realistically all that we should expect from the present squad. I think getting David Becham to join us specifically to work on international marketing plus "youth development" (which he is passionate about) would be a visionary appointment.
Report Abuse
04/12/2006 15:58:00

Our main UEFA Cup competition will probably come from Tottenham, Bolton, Everton, and possibly Reading. We are at least the equal of those four outfits, so a second half of the season push for Europe is very realistic. The January transfer window though obviously holds the key to success this season, with new quality arrivals a must.
Report Abuse
04/12/2006 17:20:00

Must turn the home draws into wins if we are to achieve a top six place, but agree it will give MON a better chance in the transfer market if we are still around the UEFA cup places come Jan.
Report Abuse
04/12/2006 18:28:00

Heard a while back Villa had scouts at the Werder Bremen game. They now want to sell Klose in the summer. Now that would be a signing!! Back at home were supoosed to be interested in Beattie. Also, with SWP up for grabs, wonder why we haven't approached. Perhaps MON doesn't want him?
Report Abuse
04/12/2006 20:41:00

Samuel has had chance after chance. He is continually exposed defensively and I think has done nothing to earn another chance ever again. Lee Hendrie has had many purple patches and was even playing well under DOL until they fell out. He deserves a chance and currently should be in the team. I hope that unlike the past when all Villa's potential signings are talked about for ages beforehand - that Martin actually has some surprises and bargains up his sleeve to shock and then excite us all!
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04/12/2006 22:55:00


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