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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

O'Neill Has Options

Villa's new striker John Carew has been given the No10 shirt vacated by Milan Baros. Ashley Young has the No17 shirt vacated by Peter Whittingham.

Both players will take part in a press conference this afternoon and Martin O'Neill has told the official site both players give him fresh options as he looks to climb the table.

They both trained with the squad today and will be available for our game against Newcastle next Wednesday night.

O'Neill said: 'I'm hoping Carew and Ashley will give us a boost, and we want to be adding more to the squad if we can. I'm not sure what we're going to do, but we have some days left yet and we're looking at other possibilities. This gives us alternatives. Ashley can play right, left, or off the centre-forward where he's been playing recently for Watford. I've seen him play all three positions. As he develops, Ashley will find a niche he's comfortable with.'

'I've been genuinely delighted with the players, despite the poor run. Maybe if you add that to our good run we're maybe in the (correct) position now. But we have to get the number of points to make sure we pass the proverbial 40, and then push on.'

Who knows, another arrival or two and a late charge for Europe?




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 25 2007

Time: 12:07PM

Your Comments

I think they will do well for us and now hopfully we will start seeing more goals going in and us moving up the table. We still need a bigger squad and hopfully MON can add to the squad before the transfer window shuts.
kentvilla
We now have at least two players for every position in the club. How big has the squad got to be? Sorenson Taylor. Hughes, Delaney Bardsley. Bouma Samuel. Mellberg Laursen Cahill Ridgewell. Agbonlahor Young. Barry Berger. Davis Petrov McCann Osbourne Hendrie Gardner. Carew Moore Angel Sutton. I do not think it is an issue any more about the size of the squad. The future must be about replacing those that are average, with quality. This should also mean that unless a player is world class, we should not be signing any more players older than 24. Out of the list above I would say that Hughes, Sutton, Berger, Angel and Hendrie are those that we need to look at moving on. If we can replace those with younger, better models (English in an ideal world, so that they do not disappear several times a season for meaningless internationals) then we are really in business.
voiceoftheholte
Sounds good to me voice. Its quality, not quantity.(not sure about moving sutton on just yet though). Midfielder Defensive and Midfielder Creative would be my next two priorities.
tylervilla
There is a lot of negativity about Aaron Hughes on the message boards. In my opinion he is a class act. I understand the frustrations for the past year or so when he has been average at best, but is this a problem with the right flank as a whole??? He worked really well with Solano and Milner. Maybe playing with Agbonlahor in front of him who is very offensive, and the inexperience (at times) of the centre backs has left him a little exposed with a bit much to do. Im not sure. But I think there is a good player there who is better than Delaney and could do a job if Bardsley doesnt stay. Also - his versatility is needed - he can play anywhere along the back four, remember he is a centre-back for N.Ireland!
deano.avfc
Well said Voice of the Holt
TuBBz
Hear Hear more quality signings needed and get rid of the deadwood
kentvilla
I am not on about during January tyls, I was thinking more likely in the summer. I think all the players we have in the squad can have a role to play until then. There is a long way to go before the wrongs of 25 years can be righted , but if during the summer we can move on the five players mentioned and replace them with young, hungry, quality players, there is no reason why Villa could not be challenging to join the top four next season. As for this season I will stick with my pre season statement of anything above half way being a bonus.
voiceoftheholte
Very sensible and realistic expectations voth. Slowly but very definitely a stronger squad is taking shape, and with no doubt further major rebuilding work to come during the summer, we can probably optimistically think about a serious push for UEFA Cup qualification next season. Things are happening, than in itself is a huge plus. We are not resting on our laurels, standing still, letting clubs that we previously looked upon as our inferiors pass us by. The press conference to officially introduce Carew and Young is a huge statement being made by the club. We're letting everyone know that we're back in business.
glensider
Agree 100% with this being a long-term overhaul. But I'd still like to see one quality midfielder come in before Jan 31. We're severely lacking in midfield quality and experience (as we have been for a while).
Beovilla
Beovilla, you may be right. There is a fine balance though. I think it is almost cetain that the two wide midfielders will be Barry and Young. So who would you be looking to replace in the middle, Petrov or McCann? If you are looking to bring in cover, what quality midfielder is going to come unless they are almost guaranteed a starting place?
voiceoftheholte
Options. A previously unheard of luxury at Villa Park.
glensider
 

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