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Former Villan Questions O'Neill

Interesting article by Tony Cascarino in The Times today - (O'Neill must think big and spend big )

To paraphrase, Martin O'Neill, spend some money, make Villa great again!

In a less flippant summary, he says that O'Neill is 'one of the best managers in the business' but then questions what is happening at Villa and why the millions available aren't being spent.

The stated aim is the Champions league and yet the transfer window hasn't exactly been an active one to date for the Villa and Cascarino questions the purchases of both Marlon Harewood who he says is a 'hit-and-miss striker' adding 'last season he could not hold down a place in a team who were flirting with relegation' and Nigel Reo-Coker (who he says hasn't take us any further because he just replaced Steven Davis who was surprisingly sold to Fulham.)

He also questions why we've not gone for the likes of Scott Parker, Joey Barton (no thanks) or Mark Viduka but adds 'I do not want to have a dig just for the sake of it, because for getting the best out of players, nobody comes close to O’Neill. He makes average players good and good players great, but can he make great players fantastic?'

As a former Villan, Cascarino says he knows that us Villa fans won't tolerate being made to watch 'direct football' something we've been force fed through the last few seasons and he does have a point, I must admit I expected more than what we got at times last season with the long ball passes to John Carew - who is a far better quality player than just a big target man - and I don't think we should be subjected to that this coming season, the performances of the last few games is what we all deserve to see. Leicester City were successful playing a certain way BUT that isn't what will bring success these days, not at a club with a billionaire owner and pretensions for the Champions League. So to move on, we have 4-5 weeks left to bring in the right sort of players to help push Villa upwards.

Cascarino questions 'If Tottenham Hotspur can buy players such as Darren Bent for £16.5 million, why can’t Villa? O’Neill does not need any advice from me, but if I was him, I would be moving heaven and earth to sign players such as Jermain Defoe. Players who defenders hate playing against. Players who can score for fun. Players who can make Villa great again.'

From reading the forums and speaking with fellow fans, I don't think Tony Cascarino points out anything differently to what we are all already talking about. Where are the big signings, where are the big name players and when will Villa put down a marker of intent? Harewood is a fair enough squad player but as Cascarino says, he won't get opponent defenders 'quaking in their boots'.

I must admit the comments from Martin O'Neill last week about not being in the business of bankrupting a club and worrying about the cost of transfers worried me. (Villa Boss Worries On Transfer Costs) We aren't close to going out of business, there is a good amount of tv money to spend even if Randy doesn't want to dip further into his pockets (he funded the Petrov and Young signings). The prices of players are the prices of players. You either pay those prices or you remain a mid table club. Surely he should target the players and the club should decide what they can and can't afford?

We've let a good few players go, we need to now replace them, if not there will be no point Martin O'Neill saying the squad is too small again, he had a case last season, but not this season now he has let Davis, Gavin McCann and Aaron Hughes leave, all squad players who would have given us extra options.

It is easy for the punters and us internet fans to pass these judgements, it must be more difficult in reality but then, that is why the managers are on million pound contracts, so basically, over to you Martin, our poll asks about this and 60% at the moment are saying they'll give it two more weeks and then if there are no more signings, they'll panic!

Give it 2 more weeks, then I'll panic! (60%)
Plenty of time, no panic (17%)
Worried, decent players have moved elsewhere (10%)
Not many transfers made anywhere, not worried (7%)
Panicked, we need to buy now (6%)

Come on the Villa!

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday July 23 2007

Time: 11:09AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Cascarino is an idiot.
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23/07/2007 11:21:00

I agree with PKing. We can't compete with Spurs or the top 4 for signings, West Ham have proved that. His assessment of NRC was ridiculous. No wonder he's not ain management.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 11:31:00

Cascarino ?? he was quality wasn't he, F****n donkeyrino more like, how can he criticise others, he hasn't got a clue.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 11:44:00

yeah but if no more signings are made, or signings of similar stature to harewood, cascarino will not be far off with his comments. We definitely need more players, and we need them in during preseason hopefully they are just unavailable at the moment. But every time i see west ham, man city and sunderland sign another player i start to cringe and hope that we get some players in soon.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 11:45:00

MON's statements were took out of context a little, when he said he doesn't want to bankrupt a club, I think he meant he didn't want to get ripped off by big name wage hunters who aren't really gonna give their all for Villa. Which would waste a significant amount of funds. I think a couple of real quality signings are on their way, we will have to wait and see.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 11:49:00

hopefully the angst that fans like me are starting to show is just boredom, i would like to to think it is. We haven't played any friendlies to take our mind our transfer dealing so far, so hopefully on Wednesday we can start concentrating on the players we have rather than the ones we need.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 11:58:00

I dont really rate Bent, or at least i dont beleive he's worth half of that £16.5mil. Parker is no better than NCR and Viduka was once a good striker but hasn't been with it for a while now, so i dont think it's right to compare those players to players that could play in the champions league. (i'm not even going to go into Barton!) Yes i would've like more signings already however look at January! left it all till the last day, and how many of us thought we would sign Carew until he put pen to paper? i dont remember his name being banded about forums (although i will admit i didn't spend much time on them till Marchish) before he signed, thats the reason i'm being optimistic still, i think we'll have to play the first few games of next season with a tighter squad than last year, however i do think we'll have a bigger squad than last year come August 31st and i do think at least 2 of them will work out better buys than the likes of Viduka, Parker and Barton!
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 12:06:00

Parker is a hard tackling player who scores goals and is very experienced. Viduka keeps getting 15 plus goals a season as he did last, name a Villa player who keeps getting 15 goals Bent was the most Villa fans on here wanted until he went to Spurs then as usual he becomes a target. Where Cascarino has got it wrong is that he is one of the General's 'fools' who believed Villa had money to spend, O'Neill is reported to have said when departing yesterday he had top sell to afford Reo and Harewood.
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23/07/2007 12:13:00

Parker is a hard tackling player that the barcodes didn't want, avfc48, so why would we. Isn't he what you would call "another team's castoff"? In my opinion, Bent is vastly overpriced at 16M, and I didn't see Manure or the Arse or Chelski going for him. And I have a sneaking suspicion that if MON had signed Viduka you'd have slated him for signing an over-the-hill player. Let's face it, the current Villa regime can do no right in your eyes, and never will. Cascarino earns his money by writing (or ghost writing) articles for newspapers. In order to sell those articles he has to make controversial comments. So he does. Since when did the newspapers say anything good about Villa and since when did the pundits know more than the fans?
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 12:36:00

I am sure there is enough funds to procure what Martin needs.The club stated they wanted to to succesful and they know what is required to achieve that.I agree with liamo, boredom is causing everything to be physcoanalysed.At this juncture the due-diligence has been done with the figures asscoiated with targets.With time running out it's a case of -do it, or leave it.MON is treating this as his own money.Would you go out and just buy a car -60k, or take time to weigh up the pros and cons.I think it will be bite the bullet time soon and with Randy's blessing he will pay a "negotiated" figure for his targets.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 12:43:00

avfc48, Now I know your full of that stuff that generally comes out of arses. Where did MON say he had to sell to buy any players?
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 12:52:00

Did MON steal your wife avfc48? Or scratch your car or something? What do you have against him? And give me a link to this "MON had to sell to buy" story you mention... or is that just another piece of BS from your miserable self?
The Usual Suspect
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23/07/2007 12:55:00

Avfc48 - Man I used to laugh when you posted anything because it stirred evryone up but now I see u for what u really are - just a bitter and twisted idiot who has nothing positive to say but untruths and I for one don't find you amusing anymore. In other words feck off!
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 12:58:00

Viduka is past his best (fatter than his new manager). Parker would have been a good buy, but NRC is a younger and better player. It's funny how MON polarises peoples opinion, some pundits give him no slack at all, I am think of Cascarino, LeTissier and Andy Gray in particular. If MON had to sell, that must have been with the overall restructuring in mind. Everyone agrees prices have gone a bit silly
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 13:12:00

O'Neill's comment re: selling:

"I've allowed some players to leave the club which we've got some money for and I'm using that to get Nigel Reo-Coker and Harewood in."
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 13:15:00

the general said on his thread that funds ARE available, so what are you on about avfc48?
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23/07/2007 13:37:00

derryvillan: Thanks for the quote. he doesn't say he HAD to use that money, just that he did.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 13:39:00

avfc48:Parker is a perfect example of overrated crap. Lets not get players like him. Also, you have this site mixed up with a different one. Let your negative crap flow there-you have no audience here.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 13:40:00

jonah, didn;t you hear? avfc48 said the generals a liar. It must be true! avfc48 said so!
The Usual Suspect
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23/07/2007 13:48:00

Some people don't like MON full stop - too intelligent and straightforward for them. He also doesn't go along with all this hullabaloo around players and wants ones that want to play for us (sorry to sound like a broken record on the last point)
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 13:53:00

In all seriousness, why is AVFC48 so damn bitter? Must be a blue nose despite what Fear posted elsewhere! There is no need for such hatred against O'Neil. He hasn't done anything wrong yet. I am getting concerned over the lack of activity and i doubt there'll be much this week what with the tour and all.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 14:06:00

As soon as I read the article I just knew 48 would comment. It was just too inviting. He's like a pantomime villain (excuse the pun!) Boo!!Hiss!! He's behind you! Oh. no he's not!! Oh yes he is!!............
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 14:10:00

In his defence, he's not carried away by the spin from the club and is not convinced by MON (more of wait and see approach). Where I totally disagree is the need for instant success (e.g. he got on the back of Petrov and Young from the word go) and signing of certain big names
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 14:12:00

Parker has played 204 games scoring 15 goals and NRC has palyed 178 games scoring 17 goals. Nice try AVFC48 at trying to mislead people again but not quite this time. I assume you would rather have Parker over NRC? Just say so, you might get a bit more respect from other people on here instead of just criticising without telling us your motives. This is a forum where we all have views and opinions, yet your view can’t be backed up with any sort of reasoning as to why you make then. Have some balls and tell us why you are so negative and what you want done to change things.
Hoss The Villain
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 15:13:00

Average players are being bought for silly prices and being payed hefty wage packets,O Neill has bought average players for average prices,although I wouldn't say paying nearly 20 mil for Reo and Ashley are the actions of a club who are not spending big or have no money to spend.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 15:19:00

Nobody has a problem with avfc48 "not getting carried away" by the "spin" from the club, tarzan. The problem is his constant sniping at everyone at the club and at everything they are doing. It's like the Chinese water torture - a constant drip, drip, drip of negative comments, faint praise, pretending to be rational and fair whilst actually being so negative as to be anti-Villa. In my opinion, all of the actions to date say that we have a great team at VP. As for the reports of MON playing down the money he has to spend - well for heaven's sake people really need to stop being so naive. Do you go to buy a car with thousands of pounds flapping out of your wallet, or do you go along and tell the seller you are on a limited budget?
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 17:13:00

P.S. I must disagree about your view of avfc48 as having a "wait and see" approach. It is VERY clear that he made his mind up about MON, RAL, the General and everyone else at Villa Park a long time ago. I can only guess at his motives or his true identity, but I don't see any sort of "wait and see" approach.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 17:17:00

Wham are a London club with tons of cash, no wage barrier and no scruples. Who are they signing? Bellemy (who we didn't want) Freddy (who would be a backward step at his age) A french geezer (who I don't know about but he's crocked anyway). It ain't easy out there. Newcastle are aiming high but they're not setting the world alight quite yet. What I do know is that the top 4 are pulling further away and unless Spurs crack it they will be in trouble methinks.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 17:26:00

You just have to look at the bigger picture. 12 months ago Villa were losing £1million every month. Income this last seaon will undoubtedly be down although attendances were up 6%. We're now paying players more on average than 12 months ago. So all in all I expect Randy has invested over £25million to keep us in the black, finish Bodymoor Heath, re-furb the Holte and recruit a team of high-flying management talent in all departments at the Club. In addition to this £25million+, he funded the transfers of Petrov, Young, Coker and Harewod,at a net cost of approx. £20million. Does anyone think that if another top class player was available, whether £10 or £15million, that Lerner would refuse. Of course not! But neither will MON be blackmailed into paying over the odds as at Chelsea 2-3 years ago. If Lerner hadn't hit our shores last July, Villa would now probably have gone "down the tubes" like Leeds and Leicester before them.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 17:27:00

l have just logged on only to find MR OPTIMISTIC (avfc48) has left another gem. Why dont he go and do us all a favour and go back to his true love SMALLHEATH.
Report Abuse
23/07/2007 20:09:00

Great points Villacross.We are stronger on all fronts and the players that are coming in are of a better quality than what have left(As for Marlon, I'll judge him when I see him for myself down at VP).The market has been quite in general, and usually heats up as the sands of time run out.We are in good shape and can only get better.
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23/07/2007 20:24:00

Villacross you are spot on. Plus anyone who thinks we should have signed Viduka should have been watching the Asia Cup recently (i'm currently based in Singapore) - Viduka was utter pants for the whole tournament. Yes, he scored a couple, but I would have backed Marlon to have got a few too against the teams they were facing. For all of Viduka's supposed skills and experience, the guy looked completely out of sorts and uninterested - and this was against the likes of the mighty Oman, Iraq, Thailand and Japan. He plays when he wants to play (is my contract up for renewal?) - NOT the type of player we want at VP IMHO.
Report Abuse
24/07/2007 01:45:00

Couldn't agree more Villacross. As for Harewood not being able to 'hold down a a place in a team who were flirting with relegation', neither could Mascherano and he went on and played in the CL final.
Report Abuse
24/07/2007 06:17:00

I dont think that comments and observations made by ex Villa superstar Cascarino will result in MON losing one solitary minutes sleep.
Report Abuse
06/08/2007 14:17:00

He's an easy target right now, as so many so called experts are looking for him to fail. he turned the mess around last season, the pressure is definitely on him to improve upon that this time out.
Report Abuse
08/08/2007 21:04:00


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