O'Neill - Villa To Challenge
Martin O'Neill has again saluted Villa owner Randy Lerner.
He told avfc.com: 'He has embraced the whole history of the football club and has been extremely supportive of me. In terms of asking for anything so far, he's been on the other end of the telephone. During our poor time last season would have been hurting as badly as anybody else, but he was always on the phone, saying, 'Listen, we'll get this right. This is a long-term strategy'. He would remind me that we're in it for the long haul. That is always nice to know in a business that is not renowned for long haul. He has an understanding of what I want to do and supports that viewpoint.'
Adding, 'We established a rapport pretty quickly and I think he was pleasantly surprised that I knew some things about American football, although he may have felt I'd done a bit of homework the night before. Naming all the teams in the National Football League, however, is not something that would be wildly impressive to him. He's a man who would need to be impressed by other things. The biggest thing about him, from the fans' perspective, is that, like myself, he's here for it, he wants to have a go and he wants to do it and this is very much the common goal.'
He also questioned whether we can be up there and challenging Manchester United and Chelsea next season but says Villa are aiming to do so in the next couple of seasons.
'Me, personally, I want to be successful because that's why I'm in this business. Ego, pride, call it what you will, but I would genuinely love to be successful with the football club, as much for the Villa people who turned out on that day a year ago. I can say honestly that I've got the same drive and the same determination now at my age that I had when I was 20.'
Star signing might well push Villa upwards and lay down our marker? How about a bank busting bid for a real big name?!?!? :o)