Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday August 8 2007
Villa boss Martin O'Neill has confused me. Ok, it isn't difficult to confuse me I admit but he has repeatedly said that there is no cap on spending and that Randy Lerner will back him in the transfer market. Ok, that bit I am clear on and know for myself anyway, the club have money and are willing to spend. Fine, all well and good.
Next up he says we have a 'nucleus of a good side'. Ok, I'm clear on that, I agree we have some good players and some bright young prospects and have brought in one very good addition in Nigel Reo-Coker. The other one I'll reserve judgement!! So far, so good.
Next up he says he is still looking to strengthen, fine, we've heard it all summer but ok, he is wanting who he wants and hopefully we'll get them before the window closes at the very least.
All clear so far.
Now this bit confuses the hell out of me.
'Ideally I would like to go back to the size of squad that we had at the end of last season. We've lost six or seven players and only improved it by two so far.'
Notice the problem? We've let players leave a squad that Martin O'Neill (and David O'Leary before him) rightly said was too small. Now if it was too small last season, why would it not be too small this season if we match the numbers in the squad?
I understand we'll have hopefully improved the quality of the squad although Marlon Harewood - no disrespect - isn't the best example of that. Surely you would buy in quality before off-loading the players you don't want though? We all know injuries dig deep in football and then we have the same situation we had last season with not enough cover. Both Stuart Taylor and Thomas Sorensen got injured last season meaning we had to loan a keeper, before the season has already started we Sorensen is again injured so not a great start there? Then we have no recognised right back, let alone back up?
Confused? I am. I know to question amongst some is seen as sacrilege and don't get me wrong, the last thing I want is a manager merry-go-round, but you do have to laugh, all the years we've had managers saying there is no money and they need players, now we have money and a manager unwilling or unable to act decisively in the transfer market.
Never an easy thing being a Villa fan is it? Looks like it isn't that easy being the Villa boss either. I noticed an article title on Villa Talk that said Aston Villa - UnPrepared. Hmmm.
Fasten your seat belts, it could be a bumpy ride.
Date:Wednesday August 8 2007
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