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Claret & Blue & Totally Confused

Claret & Blue & Totally Confused

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.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Wednesday August 8 2007
Time: 12:11PM


Yeah O'Neill has made a boob with that comment.
still skeggy
08/08/2007 12:32:00
Let's wait until the window slams shut before we pass judgement.
08/08/2007 12:36:00
I do not see any problem in having the same squad size as at the end of the last season if there will be no "dead-wood" like Djemba Twins or Hendrie or someone "crappy" else counted in this squad size... This size of squad with all-quality members would and should be enough to achieve Euro-place. So there will be 5 more signings I hope...but quality signings of course.
08/08/2007 12:37:00
Good post Fear. We should be questionning the management
08/08/2007 12:38:00
The 7% in the poll thinking we're going to challenge top 4 with this squad need their heads examined....I do wonder about some of our fans at times.....
08/08/2007 12:39:00
Dont panic eveyone MON has it in hand, if he doesnt get the players in by the end of August he will get them in Jan and if he doesn't get them in Jan he will get them next summer and so on and so forth.... :(
08/08/2007 12:41:00
We shouldn't really be hoping this stage of the season though Majkee, they should be in the shirts and ready to be on the pitch! Other managers have managed it.
The Fear
08/08/2007 12:41:00
I am getting fed up with the critisising of MON and his transfer policy, yes he may have lost out on a couple of signings and yes he may well have learnt to replace players before they are sold. He is not stupid but in fact much more astute that most of us on this site give him credit for. Give him the time and get off his back - yes everyone makes mistakes and learn from them. Signings will be here soon, all we need to concentrate on is getting behind the team on Saturday and giving us that extra man (RB). Pleanty of time but it will come good believe me.
08/08/2007 12:45:00
jeez, i can't wait till the bloody transfer window is shut so we know whether we are in the **** or not!
08/08/2007 12:53:00
As was pointed out somewhere - I manager isn't going to criticise his chairman. I don't beleive there is money for players. You say villa managers have harped on about the lack of cash - true - but for a long time a lot of managers insisted Ellis was backing them in the transfer market - until a succession of managers failed to land players. it became obvious then despite managerial denials - there was no cash - whatever MON says I don't beleive there is money.
08/08/2007 12:54:00
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