Aston Villa - O'Neill Paints A Confused Picture?
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O'Neill Paints A Confused Picture?

Martin O'Neill has spoken about Villa owner Randy Lerner and says that the performance and atmosphere at the Chelsea game was what he deserves for his investment in Villa.

The Villa boss told the official site:

'Games like Sunday - that's what Randy Lerner got into Premier League football for. That's the type of excitement that people yearn for. The place was rocking, it really was fantastic. I think he is of such a mind that a game like Sunday's stands out. That's what you would like to be the norm, but he's realistic enough to know it might not always be like that.'

He also says that Randy is experienced enough in sport due to his ownership of NFL club the Cleveland Browns to realise that to start to really compete will take time.

'....he's genuinely in this for the medium to long term. Of course I'm the eternal pragmatist when it comes to these things - you don't get that sort of time. But he has never expected instant results. I remember him saying in January/February that if we finished higher than we did the previous year that we'd say that was progress.'

Somewhat confusingly he adds, 'We by comparison to smaller clubs are trying to invest and that's great, but by comparison to the big boys, we're still well behind. But the fun of it is still trying to compete with those people when the level of investment isn't anywhere near what they've put in - not that he's ever said it, but there has to be a bit of sense to all of this. I would dread to think what the wage bills of some of the big clubs and some clubs not in the top four. I think we've got a real sensible structure here. Some of the players at this football club undoubtedly could earn more elsewhere - even in this day and age.'

Finishing, 'This is what I want - a group of young hungry players. I want a period of three or four years where the players grow together and feel this is all worthwhile. Nothing lasts forever, but this is the idea.'

That kind of suggests he doesn't think the big money backing is there doesn't it? You have to be careful with some of O'Neill's quotes because when he goes off on one he can cloud the issue rather than cast light on things...! My understanding is the money is there ready to invest and it is the manager and his team who highlight the players he wants to bring to the club. Still, I like the idea of young and hungry players, as opposed to those more interested in the bling and off field antics.

Oh, just to clarify, I'm not trying to stir anything up here, I'm genuinely confused at the latest statement from the manager as it totally flies in the face of what I think is happening at Villa.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday September 9 2007

Time: 2:29PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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ha, I do like this picture!
The Fear
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09/09/2007 14:31:00

Agreed, Fear, it's all a bit odd. I personally think that a lot of what MON says on the official site is ghost-written for him - he gets passed the quotes and asked to either approve them or send them back for changes as there doesn't seem to be much of a common thread through what he says.
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09/09/2007 14:36:00

40 mil in 12 months is a fairly acceptable level of investment for me I think he's comparing us to the likes of Chelsea.
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09/09/2007 14:41:00

i wouldn't read too much into that
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09/09/2007 14:47:00

i like him and his idea, young hungry team.....keep the faith
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09/09/2007 14:53:00

i wouldn't worry too much... however, I have mentioned this before but in one of MON's many reassurance-statements about the transfer window he mentioned getting rid of a few players in order to bring in a few others. Why would we be doing this if we had Randys millions?
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09/09/2007 15:40:00

got the faith, never lost it, still don't understand some of his quotes and they fly in the face of what the club say!
The Fear
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09/09/2007 16:09:00

What confusion FFS! He stating that we aren't gonna spend 50m a season like the others. Jesus. Calm down.
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09/09/2007 16:10:00

I'm with koolbill on this, All he is saying is that we can invest more than the small clubs in the prem but that we can't compete with the big 4 and are not willing to risk the way Newcastle do (and Leeds did) as without a strong squad in place and good chance of success it's basically a waste of money. I totally agree with this philosophy as long as we can see that the big money signings will be made when it's apropriate. Heck we now have Petrov, Reo-Coker and Young all at potentially over 8 million. Regardless of what you say about these individuals it does prove that Randy is willing to put his money where his mouth is when MON wants him to. How many other prem teams (outside the top 4) have 3 players bought for that kind of money? Not many!!!
Villain Of The North
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09/09/2007 17:32:00

Dont understand what the fuss is all about. O'Neill is repeating what the club has been saying all along.
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09/09/2007 17:53:00

no no no......dont get carried away and uptight about his comments.....villainofthenorth and dannygav are right in what they say....mon is building a solid base from which to launch from.....start of with a solid platform then attract the top will be alright on the night....keep the faith
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09/09/2007 20:44:00

yeah, but that doesn't answer my point... why did we need money from players being sold?
Report Abuse
09/09/2007 21:34:00

I don't believe it's so much that we needed the money, I think it's more a case of being sensible with it. What I mean is, MON has got rid off ( for want of a better expression) the so called dead wood first before throwing RL's money around. I would trust MON with my money more than most other managers, wouldn't you?
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09/09/2007 22:15:00

MON has rid the club of players that were either unhappy to fight for a place in the team or were happy to be squad members. Either way his idea of a young competitive squad has begun this season and may take 2 or 3 years on investment. Selling the drift wood from the last five years of mediocracy has nothing to do with raising funds for transfers but everyting to do with reinvigorating the squad. MOn knows what he is doing.
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09/09/2007 23:11:00

I cant see any cause for concern upon reading MON's comments. The words sensible, logical, realistic, immediately spring to mind.
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10/09/2007 00:54:00

I always find MON's quotes confusing. He can waffle with the best of 'em at times.
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10/09/2007 07:51:00

Its typical O'Neill twaddle. He gives few specifics, comments with a broad brush and leaves it for his squaddies to put the right slant on it and they do. When he wants to, as with the I bought Young for 8.5 million but knew transfer fees would be going up, he is as clear as daylight. Its still rubbish if he knew fees were going up how come he was so unprepared for the fees asked for those players he didn't get, the majority of his list seemingly. At Celtic he used to infuriate the press with his contradictory mumblings things haven't changed, don't worry about it, when he really wants to make a point he'll be crystal clear.
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10/09/2007 10:07:00

Bit like you then? Except he's a highly paid success and well you're just a bitter snipe-bag. Go away. Talk about duplicity!
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10/09/2007 10:14:00

My brother was at the Chelsea game, he was a guest of Randy Lerner and The General in the directors box. When Villa scored he said "Randy Lerner was "Out of his seat" no lack of passion from the owner.
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10/09/2007 10:56:00

it is interesting when you look at the actual statistics on investment. M'ON has moved out at least 11 players. These are Angel, Hendrie, the Twins, Ridgewell, McCann, Samuel, Hughes, Davis, Delaney, Whittingham and Phillips. These generated 10m. Their combined weekely wages were reportedly/rumoured to be 235K or 12.2m a year. Not including the clauses which only happen when certain criteria have been achived, he has spent the following. Petrov 6.5M. Young 8m. Maloney 1m. Okey Cokey 8.5m. Carson 2m. Harewood 3.5m. Knight 3.5m. Salifou and Davies are undisclosed nominal arrangements but we could anticipate 1m. The combined wages are 210K per week or 10.9m a year. On top of this he has convinced Gareth Barry to sign a longer contract. Replaced the infuriating Baros with Carew, a player who is more in tune with the 'team' ethos, for no expense. So in signings and wages he has spent 46m approximately. He has recouped 22m. For 24m he has made great inroads into building a good, young, predominantly English squad. It is a significant improvement on what he inherited, although he will admit there is still much more to do. But as we have all said it will take more than the 13 months he has had to really take the next step. When you consider that Manure have spent the same 24m on transfer fee and wages for Hargreaves and Murderpool the same on Torres it is easy to see what M'ON is starting to do. We always knew we were not going to compete with the massive spenders. Those who remember the poll a few months ago will recall that users of this site overwhelmingly rejected the idea of the club trying to buy success in the way that CSKAhelski have. So I do not think M'ONs comments paint a confused picture. Although I do think that many people will read and construe whatever they 'think' they see and hear from M'ONs comments.
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10/09/2007 12:06:00

Another great post voiceoftheholte. Hear that sound? it's a nail being hit firmly on the head.
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10/09/2007 12:37:00

avfc48, why do you bother? nobody takes you seriously anymore.......
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10/09/2007 12:39:00

Thanks Jon.H. I love you to :o)
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10/09/2007 13:10:00

"So I do not think M'ONs comments paint a confused picture. Although I do think that many people will read and construe whatever they 'think' they see and hear from M'ONs comments." Thank Heavens you are one of the wiser ones then VOTH, at least we know that in future you can be guaranteed to offer a clear translation of his mutterings. We can be safe in the knowledge that amongst all of us your view is not one construed from what you 'think' you see ;)
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10/09/2007 13:27:00

luckily I know from recent emails Jon.H you couldn't be more incorrect:)
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10/09/2007 13:31:00

48. Are those the same sort of messages that Doug used to get when he told us that 'judging by the letters of support he gets, most people thought he was doing a good job'?
Report Abuse
10/09/2007 14:10:00

He has the right don't need to spend big.....Real Madrid spent big for a few years and didn't win a lot......spend wisely on players who really want it...
Report Abuse
10/09/2007 14:26:00

Thanks for your message of support 48. However I didn't translate anything. I just highlighted what has been spent and that I thought what he had said was perfectly clear.
Report Abuse
10/09/2007 14:39:00

Thing is 48, voiceoftheholte posted with opinions and specific points to back up his point of view, which on this occassion I happen to agree with. I don't recall ever seeing specific points in any of your posts, just anti-MON rambling. If anybody then disagrees with you they are automatically labelled as being part of the,"God Squad" or some other insult. I am all for freedom of opinion, but an argument usually involves giving a point of view and then debating or standing your corner. Funny how you dropped the,"mid-table Martin" following our victory over Chelsea. In fact whenever we achieve something positive you fade into the background until the next hint of negativity arises. Still, there's no point in continuing this because you're right and all of us positive fans are wrong, and you have the e-mails to prove it.
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10/09/2007 14:40:00

Thing is JonH I haven't been hiding at all, in fact I've been posting at length about how well the Chelsea game went, in fact several people have been ridiculed because they adopted your 'only post negative' approach, didn't you see it ? as to posting corroborative evidence to justify or otherwise O'Neill's ramblings I don't have VOTH's insight into O'Neill's mind, sadly, few people have. We are very lucky you know to have such an erudite commentator with such deep insights into how O'Neill thinks.
Report Abuse
10/09/2007 16:08:00

Thanks again 48. You are fully justifying me in saying that you are not a founder member of the 'Knob Squad', as posted by another site user. You are indeed a very, very nice man.
Report Abuse
10/09/2007 17:19:00

The ramblings of a mad man.
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10/09/2007 18:33:00

It's strange really 48 because I read the same article as voice and I reached the same conclusion and i don't claim to have any more insight into MON's mind than the next man, just an understanding of english. I guess it all comes down to how you wish to interpret things and we all know where you stand on MON don't we. Thing is though, despite several people asking you, you never offer any alternatives, just criticism. But hey ho, I'm just one of the God Squad......
Report Abuse
10/09/2007 20:32:00

voiceoftheholte- top notch analysis. All I would add is to mention the additional investment Randy Lerner has made in addition to "player spend" on wages and transfer fees. I refer to Bodymoor Heath, 10mill? The Holte, 2mill, a brand new, more professional management team, "Smart Cards" ?, and last but not least, continuing to underwrite the trading losses, carried forward from HDE's stewardship amounting to approx. 12mill pa. MON should therefore restrict his comments purely to football matters and steer clear of talking on either player's wages or transfer fees. To do this in isolation, without reference to the total finacial picture is extremely misleading. His comment about players being able to earn more elsewhere imo is cavalier, if not stupid. General Krulak recently confirmed on this site that wages are not a barrier to attracting top quality players. Randy supports O'Neill totally and there is no "cap" on wages .."as simple as that". So O'Neill has an open cheque book to both buy and pay the wages for any player he needs (providing of course they want to join a non-European competiting club). In my opinion O'Neil is mainly restricting any big money spend to attracting top youngsters, who, in a few years, if not sooner, will aspire to international recognition. I can't fault this strategy, especially when we know that unlike in the past, we are now able pay players the market rate, if necessary, to retain them.
Report Abuse
10/09/2007 20:36:00

villacross you are the voice of the sane. There are many on here, Hoss, Glensider, Jon H, Fear, etc plus many, many others. Sometimes I agree with comments, sometimes not. However all of the aforementioned offer a point of view and constructive critisism when needed. They do not necessarily toe the party line but offer their solutions if they believe something is not going as it should. Unfortunately there does seem to be an element that like to stir up trouble in a desire to provoke debate. Some of this is down to lack of intelligence. Some because they are trying to hide their own shortcomings. We may even have the odd undercover supporter of the Dildo Salesmen. Lets hope that it continues in this way and that the lunatics do not gain control of the asylum.
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10/09/2007 21:12:00

VOTH....Good posts my man. I cannot fault a man who places facts, hard views and respectable comments on here. Unlike some...We know this man is a fool. He is not witty but sarcastic. I am glad he's here though because every time he attempts to dengrate our manager he is laughed off lock, stock and barrell. Up the Villa.
Report Abuse
10/09/2007 21:42:00

You're certainly the flavour of the month voiceoftheholte, a clear indication I would suggest that your posts meet with the agreement and approval of most of the punters on here.
Report Abuse
21/09/2007 09:38:00

No doubt about it, '48 is not an MON fan, not by any stretch of the imagination.
Report Abuse
21/11/2007 03:16:00


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