Aston Villa - Facts or Fiction, past or future
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Facts or Fiction, past or future

I see talk of Martin's joining Villa, fans still suggesting Defoe is a target and so on. From the day the season closed until the 31 st of August, Martin O'Neill managed to get Reo Coker, Martin Harewood and Zat Knight for a spend of £15 million. In fact if you take into account the sales he made the actual spend is far less.

If in all that time the sum of O'Neill's trading's are summarised as above, why oh why, do people still offer such suggestions as Defoe and Martins?

Why are fans still believing that such purchases are possible, that O'Neill will even contemplate such. He had a full season, plus a full summer to deal, every other club did to their best ability so I assume so did we. No one has dared do a comparison of this summers deals to those of O'Leary and Taylor's under Ellis I note, but considering the extra money available from media rights, and Randy's wallet, the sum spent, the players bought are arguably far poorer.

Was Reo Coker a bigger buy or risk than Crouch, 5 seasons ago for 6 million? Was Harewood a better gamble than Allback, was Knight a better buy than Mellberg, Alpay, Bouma, Hughes?

Many don't like him but Baros was a proven golden boots striker who had played several seasons in the Premiership, when he was bought with Hughes and Bouma did we all rain praise on O'Leary, was our expectation comparable to now.

It bloody well was not, complaint after complaint piled in O'Leary, this, O'Leary that, Ellis is a this, Ellis is a that, why can't we buy better, what hope have we with such buys. This time around the Board have money and provided funds, the media funding was huge compared to that in Ellis times, especially under Taylor and O'Leary, yet the same fans who criticised and moaned who made a life on slating Ellis and his managers now sit quietly by the computers eulogising over the possible purchase of such as Defoe, SWP, Martins.

We have a 5 year plan but nothing in the transfer market so far has matched the off field improvements, especially when you consider the money available from all sources this summer. The spend indicates no more ambition on the field, especially when you account those sold, than at any time under Ellis, so why the continued insane suggestions?

We are still a club with mid table aims struggling to find players to move us centimetres at a time, thankfully O'Neill's past record suggests he's better at doing it that way than his two predecessors. He's bought some decent prospects, in Young and Coker, but so did Taylor, so did O'Leary, so did Gregory, they mainly bought make do's that's why long term we didn't progress well enough, is Carew, Harewood, Knight, Maloney anything more?

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The Journalist

Writer: avfc48 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 19 2007

Time: 3:32PM

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Excellent article avfc48. I am now going to enjoy sitting back and watching the sparks fly.
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19/09/2007 15:39:00

You have purchased average players and expect them to get you into the champions league. (not going to happen). Now i dont want you all coming on and having a go just sit back and look at your squad(not good enough) i have been very impressed with your first 11 but the back-up is poor.
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19/09/2007 15:52:00

Sorry, have I missed this point of this? Why are you/we repeating this stuff? There are no new thoughts here - just the same old negative dribble. By the way, the article misses the acquisition of Davies - a permanent signing by any other name, only delayed for the baggies cash flow/ tax reasons. It also misses the acquisitions made in January. No I don't think MON walks on water and yes the hype was too heavy in the early Summer and yes I did feel a bit let down by the process but yes I did renew my season ticket which, for AVFC48's information is a season long pass to the ground that enables supporters to see all of the matches - not a TV couch pass. By the way I also live in N Wales which I surmise is probably not too far from the home of AVFC48. The point surely is that the Villa is being re-built, albeit more slowly than some would like. This year's squad is more solid looking than last years. Progress is being made. Now let those who do little but complain please stop moaning and either support the club or leave. And can we all please move on.
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19/09/2007 15:56:00

Watching from afar, listening to my Villa fan girlfriend (and yes, risking egg on my face at the end of the season) I think Sven and Frank at city are showing you how it should have been done. My belief is that you have class guys at the helm, but O'Neill isn't viewed as a top class coach abroad nor by big name players. That isn't to say he won't succeed over time with the cream of English yoof but you have such fickle fans that if he doesn't get Villa moving forward in a big way by Xmas those rows of empty pink seats may have a few American bums a-twitching!
Aston Smithy
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19/09/2007 15:58:00

When did you start writing this article avfc48???.... 1st Sept??? Bygones, in the past... leave it be. You change your tunes every 90mins we play - if you win you sign our praises; when we lose you nit-pick. It's cr@p journalism. So in your eyes we won't improve on our tally of 52 pts last season?
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19/09/2007 16:05:00

Aston Smithy: I really wouldn't get to carried away with yourself. You were crap Sunday and so were we and you got lucky. If you read anything more than that into it you are deluding yourself. And as for the old, old fickle villa fans (yawn). All I can say is villa don't play their home games in a morgue.
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19/09/2007 16:14:00

Some good points raised and many we share with you.... however I feel there's a new light at the end of the tunnel for villa players.... Players like barry who nearly left us under Ellis, see the club now going in the right direction... players now want to stay and fight for a place to play for AVFC, before players like Baros, Alpay along with many others did not and the performances/heart seen whilst wearing claret and blue colours spoke for it self. I do now see a team who collectively will strengthen over coming years, with the backbone almost cemented in Barry, Reo-coker, Laursen, Mellberg - some statute players with the young guys that have momentum and feist playing around them identifies a new forward looking villa.... We will break into Europe in coming years with if the club continues to go in the direction it is, the Premiership isn't for mugs, you have to be serious to contend in it.... I feel our management, back room staff, Board and Chairman are competent in doing so...
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19/09/2007 16:18:00

Aston Smithy - If Sven and Thaksin continue in the manner they are, and the same goes for Rafa and the American owners at Liverpool; they are threatening to destroy the souls of the clubs that they own. Can City keep hold of the kids that have come through the ranks, they have shown in the past to be a selling club with SWPs sale to Chelsea, and eventually they will have to balance the books and to do this they will have to sell some of they're prize assets, currently their youngsters Richards, Johnson and Onuha. Liverpool have stopped producing kids decent enough to show ability in the top tier - so they're resorting to buying the best foreign kids. OK, we want success, and for now we're happy doing it our way - we're doing English football credit! An improvement this season is what is targeted, and even the slightest improvement could guarantee us European football next term. Bottom line is we have improved on the field.... and this article is way off the mark.
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19/09/2007 16:25:00

Can someone explain the point of this article to me please?
Adam Deuce
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19/09/2007 17:31:00

Ever since the days of BL we have been a middle to top 6 team, sometimes up, sometimes down. Are we any different now. A golden opportunity from a seemingly switched on owner was missed during the summer, why? Could it simply be that Villa has always been since 82 nothing more than a mediocre side with mediocre ambitions, and whilst much has changed off the pitch we still buy the same quality and type of buy now as we have done over the years since Saunders. At least we have a manager who has shown in the past he's good at dealing with such mediocre ambitions and spending. What fans have to decide is, is that because of the clubs, standing, the owner, or the manager. Whatever, to keep suggesting after all those years of evidence that SWP, Defoe type buys are on the cards seem to me, at least, ludicrous.
Report Abuse
19/09/2007 17:57:00

OK, here are some sparks for Jonah. I'm not actually clear what point is being made here, but I have the usual bone to pick: yet again the facts seem to be 'cropped' in such a way as to omit important factors, i.e., highlighting our signings between the end of the season and Aug 31, which conveniently excludes the acquisition of Carew, Maloney and Petrov. And what about Davies - did we just lose him? As for our net spend, would it have been better for the team, or the fans, or our owner's wallet, if we had kept the players who weren't up to speed? In my opinion, all bar one of the players who left had failings that had already been recognised by the fans, and the one who was up to speed reportedly wanted a guaranteed place. No manager worth having would agree to that. Selling players who aren't part of long term plans sounds like good business sense to me. As for "nobody has dared do a comparison of this summers deals to those of O'Leary and Taylor's under Ellis" - well that sounds like a brilliant idea. So why on earth did avfc miss the opportunity to do just that? Then there is "the players bought are arguably far poorer". Are they really? I really don't think so. Mellberg and Bouma have proved to be damn good signings, but if I think of Crouch, Allback, Alpay, Hughes, Baros, Balaban, etc., I cannot forget how seriously badly those guys played in a Villa shirt, golden boot or no golden boot. And even good old JPA (bless him) only did it for one season. Boiled down to its essence, this article simply seems to be asking why people keep on linking Villa to 'good players'. I honestly don't know. It isn't something I do, but perhaps people do it because it's fun so why try to stop them? But hang on a minute - didn't the Barcodes lose to Derby at the weekend, and aren't Spurs having severe problems of their own - despite both clubs spending a fortune on players. If I were Martins or Defoe, I'd be bloody glad if MON came in for me! :o)
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19/09/2007 20:38:00

Well put Bob. Time AVFC48 changed his record - its becoming boring.
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19/09/2007 21:49:00

It is unfair to call 48 leader of the 'knob squad', he is a very very nice man. He is entitled to share his views regardless if they differ to most. As for signings, several people have highlighted that signing big name players does not guarantee anything. CSKAhelski signed Shevchenko and Ballack last season and went backwards. Spuds have spent fortunes and lost 4 of the first 6 games. This summer very few clubs have made what could be considered 'big' name purchases. Torres being the exception. The skill in football management is spotting and buying talent. Wenger has shown he is the master at this. Anelka, Petit, Overmars, Viera, Henry were relative nomarks who Wenger took the best years from and then sold for a massive profit. Only clubs that are currently at the top can attract the big names such as Rooney, Dogbreath, Torres etc. Look at Manure in the last couple of seasons, they have spent 35 million on Hargreaves and Carrick!! They have spent 30m on Nani and Anderson who are relatively unknown. Would we have been happy if that 65m was spent at VP on those players? Other than Torres what superstars have Murderpool purchased? Their other world class player is home grown. It has been proven with England recently, it is not about having the best individuals, it is about having the best team. Morinihio complained this week that he doesn't have the 'best eggs to make the best ommlette' but has spent zillions. So what chance do the Villa have? Well I think the best chance is M'ON. Throughout his playing career he was succesful. His mangement record with Wycombe, Leicester and Celtic has mirrored his playing days. Outside of the top four he has lifted more silverware as a manager in this country than any other currently in the league. I am not sure why 48 mentions Defoe as a big name. Since when has the fourth choice striker at a club below the Villa, been a big name? I have said from day one that it will be the third season onwards when we will start seeing the difference. The impatience shown after just 14 months I find startling. After sales and wages are taken into account M'ON has spent approximately 24m since arriving. Equivalent to a Torres, Hargreaves, Dogbreath, Essien, SWP, Rooney or Ferdinand. However I would say the 2 most valuable players in the league at the moment are Gerrard and Terry and they cost nowt. 48 isn't confident in M'ON, that is his choice. His preference for the job was Klinsman or Scolari. Me? I am confident in what M'ON can do for the club in the next few years. I think he will make our 'unknowns' into superstars. M'ON has often been described as lucky. Well maybe some of his luck has rubbed off on Barry, who has gone from being worth 5m to 15m in the space of a few weeks. In time 48 will be proved right or wrong. The downside is, I get the feeling he wants to be proved right, in effect, he is hoping for the Villa to fail. 48 is always the same after a bad result so maybe it is his love of the club that brings out the manic deppressive in him all the time?? Overall a good article, which as per usual, most disagree with.
Report Abuse
20/09/2007 00:33:00

And it's MARLON...not Martin Harewood...if you can't get to the games at least get someone to bring you a programme so you can keep up to speed with what's going on :-)
Report Abuse
20/09/2007 07:01:00

avfc48 is a knob though, voice. He makes the same illinformed arguments with every article. While he says we should be buying better, he neglects the fact that without european football its hard to attract "big" signings. did he expect Randy to do a Chelsea? Who ever made that promise? And i suspect voice is right, that he does want to see MON and villa fail, so that he is proven right. If that is the case, he is not a true villa fan. What fan WANTS to see their team fail? Avfc48 is just a poor writer, hoping to provoke a reaction from writing the same garbled poor argumens time and time again. Please, someone else write an article - his are crap.
The Usual Suspect
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20/09/2007 08:20:00

The Usual Suspect you call avfc a knob (he has an opinion and he choses to voice it here) in the opening line then in the closing line ask Someone else to write an artical!! Why not write one your-self and see if its well received or if people call you a knob for having it published on the front page. Its all about opinions calling someone a name is not giving an opinion and adds little to the debate.
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20/09/2007 09:47:00

It's a good article and does deal in facts. I do resent the comparison between DOL and MON though. The stick DOL got was never down to his signings, just the fact he was a complete arse and hated everything about the club.
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20/09/2007 10:11:00

col8 - i then went on to criticise the article, which is an opinion in itself. This is not the first or the fifth time avfc48 has submitted this article. He has no new points to make, and the same tired arguments are now dull. How's that for an opinion?
The Usual Suspect
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20/09/2007 11:18:00

the point was to cause arguements lol
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20/09/2007 11:32:00

The Usual Suspect it is Indeed an opinion and I dont see avfc48 calling you a knob for having or voicing your opinion, I never said I agreed with the post but I am sure I will read your post with the same Interest.
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20/09/2007 14:19:00

Are we currently in transition?yes, are we the finished article?no, is the quality of the squad better than this time last year?yes,is the style of football under MON better and more attractive than the previous recent managers?yes, is the atmosphere at Villa Park better than of recent seasons?yes,has Gareth Barry stated that the upturn in his career is down to MON?yes, do we have the nucleus of the next generation of the England team at Villa?yes,have players stated that the reason they came to Villa is because of MON?yes,are the national press starting to take note of events at Villa and starting to praise our potential?yes,are Randy & co an improvement on Ellis?yes, are the club moving in the right direction?yes,is there a culpable sense of optimism surrounding the club for the first time in years?yes,did we seriously expect to go from 16th to challenging the top four in one season?no,
Report Abuse
20/09/2007 14:19:00

col8 - anyone that is secretly wishing the club's current regime to fail, just to prove their small selves correct, is a knob in my opinion. Aren't fans supposed to get behind the team? the thing about avfc48 is he is the worst kind of armchair fan, criticising from afar without offering any realistic alternatives, except for ludicrous statements like "We should have bought bigger players". avfc48 also rarely responds to any direct criticisms of his posts and articles. He posts and hides.
The Usual Suspect
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20/09/2007 15:06:00

I guess the flipside of the positives Jon.H are do we have a squad big enough to see us through this season? My feeling is no, hope injuries are kind otherwise we could struggle. Do we have a striker capable of scoring more than 15? no. Should we have got one in the summer? yes
The Fear
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20/09/2007 15:06:00

Agreed Fear, which is why, in my opinion we are still very much a work in progress. I just think that we have the best people in place to carry out the re-building and I would expect a couple of signings in January, MON has already said he feels his first choice right back should be available and I think he has already shown that he evaluates then acts, so I would guess that he may look at the striker situation as well. Here's hoping....
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20/09/2007 15:12:00

Amazingly some good and valid points for once, BUT most of the new players are under 23 and assuming MON brings them on in their careers they are all valuable British assets for the club and in 3 years time with a couple more additions ??? Everyone knows that without European football we can't buy big, Simple As. If only we had won that Fair Play place in Europe then things would be totally different and if we are top 6 or 7 come Jan, we can surely get a couple of proven big players for the final push. As I said at the start some good points but still the Yawn factor..
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20/09/2007 15:29:00

God, I can't bring myself to comment on these anymore. How about a decent article targetting the up and coming reserves with some quality Opta stats instead of this argument provoling stufff, tired now. If you want some inspiration- think STIEBER.
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20/09/2007 17:21:00

With all due respect avfc48, isn't your article, relatively close to the truth though it may well be, simply made up of yesterday's news? What is there to be achieved by going back and re-hashing what is now old, old copy. Everything that you raise has been discussed over and over on the forum, to the very point now where its become rather boring. You raise, comment upon, observations that are now way past their sell-by date, and there is no new or fresh way to respond. Had you written this article immediately upon the closure of the summer window, then fuelled by my frustration of our dealings I may well have responded differently, but like many other Villans all over the globe, I just cant see any positive objective in going over and over the very same topics that each and every one of us have already commented upon a thousand and one times. I'm not arguing against many of the points that you raise, in fact they are issues I have raised and discussed on here many times, have talked about over a pint or two in the local, chewed over with work colleagues, etc. etc., I just question whether we should not by now allow the curtain to fall on the activities of summer 2007, and move on?
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20/09/2007 18:49:00

Getting worried there for a moment. Thought AVFC48 had died in a traffic accident and we'd have lost the patron saint of the KNOB SQUAD. It's easy to be negative because if you are wrong you feel great that the Villa are doing well and if your right you great because you feel vindicated. It's hard being optimistic because you are open to dissapointment, however, isn't that what being a fan is all about?
Report Abuse
20/09/2007 23:05:00

Well said myleft foot. AVFC48 does write some intelligent and well thought out articles, but its the fact that he seems to thrive so much on spreading and enjoying negativity that is obviously the big turn off to most supporters.
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21/09/2007 09:24:00


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