Aston Villa - Martin O'Neill Is Villa's Mastermind
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Martin O'Neill Is Villa's Mastermind

Martin O'Neill has spelt out his vision for the future, he wants Villa to play attractive attacking football. Look forward to that then. Does that mean long ball hoofing will one day become a thing of the past as well? Maybe that Marlon Harewood was in fact bought as a joke and January will see us buy a 'real' striker?

The boss said following the Spurs game:

'It was a strange old evening. It was great entertainment and well worth watching. No doubt about that. We'll no doubt look back at it and think we played our part in a great game. In the scheme of things that is exactly what I want. We want goals, we want to attack and we want to go for it. All the top teams wouldn't need four to win a game and that's why we've still got a long way to go. We are capable of challenging the top six, but the slight concern is the squad.'

How can Martin have doubts over the squad when the chance of bolstering it in the summer was squandered? Sorry to be blunt but I am amazed he is talking about the squad size when the main finger of blame points at him for it.

On Gabby Agbonlahor and Ashley Young he added, 'they were like wizards. They were really great. Agbonlahor was doing some fantastic stuff. He was getting it down, taking it on and then he lashed it into the net. He was great.'

Meanwhile Nigel Hokey-Cokey says Martin O'Neill is a mastermind: 'We're not like Tottenham or other clubs, who have spent an enormous amount of money trying to build on their success. This is Martin O'Neill's plan, he's the mastermind behind everything, he knows exactly what he's doing and it's going well.'

Is it going well? Really? Ok, we'll see. Personally I think if David O'Leary or Graham Taylor had done the same as Martin has done the last season and a bit, they'd be on the receiving end of a whole barrage of dogs abuse. For me if money is there, you bloody well spend it and build a squad - including a right back and a striker worthy of the Villa shirt, but hey, what do I know?

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday October 3 2007

Time: 3:18PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I must agree. Our Martin blew it this summer and bought a complete ass in a last minute panic. Harewood is a big joke and should be playing for the reserves and considering himself lucky to be there. There had better be some work getting done on lining up a striker or two for Christmas and a right back. Could it be that, like so many of our fans, MON thought that his presence and the general hype surrounding the club would attract big names? Did he think the players would come to us? Whoops, Aston Villa still isn't even close to being a big name. We're going to have to work to get good players, work very hard indeed.
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03/10/2007 15:27:00

I tend to think the players would come to Villa if the offers went in, we are a big club in stature and potential. Just look at the points dropped and add in a right-back, a replacement for Petrov and a top class striker. Man City were there for the taking, Spurs we'd 'won' the game, etc we'd be right up there. Still early days, I'm in no way saying we should change manager, we've been through those merry go round days, but I am bored of the talk when it doesn't match the action!
The Fear
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03/10/2007 15:36:00

Still theres always January! Oh hang on this is MON we are talking about, let me rephrase that............ theres always January the 31st!
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03/10/2007 15:38:00

He may well be the mastermind for the future success at Villa but on Monday he managed to mastermind a clearly winning team into losers. I know, they did not lose but that is how most of the team felt after the game. If we want to attract the right sort of players we must not only be playing attractive football but winning consistently, not giving games away from a winning position. I agree with JP he must get some 'gooduns' lined up for the New Year, otherwise we are going nowhere. I do hope MON has learned the very hard lesson of the summer and will not make the same mistake again.
Report Abuse
03/10/2007 15:42:00

Good news about Shaun Maloney, it gives MON another option instead of Moron Harewood for Saturday.
Report Abuse
03/10/2007 15:52:00

Who's out there that's better than MON? Get off the bloke's back. You lot don't know when you've got it good. Give it time. You're only happy when you're moaning.
Report Abuse
03/10/2007 16:08:00

I think we're definitely improving. The squad is infinitely better than it was a few years ago. In all honesty I think the standard of players in others teams has drastically improved over recent years and we face stiffer competition week in week out. Who can argue, going through player to player comparing who we had 3-4 years ago that we are in a better position of quality? alright so MON should have dealt with things better than he did in the transfer market, and several signings haven't bedded in as we'd hoped, but all top managers go through that. I'm still 100% in support of MON. He's still a human after all.
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03/10/2007 16:13:00

I understand the frustration and cannot understand the lack of a right back or the Harewood signing either BUT we MUST be patient and give MON time, and LOTS of it. He will make mistakes, he is human, but can anyone deny that we are in a MUCH stronger position than say 18 months ago. PROGRESS WILL BE SLOW, but as long as there is progress BE PATIENT. I was at Villa Park that Boxing Day when we stuffed Manure 3-0 and all the United fans were calling for Fergies head. As they say, the rest is history. Last season we were better than under O'Dreary and this season we are better than last. I am sure Boswinga or Hoyte will be signed in January along with one or two others.
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03/10/2007 16:14:00

Fair enough we should have signed a RB and Harewood looks a dreadful signing. But how good is Ashley Young? Maloney looks a snip, Zat Knight looks a good signing. Look at the development of Gabby under MON. He gets the best out of people, Barry has gone up a level since MON came in as has Bouma. He has improved the good players that were already here. The good outweighs the bad by a long way.
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03/10/2007 16:28:00

The first 12 to 14 are good enough but more than 3 injuries or 1 in the wrong position and we are stuffed. The bench should be much better and we should be able to rotate if someone has a bad period or to challenge them to play better.
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03/10/2007 18:01:00

Maloney wants to go home though Weller77! :o)
The Fear
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03/10/2007 18:03:00

Must admit I love this image, sitting by the touchline one thing you can say for MON is the man kicks every ball, he is never still, he paces up and down and gives the lucazade bottles some major stick through the game.
The Fear
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03/10/2007 18:04:00

JF-I must agree with you. O'Neill is certainly very frustrating. He seems to hover between near genius at times then makes some God awful blunders. More often than not some of his substitutions leave me almost lost for words ie fielding Harewood and Petrov at Spurs on Monday. I'm just trying to forget the Leicester game selections. That said the players give their "all" for him, which I guess is the most important thing. The personal fitness programme he's introduced for the players is also getting rave reviews everywhere.
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03/10/2007 20:21:00

MON's comments about the squad size just ticks me off to be honest. Only one person to blame for that problem Martin. I dont know, just dont know what to say about Mr O'Neill. His summer failings raised a huge question mark about our scouting system, and his ability to bring in the quality that we so desperately need. I think every supporter felt bitterly let down by his efforts, and by the quality of the actual signings. Great that the players are vocal in their support of him, but I must admit, whereas I once had 100% faith in his ability to move the club back to a higher level, right now I'm just totally confused as to where we are going. Two tough home games coming up, very important games for us, two games that will shape our season.
Report Abuse
04/10/2007 07:53:00

who'd be a manager,fans want the moon on a stick and they want it yesterday.
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04/10/2007 12:30:00

were in the top half. i'd be happy with that come the end of the season. next season is where the money is at... top 6... piece of cake.
Report Abuse
04/10/2007 13:21:00

oneil knows what he wants, and what players he wants. i dont understand buying harewood, but did he buy him because he couldnt get who he wanted? we will never know. but we are only a few players away from having a really good squad.
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04/10/2007 13:23:00

Stig, its obvious we didn't get who we wanted, but some of our fans are delusional with regards playiers wanting to join us. Carew and now Harewood is in the firing line. I really cannot understand it. I would accept all this critism if you could give me NAMES and PRICES of who we should have signed. Because I'm stuck for answers. Yes we should have signed a rb, but Martin opted to wait. We haven't seen Curtis get a run in the team yet.
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04/10/2007 16:04:00

Curtis will come good. Too many top judges rate him highly for him to be a gamble. All of MON's signings have been understandable and acceptable at the time of purchase, some just haven't for one reason or another lived up to the faith that MON has in them. As for names of players we should have signed tarzan, we have a professional scouting network out there, fully operational and functional. It is they who should be alerting MON to talent around the globe. I'm not sure that they are doing that satisfactorily.
Report Abuse
04/10/2007 18:58:00

One thing for certain, a right back is an absolute must come January.
Report Abuse
21/11/2007 01:13:00


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