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Sign Of The Good Times Ahead

Sign of the Good times ahead

One of the interesting facts to come out of our recent run is that we may have exceeded expectation even though the performances have not been that convincing. Few would have predicted 7 points from 3 away games, even though they were all against poor opposition, teams we should beat, teams in Boro's case we usually do away.

Thing is after conceding 4 twice in as many weeks the defence albeit against teams with few striking options, has conceded once in 4 games, and whilst in every match we rarely dominated, the right result came our way.

As a seasoned supporter I know how important that is when you are building a basis for the future, winning when you aren't playing well is always good news. To see off teams you should do, teams arguably who might be fighting around you, especially when you can take advantage of your fortuitous position of having few injuries, is nothing but good. 24 points at this time in the season is a virtual surety of Premiership survival and a small hope of European qualification.

The way we have achieved it is another matter, but even here the runes look promising, especially when you account we went to our greatest rivals and did so well their club is on the verge of collapse. On Saturday, few players excelled, Gabby excepted, but they all contributed and contributed well. OK the opposition looked pretty poor as a unit, some decent individuals but no team ethic, no real penetration, no real hope Southgate will survive, even under the best owner in the Premiership.

Its at times like this I appreciate the job O'Neill has done. Its safe to bet now that any team who should be below us will, if we remain clear of injuries, remain below us because we will come away with points.

Additionally, unlike last season we may do it with 3 points not one, mainly thanks to Gabby being played as a striker and not a winger. If Carew can sort himself out physically and mentally, he can as he showed Saturday, score superbly as well as offering some help up front. He like Petrov is still not up to speed, but at last both are starting to contribute, Petrov's strike from deep was the third best highlight of the game, Gabby's 2 runs and 1 goal plus Mellberg's superb strikers control and hit, the others.

I'm more than ever convinced O'Neill is not a tactical manager, but a manager who puts a team out to do its best and that's just about what they are doing at the moment and its good enough to gain us a top half finish.

All that said, there were lots of times on Saturday at Boro, like at Blues and at Bolton, that a team with better strikers may have taken us apart, but and this is the most important point, under O'Neill that seemingly doesn't happen. Well more times than not, we can't forget Spurs away. I could spend hours picking at the poor performance from Young, how Coker, Petrov, and in some degree Barry need to sort out who is doing what in midfield, but for now its working, on the poorer Premiership sides at least, and that's to be applauded, O'Neill has brought some solidarity if little expectation of greatness and that's a start.

I still maintain a better manager would, with Lerner's funding have done far better and achieved it sooner but for now we are a sound mid table team who will injuries aside maintain a top half finish. The next 7 games will provide a much sterner test, up to the transfer window, but to turn into the New Year with 30 points or more will not be bad and with 3 at home in that mix who knows, it should be.

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The Journalist

Writer: avfc48 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 26 2007

Time: 11:38AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
"I still maintain a better manager would, with Lerner's funding have done far better and achieved it sooner" The problem I have with thsese statements is that, there's NEVER any suggestions of who the manager should have been (Sven, Big Sam, Curbishley or Keane?) and what players we should have signed (Alan Smith, Keiron Dyer, Darren Bent). Yes I'll accept Harewood, but if big John gets injured - we lack anyone else. Our main problem is qualifying for Europe in order to attract the quality players, it really is as simple as that.
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26/11/2007 12:09:00

I think another manager might have given us a better 'short term fix' but that is not what MON is trying to do. He is building, albeit slowly, for the future with a strong base of young players with great attitudes and a team/work ethic. Once this base is firmly established (and we are not far away) he will add, gradually, more quality, but that quality MUST also possess the team/work ethic and not be big time charlie flair players who disrupt team play and morale. That is why MON will take his time in the transfer market with his BIG signings (ie Young, Davies, Carson). He will be prepared, at the moment, to spend reasonable money on good squad players with the right attitude to build that base. (Although I can't quite figure Harewood out!). Be patient, we are making very good progress, and the future is claret and blue.
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26/11/2007 12:14:00

Pointless article which started to praise MON but with petty snide comments about how another manager would have done better and that he's not a tactical manager. For every positive you have managed to find a negative. If we win our game in hand (which we are more than capable of doing after looking at yesterday) then we will be 3 points off Manure who are second. I know we havewn't always looked that good for 90 mins but what more do you expect in 15 months with a team who finished in the bottom 5 before he took over????
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26/11/2007 12:26:00

I can't disagree with much of what is said, its the almost condescending tone that I have a problem with. Money has not always guaranteed good teams - look at the Spurs start for example - so why is there a need for this 'holier than though' tone from AVFC48? To my knowledge he has never put a team together nor achieved any sporting award. So why is there this perspective that he speaks from a position of strength. We all have, and should have, our views and opinions but most are expressed as that. Anyone can criticize anything, but the main thrust of this article, namely that things are progressing is flavoured with a negative tone that is unnecessary. Things are getting better - at last.
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26/11/2007 12:28:00

This is a reasonably fair assessment of the villa right now. Although you're entitled to your opinion AV48, you still seem to invariably have a negative opinion to MON no matter what he does. Damned if he does, or doesn't as someone pointed out last week. I think he's brought in the likes of Young, and developed the talents of gabby and gardner, brought the best out in some of our senior talents.... we have the grounds for a bright future. My opinion is that our youngest prospects can only get better and learn more, that has to be good...
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26/11/2007 12:32:00

This team is still not the finished article by a long way, the world class players are starting to shine through from the days before MON took charge of us. Gabbi,Laursen,Mellberg,Barry,Bouma are all starting, i expect to see Curtis Davies start either Wednesday or Saturday. MON seems to have had the foresight to recognise a possible foreign player cap, does he not?
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26/11/2007 12:53:00

You can only play the team that is in front of you. More often than not, if that team is poor, as on saturday, you struggle to play well yourself. The most important thing is to get the result, which we did. I seem to recall on saturday that towards the latter stages of the first half MON switched Ash on to the right wing and Gareth wide left which led to a goal fairly soon afterwards and a much better second half. Just imagine what we could do if MON actually had some tactical nouse eh? Same old, same old.
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26/11/2007 13:27:00

A better manager would have done better with Lerners funding???? If most people in the game are to be believed the best manager for the England job is M'ON. There are no proven better managers out there other than Wenger, Ferguson, Morinihio and Benitez. In a previous post, 48 has said that Allardyce (how silly does that look at the moment) and Redknapp (never won anything, never taken a team into Europe or to a cup final and got Southampton relegated a couple of years ago) would do better. However the flip side of the coin is that this site is all about opinions and 48 is quite rightly as entitled to his views as we are ours. However after thinking about it long and hard I have decided that those people who have been in the game for years are probably more likely to be correct than 48. It was a tough call though.
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26/11/2007 13:41:00

AVFC48 "sort out who is doing what in midfield" instead of saying that why don't you say what you think they should be doing and show us your tactical superiorty.On second thoughts I prefer to trust Martin O'Neill Steve Walford and John Robertson.
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26/11/2007 15:05:00

Good to see your comments again VOTH
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26/11/2007 15:08:00

If we have not hit top gear yet this season, i would be scared when we do as we will possibly tear teams apart!
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26/11/2007 15:34:00

I thank you glb. I have had a bit of a career change and I have hardly had time for a shoite let alone get on Vital Villa. Having said that it did enable me to sponsor the Derby game recently and choose Laursen as MOTM. Hopefully there will be a photo of yours truly presenting Laursen his award in Saturdays programme. You can use as a mantlepiece decoration ....... it should keep the kids away from the fire!!!
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26/11/2007 15:53:00

Pointless self-indulgent diatribe as per usual. Tough for AVFC48 to have a full open swipe at MON after we've just taken 9 points out of 9, so resorts to a cheeky back hander masquerading as a 'positive' article.
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26/11/2007 16:15:00

I think we should not have missed out on Yakubu myself. But you just can't cherry pick with perfect hindsight (Mido and Smith anyone?). The Bolton and Blues comment is ridiculous, the former have just beaten Man U and the latter are our closest rivals, where usually all bets are off as far as a result goes. I firmly believe the result we got against the sty dwellers has sent them into a terminal tailspin, MON's greatest result so far.
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26/11/2007 16:41:00

Thanks to those who read and commented on the article, the rest can just carry on having a go. As I keep saying there is no point in me naming a better manager, as Sven has shown they do exist and can achieve more with less far more quickly. Even Grant has achieved more than magic Mourinho this season. My point is O'Neill is doing a decent job, he's stabilised the ship, and built in 16 months a side that, injury free can hold its own in the Premiership. That's a decent result for me or it would have been had Ellis been the man Thing is and its seems to escape those who wish to analyse every word I say into a sleight, with the money spent better managers would have achieved more, just as Allardyce will when he's been at Newcastle as long as O'Neill has at Villa. As to O'Neill being the choice for the England job, that puts him on a par with McClaren or does it, McClaren beat him to the job last time. Some recommendation. He'd doing well enough for those with limited ambitions seemingly, for those of us who know better, he's only doing OK.
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26/11/2007 17:07:00

I agree with the article,Lerner has provided alot of funds so we should be around the European spots.I think MoN is doing a good job but were not taking the league by storm and have performed woefully in a fair few matches.There is alot of hype around O Neill at the minute but a few months ago the public opinion was he was that he was struggling a bit when we flirted with the bottom half last season.
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26/11/2007 17:10:00

"for those of us who know better, he's only doing OK" !!!!!!!!!! All kneel before the great font of football knowledge that is avfc48. Unbelievable.
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26/11/2007 17:56:00

"... a few months ago the public opinion was he was that he was struggling a bit ..." Not sure I agree with that sweeping statement, Pking. If I recall correctly, avfc, you, and a few others were having a noisy and persistent go at MON, but many, many others - myself included - said 'give it time'. I think we were right to do that. We will still have ups and downs, including some dire results I guess, but I'm in the main content with progress, which appears to be a slow, steady building job rather than simply playing 'my billionaire has more money than yours, nah!' Simply spending big money does NOT build a good team, and it loses all of your young talent, who are pushed out of the door through lack of opportunity. MON is on the right track and going about the job in the right way, IMO, but only time will tell.
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26/11/2007 19:37:00

Lol, Jon H :o)
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26/11/2007 19:38:00

There was no short term fix option when MON took over. Randy didn't want that, MON certainly didn't, and neither did the vast majority of the supporters. The club was down, certainly not quite out, but make no mistake not to far away from that frightening scenario. The club needed rebuilding, rebuilding on a solid base, taking progress one step at a time. That is what MON set about doing, and as far as I'm concerned, and I'm sure the very vast majority of supporters would agree, that is exactly what he's doing. '48, with all due respect squire, you seem to be in a mellow mood towards MON this week, obviously nine points from the last three games has clouded your thinking a little. Rest assured though, defeats at the hands of Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal, should that happen, will have you back on familiar territory, spouting unfunny sarcasm in the direction of MON and his staff. We have one of the very best managers in the business currently at the helm. That you dont like him personally is obvious to all, so sorry '48 if I take your article expressing your latest viewpoint with a mere pinch of salt. You know, as well as most of us on here, that you simply cannot wait to get back into your anti-MON mode, with a couple of defeats and below par performances to support your protests. Only then will your Christmas be merry, and your days be bright.
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26/11/2007 21:34:00

I thought I'd chosen to ignore this muppet? Haven't read it, but I can guess what it says. Are we that desperate for new articles these days?
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26/11/2007 22:01:00

Amen Villan444. I don't know what to make of this article. It seems to say "I know we're winning games, but we're still crap". Typical from this author. And whats this "for those of us who know better" stuff? I've got two words for you mate and, as you have probably guessed, they are not "Merry Christmas".
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27/11/2007 03:24:00

"For those of us who know better"???? You need to take a look in the mirror fella!!! Those that actually do know better have been in the game for years, have managed at country level, have won trophies at home and abroad and nearly all are saying that M'ON is one of the best managers about. He is respected by his peers, his suitors and his staff. He will stand all fall by results at Villa ...... as does every manager, in that respect he is no different. However he represents one of the best opportinities that Villa have had in modern times, similar to when Saunders joined and similar possibly to when Clough took over at Forest. True .... he may fail. But I wouldn't bet against it. So when you say "for those of us who know better" I wonder who "those" are and why you actually seem to know more than people who have made, and do make their living from the game?
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27/11/2007 09:03:00

If MON hadnt fecked up the transfer window he would have my support 100%, but as it is I am still to be convinced. Delighted that I am being convinced with results though!
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27/11/2007 09:49:00

As I asked before AVFC48,tell us all how the midfield should be operating.You can't just come out with these statements without being able to back them up ,it then gives the article no credibilty .As you say you know better so please enlighten us.
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27/11/2007 10:35:00

deano you have just answered your own question. You need convincing but you are convinced by results?????? What other way is there? M'ON could sign Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Tweety Pie for all I care. If they got the results I wouldn't care.
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27/11/2007 11:47:00

Perfect responses there voiceoftheholte. I could have stayed up all night with the thinking cap on yet not come up with such sensible and logical retorts.
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27/11/2007 14:00:00

We already have the Crazy frog so Mickey Mouse would not be so bad, and probably better than Crazy Frog (Harewood)
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27/11/2007 14:23:00

Most of those you talk about VOTH were before the Man Utd match wondering when O'Neill would starty living up to his billing. few were convinced about his tactics, his transfer dealings and even the most pro O'Neill pundit wondered how Villa would cope with a few injuries. As now he's doing ok and well enough to ensure our Premiership well being. Many of you seem very content with that I'm not, especially when I see 25 million quids worth of players he's bought not even getting a game. You may think that's efficient use of Lerners money me I think, and so do most of those experts you talk about, its a big waste of resources. I don't want his babies, but I'm happy to let him drone on amiably improving the team as he corrects mistake after mistake until he gets up to speed. But I'd rather have someone who knows how to find quality players for decent money and build them in 4 months into a side 1 point behind Man Utd. Can't help it if you are so easily pleased and you must be to still think O'Neill is the best Villa can get.
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27/11/2007 15:39:00

avfc your completely wrong only a very small minority were wondering when O'Neill would start living up to his billing. Majority of Villa fans know that things take time and dont bother responding to negative comments as they are fully aware that even this season is still a WIP time. MON has shown so far how good he can do even without his prefered targets within the Summer transfer window. If we are around 6/7th in January the targets will start to roll in with a chance of pushing us to Europe or even an outside chance of Champions League football (depending on the next 5 results IMO). LOL Man City will very soon start to free fall, anybody with a little football sense can see they are living on borrowed time in the top 4. MON is starting to prove YOU wrong slowly but surely, set backs will happen but even still you will be proven wrong. I want results and I want them now kind of attitude, spoilt child rants, relax, be patient and remember the best sheds are built with foundations.
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27/11/2007 16:10:00

but by the looks of things Young(now worth in excess of 15 million),Carson,Knight(snip at the price),Petrov(of late) are all starting to show their worth. The only transfer we can really question as far as results go of late is Harewood, possibly Maloney but he is being kept out of the side. Davies again is being kept out of the side by Zat, which is all credit to him. Zat for me (Man U game an exception) has been the surprise of the season, I did not think he would get a game, but has showed desire to hold on to that CB position. In a few games of late has been even better than Laursen (Villa vs Noses an example). MON is a genius, but its all Doom and Gloom at the moment.
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27/11/2007 17:44:00

Amazing... a couple of months back you were moaning about how many players MON let leave, now he has replaced them and is building his own team who are starting to get results and has good quality players on the fringes to come in for injuries, suspensions or loss of form and you're still moaning!! It's called having a squad.
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27/11/2007 18:10:00

Comments are never backed up, its all miserable sniping. When there were rumours of Sven joining us, the majority of our fans were up in arms. City have a perfect home record, that has to change at some point. I knwo this is a subject for the forum, but I'd love to know hwich players AVFC48 thought we should have bought?? No doubt all the ones who are doing well now!
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28/11/2007 08:26:00

Sound as if 3rd in the table would have been is a bare minimum for our friend...
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28/11/2007 08:27:00

AVFC48 I ask for the last time how you think the midfield should be operating.I can't take this article seriously unless you can support your comments
Report Abuse
28/11/2007 09:42:00

you never make any suggestions you just moan, you are a waste of time.
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28/11/2007 14:46:00


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