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MON - Don't Push Your Luck

MON - Don't Push Your Luck

We have done it. We have limped over the line, more by luck than any managerial judgement.

Martin O'Neill has gambled the clubs season on a lack of injuries and suspensions and it has paid off - massively. The trick is to not rest on our laurels and not cruise through the remainder of the season hoping the good ship Aston Villa will sail the same fortunate course, but to strengthen and strengthen NOW, from a position of strength. We are a much better proposition to a player than we were in the summer and that should allow us to compete with more success for our targets.

Of the teams I expected to be our main challengers for UEFA Cup spot, Spurs have suffered and inexplicable and irreversible loss of form, West Ham and Newcastle have suffered horrendous injuries to star players and Everton and Pompey are about to lose extremely vital players for a month care of the African Nations Cup. That leaves us in a fantastic position to capitalise over the next month or so.

The two players largely responsible for our current position are the rock Laursen on whose foundations the team is built from and the emergency right back Melly who has performed so admirably in a role he is unfamiliar with. These were also the heroes who scored those important goals yesterday but are also the two most likely to be leaving the club on a freebie.We should do whatever necessary to tie down Laursen to a three year deal and we should not succumb to the Euro and sell Melly in Jan, instead allow him the big pay day he deserves and let him join a big foreign club in the summer. You know that Mellberg will sweat blood for the clubs cause for the remainder of the season.

No right back, one left back, a lack of natural width in midfield and the good fortune that Gabby has carried on his development up front is not a very good plan in my eyes. These need addressing this month because sooner or later our luck will run out - and you can bet it will be at the start of February! New signings give the players and supporters a lift and it's this boost that can clinch us fifth or sixth spot - we just gotta take it.

Recite after me Martin 'DON'T PUSH YOUR LUCK'

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Date:Thursday January 3 2008
Time: 11:30AM

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You make your own luck in this world and so far M'ON has done OK. I agree though that we need to capatilise. Unfortunately it is usually only the desperate that have success in the January window, and invariably this is a short term gain. As a club January is not make or break in the grand scheme of things. That said we are three points off a Champions League spot over half way into the season and if the right players can be found for the right money then we need to grasp the opportunity. Personally I would like to see a young left back (unsure who though, to challenge/cover Bouma). We all know we need a right back but I am not sure Hoyte is the answer and definitely not Boswinga if the fee is the reported £22 million. I would like to see Milner or SWP for the right midfield birth and like for like cover for John Carew (Crouch???).
03/01/2008 11:57:00
It is unfair to say it is good fortune the Gabby has carried on developing more likely to be down to good coaching and managing Also is it a coincidence that the lack of injuries especially muscle injuries could be down to the great facilities they have at the training ground and also someone who seems to be an excellent fitness trainer (See Reo - Coker article on the main site)
03/01/2008 12:04:00
Right back and right side midfield are vital if we are going to progress. We have been lucky with injuries- what has impressed me with MON is the teams fight and commitment. This was never there with DO'L
03/01/2008 12:09:00
I agree that we've been lucky, and without that luck we'd probably be where west ham are now. But this luck has been made by the new facilities which surely must be a huge contributing factor to the players' fitness and good coaching and management to get the best out of the players we have and to make them fight right until the death. These things appear to be luck working in our favour, but it can easily be explained as good management. MON would have to be pretty lucky throughout his career though to have success with all of his i'd go with good management.
03/01/2008 12:53:00
Luck has nothing to do with it superb management, good tactics and judgement are the reason we are doing as well as we are. Of course we need some additional players everyone accepts that. However what is important is to buy players that will fit into the squad and not just buy for the sake of it. We may or may not get the players we want but there is no gamble involved. If we do not pursue a certain player then its because MON considers he is not worth it. At the end of the day its about MON's judgement and his record is one of the best in Europe and so far he has taken a team destined for the championship and taken it towards the champions league.
03/01/2008 17:40:00
Very good article Beefy, raising some valid and justifiable observations. We are in an excellent position at this moment in time to add the necessary additions to the squad, additions that could well be the difference between us finishing top six or finishing mere also rans. MON undoubtedly knows who he wants and/or needs, so lets just sit back and hope that the required deals can be finalised, to give the whole club that little extra lift that will see us complete the campaign in style.
03/01/2008 19:05:00
I don't think that the situation was that drastic. The vast majority of our team is very young, around 21. Coupled with the previously mentioned new training facilities we would have been very unlucky to have many injuries. Well said RE: Mellberg.
03/01/2008 20:55:00
Its going to be far from easy bringing in the quality we need, but we have to pursue every option and alternative.
15/02/2008 14:47:00
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