Date:Tuesday January 29 2008
I thought it may be worth doing a like for like comparison for this seasons results, against last seasons. This would give a true reflection of the direction the club is going in. I have compared results like for like, against the same fixtures last season. I have replaced the relegated teams with the promoted ones and put them in the same order. For example, the first of the relegated teams we played last season was Watford away. The first of the promoted teams we played this season was Small Heath. We got 1 point at Watford but got 3 at the Sty. This means on that particular fixture we have gained 2 extra points and a goal difference of +1. Clear as mud????
I think it is easy to see that we need new players to improve on our weaker areas and increase squad depth. I am not overly happy that we seem to have gained a Knight but lost a Cahill (maybe he will stay). I am not sure that Carson has been good value for £3 million in loan fees and wages, and think we should have stuck with TS and invested in a right back as a priority. However all managers are judged on results on the pitch. League wise we are showing a vast improvement. The cups have once again been a major disappointment. Last season we were unlucky to have away games early on against Manure and CSKAhelski. This season we got Manure again but flopped against Leicester (probably the worst result and performance of M'ONS reign to date). The only consolation being that had we have won we would have faced CSKAhelski away in the next round (feels a bit like a conspiracy going on).
One away defeat in 11 months is nothing short of superb and is better than any other club over the same period. If one of the so called big 4 or the media friendly Spuds had a record like that it would be constantly rammed down our throats.
However I am moving away from the main point of the article. From the same 24 fixtures last season we had earned 31 points and scored 26 goals. We had conceded 26 as well, giving us a goal difference of 0.
This season as we know, we have already won 41 points. Scoring 43 goals and conceding 31, giving us a goal difference of +12. We still have 6 of the bottom 9 clubs to come to Villa Park, so it is not inconceivable to be on 59 points from in effect 30 games. 8 points from the other 8 games would probably see us qualify for Europe, possibly in 4th but almost certainly in 5th.
We are improving, of that there is no doubt. However we are at least 6 players short of having a squad big enough to cope with a European campaign. We are on the right track but we have massive amounts to do. Not just to get into the top 4, but to stay there and ultimately challenge for the title.
Date:Tuesday January 29 2008
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