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Great Expectations

Great Expectations

I've just read on the BBC an article about Mr O'Neill wanting to keep Gareth Barry and read a single sentence in there that has really got me thinking. Mr O'Neill said ''Being back in the Premier League and having had two seasons to look at it, I believe that for us now to compete we have to add to what we've got.'

Now, that doesn`t seem at first like anything very interesting, more a statement that we all kind of already know. But just take a moment to think about it, and think about it in the context of the five year plan.

With one game to go, we're in with a chance of fifth place, and with several chances of securing sixth place. Whatever happens, if we don't make Europe this season, we'll all-bar-none be massively disappointed. Cast your mind back just two years. The only massive feeling we had at Villa Park was a tidal-wave of relief that we'd got 42 points and had stayed up. My impression of this short snippet is that Mr O'Neill has had enough of not being a side in the top 4. We've shown fleeting glimpses of brilliance this season, but our second 11 isn't (a) there and (b) what is there isn't good enough to hold up the first 11. Hence we're fleetingly brilliant, rather than frequently brilliant.

Saying '..for us now to compete..' draws a line under our achievements to date. And yes, let's be bold and honest - we have truly achieved under Mr O'Neill. Those five words ring like a charging bugle-cry in my mind. What's been has gone, and we've done well. Those two years have served their purpose, the core is formed. We're challenging at the top of the 2nd league in the premiership. Now we're on to another stage. Our targets have shifted. Expectations have grown.

I'm fully charged for a great summer.

Let the new chapter dawn.

By evoflash

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Writer:Mike Field
Date:Thursday May 8 2008
Time: 2:03PM


Well said that man, whichever man said it! It shows that MON wants more from the team and that being where we are currently isn't good enough for him. he has bigger things planned. Looking forward to the summer and a whole host of signings coming in. Get them quick i say or performances in the Euros will up prices!
08/05/2008 15:05:00
[Honda Voice]I couldn't have put better myself [/Honda Voice]
08/05/2008 17:54:00
Sorry to be a damp squib. But I remain to be convinced. Being linked to Carr, Carson, Beattie doesn't help. Also getting players in earlier is key, leaving it to the very last minute in previous windows has been a bad strategy (with no plan B). The various excuses about players going on holiday etc does do it for me. other teams manage to do it.
08/05/2008 18:38:00
I am sure you'vr seen the article in the Express and Star saying that we will miss out on Crouch because of wages. It is clear that players want CL wages to get us into the next level (80k per week). The article states that we've already missed out on Diarra, Defoe and risk losing Gabby, Barry and Young for these reasons. We are at a watershed for the club. I'm convinced that the modern day players are motivated by money alone. We've heard all the rhetoric from Southgate, Baros and Boateng in the past - but they are all greedy :@"ers.
08/05/2008 19:04:00
I've said it before and I'll say it again - time for a breakaway. The 16 clubs led by Newcastle and Villa should withdraw from the Premier League and rejoin the Football League. Chelsea, Arsenal Man Utd and Lpool are welcome to join but would need to surrender all their Champions League money and TV money to be shared out equally. It wouldn't change the Big 4 - but it would give others some better chance of joining them and returning football to something a weeny bit more like a sport, although still far from a level playing field. Cloud cuckoo land you may say - but it's cloud cuckoo land to think the Big 4 can be broken into with the current set up - unless Mr Big (Abramovitch Mark 2) of whoever ploughs in his millions - such as Man City may do. Villa are much nearer Middlesbrough in quality than they are to Liverpool. That is not decrying what we have done this season when we are actually only 14 adrift of Lpool (in a good season for us and a bad one for them) and 20 above Middlesbrough. But to get the next level up we are a long way short of the quality required. Young, Laurrson, Curtis Davies (hopefully), and Barry if he stayed are the only players at that level. Bouma could hack it defensively. That in my view is it. Hopefuly we have a couple of gems in the wings and 3 or 4 signings could push us on - but realistically only to being more certain of regularly securing a UEFA cup place and hopefully doing better in the domestic cups too. This is not meant to be critical or pessimistic - just realistic. MON has done brilliantly as has Randy and everyone at Villa Park. I look forward to closing the gap on the Big 4 but the way that success is rewarded at the moment is only to make the currently successful even more successful. Look at all the league tables for the last few years - the gap is widening not narrowing, and it is harder and harder to keep up. Prove me wrong please - but why can't we breakaway - they would miss us too much not to rejoin us and should be brought down from their priveleged and unfair position of advantage. Dreamland - at present - but look at all the scheming in Europe to level things up by rejigging the rules. It happened before.
08/05/2008 21:15:00
Just to interrupt the talk of the big 4, it's not 4, it's 3 with Liverpool just about hanging onto their coat-tails, snatching anything more than 4th when one of the others slip up. They may break into the top 4 but they're never title contenders really, the other 3 are. We have a chance, if we do well over the next few years, of catching liverpool, then it'll be onto the next stage, and that's to reel the other 3 in.
08/05/2008 22:42:00
This big 4 thing is a nonsense. Teams have broken into it before. Newcastle, Blackburn, Everton. It's just a case of someone breaking in and then progressing and if we can keep all our players, with the young squad we have that could quite easily be us.
09/05/2008 08:08:00
lorenzo; It's not actually 3 it's 2 the Arses and the scousers are just playing catch up. If Wenger don't stop the excodus of stars and the Scousers boardroom explodes into yet more chaos, then IMO we have a great chance of taking 1 of those 2 spots.
09/05/2008 08:41:00
The big 3 will be broken, not too long ago in football history we were in there. I think Newcastle could break it and Everton, if we buy some players then we're in perfect state to break it ourselves. Money does alot but it doesn't do everything, Wenger hasn't spent anything near what most teams have recently and but for him having a very young squad without enough experienced players that know how to win football matches the ugly way they could be title holders now.
09/05/2008 11:15:00
Yea Im looking fwd to next season too.
09/05/2008 17:50:00
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