Aston Villa - Transfer-Junkyism
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I have a feeling that what I'm about to write may cause some strife, but hey what's life when it's not interesting?

So far this summer Villa have signed Curtis Davies. And that's it.

Man City have just spent 19m on Jo

Spurs have signed Gomez, Dos Santos and Modric

Newcastle have signed 10m Gutierrez

Take a look across Villa forums, and transfer threads. The repetitive whine of transfer-hungry fans dribbles out on to the desk, making a foul stench, and leaving me with a headache and sore eyes. But I persevere through the choking fog, because I too suffer from the disease known as Transfer-Junkyism.

There seems to be no end in sight to levels we're all going to when trying to satisfy the transfer crave. The merest mention of a Sidwell, a Henry or even a Chimbonda, and we're clicking, scrolling, hunting every last source for news that a signature has been made. Five minutes passes and the depressing loop restarts with the two-hundredth visit of the day to Newsnow.

The apparent spending of the other clubs works as a multiplication factor for the stress leaving us convinced that we'll be fighting Stoke for 17th place, and that Mr O'Neill knows no more about football management than Steve 'Flash-Boy' McLaren. I can't go on like this.

Today I took a step back, and surveyed the teams around us.

Blackburn have signed nobody
Arsenal have signed 1 youngster (Ramsey) - 5m
Everton have signed nobody
Liverpool have signed Degen - Free
Man United have signed 16 year old Davide Petrucci
Portsmouth have signed Glenn Little - Free

I can feel my headache subsiding, and my temperature dropping. Clearly it's NOT a 'Martin O'Neill Thing'.

What about the spending the big bucks though. Surely we should be at least competing in the transfer market with Man City and Newcastle, if not out-spending them?

Let's have a look shall we, I got the figures for net spending from, and from and had a look. By all means take a look for yourself. Here's a summary of what I saw.

Man City spent 36m last year. We finished above them.
Newcastle have spent 40m in the last three seasons. They've been flirting with relegation lately.
Spurs have spent 59m in the last five seasons. They've had one decent run in the Uefa cup, and a carling cup. Been expensive hasn't it.
Middlesbro Spent 25m in the last four seasons. Remind me what they did with all those great players?
Pompey have spent 26m since '03. A single FA cup win brought the city to a standstill.
Everton Spent 23m since '03. They're doing pretty good, better than anyone above.
Since '03, Villa have spent 39m.

That's not bad. I think we're competing in the transfer market.

What about the 'big boys'?

Chelsea have spent 257m since 2003. Fair do's. They've gone and done it. Hats off lads.

Liverpool have spent 86m since 2003. Without the Champions League win, the cupboard isn't exactly bursting. Though, hands up the UCL is pretty impressive and I'd like another one.

Arsenal have profited 1.6m since 2003! One title, and one FA cup.

Man United have spent 78m since 2003. Success story is the same as Chelsea. Hats off lads. Well done.

Unless we go in with spending like Chelsea, I'd say that while net spending does have a relationship with success, it isn't a mutually exclusive relationship. The urge to splurge on fancy names can backfire, and you can end up with massive disappointment.

There's some pretty big numbers in that table, West Ham 21m in 06-07; Newcastle 19m 05-06; Pompey 19m 07-08. Nothing to show, apart from a single FA cup.

So there you have it my fellow Villains.

We've seen that we're not alone in the whole 'not bought anyone interesting' thing. Neither have most of our peers. The other thing we've seen is that major transfer spending isn't the key for success.

It's time for us all to cure ourselves of Transfer-Junkyism. It doesn't do any of us any good. It's the 3pts on Saturday that count, and we seem to be doing a better and better of job of getting them.

Take a step back with me, and lets look forward to the new season.

By Evoflash

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 3 2008

Time: 5:15PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
must admit it you are right and transfer junkyism is rife in the forum pages. Thanks for clearing that up i'm not too bothered about big signings, it is about the 3 points.
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03/07/2008 17:28:00

I appreciate what your trying to say with this article but as a transfer junkie and one of the pessimists I have say you have overlooked some vital information... The 1st problem we have is that we had the smallest squad in the top two tiers of english football, we have since let more go and so far even certain transfers like sidwell, guzan and robbo has not happened yet. The second problem is all the teams mentioned above have a full squad I cant think of another team in the top flight with a THREADBARE squad as we have, the ones buying are purely uying to imprve the squad not patch up gaping holes and getting bodies in. My final worry/problem is MON's experience when approaching the market, lets all be honest he leaves things very very late and often misses out on hs targets becuase he is afriad to move and spend some of our billionaires cash. When you take into consideration we will be playing competitive european fotball in 2 weeks time which if we win 2 games we will be in to the UEFA cup (which puts us on par with Spurs, Everton, Pompy and City all of which are our closest rivals), it doesnt fill me with much confidence...!
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03/07/2008 17:36:00

tex86 i was feeling a whole lot better before reading your miserablist post. but your right too, We cant do anything, we have to trust mon, who is doing a lot to get the best deal for villa with immient departure of Barry, thus giving him more funds, he aint daft he knows what is required
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03/07/2008 17:44:00

Lol sorry krisvilla I get my hopes up every window and get let down so I am hopin this time I will be proved wrong. I cant help thinking back to January where I was a very happy villa fan telling all my mates (some of who are liverpool and everton fans) that we are in 4th without a RB or RM and MON will bring some fresh blood in to push us on through to the end of the season... I was gutted when we only brought in routlage last minute. I think it showed the weakness MON has in the market, I dont believe for one minute that routlage was the only player MON wanted to bring in. Dont get me wrong I am over the moon with the progress we have made but next season is a will be harder season and we have a lot of positions that need to be filled before we start.
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03/07/2008 18:16:00

Great article and i very much agree with you. I only wish it'd stop the pessimists from moaning and complaining (no dig at you Tez86). The transfer window only officially opened on the 1st July and Man City only made their signing yesterday. There's plenty of time and remember MON said its possible to sign 7 players in one day. I just hope that day's not the 31st August. Oh s**t, you've got me started now.....
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03/07/2008 18:16:00

Agree with krisvilla. Barrygate has been an unwelcome diversion and MON is probably having to seriously re-consider his options in the light of The Petulant One's imminent departure. It's ok saying "let's go and spend Randy's billions", but it's clear the top-notch players want CL footy and until we're in a position to offer that we can forget the Boswingas and Arshavins of this world. MON and the board are quietly and methodically working towards a long-term strategy for the club both on and off the field, rather than indulging in a team based on highly-priced individuals. This coming season is huge for Villa as we try and build on the success of 6th place. So, patience fellow Villans! The competition for players is fierce but I'm sure Magic MON will get the best available in the end!
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03/07/2008 18:25:00

A single FA Cup won for Pompey? - not bad I say for a team that was propping up the Championship a few years back. Villa remind me of Everton, a bit like Cinder's sisters. Both of you need to dig deep and buy some serious talent and if Barry does leave then you'll be losing much more than an 11th of your team...
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03/07/2008 18:50:00

It's one thing to splash the cash when your in a position to tinker with the squad, its quite another when you have to buy a squad like MON has to. It must be a worrying site to see half a dozen players turn up for the first day training and no captain. Come on MON you've sent Bazza home lets get on with the transfers.(IN)
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03/07/2008 19:04:00

26m for an FA cup. I think its a bargain. Maybe we should buy one?
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03/07/2008 19:31:00

Pompey won that FA cup by a miracle, i have never seen a game so one sided as that game was , its that bit of luck that comes round but once in every blue moon
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03/07/2008 19:33:00

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03/07/2008 19:39:00

Don't know what you're all on about. We don't need anymore players, we can do the job with the ones we've got and i'm sure MON thinks the same.
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03/07/2008 19:39:00

I enjoyed the article evoflash. I don't really have any qualms over it. Just as an example, even if you splashed out the money on an Henry or Van Der Vaart any big make that money back in merchandise alone, not to mention the fact that they may actually do the team good!
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03/07/2008 19:45:00

Yeah and it raises the profile of the club which will attract more players.
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03/07/2008 20:05:00

I wrote the article to stimulate debate on what's important to us as Villa fans. There seems to me to be too much frantic hype about the next transfer being a big name, as opposed to being the right guy for the club. The progress we've made seems in the shadow. All the talk of the squad being too small makes me laugh. Villa won the league in 1981 using 14 players. Are you going to tell me they were fitter and healthier then? _____________________ ______________________ _______________________ I'm in no way saying that our squad is big enough, but I also think fans these days are making mountains out of molehills.
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03/07/2008 20:28:00

Damn you Evoflash LOL. You stole my thunder with the 14 players used in winning the league. =oD I do think we need more numbers in, but I am not panicking and have every faith in MON
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03/07/2008 21:04:00

evoflash - When we won the league we had a goal keeper (and cover) we had a right back (and cover) we had a right midfielder (and cover). So it's a bit misleading to just say we won the league with fourteen players and besides that side would beat todays side any day of the week. I will say Ron Saunders had the same approach though. He bought the right player for the team not big time players.
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03/07/2008 21:59:00

So Everton spent 3mil less than Pompey since 03, and you say they're doing better than 'any of the above' Fine; but does it show them as winners in any tournament??.................No! didn't think so!! And you spent 39BIG ONES...And???? Bet you'd take 'just' an FA Cup win?!
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03/07/2008 22:26:00

Ps...I agree with the Junkyism though, drives me nuts!!!
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03/07/2008 22:27:00

What about wage expenditure? We have a small squad so can't be spending as much as the others in the top 10 and are surely not paying top money for top players.
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03/07/2008 22:56:00

Great article.
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04/07/2008 00:34:00

Great article. I feel better knowing it's not just me. My names Mister Mick and I'm a transfer junkie! Ahh! That's better.
Mister Mick
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04/07/2008 08:24:00

Hello. My name is Bill, Kool Bill. I am a reformed Transfer Junkie. I first started TJ'ing....sob sob...Ieven gave it a hyphenation it became that 1990. It started when Platt left for Italy and I used to sneak off and watch the Italian soccer, "GOOOALLLACHO!". I loved the little bald English man talking about Platt whilst sitting in a provincial square sipping Macchiatto's and translating the Italian papers....then it got worse....I started...sob sob....reading...oh god I don't know if I can share goes....The Sun! The years following were pretty dark until a softly spoken Geordie callled Little came over the hill...much like the setting sun he bought warmth and happiness into my life...dispelling the clouds with rays of Draper, Nelson, Southgate and Milosevic shaped UV! Then I was fine. My team was complete...but there was a behemoth lurching in the background...slothing towards Little with an unrelenting ambivalence...they called this monster HDE!!! Then Little was gone and I was hooked again...a man called Gregory came and bought with him lots of players..some were weak...I used to cry and call them Gregorys Girls....with some small success came huge failure and the HDE culled him and good players turned away from Villa and it was then that I knew I was reforming...I knew that I had to accept...because minions Like Taylor bought Boulding and a little known Balaban from years before let every European know that we don't play players..some like Bellion didn't listen and learnt the hard way...I knew that my addiction could not be sated and so I stopped believing....until now....until a man with a quirky jibber jabber and rolled up sleeves wore our crest....he met the Behemoth and with the aid of a Mighty Learned One from a Kingdom far far away banished this Beast and sought to get rid of the chaff, the wastrils and the big heads...he bought a big shining Phoenix from an Ash, he spoke with a fleet footed Saint Gab and told him you can be a must must use your wings (and the channels) and grow...he took a big under used Hare and proved that Heart matters more than profile...he showed that with little - alot can be achieved....I believe that he will swell our ranks but I am not addicted to this notion...what will be will be....Amen.
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04/07/2008 11:20:00

On skysports news MON just said, talking about how well the squad did last season, that "we had the smallest squad in the premiership and we wouldn't want that to happen this season and we are going to address it". Which means he’ll have to sign a bloddy lot of players. Looks like us Junkies could be set for an overdose.
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04/07/2008 11:33:00

Market is slow getting going due to Euro 08 and now holidays I suppose. Bet aty end of July it will be different.
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04/07/2008 16:48:00

A very articulate article but I'm not sure what you're trying to say? Yes people who play well together as a team, and have pride in their club, will usually allow the team to punch above its weight. That's what Pompey did 2 or 3 years ago. The trouble is that's not sustainable as clubs around you buy to get out of trouble or buy because they can. Eventually, if you spend a shedload of cash on talented individuals, you will get a team that attracts further talented (but perhaps greedy) individuals. Ultimately, that "team" will win something through sheer weight of numbers. If you want that, then fine. If you want a team that plays attractive football and occasionally wins something but always gives its best, then transfer junkyism is not necessary.... Now I'm confused as to what I'm saying :)
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04/07/2008 17:16:00

Apparently Crouchy is on the way to Fratton as well, deal is alledgedly done, better add another 10m to Pompey's figure!
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04/07/2008 22:47:00

Two sides to every story, two sides to an argument. Good article Evoflash, you've outlined one side of the debate very eloquently, and sensibly. I underatand and appreciate where you're coming from, it just concerns me somewhat that this transfer window is following in the footsteps of ones that have gone before, and the same end result cannot for the continued progression and development of the club, be allowed.
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05/07/2008 21:08:00

You can't use Pompey as an example. We have come from absolutely nowhere in the last two years - thanks - I think - to transfer money and a good manager. I think the two go hand in hand. We have made mistakes in the tranfer market - absolutely no doubt about it - but we are progressing and hopefully will continue to do so. Judging from all the comments in the papers, on TV etc., we have absolutely no talent, a crap Manager and just loads and loads and loads and loads and loads and loads of LUCK. Long may it continue.
Report Abuse
06/07/2008 00:44:00

You can always take Ben Haim off our hands! Hell, take Malouda too!
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06/07/2008 02:42:00

One thing is very much for certain, we do have to push the boat out a bit this summer to ensure that we bring in players who will add that additional quality. We cannot keep on progressing with the mere addition of squad fillers.
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06/07/2008 02:48:00


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