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What's Happened To The Villa Money? Nothing!

You can certainly tell it is summer, not by the sun but because there seems a great deal of frustration and doom and gloom doing the rounds at the moment!

It seems to be the way with Villa and more importantly Villa fans during the transfer windows. We all remember the promises not always delivered by the previous regime (nice way to put it I hope you agree as I'm not wanting to open up old wounds or start the Ellis debates up again!?) We remember managers moaning that players had to be sold before we could buy or that with 'just that little bit more' money we could do things. Who could forget being top of the league under John Gregory and having Brazilian Jouninho at the club, only for the transfer to not go through. Ooooooh the 'what if's' that followed that fiasco! We remember being told we were a big club but seeing us really going nowhere, or nowhere but backwards.

So then we have the current situation. We have a billionaire owner who has proved he is a class act (in my opinion anyway) by coming in and improving what needed to be improved and honouring the history and tradition of this fine club. However there remains a question mark over the money spent. Dean Saunders (a Villa hero of mine and many other readers I'm sure) was commentating for Setanta Saturday night and he couldn't believe the lack of numbers we have in the squad and the fact we had some kids on the bench as there weren't enough senior players. His conclusion appeared to be despite the talk of much riches at the club, there is little evidence of it. My opinion is you have to look at the manager not the owner. This isn't an anti Martin O'Neill article, far from it, I don't want the manager merry go round and do want to see what he can do for us. However I am questioning why the money isn't being spent. For years we had managers wanting money and a chairman not wanting/able to supply it, now we have a chairman with money and a manager seemingly reluctant to spend! (And before I get slated, there is NO reason why this club does not have a right-back or why we sold one - Aaron Hughes - if no replacement was available).

The money wasn't spent last summer after promises from the former CEO Richard FitzGerald, who I know regretted talking about 'world class signings' the moment the words left his mouth! And last January, whilst Villa were riding high, we bought just one player - Wayne Routledge - who then wasn't used! So I can understand why some are saying that MON hasn't got the money. Trouble is what do we want the chairman and board to do? Do we really want them to start buying the players FOR the manager? No, it would never work and if some rumours are to be believed, it didn't work under Dougy boy with Stan Collymore or David Ginola! One former Villa boy commented (in private hence no names) that it takes balls to make top signings, MON proved he had them when paying what everyone said was over the odds for Ashley Young (funny how no one is saying that now isn't it?!) but then we have the flipside where the likes of Salifou, Routledge and Harewood are brought in for little money and little risk. Basically, I'm told, that is the comfort zone for transfers.

I must also point out, where some are saying the manager isn't being backed, that MON has said himself the money is there but he won't be rushed into buying players for the sake of it. IF the money wasn't there, I am sure he'd say so, afterall it is his reputation on the line and he didn't suffer fools gladly during his very short stay at Norwich!

I had a poll suggestion the other day, unfortunately I didn't note the sender although I think it was Graydon (so apologies if I have that wrong!). He was asking: Given the low key transfer activity to date, should the club - tell us what we can afford - and what we can't ? - I know the club line is that detailing your budget - means selling clubs raise asking prices - but as we aren't meeting asking prices - this is no longer a valid excuse. Option 1 is : Yes - The club should reveal what is affordable Option 2 is : No - this will not help us. I think the question is more suitable to this article than a poll as in my opinion the club can't really come out and say what money is about, although a clear statement from MON about how he sees the re-building as going, what his vision is and how much backing he has from the board might well at least answer that side of things? Communication, it seems, is still not our forte at Villa, probably it is the same at most other clubs as well but to be frank, other clubs don't interest me. Right, I didn't like being frank, I'll go back to being me, that experiment was short lived.

We also have non executive director General Charles Krulak, who has toughed it out this summer on the four message boards he frequents, including ours Click Here having to deal with the constant questions about the transfer window that he constantly and rightly says is not his department! However he has drawn the line several times when it has been suggested that the money isn't there or the manager isn't being backed.

He said recently, 'I really do NOT get involved in transfers. What I do know is what I have said on this forum many times. MON does NOT have to sell players to buy players. Randy has NEVER said no to a request for money from MON...NEVER...EVER. If a player does not come to Villa, it is not because we have not made a 'good' offer. BELIEVE ME, we are out after players! Those players must make sense to MON's scheme and what he feels is right for our dressing room. Do NOT expect Randy to start 'picking players' for our Manager. That would be a disaster.'

I don't think things can be stated much clearer than that.

Over to Mr O'Neill to bring in what we need and after so many more left at the end of last season and with Gareth Barry seemingly looking desperate to end his total nightmare of being Villa captain and hero to many, it looks like we need 10 players at least! And yes, 6th last season with a limited squad was good, as the players have said recently we can't ride our luck on injuries again though, re-enforcements are crucial. Just imagine, 6th with a threadbare squad, where would we have finished if last summer the transfer window had born the fruits of the money available?! The Champions League, at times last season, was in our grasp if not for the want of a few top quality players and options from the bench, will the promised land be in our grasp again this season and will we have at least part of the missing bits to the puzzle in place to seriously get there?

Interesting times, lets hope come kick off we are all smiling. Darn it, I'm sure I said that last summer.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday July 21 2008

Time: 9:28AM

Your Comments

Good article, but like many Villa fans, I just don't know what to say about this any more. I don't want to slag off MON or Randy or anyone at the club, but SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT!! I haven't got a clue what it is that isn't right, but there has to a reason why we are seemingly unable to sign players. If we've got the money, a top class manager, we are an attractive club for potential signings, so why the hell are we not signing??
Once we're in UEFA cup the floodgates will open, (Sits there praying with fingers crossed in the lotus position).
The Usual Suspect
Great article Mr Fear. Me thinks that MON hasn't got a clue when it comes to signing top class players. He's living in the past & bidding not enoughfor players won't fool us fans. It's like my nan giving 20p foe a loaf of bread at the shops & being told it's £1 odd & her saying it was 2 shilling n my day. Well MON 2 shilling gets you Salifu,Harewood, Sidwell & 3 shilling gets you the vastly over priced Reo Joker. He is bargin hunting & that's not going to please us fans , remember last summer he had Craig Gordon there for the taking but went for the cheap loan offer instead & boy did we pay. I could bang on here for ever but come 31st August we'll be singing his name or sreaming for him to be sacked. My bet is sadly on the latter.
usually I'm very optimistic but unfortunately I can't see the world class players signing until we've had a decent run or two in the uefa cup and get closer to that 4th spot. Its the old success breeds success adage. I can't see MON paying top dollar for world class players ever really. Think he'd be more inclined to get players to want to play for him and the club and sign them on the cheap when they are at the end of nearing the end of their contracts. Would be nice if I was wrong though.
Saunders words on Setanta made me think that if say a player was 1m over priced if we had the money then surely MON would just say ok ok Xmillion fee and 1m bolt ons for performances, but instead he says hes had a bid rejected there is no need for a counter offer as we want to do transfers by the book... Erm no one else does, its NOT the 1980s we DONT need 11 players who are all 6'5"+ we dont need a paper thin squad, we dont need squad fillers like Routledge, Harewood, Knight we need quality first XI starters... Where are our scouts? WHY doesnt MON buy foreigners? WHY does he field a mish mash of players in a team and say "this is my best XI we have 7 midfielders, 2 defenders and 2 forwards, do something on the pitch" BLEH!
The thing which really grips me is I have waited for years for Randolph Lerner to become Chairman of my beloved club freeking years. The club now has a chairman willing to back the manager with hard cash, he has faith in the manager he believes in the manager, hell I believe in the manager so why dont the manager believe in him-self. Villa finished 6th last season playing at times good attacking football we qualified for a shot at entering the UEFA Cup, I want the club to surge onward and upward, build on what has already been brought to the club. If the manager fails to bring in quality players it will set us back 2 more years irrespective of the chairmans willingness to back the manager.
Oh my god we might as well all go and kill ourselves You first though Jinksy, you sound well depressed. Much has been said about the Bentley bid, but if we are turned down then why get into a 1 man bidding war? Wit until someone else's bid is accepted and then bid the same. Why drive the price you pay up yourself? Its business. And the window isn't even half over yet. Do hope something comes of the Friedel / Rob Green links. And the right backs are a necessity.
The Usual Suspect
Romanianvillain i'll tell you what's not right. The right side of our team we just haven't got a right side & that is tottaly unexceptable. How long does he need?? Where is the player that was worth waiting for?? He hasn't got a clue. Ian Story-Moor flys off all over Europe looking at art gallerys, sunning himself because the players we buy are stuck in Spurs reserve team, Liverpools reserve team & FC *****ing Wii's reserve team. We atre now reported to be after a 10ft serb who's stuck in Valencia's reserve team. The sad thing is we'd all get excited is the girrafe signed because we are getting that desperate for players. We'll have the worst youth tean in the land next season becase all the youth team will be worming the ist team bench it's turning out to be the biggest joke since MON signed Reo-Coker for £8m. arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Am I the only one who thinks that MON is just waiting to see if he can use UEFA cup football to put another string in the bow for the reason to come to Villa park, to attract the best players he can get at this moment in time? We aint in uefa cup yet, and when we are i'm sure we'll se a lot more transfer action, not many other teams have signed many except the relegation contenders and west brom signed and sealed their relegation with signing frank carson
The Usual Suspect do you want a slap?? I haven't like you got Villa tinted spec's i deal in facts. The facts are we bid fpor Bentley but not enough so we were never going to get him & we have now pulled out so we will never get him. We are not entering a bidding war we have pulled out so wake you fool we are not bidding we have pulled out OK. Why don't we bid not enough for the tpo 10 players in the world & then when our bids are laughed off pull out. I suppose that would plaese fools like you wouldn't it? Top class signings are needed so instaed of bidding not enough why don't we be a bit claevr & bid enough it's not rocket sience.
Some brilliant points there Fear, but allow to just 2 points that I feel may be worth noting. 1. You say - "Trouble is what do we want the chairman and board to do? Do we really want them to start buying the players FOR the manager? No, it would never work" - well lets not forget that a certain Russian owner buys players for his management and has won 2 league titles and is now established in the "top four". Point 2 - you mention Aaron Hughes, now this is one that does interest me, as I would have Mellberg at rightback 38 games out of 38 over Mr. Hughes, no disrespect to Aaron, its just he is Fulham level and Mellberg even at right back was a whole lot better. And some seem to forget that Hughes like Mellberg was actually a centre back, being played out of position, he is Centre Back for both N.Ireland and Fulham. Other than that Fear, i agree with the above sentiments. I reckon this season will make or break MON.
More teams have made moves than you think. I would say only Arsenal can rival us when it comes to losing players but at least they have bought Nasri to replace on of their midfielders and got that Aaron Ramsey in (who was linked with us, like we stood a chance!). I had the same feeling when the season ended as I had when we entered theJanuary transfer window, full of optimism as we got ourselves into a great position and haad a real chance to bring in some quality to push on. As we all know the January Window was a right off at best with only Wayne '4 minutes' Routledge comin in. I really do hope this window is not going to be the same, but each day that goes by I am feeling more and more pessemistic and I dont think I am alone...
I hope so Kris.
Jinksy - don't start name calling, we are not on the playground now mate. Just because we have walked away from Bentley doesn't mean we can't bid again. Bentley right now is going nowhere. Has it occurred to you that Bentley isn't worth £17m? Perhaps £13m was a fair value. Would you have been happy buying Carson for £10m because thats what Liverpool originally wanted for him? Of course not. He has now gone for £4m, which means MON was correct in his valuation. You seriously need to relax mate. There are other right wingers around. I would like Bentley too, but its not worth giving yourselg a heart attack about while its still possible we will sign him. Anyway, didn't Bentley state he wanted European football? UNtil Saturday 7.30pm we can't guarantee him that.
The Usual Suspect
We have already spent about 15 million on two players so far in this transfer window.Its incredibly simple minded to think that because o`neill is throwing it about he is not spending it,he is trying to get quality that takes a bit longer because clubs want replacements before selling to us.
Young Jonah - Chelsea have their own problems with RA picking the team etc, so its not all champagne at that place. I do agree that Aaron Hughes was useless and Mellberg was far better, regardless of being played out of his favourtie position.
The Usual Suspect
I take your point, and in many respects I agree with you, but Craig Gordon hardly set the world alight at Sunderland though did he Jinksy? I have more of an issue when he baulks at paying market value for a quality player like Bentley, when for once it looks like we may actually have half a chance of signing him (i.e. top4 looking elsewhere). Instead we go back to looking at Milner....who I would definitely rank as 'bargain hunting' (if Newcastle weren't asking silly money for him)....
B E N T L EY D O E S N ' T W A N T T O J O I N U S. I find it incredible that some of our fans still can't accept that some players don't want to our football team. That's their perogitive, but it's a fact I'm afraid. It's happened SWP recently too. It's not a case of bidding huge amounts for players, MON's and Randy's minimum crieria is that they should want to wear claret and blue. We fought off Newcastle and others for Sidwell - that's our benchmark.
The Usual Suspect - Name Calling?? i thought you said i quote "Oh my god we might as well all go and kill ourselves You first though Jinksy" I do not know you and never mentioned you in any post untill you put that so don't start telling me to kill myself & i wont call you a fool.
Are you drunk?
Wow. Some people really do have no sense of humour.
The Usual Suspect
YatesyVillain - YOU ARE WRONG Craig Gordon was brilliant last season he won games for Sunderland. You are WRONG.
tarzan - couldn't agree more. Some people on here actually think its like buying a car. You decide which one you want and then roll up and agree finance. Not quite as straight forward as that to get real quality players in,
The Usual Suspect
tarzan - We will never know if Bentley wants to joins us because we will never bid enough to get to talk to him.
The Usual Suspect - you are a fool. When buying a car you pay the asking price or get kicked out of the show room or perhaps you might haggle a bit. You do not offer not enough because you will be catching the bus home.
Haggle a bit. Well done Jinksy. You've understood it at last.
The Usual Suspect
He wants join Spurs mate or stay at Blackburn, like Barry wants to join Liverpool, like Ronaldo wants to join Real Madrid like Sidwell wanted join us. It's that simple!
The Usual Suspect - But we are not haggling we've pulled out and are on the bus home. Am i wrong?
Tarzan - Please show me a quote that has Bentley stating he wants to join Spurs & i will bow down to your greater knowledge. Bet you can't find one.
Yes you are wrong because he has not been sold. I don't know for sure that MON will bid again but you don't know for sure that he won't. One thing MON won't do is bid against himself. For all we know no-one else will bid for Bentley and in three weeks time when he still wants to leave Blackbun will ring us up and ask us if we still want him. Or spurs will bid £15m, get accepted, we bid the same and then the player will choose. MON bid what he believed was a fair price - or maybe a starting bid. He's playing hardball though because whenever anyone hears the words "Billionaire owner" £3-£5m gets added onto a players price. If we sell Barry for £18m thats good value for the club. If we buy Bentley for £17m thats bad value IMO. He's good, but he's not that good.
The Usual Suspect
Jinksy I'll let you into a secret if you are ever going to buy a car. You never pay the showroom price. You bargain the price down AND get extras thrown in for free. But who does play right back for Blackburn?
A couple of points, scouting has been mentioned. The idea of a scout is to unearth previously unknown talent and recommend players to a club. We have already had hysterical reactions in some quarters to links with "non-household name" players. You can't have it both ways. If you have a first class scouting network a la Arsenal you get young unheard of players for the club and manager to develop. Some people on here would have a fit and hang MON out to dry if he buys players like this so he can't win either way. Secondly regarding MON not having a clue about buying top class players, I have two words to say to you, Ashley Young. Thirdly, regarding MON being stuck in the past, not up to speed with the modern game etc etc. Three seasons ago we were flirting with relegation, this season we were flirting with the Champion's League. What more do you want? Everybody, from Randy down is aware of the current lack of numbers in the squad. MON is trying to rectify it, have a bit of faith and a bit of patience.
I really think we all need to get this "world class signings" out of our heads as in reality all of the world class players want Champions Lge Football which we can't yet offer them.You have to look at things one signing/position at a time and ask yourself does "x player" improve the team in that position and if so then thats a step forward, we sign players to take us the next step which is to get closer to a top 4 finish, once we do that we then sign even better players and so on. I agree we need about 10 players and that at the moment ANY rb would be an improvement on what we have and I would love to see VP full of World Class Stars, but would Zigic be an improvement on Harewood...YES, would Milner be an improvement on Maloney...YES, would Finnan be an improvement on Gardner..Yes and so on.
Believe me, we've bid for him - fact (the only ones & highest bid). If he WAS interested we'd be in there - I'm 100% sure. He has stated that he wants CL or second best European football - both of which we don't have yet, that's as clear as you're going to get nowadays without being fined two weeks wages. Why can't you accept that not every player wants to join us? We had the same rubbish in the last window with Defoe.
Jaytee - agree completely. Its about improving the squad. Who said we had a right to be Real Madrid overnight?
The Usual Suspect
tonybrum - like i said you haggle please read my post. You do not walk out the show room when your offer of 5 grand less than the asking price is turned down.
Remember the Sneijder stuff last summer, he ended up a Real Madrid! I was gutted we didn't get Yakubu last year but again I bet it came down to Everton playing in Europe. More opportunities to play on the bigger stage. Any player who says he doesn't want to play on the bigger stage is a liar.
This ******y everyone keeps posting what I'm going to say! I do type like a handcuffed crab though. Let's sign a right back eh?
Why is sp00ky a rude word?!?
I do not expect Villa to sign every player we bid on but it would be nice to have a bid excepted & have the chance to talk with the player. To do that you have to bid enough & with Bentley we bid not enough & have pulled out of the bidding. MON said that not me.
I looked at the side that played on saturday and on paper it looked fine to me. Barry missing was a big loss but still it looked pretty strong. Looking at the bench was scary though. Its undeniable that we need the numbers in. Still, who wants to get rolled over in the transfer market? Look at what happened to Leeds. If RA walks away from Chelsea then they are doomed. Some business sense must come into these decisions.
The Usual Suspect
We dont need world class signings or even 1st team starters, we need depth to compete with the league and 3 cup competitions, at the minute I feel we lack both quantity and quality. The holes in our squad need to be built before we start dreaming of our world class signings, the fact that we have no RB and 1 GK is honestly shocking!
Jinksy - its not over yet. He's not going anywhere just yet. We are the only side that's even bid for Bentley. MON is playing hardball. I'm just repeating myself now. Perhaps you'd have preferred it if we had never even bid?
The Usual Suspect
Jinks I'm as frustrated as you mate, but its a nightmare signing players. I do think the best example is SWP in a couple of recent windows. MON has enquired a couple of times. SWP would revel in our team, could get back in the England set up with regular football, but he'd rather take his chances getting splinters at Chelski, that's his decision.
UsualSuspect, if MON really wants Bentley why on earth would he wait until Spurs (for instance) enter the bidding, because then the price will get pushed up as two clubs fight for the signature. The time to bid again (after our first bid was rejected) is now, BEFORE someone else enters the bidding war, IF we really want him. And, imo, in todays transfer market, Bentley is well worth 17 million, and IF Aston Villa FC is going to continue to move forward and challenge those clubs above us, then we MUST be getting more quality players on board. Face it, if we have Bentley and Young as our wide players next season, that part of our team, at least, will be as good as, if not better than, any other premiership club. And that is surely what we should be aiming at.
I agree with the usual suspect lets gets safely through the 2 bob cup and then things should happen quickly
Romanian - I have never disagreed that he would be good for villa. I do disagree with the sense of bidding against yourself though. And as I restated - MON may just be playing hardball and letting Blackburn stew. In a hardball negotiation you have to be willing to walk away - or at least appear to do so. As I recall, Mr Lerner appeared to walk away at one stage of the negotiations for buying our football club. Its business.
The Usual Suspect
Was only having a laugh Jinksy. Thing is every one wants world class players at Villa Park. But we haven't got enough to offer them, not yet anyway. We've got to BUILD our success gradually. Thats why we have the dreaded 5 year plan. And I don't think its even possible to BUY success anymore. Thats what Chelsea did and they are £736 milion in debt. Randys rich, but he's not that rich.
Spurs have lowered Blackburn's expectations if anything. Remember they have "offered considerably less than Villa" according to one "source". I don't think this one is set in stone yet. Yes, I still have faith!
Right i've had enough i'm going to keep my thoughts to myself from now i hear a collective cheer???
lol Jinksy. I enjoyed the debate mate. Hopefully we'll both get our wish and Bentley (Or a suitable alternative) will soon be training at bodymoor.
The Usual Suspect
Just a thought at this point: there are comments above such as it is understandable that the best players want CL; if we get into Europe then players will want to come etc. Yet GB wants CL football and the chance to prove himself at a higher level and gets slated. Consistency anyone?
Jinksy, your facts about the bently bid are wrong mate, honest. We didn't under bid, you are just believing poor press reports saying £10m. Thing is, if a player or his agent indicates he wants a London move, what do you do?
The Fear
Young_Jonah, re: Olof or Hughes, fair comment I'd have had Olof but then he said he felt out of position and not on his game all season. BUT also we needed cover and Hughes was that if nothing else! Personally Ollie would have been in the centre anyway but then we can all 'play' manager, only one man actually has to BE manager and so it doesn't matter what we think or where we'd play the buggers!
The Fear
I hope the Usual Suspect is right and when we qualify for the UEFA the flood gates will open. That said, plenty of quality players have moved to other sides who aren;t in Europe right under opur noses
I'm still confident we'll have 10 new first team players by the end of the transfer window. Even if its only buy 5, loan 2 and promote 3 from the youth team. And there's nothing wrong with promoting 3 from the acadamey if they're are good enough and results would suggest they are. That's why we spend so much on developent. But I am intrigued to see who he'll pull out of the hat and bring in on loan. Since we're stiffing behind Liverpool I'm sure fergie and wenger will oblidge!
The Fear you convice him that Villa is where he needs to play by showing ambition & bidding the correct amount of money. Also by telling Liverpool Barry is not for sale at any price. We are Aston Villa not a feeder club for Liverpool if someone came round your house & started peeing on your rosee what would you do? I know what i would do if i had roses. Same this with Liverpool get the shovle out the shed & chase them down the road. WE ARE ASTON VILLA BIGGER THAN BARRY OR ANY OTHER PLAYER.
Hughes was offered the captaincy and a regular place in the line up under his old national manager. How could he refuse.
Gareth wants to play champs league Jinksy(or at least thats what he says, nothing to do with his homo-tendencies towards Gerrard.) We cannot offer him that so if he took us to an industrial tribunal we could be portrayed to be hindering his career in this day and age of over protective PCness.
Jinksy like Villan444 says, you seem to be forgetting the wishes of the player. If bentley wants to live in london then what do you suggest? Moving Villa Park to Shepherds Bush? If Barry wants to leave and can't be persuaded to stay then all we could do is hold onto an uncommitted player for next years before he goes on a free. It would be bad for the dressing room, and of no benefit to the team. Also Tottenham have reportedly bid less than us for him, yet he is still interested - what does how much we bid have to do with the players intentions? Absolutely nothing.
The Usual Suspect
The Usual Suspect - are you a tory? ***** Barry & Liverpool let him rot if he's not happy to play. We don't need the money so why let Liverpool & Barry have their way. Barry will have to get on with it or his Enland ambitions would be over. We got to make a stand or do we let Liverpool bitch slap us. Sounds to me we are even going to drop the price to 16m how very very sad.
Quotes from the Blackburn chairman suggest that Bentley is for sale, but this may be all tied up with the Barry saga. Would you pay 17-19m for him? I'n not sure Spurs want him you know, although he wants to go there. Spurs are being linked to all and sundry.
Jinksy you are beginning to sound like a twelve year old spoilt brat. Perhaps we would sell him so that there isn't a bad atmosphere in the dressing room, which would unsettle other players. Do you think that doing what you suggest would incentivise other players to sign for us? Do you think that kind of behaviour would attract good players to VP? For gods sake he has done 10 years for us and if he wants to go he can go for the right price.
The Usual Suspect
I'd rather have Bentley than Barry. But he doesn't appear to want to come, I can't rationalise it any other way - as Blackburn have just said he's for sale at the right price. It's obvious that Liverpool don't have the cash to buy Barry - 15m over 3 years isn't the best offer, if they threw in Finnan yes, but they are givng him a comedy Carson price.
Jinksy you are the new Eircol, everyone is picking on you!
Barry has single handedly ran our midfield for the last year( having no help from Petrov and Reo-Coker) Bentley is not proven in the prem and although he has had a couple of excellent performances, he is by no means the finished article. At least Gareth was loyal even if only for 10 years. I would give Bentley 1 year of poncing about trying hollywood passes and diving around like a primadonna before he requests a transfer.
Villan, who would you prefer to replace Barry then?
At least he'd request a transfer... unlike another somebody someone.
I really don't beleive we are after the big fee players. MON keeps telling us - he is working very hard to get players - then completley contradicts this by saying "we bid for bentley - it was rejected - were looking elsewhere" - that doesn't seem like very hard work ! This is very much like the ellis era - we hear a rumour - all sources state the deal will be completed - then silence - wheres Friedel ?
I don't think Bentley is worth much over 10 mil or at least he hasn't had the chance to prove it yet. MON bid around that and can't be bothered to break the bank for someone who reportedly wants to go to London. Maybe he was sounding him out to see if he would be up for linking up and hasn't bothered pursuing him because of the feedback. We will never know.
I don't think that Bentley is a replacement for Gareth anyway as he is more of an attacker/winger. Personally I would like to see Nige restricted to no further than the centre circle going forward and only 2 touches after he has won it (to save him giving it away again.) With Sidwell in aswell, I would like to see someone to be playing just off Big John threading the ball to him and the wingers. SCHOLES would be perfect ;-D.
Alas, Mr Fear, I fear that this article will achieve nothing. Those who have their opinions on this matter have already read and rejected the General's claims, being far more willing to listen to the idle ramblings of various tabloids and even the occasional Broadsheet. They are, after all, so very reliable and usually right.

That said, you know I agree with you, and this is a welll written article. Still not commenting on our transfers until the window's closed, so you can wait with bated breath on that, but I am in agreement.
Don't disagree with a word of that Jinksy, we ARE Aston Villa, bigger than ANY player!
The Fear
How about a MEGA bid for Frank RIBERY?!?!? Absolute class. Younfer than Scholes and pure genius...we'd never get him but you never know.....
I really wish people would stop going on about Ashley Young. Yes, he is a quality player with lots of potential. A very good signing. But that's just ONE player! Does this mean that for every Routledge, Petrov and Salifou, we get one decent player? Time to get the cheque book out Martin, there are alot of managers who would relish spending Randy's millions.
Jinksy, take this personally if you like, but it is not. You don“t know how to haggle. Try haggling with a Moroccan or Kashmiri, the first price they will ask for is ordinarily about 20 times overvalued. The very first thing you should do is say ok thanks and walk out or start looking at something else in the shop, typically the salesman tugs on your shoulder and starts offering you lower prices. If you say to the salesman but I only like that one, it“s the only one that will fit in with my collection, you weaken your negotiating position and consequently pay more. Just because MON says that his interest has finished doesn“t mean this is true, and even if it is true you don“t know whether MONs stance here will make say Milner, or Aaron Lennon cheaper for us to buy.
The Fear Someone has finally agreed with me. On that note i'm saying bugger all. I will wait quietly & see what happens. As for you Tarzan lets get it straight NOBODY PICKS ON THE JINKS MYSTER NOBODY.
In my opinion O'Neill is either afraid to make big-money signings or he is reluctant to pay top wages to attract the top players. Barry, as captain get 45k/week maximum. Does anyone think the sort of players we need are going to come for a drop in pay? I'm sure if Barry was paid double, the move to L'Pool wouldn't be so attractive.
Can't spend money on players who don't want to come or stay. Trouble is why don't they want too? Have the board made us an unattractive prospect or has MON?
Feisty in here isn't it...? Keep the faith a little while longer. I believe Saturday is the switch we are waiting for to be flicked. European football holds a lot of sway over any footballer...For all we know O'Neill could have signings waiting on Saturdays result. If it doesn't start to happen next week, that's the time I'll start to worry.
If they're waiting on Saturday's result to decide whether to join or not, rather than getting on the pitch and helping us get there, then i'd question whether they're the type of players we want anyway.
I agree totally ViC. The UEFA is a joke of a competition in my opinion and we should treat it as part of our pre-season. A parachute payment scheme for the Champions League. How we didn't qualify via our league position proves this point too.
I dont doubt/question that there is ample money available for as and when MON deems it the right time to spend it, but something is very clearly wrong with the way we go about our transfer market business. To be where we are now, a mere forty days away from when the window closes, still so very short on the quality and quantity we require, is worrying to say the least.
The whole club needs a lift after the Gareth Barry saga. Pre-season performances have hardly set the pulses racing. Being in the situation we are in numbers wise is unprofessional, and frankly, not acceptable.

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