Aston Villa - Are Football Players A Bit Stupid?!?
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Are Football Players A Bit Stupid?!?

It might be obvious to some, but the way we all talk about our beloved footballing heroes makes me think that perhaps we are treating them a bit too like they are normal, rational human beings who aren't living in a high pressure environment with no time whatsoever to think!

Perhaps the reason that things have been slow around Villa Park of late is the not due to insufficient funds or MON's bumbling. Perhaps it is the same reason things have been so slow at Everton. That reason being that footballers are a bit thick.

We are all very worried about the current transfer policy at Villa. I certainly am and think that having now started our second competitive season without a right back is criminal. However, today David Moyes admitted he was finding the transfer window very frustrating which echoes thoughts from our own MON.

What if the problem is simply this: to any intelligent football fan, both Villa and Everton seem like decent prospects. Stable finances, long term manager, vision and potential. But to a footballer who may not have such a considered view it must seem like we are a bit of a boring club compared to Spurs or Pompey who are setting the window alight with activity.

In my opinion both Spurs and Pompey seem like worse prospects than Everton or Villa for a number of reasons. Pompey don't have the fan base or the long term vision and spurs just seem to have more money than sense which makes an inevitable West Ham like 'fiscal tightening' a future possibility.

But maybe what makes a club attractive to someone with time to spend posting on a message board in the middle of the night (cough, cough) is not what makes a club attractive to a professional footballer.

Perhaps the reason we didn't get Bentley is because Bentley sees Spurs as a better prospect because they are buying players with a bit of a 'buzz' about them. Spurs have a buzz. Man City have a buzz. Pompey have a buzz. All because they are buying 'name' players that also have a buzz.

But we all know that clubs that get a bunch of buzz players don't always do well. In fact, do they ever? Newcastle, West Ham and Man City are all recent examples. Man City at the start of last year looked top four and scarily like a new Chelsea. But things mellowed and it turned out that Sven did well, but not that well. Of 9 players he got Petrov that was any good. (Elano is a waste of space IMHO before anyone chimes in) Not as well as MON who's signings included Harewood and Knight.

In fact, on this site we were all commenting on how great Sven had done and how it showed up MON's transfer policy. Then we finished 6th and they 9th after a long hard season.

The point is this: its not just footballers that are being a bit thick. Perhaps we all are. Perhaps we forget that MON is a top manager because he doesn't buy buzz players like Owen and Crouch and Defoe and Geovanni and Bianchi. He buys players he sees that have something a bit different about them.

We don't need buzz players and we can let Spurs have their Modric and Bentley and Pompey have Crouch and Defoe and Man City have Jo. Because maybe we didn't go in for them for a damn good reason.


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The Journalist

Writer: simonbigron Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday August 6 2008

Time: 11:06AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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The Fear
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06/08/2008 11:17:00

Really really good article. I do, however, wish we were signing players too.
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06/08/2008 11:19:00

whether MON gets it right or not, this is so so boring and frustrating.
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06/08/2008 11:22:00

Good article, 'buzz' must come into sometimes. Although I still think a lot of it is more to do with money, and non-footballing reasons. London is London, Pompey has sandbanks etc.... Then there is the WAG factor, family, mates... People in general do not make rational decisions, let alone 'star' players in a world of their own with money to burn. Barry is just another prime example, Europe and Gerrard at any cost.
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06/08/2008 11:43:00

We didn't even have a bid for Bentley accepted so you can't say it's because he thinks Spurs are better or anything like that, We had the bid rejected, it's the main reason, if we don't bid or players or meet their valuation we will never know if they will come, i am pretty sure we could of got Defoe for 7m in jan if we went in for him, but instead we watched Portsmouth build their team up, i'm pretty sure Danny Simpson for a 1year loan would of came to us but we probably never went in for him either.
Villa 4 Ever
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06/08/2008 11:44:00

Oh i missed this as well, Portsmouth have sold Sulley Muntari for 12.7m and brought in Crouch for 11m sorry but at this moment in time they have no one we wanted, also Kaboul and Shorley might still come to us instead of Portsmouth, the only difference is Rednapp has come out and said they want to sign for him etc etc.
Villa 4 Ever
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06/08/2008 11:49:00

"""Perhaps the reason we didn't get Bentley is because Bentley sees Spurs as a better prospect because they are buying players with a bit of a 'buzz' about them"""-----"""We don't need buzz players and we can let Spurs have Bentley Because maybe we didn't go in for him for a damn good reason."""" ..............Sorry but first your saying Bentley didn't want to come to us then your saying we didn't go in for him.... what is it ?
Villa 4 Ever
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06/08/2008 11:53:00

Good article, I think it is universally accepted that most footballers are intellectually challenged(that sounds nicer than 'a bit thick') and certainly their decision making capacity is significantly different from most people. They seem to be complete hedonists, so 'Yes' you cannot expect logic from them. Mind you I think those that sign for Villa have a bit more between their ears.
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06/08/2008 12:03:00

Well sorry Villa 4 Ever if it confused you, but glad you took the time to post 3 comments! The point I was trying to make was that MON backed out of the race for Bentley for some reason and that perhaps it was a good reason. He backed out quite quickly in a way that suggested to me that he had caught whiff of some bad vibes. It was widely speculated that Bentley wanted to go to London but maybe MON thought he could change that. After putting in a bid perhaps someone had a word to the effect that it was not worth bidding again for as Bentley already had his heart on the "spurs" revolution. I am obviously speculating but we all know that despite not technincally being allowed to speak to players until a bid is accepted, players find ways to make their preferences known. Just look at Barry, there is clearly a route from him to anfield despite no bid having been accepted. Hope that makes it clear...
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06/08/2008 12:09:00

So basically Bentley didn't want us because "no buzz" and MON pulled out of even chasing because a "buzz" chasing player is not MON's type anyway. The two are compatible.
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06/08/2008 12:12:00

You only have to look at Gabby to know how deep thinking and erudite todays players really are.
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06/08/2008 12:25:00

what can you say about gabby... awww... bless him
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06/08/2008 12:36:00

He does look a few cans short of a six pack a lot of the time doesn't he...But hey, that guy can run, sorted. I think a better example is Senderos. Good article simon, interesting read.
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06/08/2008 12:44:00

Thing is, we do have "buzz" players, Young isnt exactly boring to watch no is he?
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06/08/2008 12:48:00

young jonah - Young is a buzz player now, as is gabby, but when we signed him he wasn't. Remember the reaction to the transfer fee! The point is MON tries to look outside of hype and make his own. There is definitely some buzz about Villa but its a different quality of buzz, a more considered buzz about our long term prospects. Friedel, a very articulate and smart guy, comments on just this in his first Villa interview as did Sidders.
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06/08/2008 13:17:00

Simonbigron, you made some good points. Not so sure about the Bentley thing though. I thought he wanted to go to Spurs because he's a Spurs fan, therefore we pulled out of negotiations? I do think though, there has usually been a different type of club ethos about Villa. In that, very rarely does any Villa player bring themselves into the spotlight. Whether it by falling out of nightclubs drunk, picking up driving bans, running people over, being involved in orgies, cheating on their missus, fighting etc etc. This i'm happy about. I want more like Brad Friedel, Martin Laursen and less like Ashley Cole, Joey Barton, Jermain Pennant, Craig Bellamy, Dyer etc. MON is recruiting men, not little boys.
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06/08/2008 13:45:00

Good article. It's all about synergy, the sum of the whole being greater than the individual parts. One or two 'buzz players' don't make a great team.
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06/08/2008 13:52:00

Good article but does anyone know where we can buy some of this "buzz"?
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06/08/2008 14:48:00

Dolphinator: Nice use of the word synergy. Villa 96: There's a bloke near where I live who might be able to sort you out... Villa in Cyprus: The Bentley thing is funny because we are led to believe he was a boyhood spurs fan but there was a funny thing on SSN where some fans wrote in saying that they had an interview with him saying that he had been a boyhood Arsenal/Blackburn fan. He's a funny one that Bentley...
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06/08/2008 15:03:00

Is the Pope Catholic, Is the sea wet, does the Scouser sign on. Same answer to all 4 questions. FFS please stop going on about Bentley. MON didn't come out saying he had bid for him. It was Ince who was probably trying to get the price up and a quick sale. EG. If Arsenal had bid for GB then Liverpool would have found the money by now and maybe this was a sweetener for Friedel. Who knows
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06/08/2008 16:43:00

at 60,000+ a week i would love to be stupid :)
Astonian Villan
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06/08/2008 16:53:00

I am sorry but Pompey have a really good support base. I am not sure how we don't when we go away and outsing the opposition on a regular well as Fratton being called one of the loudest stadiums by several visiting players (Thierry Henry sticks out in my mind).
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06/08/2008 17:48:00

I think this "I want to leave Villa to win more/play in the Champions league/in europe etc, is just a smoke screen. It's well known in the football circles that Villa wont pay the big wages. Barry leaving because he wants CLF? No way. He has spoken to Gerrard and realised he could be on more money elsewhere, why else wont he hand in a transfer request? The same goes for Bentley, why go to Spurs for CLF - when you have an option of Villa or Everton, even if you do support them? Lets not forget Ugo, Southgate and Boetang who all left for more money, with the excuse that they thought they could win more silverware away from Villa. I'm affraid players these days are to greedy and i have to say the reason, i feel, why we now have Brad Friedal. Didnt he double his money by leaving Rovers? So maybe the tide is turning and Villa have finally realised, to get the "Buzz" players, we either have to unearth gems like Gabby, Carew and Young, or pay big wages for these "Gems". I agree though, the second option is not MON's style, but wouldnt it of been more pleasing to hear Learners right hand man say, we are prepared to pay big wages to get the players we need, not advertise how much money Randy has in his pocket to tempt big stars, such as Defoe, only to not match the wages that "minnows" Portsmouth can offer.
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06/08/2008 18:03:00

Most players are reasonably sensible but how would you behave if you got paid 50,000 a week?
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06/08/2008 20:42:00

P.S Joey Barton is a tit! LOL
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06/08/2008 20:43:00

spurs were i think 5th or 6th highest scorers in the league last year and would have done extremely well could they defend. so whats the pre season aim, to strengthen the defence? no they buy 4 forward players and are after another overated russian forward. i think this article is spot on. we see all the teams around us spending millions and say why cant we but it has to be considered spending. still begs the question why havent we considered buying a right back? also nobody ever mentions the left back situation as we've only had one of those for i dont know how long. i read comments on this site of why cant we buy the like of Jo or Nelson or any other foreigner with an exotic name but at the end of the day how the f#ck do these people know what these players are like? answer is they dont but they must be good for 20 million though as man city have proven already thats not necessarily the case.
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06/08/2008 22:37:00

Very good read that simonbigron, you make some very valid observations that I personally fully agree with.
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08/08/2008 05:53:00

I'm not altogether sure that the problem with the approach for Bentley was that we had the bid turned down. I'm not convinced that it was rejected. I think that it was actually accepted by Rovers, but that Bentley made his feelings known to MON immediately, hence the reason we never went back in. Just my take on the scenario, arrived at by attempting to read between the lines. Of course, I could be well off base.
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08/08/2008 05:56:00


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