Aston Villa - Villa To Be Dark Horses?
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Villa To Be Dark Horses?

Yesterday I had a call from the Channel Four website asking for my predictions for the new season. Obviousy I'm not one for expressing opinions, but decided I'd try to shed my shy tendancies (stop laughing at the back) and answer them!

Standard questions really, always gets me thinking though because I'm very Villa focussed and sometimes spend less time than I should concentrating on other teams as well!

They asked who would win the league, I predicted (shock of shocks, really stuck my neck out here) Manchester United. Why? Because Sir Alex Chewalot is really building a new generation of winners and also I can't stand the thought of Abramovich winning anything, nothing personal against the Chelsea fans, just detest that man and what he's 'brought' to the game ie over inflated wages, massive egos and a transfer system that is twice as nuts as before!

Who would be relegated? I predicted Stoke and Hull, as much as I'd like the new boys to be strong enough to stay up, I think it is all but inevitable? Then one of either West Ham (mainly because one of my mates is a Hammer and I knew it would **** him off!) or Fulham. Not sure why, just have a feeling that an established Premiership team might join the two new boys. The Baggies I think have boing boinged a few times and might just have enough this year to stay in the PL. So bad luck WBA, that means automatic relegation!

They asked who I thought was the best signing this summer and I had to go with Deco. I hope so much he doesn't do the business (!) but fear he will, the guy is quality.

Who would be the dark horse? Well, I'm not sure there are many dark horses really, so I asked can Villa be a dark horse after finishing 6th last season? It was either us pushing the top four; and I still think to do that we need a top striker and being an optimist (lets face it, with a face like mine you have to be an optimist!) I think we'll get one this summer or Spurs having a better season than last year, lets face it they can't have a much worse one, although I'd be perfectly happy if they did as it will keep them out of our way!

I don't mean that nastily, but I see only Spurs, Manchester City, Everton and maybe Newcastle as being in the group of teams along with Villa who could break the top four at some point. Spurs need to improve drastically, Manchester City are doing what only Manchester City seem able to do, imploding just at the point you think they are going to take off and Everton, despite their size and history, carry too much debt at the moment.

So to cut a long story short... I never use two words when 20 will do ... I put Villa down as the dark horses to push the top four.

Optimistic? Or do you think now we've started to bring in some decent players (and the fact Gareth Barry now looks likely to stay) that we could push on from last season?

Then we have the far more intelligent Young Jonah (!!) who has done the season 2008/2009 preview. Click Here I think it makes for interesting reading and am just relieved I didn't have to write it, must have taken him an age.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 15 2008

Time: 4:34PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Villa, dark horses? why not ?
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 16:38:00

definatly! i cant wait till we play pompey and ashley young comes up against glen johnson.he's gonna make johnson wish he served time for knickin that bog seat and tap from B&Q. its gonna be a great season. up the villa!!
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 18:48:00

I'm a bit surprised you mentioned Newcastle as a threat. I've always thought they're a club who think (well, convinced actually) that they're much bigger than they really are. I don't see anything special about the toon outfit, their best player will probably sign for us within the next week, they still owe 27M in past transfer fees, they overpay their remarkably average players and only seem to sign people with asbo's. No offence to the toon btw!
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 19:33:00

The following article really p*ssed me off:
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 19:35:00

J - Everyone knows United are on a downward curve JT said so :-) Chelsea 4 Champions. Villa - 5th!
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 19:55:00

and Deco not quite right - Bosingwa wil be the man - so fast and dangerous flying up that right flank!
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 19:56:00

i think we 'VILLA' can only make the top four if we pick up a striker at the level of santa cruz also a right sided midfielder and a centre attacking playmaker..which is a lot less than we were short 10 - 12 days ago so u never know......outside the top four i think spurs ,pompey and maybe everton could challange us for 5th
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 21:06:00

oh yes gunners for the title
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 21:07:00

Newcastle flirted with success once, if they had been or were run right, I think they could flirt withit again, still see Everton, Man City, Spurs as the only clubs who could regularly challenge in the group with us the top four.
The Fear
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 21:08:00

Merlin, just give us Joe Cole, for goodness sake, you know you want to.
The Fear
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 21:08:00

interesting season for the Gunners, you need success as your debt repayments are massive. Still, Wenger is a master, be interesting to see what he does.
The Fear
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 21:09:00

JF - Not surprised by you prediction that we could possible achieve 4th spot behind the one from up North and the two in London. To achieve this Barry must stay and we need a top quality (min 15 goals/season ability) striker to partner Carew. However we did score 71 goals last season, the 3rd highest total in the Prem but we conceded 51 goals whilst none of the Top4 Clubs conceded more than 31. So can our new line-up in defence close the flood-gates? If they can and we continue scoring as freely as we have since January then it's Top4 for us next season, without any doubt whatsoever.
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 21:09:00

merlin - Villa 4th, Chelsea 5th!
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 21:41:00

Runtingz- Gunners 7th and out of Europe -put your money on it. Final placings ManU, Pompey, LPool, Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Arsenal.
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 21:46:00

villacross-pompey 2nd! are you mad?
Report Abuse
15/08/2008 23:18:00

Thanks for posting that link, Villan-in-Cyprus! Now I'm p**sed off too! I reckon we've got a whole generation of ex-Villa players who are gonna slag the club off, a la Platt etc. due to the awful management at the time. Still, only 15 odd years for the likes of Ash and Gabby to be hanging up their boots and them waxing lyrical how they won leagues, Champions' leagues, FA and League Cups and a world cup with the mighty Villa!!!
Report Abuse
16/08/2008 02:06:00

Agree Villacross, a striker (like for all teams!) would make all the difference, we could be a real menace with a natural goalscorer to throw into the mix with Gabby and JC.
The Fear
Report Abuse
16/08/2008 10:23:00

No probs Rawlie. What really got to me is when he was on about staying at Rangers because you win things every year. Is that meant to be a f***ing joke?????!! It would be the equivalent of us playing in the conference, then we'd win trophies all year round too!! Does he not recognize that some individuals actually want to compete against the best and test themselves in a professional league? I would LOVE to play Rangers in a European fixture, lets see how BIG they are then.
Report Abuse
16/08/2008 10:25:00

Oh that's right, they're out of Europe altogether aren't they.
Report Abuse
16/08/2008 10:28:00

Got to admit, reading that article when I came across it yesterday really annoyed me too, especially seeing as the guy is still employed by the club, even if that is only by coaching the under 14s or whatever it was. As for Villa being up there with the top 4...with a couple more signings in the needed areas I can't see why not.
Report Abuse
16/08/2008 12:17:00

Good point Mayo, it wasn't long ago our very own Mark Delany was slating us. It's much worse when they're still on the Villa payroll, I think that qualifies as an unauthorized interview does it not? Errm Mr. Cowans!! 2 week fine and 2 week ban please??
Report Abuse
16/08/2008 12:25:00

Cheers for the mention, Fear. It took me best part of 4 hours, I suspect there will be a few surprises this season, and i reckon the first will be when Hull beat Fulham today. They will stay up. I promise you.
Report Abuse
16/08/2008 15:01:00

Cheers for the mention, Fear. It took me best part of 4 hours, I suspect there will be a few surprises this season, and i reckon the first will be when Hull beat Fulham today. They will stay up. I promise you. young_jonah. TOLD YA!!!!!
Report Abuse
16/08/2008 16:56:00

We will take redscums spot this season
Report Abuse
16/08/2008 20:51:00

Get off to a reasonable start, pick up two or three more new signings, keep lucky with injuries, keep Gareth Barry, enjoy the run of the ball, and dark horses, why not?
Report Abuse
18/08/2008 01:15:00

Mayo_12, you're not alone. Walters comments ticked me off too. What is it with these ex-Villans?
Report Abuse
18/08/2008 01:16:00

Can we hold you to that young_jonah, Hull staying up that is? Its a long, hard season, and while they might get off to a flyer against Fulham, do they really have the quality to perform over thirty-eight games? I guess only time will tell.
Report Abuse
12/09/2008 09:26:00


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