Date:Sunday August 24 2008
Now another Manager is 'Doing It'.
There seems to be something seriously wrong with the moral and ethical situation in English football at the moment. It was bad enough when Benitez started shooting off his mouth about wanting our Captain as one of his team. Then Ferguson started off 'tapping up' Berbatov trying to lure him away from Spurs.
When this happened MON said, quite rightly, 'You want our player; you pay the going rate. In our opinion that is £18m, take it or leave it'.
Meanwhile Spurs complained about Ferguson breaking the rules (which he probably did) and not much else. Just when it seems we have thwarted Liverpool and things were beginning to settle, another manager does exactly the same thing, namely, speak out in public about his interest in one of our players,stirring the whole thing up again.
It really does concern me when a widely respected manager, such as Arsene Wenger does a Benitez. I really did think that he operated on an entirely different moral plane from some of the others and that he had the same ethical outlook as MON. You never hear MON talking about the specific players whom he has an interest in signing. He may talk in broad general terms about looking for another three players to add to our team but no names are ever mentioned. That is the right and honourable way to do business.
Everyone discounts the ill informed guesses of the media hacks when they talk about transfers or players of interest to a club. That is why sites such as Vital Villa are so important; often they are the only sites that sift the wheat from the chaff. But, managers naming names is something else.
That raises another very important question, especially when it is Wenger doing the naming. Why?
Well, at the end of last season Aston Villa were, without a doubt, the most improved team in the league. This means that, if that improvement continues, they are very likely to replace either Liverpool or Arsenal, being fourth and third respectively, in the top four. Now, given the splendid additions that MON has made to our team, any reasonable independent observer would say that our chances of doing just that will have improved significantly. In the meantime Arsenal have lost some important players and Benitez, with his game playing, has managed to upset half his team and, due to lack of funds, has not significantly improved the team.
Yes, Wenger may want GB in his team, but not this way, surely?
What, however, Benitez did do was succeed in unsettling Barry, so much so that even the England manager has been prompted to comment upon it. Now, just when things seem to be settling down and everyone acknowledges that Liverpool have not the funds, if they ever intended to, to complete the purchase of GB, Wenger comes along and stirs it all up again. Once again our ex-captain is flattered and gets itchy feet about moving on.
Gareth, let's put this in perspective. For the past ten years you have been a Villa player, a good one, yes, but not really at international level. During the first five years there were no serious bids for your services from any of the major teams; and don't tell me Ellis would not have sold you if a decent offer had been made. We all know that was his way of running the club. Then MON became our manager and you were transformed into one of the best players in the League.
Don't you seriously think that you owe some loyalty to the man who helped you become one of England's key internationals?
If this prognosis is correct and the actions of both Benitez and Arsene would indicate that they, at least, think that it might be, then next season you could well be playing Champions League with Aston Villa, whereas there is a good chance that either, if not both of the other teams mentioned in this article, may not be.
Think on it, sir!
Date:Sunday August 24 2008
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