Aston Villa - Pundits On Villa's Top Four Viability
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Pundits On Villa's Top Four Viability

Thanks to the stupendous win at Arsenal its a question pundits have been answering on radio, TV and in the news media.

Most I've come across rightly still feel Arsenal will do it but most again feel that Villa have the best chance of finishing 5th until Man City get their act together and again most don't think that will be before this seasons end.

Me . Well I agree with those who said in the excitement of the win Saturday that we are good enough. You can't argue with wins at Arsenal and Prague, and against Ajax. The squad, especially the first XV are capable of a top 4 finish, if any of the usual 4 slip up. Its possibly even good enough if they are not.

Will we though ?

No idea. Like any sensible fan, as some of O'Neill's team selections have left much to be desired and our resulting performances left plenty to be desired. Simply put results against Stoke, Newcastle especially Boro would at least have put us 2 points clear of Utd and 3 over Arsenal. By results I mean a draw. Had we won and not lost any, there would have been even more excitement over our league position after Saturdays game.

It might even have topped the unbeaten run JG had back when we topped the PL who knows. For me the money spent back in the summer, the 3rd biggest spend in Europe, has pushed us on enough allied to other teams starting poorly, to make us serious top 4 contenders, and but for those poor results against sides we should not have lost too, we would be top 4 and with points in hand.

Luckily the injury situation is holding up, although I have doubts about the attitude of some players, but its a fine line between success and failure, and the higher in the league you progress the finer the line gets.

Don't get me wrong, I in no way feel we are yet anyway near the talent level of Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, or Arsenal, but as Mart said after the game we have some real talent here, we do.

Do we have the managerial ability to bring about the level of consistency needed and enough talent to maintain a season of it.

I think not and I don't think January will improve it enough if at all, which might be our problem. Yes Randy's generosity has helped tremendously but he'll need to fund far more to enable a complete breakthrough

Therein lies the problem. All the best players go to the best clubs and even if we finished in the top 4 I'd question whether we would have the willingness to bring in the really top players.

Still we have to finish top 4 first and cross that argument after. For now yes the squad is good enough, will it finish top 4 I doubt but hope it will.

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The Journalist

Writer: avfc48 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 17 2008

Time: 5:32PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Doubts about some players' attitudes - do you mean GB by any chance? I agree with you that we're probably not good enough to finish top 4. But, hey, we're having some fun trying this season, and just wait for next season.
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17/11/2008 18:19:00

To be honest if Barry wants to go let him, sell him for something decent in jan and find a young upcoming player, we have been linked with a 8m move for Steven Defour, so maybe he is an option, then theres Petrov who i reckon has been better than Barry this season and then Sidwell is coming decent now, Barry hasn't been as good as last season, he has been good and even great but not the match winning performances that we are so used to.
Villa 4 Ever
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17/11/2008 20:53:00

You will need 5 players brought in during January. If not those tired legs will catch up even if you are lucky with injuries. Arsenal are most likely to drop below Villa but as a betting man I will give you 4-1 the top 4 will be the usual.
1st Chels... 2nd Man U... 3rd Liverpool..... 4 Arsenal..... 5th ... y'know I think I will pencil Villa in. Good luck you Lions...
....and on that score, when I was a little girl in the 70's Villa were LIONS and not Villans.... and when did Sunderland become the black cats?.... and when did white dog **** disappear.... and what about fizz bombs... 4 for 1 p... mumble, mumble.. medication time...
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17/11/2008 20:58:00

You can't break the wage structure overnight by signing a superstar or two so I think that MON has done extremely well to acheive what he has so far. Man Citeh won't get there with Hughes in charge but if they change it, then we could have other contenders for that 4/5th spot next season along with others so now is the time to make a conscious move for the elusive Champions League to see if we can attract the players and therefore incresae the win bonuses etc. greatly even if we can't dramatically incresase the wage structure.
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18/11/2008 10:06:00

If we're going to push for a top 4 we need minimum 4 decent players. We need first of all 2 strikers, Carew is a 30 game a season man, therefor we need to off load Hare and play Gabi with another target man. If A Young was ever out for a long period of time, we would have nothing on the left, Barry can not to what he does it's as simple as that, but then the same could be said about Young. They are different players. We also need Bouma fit.
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18/11/2008 14:08:00

Striker x2 please. One big, one small and Frank Ribery for more midfield quality. Ta MON ;-)
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18/11/2008 14:26:00

As usual with your articles, avfc, this has a negative tone disguised as a positive write-up. Again as usual, your tone becomes immediately negative tone whenever you mention our management team. You ask "Do we have the managerial ability to bring about the level of consistency needed and enough talent to maintain a season of it." Nobody can answer that until the season is over, but perhaps you can tell us who you would install in place of Martin O'Neill, Steve Walford and John Robertson, and let us debate your choices?
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18/11/2008 16:25:00

Well said bob the builder!
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18/11/2008 16:44:00

BobTheBuilder totally agree with you..."Do we have the managerial ability to bring about the level of consistency needed and enough talent to maintain a season of it." that one sentence was enough to anger me as a Villa fan. do you sit behind MON in the Trinity Rd by anychance? Show some support. MON is building something here and is wise enough to realise it won't happen over night UTV
Report Abuse
18/11/2008 16:51:00

Guys, we all know AVFC48 has his views on MON, and he always will....I used to get worked up but don't now as I think he is actually quite good at getting debates going, which can only be good. I listened to the pundits on MoTD the other night and even they said that team have blips...and when ours does some people will have negative views and other not....others will always have negative or negative sounding views. Don't get hung up on it. Up the Villa boys. All posts are welcome...even OneAaronLennon - and he hasn't posted for ages!
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18/11/2008 18:09:00

I was wondering if there was ever a Villa manager who managed to get 4 Villa players into the England team with the chances of them actually getting a game.
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18/11/2008 18:22:00

This manager thing is an old chestnut with avfc48. Some may remember the 'discussions' that used to take place on here on this very issue. 48 has had an anti M'ON stance from day 1. His preference was for Jurgen Klinsmann. It is not for me to say anything other than 48 and I disagreed on this, as did 99% of users of this site. But we are all entitled to opinions and that is what the site is for. I personally do not like the tone of the article but it has valid points, although not factually correct. We were not 1 of the 3 biggest spenders in Europe but we were right up there with those showing most ambition. It mentions slip ups against certain teams but that is depending on how you view it. For example the home games we have had this season against Man Citeh, murderpool, Blunderland, Pompous, Villasboro and Blackburn have generated 11 points. Those exact same fixtures last season produced 4 points and we didn't win any of them. Looks like a massive improvement to me. Our away fixtures against the Arse, Spuds, Wigan, Chelski, the Barcodes last season won us 7 points. This season it is 9. The other 2 games against Stoke and WBA are equivalent to the games against Small Heath and Derby. Here we have only got 3 points against the 6 we won last season. Overall we have 23 points. The same games last year totalled 17 points. And last season we didn't have the European games to contend with. Can we go on and finish 4th? Probably not. I think the season will be too long and it will catch up with the squad the other side of Christmas. Even if we stay relatively injury free I think they will burn out when push comes to shove. But that is all part of the squads learning curve. I would like to think I am proved wrong. Personally I think, we will do well in Europe if the draw is kind to us, but will fade in the league. What may change this is January. If we rebalance the squad by losing 2 midfielders and replacing them with 2 strikers, depending on which midfielders were to move on, this might not require the investment some people seem to think is required. What may be a bigger issue is us, the supporters. The empty seats and the complete lack of atmosphere for the games against Pompous, Blackburn and Villasboro was embarrassing. Why would any player of quality want to play in front of the most unappreciative audience in the league that moans at the first sign of a bad performance. We do nothing to help encourage the management to attract better players and the article is a perfect example of a villa fan happy to nit pick instead of showing loyal, unswerving support.
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18/11/2008 19:09:00

We have a solid base now which we need to build on, we don't need BACK UP players no more, we need top class now to rotate, If we could get Owen/Heskey/Steven Defour and i reckon we'll be set for some serious top 4 challenging, what you gotta ask how hard will it be to get Owen and Heskey, i don't think it will cost us a fortune and i think they would want to come, Owen would get more games than he is now lmao, Steven Defour looks class this season and could come quite cheaply for 8m, can we really beat Arsenal to him ??
Villa 4 Ever
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18/11/2008 20:23:00

This time last season we had 24 points from 13 games and were about to go and smash Blackburn away 4-0 for our 4th win on the bounce, i think we then dropped away. Spurs/Arse/Man City apart i have to be honest and say i think we`ve looked poorer this season to how i felt this time last year but saying that a lot of players can improve and i think MON`s selections will get better too.
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19/11/2008 07:02:00

I'm just supprised that the 'pundits' have mentioned Villa, never normally bother - usually just have the smallest slot on MOTD and if we win it was because the opposition were poor, so it has been nice to hear some praise for the villa finally this week!
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19/11/2008 12:24:00

When you've got a top manager at the helm, you keep him, and you keep him happy. Rest assured, that is exactly what Mr Lerner will do.
Report Abuse
19/11/2008 21:50:00

Anybody else who would have penned this article a mere seven days or so, would have found themselves well and truly on the receiving end of 48's sledgehammer sarcasm. Talk about fickle Malc.
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19/11/2008 21:53:00


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