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Was MON Right To Take Weakened Squad?

Was MON Right To Take Weakened Squad?

Vital Villa's latest poll, which will last until tonights man of the match poll goes up, asks if Martin O'Neill was right to go with a weakened squad to the UEFA Cup game v Hamburg.

There were mixed reactions yesterday when the young squad was announced: Hamburg Squad Announced >>> Click Here

I guess the proof of the pudding will be in the errr, eating, or should that be the result?! I hadn't expected MON to do what he did v Zilina, thought he'd get a good win v them and then send out the younger players for experience tonight. Would be gutted if I had travelled to Hamburg BUT it could end up a great result, great experience and an all round enjoyable affair, can't write it off before it starts now can we?!

Comments included:

Good to see Ashley Young will be getting a rest after his performances recently, he has earnt a break. I notice Osbourne is not in the squad, gulp. I guess that has something to do with the fans cheering when he was subbed vs Zilinia?

Now I wish I hadn't bought a ticket! After our embarrassing performance tomorrow, some of us have to live in Germany and hear forever and a day how crap Aston Villa are! Why didn't he leave NRC and Shorey at home?

NRC and Shorey are now fringe squad members, that's why they have travelled to Germany. As he's taking the kids he might as well play them all, good experience and from what I can see it won't have an adverse effect on the result. Who knows, they might just be hungry enough to try and stake a claim in the senior squad, and as for the others, they have had many chances to stake a claim and MON knows what to expect from the (possibly a bit harsh on the likes of Gardener though with that comment, I really do rate him but NRC is before him for reasons only known to MON and most people would have a tough time trying to take a place off either Barry, Sidwell or Petrov.)
Villan Of The North

The Fear

I'm guessing its because NRC is one of our better players, and is needed in such an un tested squad, and Shorey is coming back from an injury so needs to get some minutes under his belt. Great to see the kids in the squad, lets hope a couple of them get on the pitch. I suppose/hope we will see Delf start, hopefully Bannan, Steiber and Clarke get a go, haven't seen much of the rest but I rate those 3. It would also be nice to see Gardner start in CM, Love our Craig and we all know he can bang em in when played where he should be. UTV

He's left our 5 first choices out to rest them, think we will struggle big time. Not much Prem experience let alone European. MON has got it right though. No point tiring our superstars and we are already through and we will have to beat all comers to win the tournament. Bring on the big boys and finish third. We've already done Ajax, how hard could it get????

Some nice comments, but I can only imagine that they aren't from any of the near 4000 people that are making the trip to a frost ridden Hamburg. Its along way to go to watch a reserve match. Then again, what do I know. I remember the time when if you weren't good enough to play in the top flight, there was no way you'd get a game in a European competition. Just shows how much these competitions have become devalued. Hell I can even remember a time when Villa weren't in the top 4 :o) Never mind, I'll still be there!

yeh but its about resting players. wouldn't want our star players knackered for prem games. nrc is quality by the way. no way a fringe player!

Gotta agree. Players have a lot of big prem games coming up and resting them is not a bad idea. As previously mentioned i don't think there are any easy ties left in this competition and to that end doesn't really matter if you finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Mind you, i would be surprised if Hamburg play their best side either as they are also having a tough time in Bundesliga and would be more focused on that.

Whats all this resting players nonsense, what we gonna do if we qualify for the Champs League? Bet we wont be resting anyone then.

I'm worried - if we finish 3rd we will get a Champs League team. Not bad in itself but we will get slaughtered in the press and it'll be that we should have made more of an effort here to ensure and easier tie!

We'll see won't we, I can understand the travelling faithful getting a bit pi* *ed off by the lack of 'stars' but I am sure they all want what is best for the club, to assume that the players at this match will be unable to put on a match winning performance, does them a great disservice, do you support Ashley Young or do you support Villa? We have all spent a great deal of money to get to matches that have been dire, doesn't matter who's playing, I can't believe some of the comments here, you're supposed to be supporters F F S

I think it's fantastic, and I would like to think I would have done something similar if I'd been in charge. How many other managers would have the bottle to do this? I would hate to see our success stop the young players coming through.

Would we rather have a manager who is terrified to try anything different because he may 'get it wrong'? There are plenty of those around. The good managers - long term - are those who are prepared to take some risks. We have what to me is a far more important match coming up at the weekend. Yes this is European football, but our spot in the Premiership is FAR more important.

I think that it shows that MON like many on here would prefer to finish in the Prem Top 4 than win the UEFA Cup. Throughout the cup he has played largely second string players but I see that he has realised that if we finish 1st or 2nd in the group and get an away first leg in the next round it would be on the Thursday before our home match against Chelsea. That could be a long journey so I suspect finishing 3rd and having a home leg before Chelsea has some appeal.
pongo wearing

Why all the doom and gloom from some people? The sign of a good team is when the fringe players can easily come in when needed. And from that squad we can make a pretty decent team: Guzan, Cuellar, Davies, Knight, Young, Sidwell, Reo Coker, Petrov, Gardner, Harewood and Delfouneso. Although it'll be more than likely a 4-5-1 with Salifou in the middle somewhere.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Wednesday December 17 2008
Time: 3:43PM


"Would hate it if I had travelled" is not valid, you would have to be an idiot not to know that either way this game would probably mean nothing and therefore you would be watching the reserves.....The game is only 1/100th of the whole experiance of going away in Europe anyways if my first trip was anything to go by, I hardly even watched it !!!
17/12/2008 16:25:00
UEFA should have allowed this game to be decided by tossing a coin so that everyone could have had a rest! Looking forward to it though and wouldn't mind seeing wee Barry Bannan in action. Will be interesting to see the strength of the Bundasliga too.
17/12/2008 16:57:00
if you look at who we may play, we have not ended up in the toughest pot after all.
19/12/2008 00:28:00
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