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Villa Manager Slated

Criticism of Martin O'Neill seems to have increased slightly recently. We've had Matthew Le Tissier and Andy Gray saying the team is Martin O'Neills and should do better and now former Villa striker Milan Baros, who moved to Lyon in exchange for John Carew (and what a great deal that was, although I'd loved to have seen them BOTH play in the same team I must admit!) has slated the Villa boss.

The former Liverpool striker and Czech Republic international said; 'To be honest, the last six months at Villa was a kind of survival. Neither I nor the club was doing well and everything was much more difficult.'

'We play football at Lyon, not long ball tactics. It was very difficult at Aston Villa in that respect - it was more like fighting than playing football. There, I got one chance in a game, sometimes not even that. At Lyon, I have three or four chances a game.'

Although some will say they don't care what Baros says because he left Villa etc etc, it is what many of us have said for a long time, you could play Ruud Van Nistelrooy in his prime at Villa and even he wouldn't score. I thought this season would see a departure from the way we played last year under David O'Leary, I thought the long balls would end and we'd get the supply to the strikers sorted. Maybe it will just take longer, but at the moment I see five in midfield and a big man up front who doesn't get the sort of ball where he can turn and shoot, so he has to flick on to .... well, no one basically.

I'm sure earlier in the season our formation was more attacking, what happened?

Five across midfield is rubbish, it was last season, it is when played this season, that isn't a dig at the manager at all, I am all for Martin O'Neill building an empire at Villa, but you have to look at where we are in the league and look at the amount of goals scored. WHY have John Carew up front and no one to feed off him? Why not put Gabby, Luke Moore or Juan Pablo Angel up front in a proper 4-4-2 to feed off the Hulk and all the hard work he puts in?

I'd rather see us go down fighting than the puerile crap we saw against Liverpool or Fulham for instance, wouldn't you? Quicker this season is over and the summer changes start the better, but I still can see little or no excuses for our placement in the league OR for the latest talk of a lack of confidence in the players, they wear the mighty claret and blue shirt, they should go out for every match with their heads held high and put the same guts and balls into the game that the team of 82 - soon to be honoured - did game in and game out! Are they over paid ninnies or Lions, the choice I guess is theirs.

And no, I don't want the manager merry go round to continue!

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 22 2007

Time: 12:03PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Baros is a prat. That said I agree with the rest of the article, I think there are many of us beginning to wonder about MON's tactics, we WERE awful against Liverpool and I just can't understand a) his refusal to give Luke Moore a run out and b) His continuing to play Gabby wide right when it is patently obvious to everyone the lad hasn't got a clue out there. Actually there are other things I am beginning to wonder about but those two will do for starters.
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22/03/2007 12:13:00

Too early to get on his back. I think we should give everyone total support at villa, stop the booing and get behind the team. If smiler reads the posts, how has the weakest link helped his performances? I would like to see us playing more possitive but we needed at least a point against scouse, and got it.UTV.
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22/03/2007 12:37:00

That's a fair point morky and I think we have to give MON this season as one of transition. But he is now beginning to put his own stamp on the team and if he spends a lot in the summer and we don't improve next season then some serious questions will be asked. Petrov has been a flop so far, no question and while I think Ashley Young's signing was good business, why play the kid wide on the left? Particularly as Gareth Barry can be so influential from that position. Don't get me wrong, this is not all the old negativity re-surfacing, but we have to be a bit realistic. The honeymoon period for MON is over and whilst he never lead us to believe the good start would last, there are very few signs that the form shown at the beginning of the season is near to returning. We need to start playing the ball on the floor a bit more and stop looking for Carew as the outlet all the time. We have pacey, skillful attackers now, so we need to play to their strengths. 3 points in the next match is a must
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 13:52:00

Martin O`Neill`s time as Villa manager starts with his pre-season and his summer signings! He can then be judged on his merits ?
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 13:56:00

MON's got 5 years of neglect to sort out, we all want to see improvements, and it would be wrong and stupid of us to get rid of him now, but I still feel that he's the right person for this job. Under Ellis's previous '3 year manager plan' we would always have a strong finish followed by us gradually falling into nothingness. But what would Villa fans rather have? A long term plan for success that means that we have a solid foundations and can consistently challenge the top 6, or quick patch up fixes that mean we get into the top half of the table and then fall from grace quicker than you can say Ipswich...Performances haven't been up to scratch lately, but you also feel MON is looking at things over the longer term, and that is what a club like ours should be striving for....
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 14:33:00

Give him time. He'll come good.
The Usual Suspect
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22/03/2007 15:01:00

Nowhere do I suggest he should be moved on, quite the reverse I think with time he'll 'do a clough' for Villa, that doesn't mean fans/pundits or anyone else can't express the views. Point taken re: McCann, so what does that mean, we shouldn't express opinions at all? Withdraw all polls on all players for all teams? Just accept everything that happens? Maybe bring back Jumper Jumper and stop saying how bad he was? Football is all about opinions, it used to be sitting around a pub table arguing with mates, now we've a massive pub table called the internet and if players or managers don't like what is said, then that would really have to be their problem ?
The Fear
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22/03/2007 15:06:00

He's playing in the 6th league in Europe behind Premiership, La Liga, Seria A, Bundesliga and the Eredevisie. It's no wonder he's scoring a few goals... But then It couldnt be that difficult playing in so many games, in so many cups and with such easy opposition... Dream on Baros - Villa are better than you, you just couldn't cut it.
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22/03/2007 15:17:00

Baros never once tried. Lazy. We're longballing at the moment with players played out of position purely as I believe they are carrying injuries and no confidence. Can't wait for more passers to be adopted into the team for next season and Martin can then do his bit. He loved Muzzy Izzet who could pass as good as any GUNNER so I believe he will get it right and you'll seea few of the Old Guard who aren't willing to change from longball tactics being moved on in the close season. I'm sure M'ON knows our football has declined and much of that is down to players falling into old habits. I believe a swathe will cut through our team at the end of the season with some good good players coming through. I also believe we should hire Teddy Sheringham as a striker coach, his experience would be magic!!!
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 15:43:00

I rather like this "Internet" pub. Its quiet, yet I get a diverse set of opinions. There's no fights. The bathroom is cleaner. And the beer is cheaper.
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 15:53:00

No fights? Not been on our forum then! LOL
The Fear
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22/03/2007 16:17:00

In all honesty Baros moving to Lyon was the best move for the player and both clubs, both have moved on and articals like this do nothing to promote either.
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 16:23:00

I wondered how long it would take for Baros to start shouting his mouth off. He never looked happy at Villa and we got the better end of the deal
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 16:33:00

Money grabbing waster, got benched for the CL!
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 16:44:00

I was thinking on the way home how quite it's been on the site and how boring. No banter etc. I thought perhaps of submitting an article asking opinions of MON to get the juices flowing. The teams he's managed were essentially mediocre players with a few exceptions. He raised their game and kept it simple. Baros calls it long-ball tactics. We now have some intelligent players and we intend to buy some more. Can MON be tactical and intelligent or does he only have one style? I'm glad JF penned the article because some fans are criticised for being fickle when being negative. But something ain't right and I enjoy the discussion. Better out than in and better to get different perspectives. UTV
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 16:54:00

Well, hopeully MON's tactics will eventually get us into the Big Cup sooner rather than later in order that we can hopefully play Lyon and give Baros and Co. a good rogering. What a loser!
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 17:09:00

Theres a time to play football and a time to play the long ball. The fact of the matter is the Villa aren't good enough to play football in the middle of the park so we have to by pass that area altogether. I still think someone should play along side Carew - Baros is right in what he says but then how much football did he play when he had the ball? It seems to me that he spent an awful lot of time on his arse. He also has to remember he isn't the first choice striker at Lyon and he maybe spending alot more time on his arse than he really likes to.
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 18:41:00

Doubt that Martin is losing any sleep over the 'words of wisdom' spouted by Baros. He (Baros) would be better off directing his energy towards winning himself a regular starting place in the Lyon side, as opposed to directing jibes back at a manager and club that he showed very scant regard for.
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22/03/2007 18:48:00

The truth is most of our players are average. The guts of this team needs throwing out and start again. At the end of the day we all thought that MON would make a better job of the pitch side goings on and in all honesty this season has been a damp squib! Looking forward to MON's Claret and Blue revolution part 2. Coming to a football stadium near you Summer 2007!!
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 20:05:00

Anybody know Baros's goals to game ratio since he moved??? Listening to him, sounds like he is scoring a hatrick every other game
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 20:07:00

What I can't understand is that the premiership is so competitive that you just cannot afford to have one player out of sorts in a key position - let alone 2 or 3. Petrov I still hope will come good, but MON admits he just hasn't done it so far. So why has he been in the team? He desrved and has been give plenty of time but our season has disappeared down the plug hole while we have been waiting. On the other hand Luke Moore devlivered and pressurises and gets involved all the time. He should be back in. Thus a very basic point - please pick players in form and drop players who don't do it. And yes I agree with what most are saying we need more football on the floor thru the middle and support up front. Indeed an in-form Petrov doing what he was meant to do! MON remains immense and hopefully we will soon be watching and Petrov will soon be playing football with a smile.
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 22:04:00

He was always gonna get more chances at Lyon as they are by far and away best team in France,Carew is a far bigger threat in Premiership football terms but Baros was another decent striker in a crud villa team,MON does worry me but we can`t give true judgement until this time next year.
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 22:09:00

play davis instead of petrov and young on the right and moore/angel tight up with carew
Report Abuse
22/03/2007 22:11:00

Agree with you Newman, Angel should start with JC with Davis and Luke. Give Stan time, he will be ok.
Report Abuse
23/03/2007 10:23:00

Worth a try
Report Abuse
23/03/2007 13:09:00

Doesn't matter how good the strikers are, if the supply from midfield is not there than no will score. You want the goals that are scored by the strikers to be tap ins. Then you know you have a truely magnificent midfield. Let the midfielders score the spectacular goals and then leave them to create the simple goals for the strikers. Nearly all of Baros's goals come from in or around the six yard area - Villa just didn't/don't have the midfield to supply the the bullets. Sad but true, Baros is right in what he says but is wrong in saying it.
Report Abuse
23/03/2007 20:25:00

The trouble is that in the modern game, people want instant sucess! Give MON time and he'll do the business!
Report Abuse
23/03/2007 20:34:00

I believe Baros is scoring a goal every two games. The french league is a poor standard but I think the guy joined when we were going down hill fast and we never saw him doing his best. He was a heartless player though and disappeared when we needed his goals most.
Report Abuse
24/03/2007 07:28:00

All MON needs is time to sort out the unholy mess that he inherited. Open dissent in the dressing room, players desperately wanting out (ring a bell Mr Baros), and a playing staff that quite frankly every true Villan new was destined for the Championship unless Martin sorted the mess out.... and quick! The fact that he hasn't yet enjoyed a full pre-season with the squad, nor time to really sit down and bring in the new faces he desires without the pressure of games coming up thick and fast, must also be remembered. I believe, I hope, that next season shows a major improvement to what we have witnessed this campaign. I'm sure it will.
Report Abuse
27/03/2007 22:41:00


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