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An Expensive Villa Summer?

An Expensive Villa Summer?

O'Neill won't be standing in JPA's way it seems should he wish to leave, how many more will he allow to go, more importantly can he allow more to go, without stretching Lerner's coffers.

The lack of both players and quality players has been our major problem for 3 seasons now. As soon as an injury hits a major player the weekly struggle begins.

Fair do's to the kids who have stepped up, their efforts albeit not always of the highest quality have built a base for survival and of course next season they are a season older. In addition Petrov may be up to steam and Young and Carew will hopefully be in a similar situation, but then what.

Despite his recent whoopsie Sorensen remains a decent enough keeper, I can't see the sense in spending big to get better, maybe a replacement for Taylor though, he didn't impress when the chance came.

At Fullback I don't think O'Neill is totally happy with Bouma and Samuel could be gone. Hughes doesn't look to be featuring and Bardsley isn't good enough for me, so 2 in 2 out ?

Central defence is a huge conundrum.

Team with Laursen = good, team without, not so good.
Mellberg with Laursen = good, without, not so good.
Cahill is ok as cover and could get better.
Ridgewell maybe going too.

I have no clue as to Laursen's longer term fitness, but past history suggests there's a question, here's where I'd invest heavily, my priority one.

Midfield, can't see anyone but Hendrie going. OK I accept McCann is struggling but as cover he'll more than do. Petrov, well doesn't matter what I think, he's one of the few quality members along with Mellberg and Laursen, and O'Neill picks him regardless.

Barry, man of the season for 2 seasons or more now, again quality.
Berger, OK as cover and as an option on the bench he'll stay.

Of the youngsters Gardener seems in the O'Neill mould, Davis does not, can't see him departing this season though, big mistake if he does.

So second big investment, but how. A minimum of one quality players needed, midfield hardman, a must, I'd even look to bringing in 2 more too experienced Premiership players too.

Up front we have a surfeit of riches some say, but like most sides in Europe we don't have a 20 goal a season man. Carew isn't, Young isn't, Agbonlahor might be but next season on the wing ? Moore similarly, Maloney ditto. Lots of youth, tonnes of inexperience, I'd say lots of quality too but not for now, not yet.

So here's priority 3 and as an interested fan, another conundrum based around what tactics O'Neill wishes to employ.

We do need an experienced striker though, I hope its not someone like Zamora, Harewood, someone like Defoe, Keane, perhaps, or 40 mill for Berbatov :)

So backbone replacements a must. One central defender, one hard man midfield, one experienced striker, a minimum requirement 10-12 mill, 14-20 mill and your guess is as good as mine. 35-40 million too much?

When you consider that would, if only Angel, Samuel and Hendrie go, keep the squad below sensible size when you consider the age and experience of the majority of the players, will it be enough for another long Premiership season.

So ideally for me 2 fullbacks, 1 or 2 extra midfield players and another striker is needed 7 new players, never ???

I accept, O'Neill will hopefully find a few from the out of contract pool and even a gem from the lower divisions, but whatever happens I hope for the first time in nearly a decade I can look at the bench come December 07 and still see genuine options on the bench, not make do oldsters and inexperienced kids.

Going to be an expensive and busy few weeks for Lerners bank I hope this summer, do the Browns need many players anyone know?


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

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Tuesday April 17 2007
Time: 5:08PM


Bouma is class and will go nowhere, the futures of Hughes, Bardsley, Delaney, and Samuel seem to be more pressing for me.
17/04/2007 17:14:00
sorensen = not good enough. great shot stopper but makes the whole team nervous as he cant command his area, flaps many crosses, makes too many mistakes for a top team. i actually thought taylor played very well when he came in, just got unlucky with his injury.
Its All Over FC
17/04/2007 17:24:00
look at the squad of players that are likely to be in the championship next season and see if a few bargins can be picked.Watford are down so any other quality players we could pinch? Bouazza maybe? if the hammers fall maybe lucas neil ,charlton we could try for bent sheff utd jagelka wigan have baines.I think there are a lot of players out there who would be willing to play for oneill and would be egar to play european football not nxt season obviously but hopefully the nxt.
17/04/2007 17:31:00
we are not going to get berbatov at whatever cost. as painful as it is we a re someway behind spurs at the moment
17/04/2007 17:47:00
Samuel, Hughes,Bardsley,Hendrie..possibly Laursen, Ridgewell on a season loan!Either way the maybe's are going and the whole club is setting it's sights and standards higher.A double deal for Sneijder and Huntelaar from Ajax for a start, maybe Joey Barton( I winced as I typed that, but the boy gets around!)Distin as a natural left sided Defender, maybe a deal for Woodgate if he is up for it and Olly at RB.Craig Gordon from hearts as GK and Iaquinta has been banded around Spurs looked at him before Berbatov.Either way we will need to move fast as once the standard is set it will go crazy.Plus no competitions this summer to distract!..can't wait!!!
17/04/2007 17:55:00
Balance is the priority and the weakest link is the right side. Gabby isn't a winger, and as avfc48 states in his article, Hughes and Bardsley are not good enough. So do we go back in for Milner or SWP as well as shop for a right back? I'm not a fan of raiding relegated teams "best" players, and wasn't overly excited when O'Leary signed Sorensen and McCann - surely if they are good enough for the Premier side whose minimum requirement is to challenge for Europe every season, they wouldn't be in a side that that goes down! I think Matt Taylor at Pompey would be a good signing (better than Samuel). Milner (better than Gabby on the right).... speculation is rife, there will be money to spend and I feel what MO'N wants Randy will provide. I just hope that MO'N 1. has the pulling power and 2. has an extensive knowledge of European/world football so that we can sign the best players available.
17/04/2007 17:59:00
Riacrdo Quaresma of FC Porto would be a fantastic signing to play on the right wing and it would show Villa really mean business but he will be coverted by the big 4 in england and other top european clubs..! but my point is we should be trying to attract this sort of player now we have Mr Lerners backing not the ones that have just been relegated with their respective clubs..!
17/04/2007 18:22:00
Bouma shouldn't be replaced i think he has shown his class this season. People seem to forget that he is a centre half - a position he has never played for us. We need a tough central midfield player though Barry has been excellent there in the last few games. A commanding centre half is needed, it's a shame Laursen can't string a decent run of games together because he is class. Sorensen is too hit and miss for my liking. Cudicini would be an excellent signing. I wpould like to see Foster but we would only get him on loan and that's not we require.
17/04/2007 18:25:00
lee dixon made an intresting comment on motd2, he was talking about cech, but said something about when he used to play with seamen (trying to fight the impulse to make a joke here!) that the defenders never have to look behind them and can concentrate on playing forward. i think our defense would be 30% better if we had a decent, reliable keeper. i voted for green, i used to play in goal and believe me, he's class i'd also say tara to taylor and let olejnik be no.2. totally agree about the full backs, bouma is great, but needs to develop his game pre season. and bardsley is like barton, but without the ability and all of the thuggery. laursen, when fit is a human wall, and olof is miles better with him, but fitness is an issue. i'd look at woodgate or distin. centre mid, barton - o'neill would sort out his rage and we'd have a quality player on our hands. i'd like to also push that mean streak upfront to with the addition of alan smith, he's matured alot and still retains his passion. other than that i'd show the door to jlloyd, bardsley, sorensen and taylor. i was considering adding delaney, but he's good enough when he's fit.
17/04/2007 18:27:00
i didnt put hendrie as he's as good as gone. and who would really want to be associated with the kind of person who insults someone in a wheelchair.
17/04/2007 18:29:00
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