Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Aston Villa - Squad Size

Aston Villa - Squad Size

Juan Pablo Angel is away and I've seen many a fan this week calling for the exit of Sorensen, McCann and even a suggestion we should sell Mellberg and replace him with Ridgewell.

I'm a keen believer that to do well in the Premiership or any top league, you need a mixture of experienced quality with the odd bit of youth thrown in.

My theory for the last few seasons has been our squad size is just too small. When injuries and suspensions hit you look at our bench and try to guess who is there. We have got by over using too many not ready young kids and its beginning to look like the pressure has told.

Samuel, older Moore, Davis, Ridgewell, Cahill, have hit a brick wall, Gabby was played through a very poor spell, albeit out of position, younger Moore, played too long with an injury, he survived, but will he push on, I hope so. None of those mentioned in my view are of the highest quality yet, although I have hopes for Cahill, Davis, Moore and Agbonlahor.

In all our effective squad now is 20 strong, I've excluded Bardsley, Delaney, Sutton and Samuel but included Taylor, Hughes, Berger, McCann, Ridgewell, all who could move away and Osborne,another of those over used unproven kids who I doubt will hold down a regular first team place next season.

If and its a big if, they all leave we would be left with a squad of 15, and of those 8 have played less than 10 games this season for various reasons.

None of our forwards Gabby apart, have over 8 Villa Premiership games which might explain why Gabby apart, they haven't mustered 10 goals between them.

In addition, of that 15, I'd only class 7 of them as experienced. 7 experienced players in an effective squad of 15, and some fans seem hell bent on reducing those 15 even more, especially the experienced
players. Crazy.

Replace Sorensen, sell Mellberg, get rid of McCann I hear, get real I say, its squad building we need to do and for next season I'd expect O'Neill to do just that. I'd like to see some big names, I'd like to see us competing with the Manchester Utd's of the world but for now I'd be happy going for players slightly down the scale, simply because we need experience as well as quality, ideally I'd prefer experienced quality.

We have plenty of young potentials, lets see a few experienced heads not necessarily older players mind, just experienced heads and plenty of them.


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

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Wednesday April 18 2007
Time: 12:07PM


good points, certainly need to bring in more quality and keep the likes of McCann etc as they are useful squad members. Hopefully some of the kids will then blossom and mean less expenditure is needed in the future.
The Fear
18/04/2007 12:21:00
You are so right. There is no substitute for experience, it is about reading the game, positioning etc and that does not come overnight. Our youngsters have performed heroically during the past two years and now they need support and help to develop further. By all means bring in some additional players but don't unload others until or unless MON is satisfied they are not up to the demands of a top of the legue club. There must be backups for all positions. The likes of MU and Chelski can swop players around without reducing the effectiveness of the team. We must aim for the same.
18/04/2007 12:36:00
Can't see why anyone would want to replace Mellberg with Ridgewell. Ridge is our 4th choice central defender in my opinion, he lacks pace and often makes silly mistakes. He is a good squad player and if anyone was to replace Mellberg it should be a defender of higher quality.
18/04/2007 14:10:00
They key thing with this issue is that outside of the 'big four', the squad system is still yet to be fully accepted by either players or fans. Whilst I'm sure it would be great to develop our squad to the point where we have 18-20 genuinely top class players all jostling for positions, the truth is only the elite can keep those kind of players happy (and sometimes not even then). Angel's departure is a case in point - he may be past his best but he still possesses undoubted quality. But now he has slipped down the pecking order, he has left the club. Whatever you may think of him (and I wish him nothing but the best), the option of competing for a place on the bench, let alone the first team, is simply not an option. A second case in point, as regards the general metanlity toward the squad system, is that the minute we start speculating about bringing players in, we automatically also start ruminating on who will be the first to leave. Everyone seems to think that if we go after Bent, Keane, Bellamy etc. that Luke Moore will be shown the door. We have a very cut-throat view of the game and to fully achieve a squad of true depth and quality, it is going to take a radical shift in perspective on the part of everyone which I still don't think has taken hold in British football.
18/04/2007 14:35:00
I dont know why Ridgewell hasnt been played for ages but to sell him would be completely *****ed up and a move that i would not agree with one bit
18/04/2007 15:20:00
Osborne, Petrov, Davis, Gardner, McCann, Barry, Berger, have I missed anyone? Plus the 1 or 2 other midfield players MON might buy. Considering he will buy experience the kids will possibly drop down. Why then the need for McCann, Berger? If you take Berger and Barry out we have 5 midfielders plus whoever is bought competing for 2 places! How will that work?
18/04/2007 21:24:00
mute points - Osbourne hasn't been overplayed. If your good enough, you should play no matter what your age. Giggs was on the scene at 17 years old and he is and even better player now then 10 years ago (dito for the famous Utd midfield quartet). So I say play the youngsters if they are good enough. Since the Saunders era Villa have too often opted for the 'experienced' (euphemism) player and that is just so short sighted. It's not good enough to do a Bolton and forever turn over oaps for the sake of short term glory. Thats the Ellis way - no investment in the future. Lets try and build a great team based on youth and then continue to build (unlike post circa 81' 82' seasons). Experience is essential but experience comes with playing and not age! UP THE VILLA!
18/04/2007 22:40:00
MON will obviously allow the players that he feels have no VP future under his management to move on, and no doubt they in turn will be replaced by hopefully better players. There will be no major cull, of that I am sure, but players like Stuart Taylor, Lee Hendrie, JLloyd Samuel need to get fixed up elsewhere, there career's are going nowhere at Villa Park. Then we have to build on and improve the squad that we have. Only then will we be in a position to make the step up from mid-table mediocrity. Good aricle, comments and observations from avfc48.
19/04/2007 03:49:00
im all for keeping players if they are good enough for the squad , what i want shot of is the dead wood, those who just cant cut it anymore and to be true there isnt a great deal to get rid of yet the players we have can all offer something , the young lads will be better for the experiance of this year and 2 players who must stay are davis and luke moore under no circumstannces should we allow either of these to to be sold
19/04/2007 09:35:00
We get attached to players that are mediocre, step up or ship out IMHO. Angel, Samuel even Vassell. Seeing SWP last night vindicates that MON is going for the right players, if they don't want to join us - we just move on to the next target. It's a different way of life for us now. I remember praying for James Beattie to sign! Be interesting for us all to own up what we actually thought when DJ twins were signed at the 11th hour, we allegedly beat Portsmouth to his signature. There's going to be some good players up for grabs in the summer, but it's going to be difficult to persuade really good players to join without the carrot of Europe and a guaranteed first team place. I think we need a keeper, robust/experienced centre half a midfielder and a goalscorer. If they are not significantly better than what we have, we wait.
19/04/2007 17:39:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Two Aston Villa Matches Selected By Sky For February

Two more fixtures changes for the Sky Cameras... February fixtures.

The Villa Times - 06/12/2016 (Aston Villa News Round-up)

The latest look at all things Aston Villa in our news and social media round up.

Verity Previews FA Youth Cup Clash

Aston Villa's youngster head to Ashton Gate for a 7pm kick off later this evening as we meet Bristol City in the third round of the 2016/17 FA Youth Cup.

Calderwood's Fit Right In - Bruce

Manager Steve Bruce has been speaking about how new assistant manager Colin Calderwood has slotted right into life at Villa Park.

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Mike Field
Editor email
Steve Wade
no email
no email
Turkish Penguin
no email
no email
Chris Heath
no email
M Calucar
no email
JuanPablo Angel
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

The Vital Villa Player Of November
Suggested By: JP Fear
Adomah 7%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 19 13 1 5 40 21
2 Brighton 19 11 6 2 39 17
3 Reading 19 10 4 5 34 1
4 Leeds Utd 19 10 2 7 32 3
5 Birmingham 19 8 7 4 31 2
6 Sheff Wed 19 9 4 6 31 1
7 Norwich 19 9 3 7 30 4
8 Huddersfield 19 9 3 7 30 -3
9 Derby County 19 8 5 6 29 4
10 Fulham 19 7 7 5 28 9
11 Bristol City 19 8 3 8 27 4
12 Barnsley 19 7 4 8 25 3
13 Forest 19 7 4 8 25 1
14 Preston 19 7 4 8 25 1
15 Aston Villa 19 5 10 4 25 1
16 Ipswich 19 6 6 7 24 -2
17 Q.P.R. 19 6 5 8 23 -8
18 Brentford 19 6 4 9 22 -2
19 Burton 19 5 7 7 22 -4
20 Wolves 19 5 6 8 21 -3
21 Blackburn 19 5 5 9 20 -7
22 Cardiff 19 5 4 10 19 -12
23 Wigan 19 4 6 9 18 -5
24 Rotherham 19 1 4 14 7 -26
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Wolff rules out big name driver for Mercedes
Latest Vital Boxing News
And Watching From Ringside
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Wigan Athletic (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 13 2016 7:45PM : Norwich City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 18 2016 12:00PM : Queens Park Rangers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 26 2016 3:00PM : Burton Albion (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 29 2016 7:45PM : Leeds United (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Jan 2 2017 3:00PM : Cardiff City (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

1.The Fear171
8.Stephen Jay Hawkings39
10.Melon Donkey31
Vital Football Comment