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Magnificent Turnaround For Villa

The difference between the performances this season and the past two is infinite. There is now a team spirit, we are hard to beat and O'Neill is strengthening the team.

Petrov is taking time but looks quality in the holding role - miles better than the previous incumbent McCann. That is an improvement.

Carew is willing and strong and has a great attitude unlike Baros who was a disgrace to the club and played with no desire. That is an improvement.

Maloney and Young now provide options on the wing. They both can beat players, are direct and stretch the opposition. Previously we had no wide men. Therefore that is an improvement.

Melberg, Cahill, Ridgewell and Laursen now look like they can defend. They are organized and seem to be able to play together and understand what their defensive partner is doing. previously they looked like strangers without direction and we were getting smashed by five goals against Arsenal. That is an improvement.

We now have a left back who looks of the highest quality. he has publicly stated that the previous regime did not instruct him how to play the left back role in the English game. The present coaches have settled him in and made him understand his duties. That is an improvement.

Gardner, Gabby, Moore and Bardsley are all youngsters with promise. O'Neil has given them defined roles and they have all played well. Last year, with the exception of Davis, our youngsters looked like drowning in the big league. That is an improvement.

Garth Barry wanted to leave this club before O'Neill joined us he is now our best player. That is an improvement.

We have drawn a lot of games this year but we have also lost far fewer than last year and fewer than Bolton who are above us. That is an improvement.

I agree that next year we should have higher expectations and I firmly believe we will be challenging the top ten consistently from now on. We should not forget where we were at in August last year, the turnaround has been magnificent and I am thoroughly looking forward to next year.

By Jake Findlay




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 23 2007

Time: 12:43PM

Your Comments

Jake Findlay?? Goalie Jake Findlay??
voiceoftheholte
great slant and insight into what others would claim as 'not good enough'. I personally cant wait for the transfer window to open and next season!
Stig
On the point of the draws and the fact we are top of fair-play league I think that may cause a problem. The draws suggest we may not have that killer instinct and take the attacking risks. Remember a loss and a win is worth more than two draws!! As for the fair play we should be getting stuck in a lot more!!! We seem to be 'too nice' at times, maybe thats partly due to all the youngsters and not having a Steve Staunton type player in the side. What do you think??
deano.avfc
Great article, no reason not to be positive. I keep saying that the fixture list around Christmas & lack of games in February , difficult cup draws and losing our goalkeepers did us no favours at all this season.
tarzan
Fantastic point of view, have got to agree. Yes, it would be nice to win every game, but at least we have stopped losing so many. The losses have also mainly against the top 4. We have lost less than Blackburn, Spuds, Reading and Portsmouth as well, all above us. A killer instinct and some bite in Midfield would be what we are looking for this summer. Any suggestions?
CLVilla
One thing I do know. I'm a damn sight more upbeat and positive about the immediate future, than I ever have been at this time of a season looking forward, than for many a year now. The club is heading in the right direction, huge progress is being made, both on and off the pitch, and the future looks very promising indeed.
glensider
You can slate or complain, but to be 11th after we were so bad last season has to be an improvement.
Thegreatdando
Any Villa fan who is NOT optimistic about the future has to be a fool.
Adam Deuce
well said , excellent article, being hard to beat is a good thing and a lot of those draws ie could have easily been wins ie wigan, portsmouth to name a couple and even the defeats against Newcastle, reading,bolton and Charlton were difficult to take as we played well in those games. The young players are a season older and wiser and as a crop of youngsters as good as any around. Expecting big things from Gabby, Luke Moore, Ashley and Steven Davis who is still class.
agentprovocateur
 

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