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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

O'Neill Looking To Next Season

Martin O'Neill said the team deserved at least a point after playing their final game of the season at the Reebok Stadium today.

Villa came away with a 2-2 draw, making 19% who voted in our prediction poll correct (69% said win, 3% said we'd lose and 9% didn't care as they were going dressed as cowboys!!!).

The Villa boss said: 'The players have shown a lot of character again and deserved at least a point. I thought we were great again. We scored two fantastic goals that were there for all to see and we showed plenty of guts and character. We were unlucky to find ourselves a goal down after having the better of things in the early stages. But we equalised with a fantastic goal from Craig Gardner and at half-time I felt pretty confident. They took the wind out of our sails by scoring a second and then we just lost it for a little while - maybe ten minutes. But then we came roaring back, scored another great goal and had a couple of chances to win it in the end.'

'Overall I'm disappointed we didn't go onto win the game, but this was a decent point against a side that have qualified for next season's Uefa Cup. We showed an unwillingness to accept defeat and came from behind again. That's been a bit of a trademark towards the end of the season. We've lost just ten games this season and I think there's only three teams above us who have done better than that this season. The truth of the matter is that we've drawn an awful lot of games. But I think the fans will look at how we've finished the season and say it bodes well for next year.'

He has also said that he won't be taking much of a break this summer as he prepares for next season. With a full pre-season to prepare this summer he told the official site:

'It's going to be much better for me and I'm hoping that it will be better for the club. I don't think two weeks is enough time to prepare for the Premiership, but I knew that at the time. It was a case of either going in at the deep end or hanging around while someone else came in and took the job. And a job that I really wanted to do might not have been there for me again. I think overall the extra time this season to prepare, knowing the squad much better than I knew them back in August, should stand us in better stead. Next season we should be better equipped. We may not get off to the same start as this season, but I believe overall we will be better prepared for it.'

Adding about the excitement for the 2007/08 season: 'I think you definitely need a week or two away, but there's a general excitement about wanting to get back to work. Obviously, with the new premises at Bodymoor Heath, it's going to be great. Next week I'd like to get the contracts sorted for people - before I do anything I would like to resolve that. Players who have played this season deserve to take their place before any new acquisitions come in. It would be great to get things resolved so that I'd be getting back here early pre-season with a number of players in tow - I don't want to be charging around in the last couple of days before August.'







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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday May 13 2007

Time: 6:07PM

Your Comments

tell you what andy townsend would do a hell of a job in your team now hehe .... dwight yorke asd well !! thats championship class !!!
dazednconfuzed
Sorry I think you must be dazed and confused.
paddy@villa
Bring on the transfer rumour thread now !!
Pking
Not sure what DnC is trying to say? A good result against a tough side playing for Fat Sam. Wonder who he supports - bet it's Spurs, they all seem to be to55ers.
CLVilla
Luke Moore's second goal was quality, it was even better when the camera panned to John Robertson in the technical area and you could see him watching the celebrating players and saying "What a f****** goal!"
Thegreatdando
great goals by 2 future talents. bring on the summer transfer window and next season. 5 or 6 new signings should do the trick here is my wish list 1gk(boruc), 1rb(da silva of seville), 1cb (distan or dunne), 1cm (reo coker or sissoko), 1 winger(riberry or sneijder) and most important 1 striker(huntelaar, klose, luca toni, alves or d bent) this is a wish list prob wont get them all 2 or 3 would be ok, id be happy as long as we went to europe and not to the lower leagues for our signings, ill keep the faith with whatever o'neil decides UTV
paddy-villian
David james' comments in the Guardian are worth reading - He reckons Villa will be the club most likely to break into the top 4 and that Spurs only look good but will disappoint once more!
myleftfoot
Both goals were excellent yesterday. A point at Bolton good result i'd say but I am still worried about us conceding the first goal. Hughes has done himself no favours yesterday unfortunately as I was one of his supporters.
iomvilla
Young was awesome yesterday, his delivery is excellent. Carew needs to work on his heading and he'll get 15 goals next season no problem.....
son_of_cher
New players in tow..... MON has already decided who he wants to target.... just a matter of getting them to sign. I know the players and management need a break but don't you jut wish the season started next week with the players we have.
col8
Roller coaster of a season. We were extremely unlucky with how are fixtures fell mid season and would have gone down without the ability to spend late in August and January. We need to perform far better against the top six sides and in the cups next season. Be interesting to see who we'll sign. One thing for sure I don't want Joey barton in our side.
tarzan
Transfer thread??? Promised two weeks go! Bellamy is coming.
tarzan
I have a bad feeling Davis will be on his way,and probably for a pittence.Looking foward to some new faces just dont want the development of Gabby,Moore and Gardner to be hindered.
Pking
have to agree young looked outstanding on the wing yesterday,the man has everything in his locker.equally good with right or left,skill,pace,delivery and excellent football brain.what a player he is going to be,what a signing.now we know why so many clubs tried to get him.
Belfast Villain
Man City are in a bit of turmoil and the only thing that kept them up this season has been their reasonably strong defence. Micah Richards and Distin would improve our squad. Scott Parker and Darren Bent would also be welcome additions.
voiceoftheholte
Think we have a chance with Distin, Parker and Bent - all with something to prove so the hunger would be there. Now that Young is on form I'm just wondering whether SWP could ever fit into our team? We'd have no chance with Micah as he wants Arsenal.
koolbill
As far as I'm concerned we've had a superb first season under O' Neill. Hands up who was worried this time last season ?? Ye[, that'd be all of us. King Martin has improved us from 16th to a very close 11th in his first season in charge. Easy placings under a good manager. From here on progress will be slower but definite - there are some good teams above us, and I'm not talking about the Big Fat Four, but the likes of Everton, Spurs and Bolton - next season I expect us to be challenging these teams for the UEFA places. And I think Mr O'Neill is going to take us there. Viva la revolution !!
ExpatVillaShirt
Champions League here we come.
industrial_musical
MON is obviously quite correct when he states that all twenty premiership clubs kick off equal next August, but its difficult to ignore the positives surrounding the playing staff, that were once again in evidence at The Reebok yesterday. Yes we do have problem positions that need improving upon, but it has been many a year since we have entered the summer with so much anticipation and belief as we look forward to the new season ahead. An interesting couple of months of further rebuilding and strengthening lay ahead of us. Lets enjoy the fun.
glensider
i reckon distin is a likely signing, it makes a lot of sense. bellamy is a good player but i'd prefer we didn't sign him - agbonlahor can be better. darren bent would be my choice for a striker. don't know why anyone even flirts with the idea we might get micah richards!? if he leaves its for one of the top 4. would love parker or nolan.
ric112
ric112, I agree one of the top four may get Richards. So other than us, who do you think the other three are??
voiceoftheholte
Nice on!
Gazvilla
If Parker leaves the toon he will be replaced by Nolan.Personaly would keep barry in the middle with gardner or petrov.So look to get in a lefty.Duff kewell Nzogbia think all would be possabilities.Distan, Boric, Bellamy i think will be a cert or we will be in the hunt for them.Bent i would prefer instead of bell but think he may go to curbishly at the cheating hammers.Any one think we should try for Diego Forlan?
sk1nner80
Nzogbia wants to play for Wenger, Boruc is majestic but some big clubs are also in for him who have CL footie. Where's AVFC48 and his enlughtening opinions on Ashley Young? Bellamy has been told he's leaving, we a need a top notch centre half to compliment Laursen (or replace when injured!). Davis and Ridgewell will be sold for better models!!
tarzan
Its weird improving the squad coz as a fan i w ouldn't let many leave but its a sad fact ridge and davo may go. I hope not as they are 2 of my favourites. But some quality replacements will cheer me up.
iomvilla
We have scored some cracking goals in the past few games and the bonus is that different players have all scored them both from Midfield and Strikers - The making of a good team is that you can score goals from anywhere. For the 1st time for many a year I can't wait for the new season to start
Still-Ian
hopefully to improve us in summer we could start with a new goalkeeper as tommy just doesnt give enough confidence to our defenders in front of him and doesnt command his area enough either so either foster(doubt utd would let him go) or boruc would do me,also think we need a commanding centre half with laursen being so injury prone which could likely be distin who i rate.definately a right back who realistically could be luke young or phil jagielka who both would be a big improvement on hughes and both can cover centre half if needed as well.maybe a left winger possibly if barry is to stay in centre,malouda of lyon has today confirmed he wants to play in england next year and what i have seen of him he is martins type of player(quick,skilful,strong and a eye for goal.)if barry is going to go back to left i would go for diarra,who surely will leave chelsea with yet another midfielder signing in sidwell to limit his chances even further there and who could be our makelele type of player which is what we need to protect our centre backs for petrov to go forward.and finally maybe a proven goalscorer to go with carew,personally i would like defoe or bent rather than bellamy but would take any of them really.would also like martin to keep davis and moore if at all possible.out i reckon will go sorensen,hughes,j lloyd,ridge,mccann and hendrie. so there are my predictions for the summer so far who i think would improve us greatly next season,so now go ahead martin and prove me completely and utterly wrong! lol. should be are most interesting and exciting summer anyhow in a long long time,personally i cant wait and am glued to ssn and newsnow already! UTV.
Belfast Villain
I cant believe how deluded some of you are on here,you finished in the bottom half & collected 6 less points than Oleary did in his first season,1 more than O"leary"s second season & just 8 (yes,EIGHT!) points more than last season.Champs Lge/Top6 LMAO..........Get real people....!!
chalky76
Well done Chalky76,I have to say the self importance of some spurs fans will never cease to amaze me.You guys hoovered up young talent on the cheap when no one else had money...so the FACT we have a billionare owner now and alot of cash(Where were you when competing for Ashley young?-trading in cast offs), like West Ham etc...you now will see things change.It's called evolution my son.So like the Newcastle fans who were running their mouths off at the start of this season, we will see come the end of the next.The table won't lie, rest assured the Lion has awoken!!
OneloveVilla
"ROAR" Bring it on! You dont have to BELIEVE anything Pastel76. Next season when the facts smack you and the rest of the league in the mush you'll realise what a fool you were to come on here and make your silly comments.
paddy@villa
who said we'd make champions league on here? i very much doubt it. but ill tell u something - we will make it there before spurs ever do.
ric112
Champions league is way off, but we could well challenge Spurs etc to be the best of the rest so to speak. That is realistic in my opinion.
Thegreatdando
Competing for ashley Young..??Hmmm,not quite,we offered £3mill which is what he"s worth,he dragged it out coz he didnt want to move to Villa,guess where he wanted to come...??You bring in Stilian Petrov & Sean Maloney for all your billions,we bring in Berbatov & aim our sights at MARTIN Petrov.O"neill"s vision is limited in the transfer market,just as his style of football is limited too,kick n rush rubbish.Hoof it 50yds up to Carew/Sutton...WOOPIE..!!
chalky76
chalky?! What have I told you about winding up these poor, deluded fools? C'mon now, you're not being fair to them. Let them have their hopes and dreams, at least until the next season starts when they haven't managed to bring in any quality players (because let's face it, who wants to play for a midtable team in Birmingham) and will be as average as ever. Villa fans, listen to me, you can have all the money in the world but quality players are not going to want to play for you. Tell you what though, for £10 mill you are absolutely welcome to Defoe!!!! We'll throw in Ghaly for free.
Officer X
Oh you guys!!!!! as I read your posts I can see them quivering with the fear you are feeling, because you know that some of the greatest players will be climbing over each other to join us, Villa now have probably the greatest training facility, a genuine, very generous owner, but on top of that the chance to play for Martin O'Neil at one of the greatest arenas of the beautiful game, on one of the best pitches, in front of us, the Villans, Martin O'Neils Claret and Blue Army. It does not matter where we go, the players, the Live coverage, you fans, will only hear one thing, yipee hi ayyyyy, yipee hi owwwwww, holteenders in the sky, remember those words, you will be listening to them as we give you a lesson in football on your own pitch. UTV
Dion the villan
funny some people don't want joey barton in our squad, whats the basis behind this! football or the way he is, because if its not football, then we certainly dont want bellamy! we could do alot worse than barton and with MON record with players i for one would welcome the quality midfielder to the villa, oh and CHALKY go f4ck your mum you juanker
eltoro
I would have posted by now, but Officer and Chalky have beat me to it, Cheers Guys!!!
OneAaronLennon
Would you please honeslty answer me this question; How do you expect to attract the top class players with no European football whatsoever?
OneAaronLennon
And your point is what Chalky? You collected 5 (yes, FIVE) less points than last year and just 8 (yes, EIGHT!) points more than 2 years ago, shall we talk about 3 years ago when you came 14th (yes 14th) in the table with 45 points… he he, the same season when Villa came 6th with 56 points. Shall we start quoting the rest of our finishes against yours throughout the Premiership history because strangely you’ll always be below us in mid to lower table except for 2 seasons. So summing it up who is the deluded fan? Maybe as a Spurs fan you would do better concentrating on your own failings to come even close to competing at the top level than worrying about the Villa… something Spurs fans do on a regular basis. Maybe being in the shadows of all our success against yours leaves a bad taste in your throat. I can’t blame you because as a London Club you think you are bigger and better but history doesn’t lie. Another stat for you to put in your pipe and smoke has been European Cups won by English Clubs. Surprisingly out of the 10 won, none of those wins have been from London Clubs. So even if you can attract a top name player to the capital for a couple of seasons to bolster your mediocrity where will it get you? Maybe competing for 5th place at best. So move over, lie down and whimper in the shadows of the mighty Lion as yet again it roars its way up the table to success, whilst you deluded Spurs fans once again whinge about being almost there but never quite managing it. I mean when did you actually last manage to challenge for the title and win it?? I can’t remember because I wasn’t born, but my granddad tells me it was 1960 something… or correct me if I’m deluded?
Hoss The Villain
Well said Hoss
Pking
Well done Hoss, I would say how the mighty have fallen...but they never have been mighty!...I am off to look at our roll of honour and polish my EUROPEAN CUP replica!!...Oh to be in the shadow of the most successful club in North london.The bitterness must be overwhelming, Arsenal lose their top striker for the whole season, lose more games than usuall and Spurs STILL can't touch them!! SAD, really, really SAD!!
OneloveVilla
Love to hear from these Spuds fans. You know, that outfit that's the joke of north London. Spend millions, and once again achieve sweet Frankie Abbott. Flatter to Deceive, that needs to be their official club motto. Not since Billy Nics push and run side of the early sixties have they had a decent team down the Lane.
glensider
 

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