Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday May 16 2007
Part two (for part one, Click Here )
Up front, our U21's have done superbly all season. Moore and Agbonlahor held us together at the start of the season, Baros disappointed, wanted away and got his wish, thankfully resulting in the Big Fellah arriving. In time O'Neill realised that punting the ball to his head limited our play, he stopped it, maybe by default and Carew and the team blossomed.
Some player, not a huge goalscorer, he misses too many sharp chances, he's not a poacher, but he takes the weight off the kids nursing them through each game, as he runs around confusing even the best defenders, physically and with his speed. Not the target man, I think O'Neill wanted, but a superb target man nevertheless.
As to Gabby and Moore, we have two huge potential strikers, who from the seasons last few performances look to be up to the challenge of battling it out for the striker spot alongside Carew. I still don't comprehend the logic of O'Neill playing them as wingers, especially Gabby, I still maintain had he or Moore been played as strikers we would have scored more. Still huge plus' both of them.
Eventually Young got his winger role back, he got into his groove again and its obvious why such a huge sum was paid. If they add bravery to his locker, watch out, a rough but real talent, as a winger, not as a striker mind.
Maloney, came too for a pittance, and didn't it upset the Celtic faithful, after all the money they spent to save his career after a bad injury. You hear that alot at Villa don't you, anyway, for me the joker
in the pack. Reputably a perfectionist, a big talent, has everything but bulk, I've no idea how he'll go, but I can't wait to see, its going to be fun, he's that sort of player, a match winner, a huge disappointment, who knows.
Midfield remains our big area in need of improvement. Barry, said it all, but where to play him. Berger, had left, never play for Villa again I heard, well he did, he has a new contract and at 33, injuries aside he could be the missing link. McCann, 29 and not been at his best towards the season end looks a favourite to be replaced. Unlike Sorensen there are plenty of even UK based players available to replace him, we'll get one I'm sure, but will he stay as cover, I hope so.
Our last real signing, sorry O'Neill's first real signing was Petrov. When he played his first match I was so enthused I nearly burst, he ran from deep, he passed the ball around, he held it up, he was a threat on goal, what a buy, a season of that and we had real promise. Since then I've read all the excuses, and there's been plenty, but I keep being reminded of my Celtic's mates laughing when we paid such a huge sum for him, and after I'd gone on to them after the West Ham game, I remember their parting words ' you just wait you'll see, he'll go further back, he'll get a slight injury, he'll start holding his hands up and complain to the ref, and he'll get injured, come back, score a goal, get dropped or injured come back'. What did they know ?
Next season he'll be huge reckons O'Neill, I hope so, for a bloke who has it all and in spades, he hasn't done anything much other than show he can once or twice.
Gardner comes last replacing Davis as last years surprise of the season. On Davis I have to say I'm hugely disappointed, not in him but in the way O'Neill has treated him. Huge for Ireland, if he makes it at Villa I'll be amazed, but that happens when you get a new manager, no longer do we have Baros, Angel, and soon no Davis, sad. Oh yes back to Gardner. A decent workmanlike box to box player, nothing special, really so what does O'Neill see in him. Err, his ability to be there when it matters, probably, What ? Well when the ball goes towards our net, up he pops, when a player breaks free, up he pops, when a tackle is needed he's there, when a neat one two is required, he's the man, when a deep cross is required, he makes it, when a neat flick at the nearside is required he does it, nice goal, and now he's added the superb shot from no where. Age 20, prospects huge, will he do it, ask Davis.
That's it then for me, looking forward, I expect a right back, I expect a new centre back, I hope and pray we get two midfield players at least and at least one striker, although I'd like two.
As to a keeper, he'd have to be good, we need one for sure, I don't rate Taylor, his time is done, Hahneman maybe would Sorensen stay ? Give him one more season, spend elsewhere for me.
So its looking forward and looking up, what could go wrong.............
I'll leave that to the season preview :)
Date:Wednesday May 16 2007
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