Date:Friday July 6 2007
Having often complained about the money spent on Petrov and Young, can I congratulate you on obtaining super value for money for one of your trademark players.
He may not do it, but everything is there for him to prove a snip at the price paid.
Why, some will ask, I've seen those not too keen.Simply he's the genuine Martin O'Neill article, and he's a proven talent. He's used to battling in the Premiership against the best. He's idolised and disliked by fans, the same ones in some instances, not because of his off the field antics, his lack of proprietary but because he didn't start as well last season as the one before. He probably upset his new manager too, who still had to play him to ensure relegation was avoided, probably because he tells it as it is, and Curbishley wouldn't like that.
Now he is looking for a new start,and with mates like Gabby,Young and Cahill egging him on, the chance to join the Vila revolution was just Manna from Heaven.
What a dream ticket, good wage, decent club on the up, no competition for your position, plenty of young kids to boss around, no prima donnas and a Manager desperate to get you.
A manager you like, everyone likes, and one backed by Randy Lerner's dream to win Europe within the terms of your contract. Worth a punt at 22 for anyone, especially someone with a questionable attitude.
So Villa get a driving, tackling, natural leader, who won't drop his head. Anyone who really watched him during the U21 games recently will see he never stops cajoling and encouraging his team mates, he's a wonderful communicator, confident and in many eyes the best English player in the tournament, simply because of his consistency.
Its not always the sort of thing fans see, they prefer startling runs, wonder goals, spectacular passes, those of a consistent work rate, those who are always in the right place at the right time, who play the easy ball, who are always prompting others, often get missed, ask Gareth Barry.
I like him he's a rock on which success can be built, a foundation on which others will thrive, but he will not have joined Villa to be an also ran. Petrov has supposedly complained he's not been happy that the promises made when he was joining weren't met, its now down to O'Neill to start adding to the squad and quick.
He has his battler, he has bought his target man, he has his own flair player, now he needs to bolster his defence and find that experienced striker and ideally a talented playmaker, a Berger from 5 years ago. In addition he needs to lose this last minute brinkmanship. The new spec's might be a sign he's not only changing his image, he's exploring new ideas, here's hoping.
A super transfer despite all the fun I had over how long it took. A super player, with more to offer than many fans yet realise, well done Martin, lets do it again and quick.
Date:Friday July 6 2007
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|1.||Pride of Lions||644|
|Aston Villa||2||-||1||Leicester City|
|Crystal Palace||0||-||1||Aston Villa|
|West Ham||0||-||0||Aston Villa|
|13. Aston Villa||16||5||4||7||-10||19|
|16. Crystal Palace||16||3||6||7||-5||15|
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