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Steve Mandanda = Deeper Frustration?

When the news emerged yesterday that Aston Villa would not be signing trialist Steve Mandanda the sense of summer frustration seemed to deepen among some fans.

Surely that is ridiculous? Steve Mandanda is not Ronaldo, Ronaldinho or even Ronnie Wallwork - he's a 22-year-old keeper, currently playing for a French Ligue 2 side who, reading between the lines, failed to impress Martin O'Neill sufficiently to deserve a contract.

Speaking of Mandanda, O'Neill told the club's official site: 'We will be monitoring him, but we never got as far as discussing a price. He trained with us for three or four days and he trained well. He was doing fine. We will keep an eye on things, but we will certainly not be doing anything in the near future.'

If he was good enough, there is little doubt that O'Neill would have splashed Randy's cash. For if the 2million L'Equipe claimed Le Havre wanted is correct, that's still 8million less than Hearts expect for Scotland international shot-stopper Craig Gordon!

And while some of us may be growing frustrated with the lack of summer transfer activity, or at least in the 'in' column, let's not use the decision not to offer a contract to a distinctly average keeper who would struggled to become third-choice at Villa Park as an extra stick to hit O'Neill with.

We are currently marching towards the sunlit uplands after being stuck in the sunken valleys for years - and the chances of O'Neill not adding to the squad by the end of the transfer window is, quite frankly, laughable. So much so that if he doesn't, he should really consider his position!

But once again, let's take a proper look at this - not signing players who will collect wages and never play should be taken as a sign of the positive changes at Villa Park and not a bad thing. We shouldn't be dealing with these sort of players as we move forward, and thankfully it seems we won't be.




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The Journalist

Writer: Derry Villan Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday July 15 2007

Time: 11:16AM

Your Comments

Im quite pleased were gaining a reputation as being careful with money,weve signed so many players in the past that were a total waste of money we cant afford to do it again.We all knew what MoN was like when it came to transfers.Id rather we sign effective players on the last day of the window that don't get a chance to bed in than make panic buys that have the whole pre season to prepare.
Pking
i dont know what we were looking at this player for in the first place, he's playing in a league similar to the conference not a team challenging for at least uefa cup spot.
avfc21
yeah but he is a young goalkeeper and was in the france u21s. personally i like the fact we are scouring the continent for promising youngsters. its something villa seem to have rarely done before now. it always annoyed me when other clubs snapped up quality youngsters for next to nothing, when we could have been doing the same. i agree with pking to an extent - we do seem more shrewd here, but we should not let players like davis and mccann go for less than their worth.
ric112
Very good article DV, agree with every word.
Sheriff Kimbo
He is weighing up the Gordon situation.That is why he went and watched him at the end of the scottish season.Less we forget both Henderson and the beast went at the end of the season so he will be looking for his own young GK talent.
OneloveVilla
Hi folks! I'm just back from a friendly game between Le Havre and Caen (1-1) and I had a quick chat with Steve Mandanda, who's now back from Birmingham. Steve was apparently impressed by the new training camp and described Villa as a "massive club"...even though he didn't think it was so huge before. :-/ I asked him if a deal could still happen with Villa in the future, and he told me that it won't happen during this transfer window, and he seemed really sorry about it. By the way, french Ligue 2 is far better than Conference and Le Havre has got one of the best youth setups in France (Lassana Diarra, Pascal Chimbonda, Jean-Alain Boumsong..) and many english clubs have come and visit our facilities in recent years. I hope we won't regret it later. Anyway, Up The Villa! ;-)
delirium
He obviously wasn't up to it, so we move on. Yes, we need a keeper or two, but we need better than what we've currently got, or what we've recently let go. Mandanda wasn't the answer.
glensider
I definitely agree with you, glensider, but I am convinced Mandanda is one for the future, and he might have been worth a gamble.. On the other hand, it is true that we need a top-ranking keeper and probably not a young unconfirmed keeper like Mandanda. I am not really worried though, MON will surely find a solution soon.
delirium
i can live with not sigining steve mandanda (who is he anyway?) it would be missing out on SWP and Defoe that would be more painful.
bigdiondubs
I thought all frogs would be great leaping for the high balls.
col8
Could be a case of famous last words I know, but this guy could now disappear back to France, never to be heard of again. We shall see.
glensider
Until we see a keeper that IS an improvement on what we already have (not an easy task), then lets stick to what we have.
glensider
 

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