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Villa's Opponents This Season

Villa's Opponents This Season

1st. Manchester United

Last Season Review

Man Utd must have been living in a dream world last season when for the first time that I can remember the neutrals actually willing them onto the title, I don’t believe however that this can be contributed to anything other than how much Chelsea are disliked these days. Last season was almost a return to the old days for Alex Ferguson and his team as they played with a swashbuckling style that has not been seen for a while (while adding in some defensive frailties to keep everything interesting.) Their title was deserved at the end and thanks to an immense season from Ronaldo mainly.

Thoughts for the coming season:

Alex Ferguson has spent a lot of money this season (especially for a Scotsman) and will be looking to improve on the number of silverware that he brings back. Unfortunately Ferguson’s transfer record does not really stand up too well under close scrutiny and is never at his best when spending silly money. More important for Utd this season than how well the new players bed in is how well the old players keep going, Scholes and Giggs have a winning mentality that has served the team well for many years and if they can stay fit, Ronaldo can repeat his heroics and at least one of the new signings perform as hoped for they will be champions again.

Player I’d most like to bring to Villa:

Despite his age I’d take Paul Scholes purely for the winning mentality that he has developed over the years.

Player most likely to do well from Villa:

It would have to be Big John Carew – While Man Utd has a wealth of attacking options they all tend to be a similar sort of player. Carew would give them the option of changing tactics in the event of them being shut out.

2nd. Chelsea

Last Season Review

I would love to be in the position of Chelsea where you can view a season that you won a domestic cup double as being a disappointment; unfortunately that is what the wealth of Abramovich has bought Chelsea along with the most enviable squad in the world. Ultimately it was lack of defensive cover that cost Chelsea last season and almost everyone would have suggested that was their weakest area at the start of the season.

Thoughts for the coming season:

I feel that this season is make or break for Chelsea, Roman has already given some indications that he might be getting a bit bored of his new toy, you only need to look at this seasons transfer policy to spot that. Chelsea could delay this by either winning the Champions League or at the very least by playing the sort of attractive football that his expenditure deserves. Either way I feel that this will be the last season for Jose

Player I’d most like to bring to Villa:

Joe Cole without a question – I’d bring him over, guarantee him football and stick him in a free role and hope that he would finally start to fulfil his potential over the course of a season. I truly believe that he has been England’s best midfielder since Gascoigne and is in danger of it all passing him by.

Player most likely to do well from Villa:

Although technically not a player I think that Martin O’Neill would be a breath of fresh air for a Chelsea team that appears to feel that having more money than God makes them a favourite for sympathy. A likeable, jovial manager who still has that steel and desire to win... God I hope the Chelsea board doesn’t read this site.

3rd. Liverpool

Last Season Review

I actually know quite a lot of pool fans and despite their claims you have to say that they did not improve last season (at least outside of Europe.) It seems that every pre-season is the year that they are going to win the league and yet they can’t seem to summon the consistency required for week in week out football. I think that they were hoping for big things from Craig Bellamy but it seems that since the days of Owen leaving they have struggled to find a clinical striker.

Thoughts for the coming season:

Liverpool’s fortunes this season rest in two players, and I believe that one will be a big hit and one will be a big flop. The hit will be Babel who is a genuine young talent and who will probably do very well in the Premiership. Unfortunately I don’t feel the same about Torres, I freely admit to knowing very little about him as a player and his record speaks for itself but there is a large part of me convinced that he will be another Morientes and Liverpool’s search will go on. Liverpool will be champions again but not this year.

Player I’d most like to bring to Villa:

I hate to be predictable but Steven Gerrard, I won’t even bother explaining it – everyone knows why.

Player most likely to do well from Villa:

Luke Moore, if Liverpool stopped trying to capture the imagination with the big name signings and developed a striker with Goal instinct their success would return that must sooner. Luke Moore has all of the attributes necessary to turn into a 20 Goals a season England International.

4th. Arsenal

Last Season review

Can you really describe fourth place in the league in their first season in a new stadium as a poor season? Yes I can it’s my article and I will. Arsenal appeared to coast from game to game last season and consistency, especially at the front, was lacking. Any team would miss players like Henry and Van Persie up front but to be in a position to ever challenge for the title again they need to get past this and move on.

Thoughts for the coming season:

I think that this season far from being written off as everyone is stating Arsenal will be closer to pace than they have been for a while. I know that the loss of Henry will be at the thought of most peoples minds but maybe they have been suffering from an over reliance on Thierry winning them games. Wenger has several times restructured his team over the course of his reign and I think that Arsenal will feel the benefit again.

Player I’d most like to bring to Villa:

In a team that has a wealth of young talented players I’d take Van Persie as the one most likely to be a driving force for Arsenal this season. If he can stay fit he may well take the place of Henry as the team’s inspiration.

Player most likely to do well from Villa:

Olof Mellberg – Strangely he is the player that I feel would always have done well for Arsenal and provided some consistency for the defence, never the avant-garde talent that Wenger loves so much he would have been invaluable for some of those January travels that Arsenal traditionally struggle with.

More to follow.....hopefully!

Writer:James Keenan
Date:Tuesday July 17 2007
Time: 10:51AM


do you really want paul scholes? would is heart really be in another club other than man u? i think he'll remain a one club man for the whole of his career.
17/07/2007 11:01:00
Good idea for an article. As for the Player most likely to do well from Villa - surely with the LB problems at Chelsea Gareth Barry or Bouma would be wanted by Chelsea!!
17/07/2007 11:01:00
I can see it now tomorrows paper!, Villa make an approach for Scholes and Man Utd make a £10m bid for JC. Villa also make an approach for Joe cole and are willing to offer £15m for his services. Jose Mourinho is sacked and instantly becomes Villa manager! MON then goes to chelsea With Jose As manager now villa will go for Gerrard! with luke Moore going in the opposite direction. Jose is a keen admirer for Van Persie and sees him as a replacement for Moore who has signed for Liverpool. We offload Mellberg to Arsenal for £7m even though he only has 12 months on his contract! LOL
17/07/2007 12:14:00
I picked O'Neill as Bouma wouldn't displace Bridge or Cole from the Chelsea lineup whereas their manager is an arse and must be embarrsing for them. As to taking Scholes, he is unlikely to ever leave Utd but if he did sign for us would put some winning mentality into our team
17/07/2007 12:14:00
I think i'd change Joe cole for Arjen Robben, he can walk through defences and is a perfect winger/forward in a 3 pronged attack. Manchester United, scholes is a legend but i'd take Ronaldo really, or Rooney i like Rooneys attitude and he reminds me of a younger scholes technically, with his shot power etc just with the odd extra trick
17/07/2007 13:36:00
What an interesting and enjoyable article, providing plenty to debate and discuss. Team to watch out for? The Arsenal. Arsene is one very shrewd cookie, and he'll have the vastly under-rated young Gunners firing on all cylinders this coming season. Always an absolute pleasure to watch, except of course when they are handing out 5-0 tankings to the team you love, if they could only add that little bit of bite and steel that should come with experience, then they could really shake up the 'supposed' top four this season.
17/07/2007 15:17:00
Manchester City could be something of a surprise package if Sven can get all of his signings settled in quickly. He's certainly splashing the cash as if there's no tomorrow. Its certainly going to be a competitive premiership this time around.
05/08/2007 09:47:00
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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 19 13 1 5 40 21
2 Brighton 19 11 6 2 39 17
3 Reading 19 10 4 5 34 1
4 Leeds Utd 19 10 2 7 32 3
5 Birmingham 19 8 7 4 31 2
6 Sheff Wed 19 9 4 6 31 1
7 Norwich 19 9 3 7 30 4
8 Huddersfield 19 9 3 7 30 -3
9 Derby County 19 8 5 6 29 4
10 Fulham 19 7 7 5 28 9
11 Bristol City 19 8 3 8 27 4
12 Barnsley 19 7 4 8 25 3
13 Forest 19 7 4 8 25 1
14 Preston 19 7 4 8 25 1
15 Aston Villa 19 5 10 4 25 1
16 Ipswich 19 6 6 7 24 -2
17 Q.P.R. 19 6 5 8 23 -8
18 Brentford 19 6 4 9 22 -2
19 Burton 19 5 7 7 22 -4
20 Wolves 19 5 6 8 21 -3
21 Blackburn 19 5 5 9 20 -7
22 Cardiff 19 5 4 10 19 -12
23 Wigan 19 4 6 9 18 -5
24 Rotherham 19 1 4 14 7 -26
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