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MON Says Fans Will Understand Priority

MON Says Fans Will Understand Priority

Martin O'Neill says the Champions League is 'everything' to Villa this year having announced a weakened squad (Click Here for the squad details) for the UEFA Cup.

The Villa boss explained:

'We want to keep momentum going in the Premier League - an opinion I am sure Villa fans would echo. But we don't really have the size of squad that Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal can call on. That's not being defeatist - that's just being realistic.'

Bafflingly adding, 'None of the players mentioned the first leg against CSKA Moscow as an excuse for the Chelsea defeat - but I will.'

'We have to try and please Villa fans but I am sure they would think that the Premier League - which can help drive you into the Champions League - is the holy grail. It seems strange I know but had we been seventh, eighth or ninth, let's say, in the table, it would have been a different outlook. Chasing a top four spot though - to get you a place in the Champions League - is everything.'

Just a couple of questions,

1) Who is responsible for the size of the squad?
2) Could the fact that we weren't going to take the cup competitions seriously this season not have been declared before the loyal fans spent a fortune on getting over to Moscow to watch the game?

I don't have the answers, just seems strange that winning silverware isn't amongst our, or indeed any clubs priorities. Without being negative what happens next season when we are in the Champions League, do we then all of a sudden get a squad big enough or do we carry on not taking other games seriously?

Football is a strange old commodity these days, finishing 4th not so long ago used to be losing, now it is massive. Success used to be silverware or coming first. Guess I'm just getting old and am starting to feel cheated that all that matters is money and the only way to get money is getting into the Champions League. I'd take the old European Cup, a cup for champions and champions alone over this modern world of footie, maybe it is time for me to take up knitting instead.

Fingers crossed we can now finish in the top four, if not .... gulp.

Stoke is now a MUST win!?

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Tuesday February 24 2009
Time: 11:08AM


A kick in the teeth to every fan that spent time/money or both on our push for 5th last season. Thanks MON, if we dont finish top4, most of us will expect answers.
24/02/2009 11:26:00
ha ha take up knitting! winning silverware is important... I just dont know anymore, taking 4th would be a huge achievement the way its all been monopolised the past few years.
24/02/2009 11:28:00
We have put all eggs into one basket, so we better bloody finish top4 now or this season was a complete waste of time.
24/02/2009 11:32:00
Omg, yes, it is still the matter of CL. Why we have a small squad? Think! What would you do as a manager? You want player A, he is the right player for your style of play. But player A claims that he would be interested, but only in case of playing CL. May be he is playing CL currently with another english/non-english team and do not want to move to non-CL team. Would you buy another players, who you do not want but only for squad depth or you will try to achieve qualification for CL with perpective of getting the players you really want? IMHO it is better to wait to qualify for CL instead of buying dead wood squad-depth players...are you sure that this NEW squad-depth dead wood should win in Moscow? For me, it is better to play Bary Bannan or Marc Albrighton (players with huge potential) and give them chance instead of to play with NEW squad-depth players used only for that situations. And you know, that we have currently those players like Hare or Salifou (it is our luck that they were not so expensive like Spurs or ManCity players).
24/02/2009 11:51:00
Come on Fear, re:"1) Who is responsible for the size of the squad? Yep, squad should be bigger, but now your having a go at the manager whose key to getting Villa into the TOP 4 has been using the same set of players? I know no one should be untouchable, but why the sour face? How much do you think Spurs (with a squad the population of a Mumbai slum) and their fans would love to be in our position. 2) Could the fact that we weren't going to take the cup competitions seriously this season not have been declared before the loyal fans spent a fortune on getting over to Moscow to watch the game? - If you support the team, you support the team. I do think there is a divide between young and older fans though - with the former wanting to see great teams and great players from around the world playing at VP, and the latter wanting to see silverware - even the two-bob carling cup over a CL place! hilarious. The monopoly is due to a lack of a european wide salary cap, if every team had the same to spend on wages (not transfers) then parity would be restored at the top 4 would be more open, and silverware would be prioritised once again. ahh melancholy.
24/02/2009 11:55:00
£2000 spent on 2 trips to prauge and hamburg think i would have liked to know this a little early
24/02/2009 12:24:00
I agree with what he is doing but what was the point in going through the intertoto ********* and adding games to our fixture list then?If we had finished 5th and qualified automaticaly then great but we went out of our way to get into the uefa cup.P.S if i was spending the money on going to russia i would be severly *****ed off,4th place or not.
24/02/2009 12:35:00
Oh lord Istanbul...
24/02/2009 12:36:00
Im afraid to say this shows how far we still have to go,The real big clubs compete all out in europe and the league.Say what you want but even arsenal are still doing it this season and they also have injuries.
24/02/2009 12:39:00
B6_COMPANY - very good point mate. This squad will do no favours for the club, and their ticket sales will suffer as a consequence. I will seriously reconsider parting with anymore cash should we get past CSKA. I wonder what the generals PR spin will be?
24/02/2009 12:53:00
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