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Moscow Meal An Admission Of Guilt?

Moscow Meal An Admission Of Guilt?

Martin O'Neill has refused to apologise for sending out a weakened squad to Moscow and throwing any chance of a cup this season but is holding a party for those who went to the game. That's ok then. What about all of us mugs who wasted (yes WASTED) our money going to other ties?

The meal, costing £15 000 of MON's own money (doesn't feel at all to blame or wrong but is splashing out £15 000? Yup, ok), takes place tonight for the disgruntled Moscow travelers (the ones who went through the official packages only I believe, I could be wrong) and some first team players are also said to be turning up... shame the same didn't happen in Moscow then this situation would never have arisen!

In an article in The Mirror Dion Dublin said: 'We plainly know now that it was the wrong decision to go about it as he did. I would have gone for the trophy. When you get so close to something why would you fob it off and then go for the league? The league is very important but if you can get a bit of silverware or get into a final, that's got to be good.'

Hopefully they don't turn up to the 3 course meal tonight only to find that the main meal has been replaced and only a starter and pudding are on offer! :o)

O'Neill says in the same article by James Nursery: 'With a couple more wins we are going to have qualified for Europe again, and by this time next year hopefully we will be able to cope with all the fixtures you have.'

So hang on, this year despite MON deciding to enter the competition, we weren't prepared (despite how many transfer windows and how much financial backing from Randy Lerner?) but next season all will be well and we'll be expected to take the manager serious when he says they are all out to win the Interflora or whatever they are going to call it next season? Didn't we hear the same at the start of this season? Wasn't the aim all last season to qualify for Europe? Wasn't that what all the players were dying to play in?

Frankly if I was UEFA I'd have banned both Villa and Spurs (and any other team who treated the competition with such disdain) from the next years competition - and yes, I'd do the same to clubs who don't field at least 75% of their regular team in domestic competitions as well. Harsh words I know and I'll be flamed by some for saying it but I really don't care. The actions of MON made me question why I am a season ticket holder this year and has made me wonder if I'll renew the automatic cup voucher scheme part next season. If he doesn't take cups seriously, how are we supposed to?

Meanwhile Graham Taylor has told The Times Online :

'They brought the players back early last summer for the Intertoto Cup in order to try to qualify for the Uefa Cup. There is a feeling among supporters, who are not anti-Martin, that the team had a great chance to finish fourth and go all the way in the Uefa Cup. What they are finding hard to understand is that the players who were brought back early for pre-season were not given the opportunity to go and win in Moscow. Then the players who were brought back into the side went 2-0 up against Stoke but drew 2-2 after the Uefa Cup exit.'

Adding, 'That created, for the first time in Martin's time here, some quite fierce criticism. The club did quite well to invite those 300 supporters who travelled to Moscow to dinner to compensate them. But it was almost like an admission of guilt.'

He goes on to say that when fit and playing well Villa are good enough for the top four but adds the squad isn't big enough despite Villa spending nearly £50m last summer. The report also says that Randy will again back the manager in the transfer window this summer adding that it looks likely Barry will be on the way out.

'I always believe any manager should have at least three years and we can see what he's achieved so far. While we're all a bit disappointed, having come so close to finishing fourth, I think we'll see Villa enjoy a significant season next season. If it doesn't go the way we all hope it will, there might be a bit of justification to the criticism. But not now.'

Article correction. MON has since told the official site that he has not paid for the meal.

O'Neill said: "It was an idea I had on the way back from Russia and, after it was cleared by the chairman, we both decided to go ahead with it."

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Writer:J P Fear
Date:Tuesday April 7 2009
Time: 11:20AM


personally i feel this was a mistake which wenger used to make in the past, prioritising one competition over the other when it wasnt certain we were going to win the higher priority competitions... u guys were looking good until martin bungled it.... maybe the pressure got to him. we will never know
07/04/2009 12:03:00
I'll be at the meal tonight and will be telling MON exactly what I think of his decision - it was pathetic and he and the squad owe every single Villa fan who attended any UEFA / Intertoto game this season, not just those of us in Moscow. FYI I wasn't on an official trip but still got my invitation to the meal.
07/04/2009 12:08:00
I was livid at MON's decision to wave the white flag at the Uefa Cup. So livid in fact, that I am refusing to renew my season ticket. I have been given plenty of stick about this ("not a proper fan", "go and support the scum" etc.), but it's the only thing I can do to show how disgusted I was at the club for allowing this to happen. I will renew when MON admits he was wrong, resigns, or is sacked! Top 4 my arse!
Class of 82
07/04/2009 12:39:00
Mon's a great manager but you surely have to question his decision making here.
07/04/2009 13:12:00
The decision was never justifiable in my eyes, i think the players were as disappointed as the fans. Morale has been low since, evidence being the fact we haven't won a game since, and earnt one whole point from the last six games. If O'Neill doesn't learn from this then he is a mug and doesn't deserve the honour to manage our great club.
07/04/2009 13:14:00
great article.....
07/04/2009 13:40:00
Agree with everything written. It seems to me that there is a serious lack of planning at Villa, which explains so many of the bizarre decisions MoN has made - many of which were taken months (and in some instances, years) before Moscow. Moscow just looks like it was the tipping point. GT's comments are equally bizarre. We won't be good enough to compete in the CL next season, but we'll be good enough to usurp one of the top 4?? That makes NO sense. In fact, it makes as much sense as us starting our season early to qualify for Europe, then going on holiday rather than to Moscow. Surely you take your holidays in the summer???
07/04/2009 14:12:00
And young_jonah, I think you're spot on about the players.
07/04/2009 14:13:00
Yet so many members on here were saying that we had to rest players in european and domestic knock-out competitions to concentrate on finishing top four in the premiership. I was almost a lone voice on the forum saying that that wasn't the way to go, that you won nothing, trophies or guarantee's, for finishing top four. Enjoy the meal, although I think it sets a dangerous precedent.
07/04/2009 15:40:00
not me though glen of the sider, it left me wondering if I could be bothered going for the rest of the season, felt gutted that week!

Lee9679, let us know how it went, hope it is a good night, the least you folks deserve. Glad it wasn't just official trip ones as well.
The Fear
07/04/2009 16:28:00
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