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Close But No Cigar For Brad Friedel

Brad Friedel says it is crucial that Villa finish in fifth place after a good season but he had hoped for at least one better!

He told AVTV: 'I think it is massively important that we finish in fifth this season. If we do that, it's been a step up from the previous campaign. That would be great. As long as there is a progression made, everyone - the fans, chairman, manager and players - will be upbeat about the coming season. If we do miss out, it won't be a lost season but it is important to see one of our goals achieved and that was finishing higher than last season. That would give us a boost ahead of the coming season.'



Interestingly he admits at the start of the season he'd not have accepted 5th if offered because the talk and ambition of Villa before he joined impressed him.

He explains on the official site that it isn't a 'god-given right' to come 4th but admits we had a great chance adding, 'It wasn't to be and certainly doesn't mean this season is a throw-away. But if you handed me fifth at the start, I wouldn't have taken it, I would have played the season through and seen what happened.'

OR the article by Vital Villan on the same subject posted at the same time (but just after VV so off you go!)

There's a lot of sense in what Friedel says here, but it's also nice to here a player back up the lofty ambitions of the fans this season.

There has been plenty of discussion of whether we expect too much to soon, and the whole debate of looking at fifth place as a loss of fourth given the position we were in for so long, the PR of the club, the constant reminders Barry would only stay if we achieved the Champions League and it's been done to death on the board, and plenty of media outlets have had their comments on our expectations to boot.

So it's nice to see Friedel say on the official site:

'If someone had offered me fifth at the start of the season, I wouldn't have accepted it. When I was doing all my talks before I joined, the ambition of the club was impressed upon me.

'I'm not saying it's a god-given right but we had a great chance at one stage to solidify our place in fourth.

'It wasn't to be and certainly doesn't mean this season is a throw-away. But if you handed me fifth at the start, I wouldn't have taken it, I would have played the season through and seen what happened.'

Which strangely contradicts the thoughts of most fans at the start of the season, we'd have taken 5th but we did so much better than expected that 4th became a real shot and was a real aim. It seemed to be what the club went for, it was the understanding behind the Moscow decision. Again plenty understand it, doesn't mean we have to like it, accept it, or want it done again.

But I suppose it just goes to show - 4th would have been a remarkable achievement. 5th Is a brilliant achievement, but you can be of the mind that we blew 4th place and thus 5th place is now a disappointing end to the season whilst at the same time realising 5th place is an improvement and a success.

Not everything has to be black and white.

Anyway, Friedel also comments that as long as we can secure 5th place now it will give the club and fans a massive boost as we set our sights (hopefully higher again) for the next campaign.

'I think it is massively important that we finish in fifth this season. If we do that, it's been a step up from the previous campaign. That would be great.

'As long as there is a progression made, everyone - the fans, chairman, manager and players - will be upbeat about the coming season.

'If we do miss out, it won't be a lost season but it is important to see one of our goals achieved and that was finishing higher than last season. That would give us a boost ahead of the coming season.'

A steady improvement, definitely, a blown opportunity, yes, disappointing in the Cups again and most importantly UEFA, yes.

But plenty of lessons should have been learnt. Our younger players have more European experience. They now are not, and haven't been surprise packages for Premiership teams and they've had to work out how to have an impact when people know what they can do and they have improved.

Next season they'll be more to learn - we'll work out if our younger stars will sink or swim and reach their peak. We should have more strength and depth and it'll no doubt be harder to reach 4th place.

But we are in good position to do so, and throughout the disappointment we cannot lose sight of that. Neither should we lose sight of improvements and successes this season.

It's all about balance and taking opportunities when they arrise. We took some, we ignored and blew others. Next season let's take them all regardless of whether we are successful or not.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 29 2009

Time: 3:27PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Good to read he thinks Villa should/can be higher than 5th.
The Fear
Report Abuse
29/04/2009 15:29:00

Yes i agree Fear, think the players have done very well this season, hopefully with the right signings in the summer we can have another go. Even if we finish 5th next season as long as we have had a go i will be happy, although would love for us to get to a semi final at least in one of the cups especially the FA Cup.
astonsteve
Report Abuse
29/04/2009 15:34:00

Perhaps not with him in goal though, I think he's got tops 1 season left in him
leelindsay
Report Abuse
29/04/2009 16:00:00

two articles for the price of one, can't be bad eh?!
Think that is right astonsteve, as long as they really have a go. Can't complain when the players give 100% and the right players are in place to compete.
The Fear
Report Abuse
29/04/2009 16:31:00

be interesting to see how long he does go on won't it Lee, keepers do last longer (look at David James) but they can only go so far.. think we'll need another before Brad Guzan gets his chance as well as he is still young and learning.
The Fear
Report Abuse
29/04/2009 16:31:00

I think Friedel should be used next season and actually think Guzan would benefit from a year long loan somewhere to show his ability week in week out. But with Taylor contract expiring I wonder whether we will be bringing in a new number 2/3.
young_jonah
Report Abuse
29/04/2009 19:01:00

This was the season to break into the top 4, Arsenal were very poor but we had our chance and blew it big time in the last transfer window. Theres nothing to say this transfer window will be any different.
col8
Report Abuse
01/05/2009 00:55:00

 

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