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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

European Football To Be Taken Seriously

Well so says Luke Young at any rate who sounds bitterly disappointed that our decision to focus on the league didn't work.

Speaking on the official site, well to be fair Dan Harrison formulating an article around the verbal comments of Luke Young, he said that he couldn't wait for next years Europa League because he'd forgotten about the joys of European football prior to the Ajax game.

For those who remember, Young played in the competition almost a decade ago whilst plying his trade at Spurs, so it comes as no surprise really that our return to European action against Mighty Ajax stands out as one of the players moments of last season.

'I played a couple of games for Tottenham going back 10 years and I forgot what it was like.

'The Ajax game at home was a brilliant atmosphere and a great game to be involved in.

'In the end Europe didn't quite work out for us. We decided to concentrate on the league but hopefully next year we will go for it and try and win the competition.

'We are definitely a side that can do well in the cups. There is no reason why we can't.'

I'm refusing to be a cynic here by pointing out that Martin O'Neill has already said if the circumstances arose again in the future we would see exactly the same decision as we saw against CSKA, but these are brave words from Luke in many ways.

We all know as fans the league is a longshot, and in the end putting all our eggs in the Champions League basket proved to be our downfall.

If you read between the lines here Young accepts we aren't in a position to challenge the Top 4 yet and indicates our aims should be good Cup runs and silverware.

I think most fans would agree, and all of us would've taken 6th place and treating all the Cups seriously at the beginning of last season.

This should be our aim again, but this time it should be the stated aim of the club - nothing should be built into what it isn't.

This season we have no reason to talk about Top 4, we have no need given Barry's departure, so let's concentrate on further consolidation, living up to the brilliant football everyone who doesn't watch us thinks we play, and building the squad further and properly.

Top 6 and three good Cup runs with a desire to win them, regardless or not of whether we are successful, will see me this time next year very happy indeed.

I assume I'm not alone.




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday June 9 2009

Time: 5:25PM

Your Comments

Noooooooo. Please. NO promises on taking the cups seriously!!!
The Fear
Noooooooo. Please. NO promises on taking the cups seriously!!!
The Fear
"brilliant football everyone who doesn't watch us thinks we play." Obviously a deeply sarcastic tone here..... I'm sorry, but I agree with "those who don't watch us play" my friend.... should we yearn for the "hoof it up to Ian Olney / Tony Cascarino" days, or maybe the "let's give it to Merse and hope he can do something" era? Perhaps the stunning football under Joe Venglos? The ONLY team at Villa Park that has been as good as this one in terms of entertainment value was the 92-94 BFR era... our attacking play is fast and incisive with a balance of pace (Gabby), skill (Ashley), strength (Carew/Heskey) and craft (Milner, Ashley, Petrov)......
gmvillan
"brilliant football everyone who doesn't watch us thinks we play." Obviously a deeply sarcastic tone here..... I'm sorry, but I agree with "those who don't watch us play" my friend.... should we yearn for the "hoof it up to Ian Olney / Tony Cascarino" days, or maybe the "let's give it to Merse and hope he can do something" era? Perhaps the stunning football under Joe Venglos? The ONLY team at Villa Park that has been as good as this one in terms of entertainment value was the 92-94 BFR era... our attacking play is fast and incisive with a balance of pace (Gabby), skill (Ashley), strength (Carew/Heskey) and craft (Milner, Ashley, Petrov)......
gmvillan
There is another option GM....we could play the kind of football that got us that tag to begin with. This season has not been entertainment, yet we've lived off the last two years of high scoring games, quick counter attacking football etc. 10 men behind the ball before nicking the points by a single goal is not what I call the entertaining football we have seen from this squad.
mike_field
There is another option GM....we could play the kind of football that got us that tag to begin with. This season has not been entertainment, yet we've lived off the last two years of high scoring games, quick counter attacking football etc. 10 men behind the ball before nicking the points by a single goal is not what I call the entertaining football we have seen from this squad.
mike_field
"... all of us would've taken 6th place and treating all the Cups seriously". Yes, but you are again overlooking a major flaw in the "we should have gone for everything" argument - we may have won in Moscow and gone out in the next round, or we may have gone further but dropped out of the European placings for this year. Would you have taken that - because I wouldn't, and neither would our current players, or those we might hope to sign.
BobTheBuilder
"... all of us would've taken 6th place and treating all the Cups seriously". Yes, but you are again overlooking a major flaw in the "we should have gone for everything" argument - we may have won in Moscow and gone out in the next round, or we may have gone further but dropped out of the European placings for this year. Would you have taken that - because I wouldn't, and neither would our current players, or those we might hope to sign.
BobTheBuilder
But we'd have gone out with respect and after trying. What do you think is harder for players to see, current and prospective, throwing Cup comps for a pipedream, or trying to be as successful as we can on all fronts and seeing where the penny drops. Given our run of form in the second half of the season I very much doubt we 'would have done worse' had we taken the second leg seriously. You never know, taking the Cup seriously may have been the boost of form we needed to finish the league better.

What I will say is yes I would've personally, I want my club to try and win things not be happy finishing fourth and throwing everything else. I'd suspect our current players felt the same given the fact Barry said he wasn't tired, players were hyping the UEFA, Young talking about wanting to try and win it next season oh and the fact the players looked thoroughly peeved from thereon in.

What would players rather have at the end of their careers, medals or a history book saying they once managed to finish 4th meaning they were 3rd best compared to the champions.
mike_field
But we'd have gone out with respect and after trying. What do you think is harder for players to see, current and prospective, throwing Cup comps for a pipedream, or trying to be as successful as we can on all fronts and seeing where the penny drops. Given our run of form in the second half of the season I very much doubt we 'would have done worse' had we taken the second leg seriously. You never know, taking the Cup seriously may have been the boost of form we needed to finish the league better.

What I will say is yes I would've personally, I want my club to try and win things not be happy finishing fourth and throwing everything else. I'd suspect our current players felt the same given the fact Barry said he wasn't tired, players were hyping the UEFA, Young talking about wanting to try and win it next season oh and the fact the players looked thoroughly peeved from thereon in.

What would players rather have at the end of their careers, medals or a history book saying they once managed to finish 4th meaning they were 3rd best compared to the champions.
mike_field
it did puzzle me why you were so keen to qualify and then turned your nose up at it in Russia!
merlin
it did puzzle me why you were so keen to qualify and then turned your nose up at it in Russia!
merlin
I guess it was for the same reason other top clubs have 'turned their noses up' at one competition or another, Merlin. If you haven't seen it done before you haven't been watching football for long ...
BobTheBuilder
I guess it was for the same reason other top clubs have 'turned their noses up' at one competition or another, Merlin. If you haven't seen it done before you haven't been watching football for long ...
BobTheBuilder
Mike: I would also like to see my club going for everything, but it won't happen in the hard-nosed world of modern football. Ask Sir Alex or any of the other top managers who have sent less than their first team to do a job and come unstuck. MON made his judgement but we didn't make it into the top four. Tough. You can't run a control on life and we'll never know what may have happened. I can predict one thing with some certainty though: if MON had gone with his strongest team and we'd finished where we did (6th), there would have been people on here asking where his judgement was ...
BobTheBuilder
Mike: I would also like to see my club going for everything, but it won't happen in the hard-nosed world of modern football. Ask Sir Alex or any of the other top managers who have sent less than their first team to do a job and come unstuck. MON made his judgement but we didn't make it into the top four. Tough. You can't run a control on life and we'll never know what may have happened. I can predict one thing with some certainty though: if MON had gone with his strongest team and we'd finished where we did (6th), there would have been people on here asking where his judgement was ...
BobTheBuilder
Yeah Bob, but you ended up with nothing in the end!!
JT_daniel
Yeah Bob, but you ended up with nothing in the end!!
JT_daniel
I'd be devastated, Someone has to get into the top 4 and stay there. I'm far too bored of Super Sundays to be happy with the Carling cup.
PTP
I'd be devastated, Someone has to get into the top 4 and stay there. I'm far too bored of Super Sundays to be happy with the Carling cup.
PTP
Yes, JT, we ended up with nothing in the end. The question to ask is "Would we have WON something if we'd taken the strongest team to Moscow?" I can't answer that. Can you, honestly?
BobTheBuilder
Yes, JT, we ended up with nothing in the end. The question to ask is "Would we have WON something if we'd taken the strongest team to Moscow?" I can't answer that. Can you, honestly?
BobTheBuilder
Me too, PTP. Top four (and either staying there or breaking up the current monopoly) is a bigger ambition to me than winning a pot from Europe. And let's be honest, despite my answer to JT, I think we can realistically say that our chances of actually winning the Uefa cup were slim. In my opinion (and that's all it is) MON made the right choice.
BobTheBuilder
Me too, PTP. Top four (and either staying there or breaking up the current monopoly) is a bigger ambition to me than winning a pot from Europe. And let's be honest, despite my answer to JT, I think we can realistically say that our chances of actually winning the Uefa cup were slim. In my opinion (and that's all it is) MON made the right choice.
BobTheBuilder
I'll believe it only if and when it happens. As of right now, how can things be any different? We are nowhere near having a squad capable of challenging on four fronts, and indications are that signings this summer will be at a minimum. We wont have the armoury to cope. We attempted to run with the big boys last season, before we were even able to walk, and fell flat on our faces. Until we've built some strong foundations, maybe lifted a cup or two along the way, built a quality sizeable squad, this dream of finishing top four will remain just that, a distant, untouchable goal.
glensider
I'll believe it only if and when it happens. As of right now, how can things be any different? We are nowhere near having a squad capable of challenging on four fronts, and indications are that signings this summer will be at a minimum. We wont have the armoury to cope. We attempted to run with the big boys last season, before we were even able to walk, and fell flat on our faces. Until we've built some strong foundations, maybe lifted a cup or two along the way, built a quality sizeable squad, this dream of finishing top four will remain just that, a distant, untouchable goal.
glensider
I think you're being a touch negative to say we fell flat on our faces, glensider. Like I said a month or so ago, if we had not done so amazingly well in the first two thirds of the season, everyone would have been a lot happier. What made everything seem to fall so flat was the fact that we had been third and fourth most of the season. If you had offered a repeat of sixth last August, most pragmatic fans would have taken that.
BobTheBuilder
I think you're being a touch negative to say we fell flat on our faces, glensider. Like I said a month or so ago, if we had not done so amazingly well in the first two thirds of the season, everyone would have been a lot happier. What made everything seem to fall so flat was the fact that we had been third and fourth most of the season. If you had offered a repeat of sixth last August, most pragmatic fans would have taken that.
BobTheBuilder
Difference is though Bob the club built the UEFA into a huge thing before just bombing out, and I do believe the players were not happy with that decision and it showed in the performances since. Man U might not send the typical first 11 to Cup games but they sure as hell usually have somebody on the bench when they blood the youngsters, there's also usually 2 or 3 still on the pitch, usually in midfield to help control the game. But that said, if the team needed a rest why did Davies play on through a shoulder injury, why was Young playing - at that point for a start them two needed a rest far more than Barry, Ash,

If he had just played the youngsters and our normal bench warmers I'd probably be happier but playing the 'tired card' and then picking defenders who had been nigh on every presents is just ridiculous.

I do agree on your last comment though, there would've been. However, they would have been few and far between compared to those peeved with what did happen.
mike_field
Difference is though Bob the club built the UEFA into a huge thing before just bombing out, and I do believe the players were not happy with that decision and it showed in the performances since. Man U might not send the typical first 11 to Cup games but they sure as hell usually have somebody on the bench when they blood the youngsters, there's also usually 2 or 3 still on the pitch, usually in midfield to help control the game. But that said, if the team needed a rest why did Davies play on through a shoulder injury, why was Young playing - at that point for a start them two needed a rest far more than Barry, Ash,

If he had just played the youngsters and our normal bench warmers I'd probably be happier but playing the 'tired card' and then picking defenders who had been nigh on every presents is just ridiculous.

I do agree on your last comment though, there would've been. However, they would have been few and far between compared to those peeved with what did happen.
mike_field
what is done is done, I honestly think that even Oneil beleives it was a judgment call he got wrong. football is a game, games are to be won regardless of what cup/league etc and we should have done our best to win it. Having said that at least it won't happen again! I do think it effected the players though-I would have loved to have been in the dressing room for the pre-match talk on the magic ajax night then seen the talk for the hamburger match..i bet he felt a tad embarrassed. still happy with everything else though-futures bright futures villa an all that jazz. solid steady steps nice work between lerner/oneil looking forward to next season
TheFullTilt
what is done is done, I honestly think that even Oneil beleives it was a judgment call he got wrong. football is a game, games are to be won regardless of what cup/league etc and we should have done our best to win it. Having said that at least it won't happen again! I do think it effected the players though-I would have loved to have been in the dressing room for the pre-match talk on the magic ajax night then seen the talk for the hamburger match..i bet he felt a tad embarrassed. still happy with everything else though-futures bright futures villa an all that jazz. solid steady steps nice work between lerner/oneil looking forward to next season
TheFullTilt
oh and im not saying the squad we put out did not try to win the game, but we had the personal at home which could have put up a better fight maybe...
TheFullTilt
oh and im not saying the squad we put out did not try to win the game, but we had the personal at home which could have put up a better fight maybe...
TheFullTilt
ashley young on for england-happy days!
TheFullTilt
ashley young on for england-happy days!
TheFullTilt
 

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