Writer: Sheriff Kimbo
Date:Monday July 6 2009
Hi. Welcome to the first of my new 'Monthly Musings` column, which will supplement my current 'Week in Villa` column. It will come out on the first Monday of each month.
First things first. I don`t call myself Sheriff Kimbo because I see myself as some sort of authority figure! It`s simply an inside joke based on an incident with labelling machine, a name badge and me being a fan of Stone Cold Steve Austin back in his wrestling days…! Anyway the nickname stuck and so I just carried on using it. Okay that is enough about that.
There is no set pattern to what I plan on doing here. It will be random rambling about all things Villa. Now there is no place to start like the present, and the transfer window is where we are at…
I see plenty of the usual panicking and negativity around MON and the window. Sometimes it is hard not to get swept up in it all and start feeling negative myself. But there are not many transfers that have happened so far where I have felt the need to cast any sort of envious eye. I suppose Michael Owen, but where he went meant we couldn`t compete anyway. The type of transfers that annoy me are the ones where a player goes to a club that I believe we can compete with in the market, and that player is someone who I believe can improve us.
There probably will be transfers like that this summer. If Marcus Berg does make the move and it is not to us, I will be disappointed. His goal-scoring record is superb. Another player who has a very good scoring record but takes a bit of stick is Darren Bent - personally I`d be happy with him at the Villa. Although if I could sign any forward for us without being absolutely ridiculous it would probably be Vagner Love, but unfortunately it is as high as I can hope without being laughed at!
The one transfer I would be really miffed about if I thought we stood a chance would be Paul Scholes. Personally I think he is more likely to stay at Man U, but I saw a few weeks ago he was linked with Bolton and now this weekend he has been linked with Everton. Scholes is an exceptional footballer and while he is not getting any younger, the idea that he could slot into Gareth Barry`s position for a season or two really appeals to me. People talk about Michael Carrick and his range of passing but I tell you what, in the Champions League final, once Scholes come on, the difference between the quality of the long balls he was playing and the wasteful Carrick was there for all to see. Much like I was hoping with Owen, he is not someone you would expect a full season out of but if used properly could potentially be a major asset for someone outside top 4 next season. I think that is about as high quality we can look to sign up this summer, certainly from the Premiership.
The simple fact is the financial benefits that the top 4 have, along with Champions League football, means it is largely baffling to me that people will moan when players go to those clubs. Man Citeh are then the other club we can`t compete with in terms of finance. But generally we do okay, contrary to what the more negative amongst us seem to believe.
There are some criticisms of the club that can be justified I guess, but there are many that are just ridiculous.
I will give you an example of some that I have read on various Villa sites and message boards recently:
"I think we will get two players in. I don`t think MON is capable of signing more than that many players in any window".
ERM… last summer? The summer before? His first January window?
"I can`t believe he is on holiday. If he worked in any other industry and went on holiday at such a crucial time for the business he would be fired on the spot".
WHAT?! So when do you want him to go on holiday? When pre-season has started? When we have a match? Or does he not deserve a break at all then?
"I don`t care what anyone else is doing. We have lost three players and need to build so we should have signed at least four players by now".
But that is the point, isn`t it. It DOES matter what other people are doing. It matters on the type of player we want to sign. It matters on who is available, who clubs are willing to sell. Would Fergie have opted for Owen had Madrid not lined his pockets with £80m for Ronaldo? Now I know that there are rumours that he wanted to come to us before United got involved but the FACT of the matter is that he had only just started talking to anyone, let alone us - and there were certainly a handful of clubs at least that appeared to be interested. He left it until his contract ran out as he wanted to keep his options open and it worked for him.
I`ve also saw Randy Lerner referred to as 'the new Ellis` and even the imaginative 'Randy Ellis`. That is harsh in the EXTREME. Some people deserve to support a football club that is going down the drain I reckon. Maybe a trip to the North East would be good for some…
I could go on but I will leave it. The point is that during this season, it is easy to get too wound up or be taken in by messages of doomsday but really, we just have to pretend it is the pre-internet, pre-Sky, pre-24/7 news days and leave the club to it! I would suggest that they haven`t done badly so far, contrary to some of the myths that are floating around… I am sure some of our fans would have swapped our transfer activity with Spurs or Man City in both the summer and again in January, and the same can probably be said of the more negative Everton fans. Funny though, which two teams once again came behind the top 4?
THINK POSITIVE PEOPLE!
In other ramblings:
Why do we not sing 'John Carew` to the tune of 'Vindaloo`? Some of the current lyrics could even be transferred:
John Carew, John Carew
John Carew, John Carew
He is bigger than me & you
He`s gonna score one, goal, or two… and repeat…
I`m sure that would be great, especially on away days!
Barry Bannan has spoke about wanting a new contract and I would be very surprised if we didn`t give him one. I really truly believe that him and Marc Albrighton are good enough to make a solid contribution for us next season.
Speaking of youngsters, has anyone ever seen Harry Forrester play? I have heard good things but never seen him myself. He`s only been an unused sub (if on the bench at all) whenever I have seen the reserves. If you have seen him, please fill me in. I know he is quite good on Football Manager ;-)
While I am asking a have-you-seen question… has anyone ever actually seen MON and Woody Allen together…?
I renewed my season ticket a couple of weeks back. So this will be my 20th consecutive year as a season ticket holder. I`m 28 now - and I started going down the season before I had my first season ticket in 1989/90 - so that is a huge proportion of my life. Apart from finishing runners-up twice and Brian Little`s first season - and second season I suppose - I have enjoyed being a Villa fan under Randy & MON more than any other time during the past two decades. I for one want it to carry on for a while.
That will do for now, I am sure it will be a bit more structured once the season has kicked in (I will more than likely do a player of the month segment for one thing, and probably other segments in a similar ilk) but for now there is mostly the window to discuss. As the next instalment isn`t due until the 3rd of August, there should be at least a couple of signings to discuss… shouldn`t there?! ;-)
Have a good month.
UP THE VILLA!
Date:Monday July 6 2009
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