Champions League - I'm Not Laughing
The Aston Blogger also known as Adam has his say in the first of hopefully many articles:
Right, I’m going to keep it simple the fact is I wanted somewhere to express my views on the Villa, I love reading the articles on here and love writing about the Villa so thought I’d see if I could write for Vital, my luck was in and they said yes!
Pre - Season
We’ve had a pretty decent yet strange pre season, we’ve had a piece of silverware, a player on crutches, a player who’s never played in the Premier League, a player from one of the worst defences in the league last season and a goalkeeper who’s old enough to be Mark Albrighton’s dad. Yet I feel optimistic ahead of the new campaign.
In Stuart Downing, I think O’Neil’s pulled off a great piece of business, if we had of waited until he was fit in January then he would of cost at least £16 million, we took him off their hands when no one else would. He’s a great player who’s still only young and will become even better under O’Neil, he has a talent for making players better than they really are, look at Barry his first international without O’Neil and he gifts Holland a goal. Jokes aside I think we have a really good player in downing who gives us more options, we can put him on the left leaving Young on the right which I think will suit Young more as on the left he doesn’t seem to completely trust Shorey, pairing the two Young’s together could really make a difference.
Fabian Delph, can’t say I have seen much of him play, but in the small amount of time I did, he looks pretty decent. There was a lot of praise for him even though he was a league one player. I’m surprised there wasn’t more interest. In fact their probably was but we don’t know about it, don’t worry I’m sure Redknapp will come out in the next few days and tell us all about it, as well as the fact he wants O’Neil as his new assistant. Well he wants everyone bloody else that works for the club; don’t put any thing past him! I don’t think he is our replacement for Barry though; we need an experienced player who can pick up the loose ball, look up and see the runs. Maybe in time he could turn out to be that player, the future could be Fabian Delph.
Habib Beye is a good addition to the squad and his versatility offers great cover over the whole of defence. I have spoke to a few Newcastle fans about him and they seem to regard him as their Martin Laursen. Now I’m not for a minute saying his the replacement, well I hope not anyway but it’s great to have some cover in defence. I still think we need another centre back, Hangeland would do nicely!
Andy Marshall, a third choice keeper is always good to have, an experienced one is probably better, there’s no good throwing a youngster into the premier league for his first game. A good bit of business by O’Neil, no offence to him but I hope we don’t ever have the need to use him.
I still think we need more players in, another centre back, an attacking midfielder and a striker. That’s just to get started. If we want to challenge for the top four then we need the depth in the squad. We should be trying to get as many players in as possible, but i respect Martin O’Neil in the sense that he wont buy crap only quality which is what we need but surely there are some quality players out their that would want to come to Villa. Tuncay would be an ideal player, he’s defiantly got the talent required, and I just don’t think he had the players around him up at the Riverside. I also think Huth if we can’t get Hangeland, we’ve got a central defence that looked good as a pair in the Peace Cup but i don’t know about them, i think another centre back is needed just to add competition to places and for injury cover. Sneijder would be a great signing but it doesn’t look like its going to happen, but the fact O’Neil says he’s the type of player we want shows we must have some money in the bank to spend! According to SSN van der Vaart is available on a free, an ideal chance to sign a player of real quality, with no transfer fee we could offer him some really good wages. There is still just over two weeks left and i live in hope that O’Neil gets some new faces in, I’m confident that we haven’t seen the last new face at Villa Park this year.
The Coming Season
The think we can push on for 4th this season, we have a good first eleven and if we are lucky to have only a few injuries then we have good enough back up. O’Neil always seems to surprise people, last year the pundits wrote us off, instead choosing Spur’s (I hear you, the papers never put spurs above Villa, i think they say right the Sky 4 then the London clubs then Villa maybe!) but we completely stunned them, nearly finishing fourth but our Intertoto Cup campaign maybe kicked in as we seemed tired and lackluster towards the end of the season.
Our squad is just as strong as Arsenals and Spurs, even Everton who have been that one place higher than us over the past couple of years. We have picked up some decent players this summer and with the youngsters coming threw and hopefully a couple more new faces then were starting to look like a good team with half decent back up. Everyone still writes us off, Arsenal have sold some of their best players and haven’t replaced them, Everton haven’t done much business and they could lose one of their best players to City. Spurs have spent some money but they never seem to do any good, I mean the amount of players that go in and out is unbelievable, it takes time for a squad to develop an understanding of each other. Villa have been a consistent unit for along time now, O’Neil plays virtually the same squad week in week out and this helps the players perform better although i think he needs to use more rotation this season as the players will get tired toward the end of the campaign, as we saw last year.
Manchester City are apparently the biggest threat to the top four, yeah dream on! Things don’t happen over night, a team that finished 10th last season. People make comparisons with Chelsea, they were already a good team competing at the top of the league, plus they had a world class coach! Hughes isn’t going to be able to fit in that dressing room with the size of the egos in it. The players are there for the money and not the clubs history or fans. I think they’ll struggle this year, not because they haven’t got world class players but because it takes time to develop a squad and for players to develop that understanding in order to function as one unit.
Any improvement on last season, a good cup run and a double over Small Heath would be good enough for me! Let’s start with a good result against Wigan Today! 3 – 1 Villa!
Let me know your views.