Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday September 2 2009
Well, the transfer window is over and I for one am delighted! It is great for my business I'll be honest, we as a network do get a spike in the summer (especially when the weather is so bad... long may it rain!) and in January, but the flipside of that is things get so 'heavy' and the discussions can be very heated over links that are only mentioned in the press and aren't reality.
Anyway, looking at the players in and out over this summer and since Martin O'Neill came in, I am sure we can all name our favourites, the players we'd never have signed and of course 'the ones that got away'. We all have different ideas and can so easily say 'we should have signed so and so' because we don't have to actually try to do it in reality!
The only opinion that matters player wise is the man who is in charge of the team, THE MANAGER. We talk a good game, he has to actually achieve a good game and will be judged on what he has done at the end of each season. Not a job I'd like, although the wages would come in handy, I just couldn't take the stress though and whether I agree with this manager, the last one, the one before etc etc, the one thing I am very thankful for as a Villa fan is the man at helm, one Mr Randy Lerner who I think has brought Villa forward in leaps and bounds from the previous incumbent.
Off the field - something some fans try to use as a stick to beat these guys with despite the business side, ground improvements, Holte pub refurbishment being NOTHING to do with player budgets - we are in good shape and will continue to improve. Look at the new Holte Suite and Sky Lounge, totally fab, look at what was soon to be a demolished building 'The Holte' that is now a beacon of class as you walk up to Villa Park as opposed to a boarded up wreck. Imagine bringing sponsors to Villa Park now... these are the improvements which will pay dividends over the years.
Then we have on the field issues.... The one thing, whether the fans are cheering or booing that I am delighted about now is that by and large, the focus is where a fans focus should be, the games, the manager, the players. We'll never agree on all that, football fans never do, that is what makes the game so great. But the vast majority must surely see the funding that has been put in place at Villa and that Randy has put his money where his mouth is?
I'd just like to say 'Thanks Randy, you've certainly repaid the faith I as a fan put in you and many thousands like me'. Yup, I know, some will think I'm being a lickspittle or a yes sir, no sir type, well, I'm not, I'm just thankful that no more protests are required, what us as fans asked for is being done (all the issues like the signage, the improvements around the ground, the Holte, the classy touches, the improvement in the staff's 'lot' at Villa have all been done and there is now talk of stand improvements or re-building, we are in for a real treat I think!) To put it bluntly I'm thankful that I'm - and the rest involved over the long years - are no longer needed as a 'rent a gob' or 'rent a quote' against the former Chairman.
More to the point, I'm thankful that Randy has provided the funds again this season. Ok, I wanted different players, my fantasy football team - which I'm bottom of at the moment by the way ... point proved?! - would have included a striker BUT it seems pretty clear, Manchester City aside, that Randy has again outspent the rest of the clubs. Second season in a row we've been amongst the top net spenders as well from what I can see?
So for those that say that the money isn't there or that Randy isn't providing the funds... think again. We aren't doing a 'Chelsea' but then we never were going to, Randy and his crew said that VERY early on, even before any bids went in, but they said they were going to respect the club and build it back up. Well, I for one am a happy bunny with that side of things.
For me, the manager issue isn't totally clear, I want to be convinced by MON, I really do. At the moment I'm not but if we push on this season I'll be as happy as Larry as I'm sure most will. He is the manager and will remain so this season, so maybe for all the doubters or the outright negi's amongst us, maybe it is time to down tools (yeah, not sure what I mean there either!) and just see how the season goes, maybe call an end to the rage until January and then see whether we are in the top ten, top six or even the top four... and then again at the end of the season?
He's been given the money, he has said all along he has the backing of Randy, unless he says otherwise and the evidence seems to be in the favour of Randy, then we can surely agree on one thing, the foundations are built, the youth set up is doing a great job, the funds have been provided and many many millions have been spent to assemble the team to push on this season. Over to the manager to show what he can do with the players he's assembled - oh and lets not forget the players also owe a duty to the manager to repay the faith he has shown in them.
On the rough figures (most transfers are undisclosed so I've gone on press talk for rough indications: All Of MON's Transfers At Aston Villa ) we've had around £35million of sales and over £120 million spent and that is before you take into account the loan fee's, signing on fees, wages etc. Roughly £85million net isn't bad going is it?
If we keep building like this and can continue to introduce the youth players from our ever excellent Youth Academy, we are going to be in with a chance of getting where we want to be at some point and we'll have done it the right way.
COME ON THE VILLA....
Date:Wednesday September 2 2009
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