UK time is: 10:56:54
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

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

Please, Not Again Martin?

Villain Of The North said it when he asked, what would your reaction be if Villa were to finish this season in sixth place with no cup wins?

To visit the forum Click Here

If that were the case then I would have to accept that O`Neill isn`t the right man for the job. I`ve always been firmly in the corner of Martin O`Neill believing he is the right man for the job but the end of this season could well change that.

We`re in the same position we were in last year with the Champions League place being ours to lose. At one time we led Arsenal by eight points! So to blow it in such spectacular fashion really hurt, but I could at least make some excuses for O`Neill.

There was the size of the squad, injuries to Laursen & Bouma, the uncertainty surrounding Gareth Barry and the distractions of the Uefa Cup campaign.

Nobody was happy about Moscow but it was a massively difficult decision that O`Neill had to make. There was just no way that the squad would have been sufficient enough to deal with attacks on both fronts. We all desperately craved a long European adventure but we all wanted to push for fourth.

O`Neill obviously made the assault on the league his main priority. It was a decision that I ultimately agreed with at the time so I can hardly criticize him for that now. He did however have to put all his eggs in one basket and was a decision that ultimately came back to haunt him due to the collapse of fortunes in the league.



Although we may be in the same position as we are this season, there are some fundamental differences.

In the close season Randy Lerner again invested heavily in the team and O`Neill was able to bring in the kind of players like Richard Dunne, James Collins, Stewart Downing, Habib Beye & Fabian Delph. All the kind of players that have not only massively increased the numbers, but has massively improved the squad as well. Even despite the losses of both former captains through Laursen`s retirement and Barry`s defection to City, there is no doubt that the squad is much better shape than last season.

In this year`s Europa League we had an embarrassingly early exit of the powerhouse of European football, Rapid Vienna. However, I still maintain that is a blessing in disguise. If we`re all honest we would prefer to get into the Champions League than win the Europa League and with the competition taking 17 games to win, start to finish, then it`s a competition we could do without. Half a Premier League season is absurd for a competition that most of us aren`t really that interested in.

These are 17 games more that Manchester City & Tottenham wouldn`t have to play so would we be in the same position as Everton if we had to add these fixtures to an already busy schedule?

Although we have that little bit bigger and better of a squad, I`d still rather not have to play these games.

I`d much rather win either/or the FA Cup or the Carling Cup.

But now as we find ourselves sitting in fourth place of the Premier League and in the semi final of the Carling Cup with a trip to Blackburn next Tuesday, we have a real chance of achieving something.
I would think it`s fair to say that this is a bigger chance to achieve than what we had last year.

This year despite more competition from the likes of City & Tottenham, it seems that fourth place is even more up for grabs than it was last year. Liverpool seem to have outdone the previous year of Arsenal`s woefulness, and face a much harder prospect of fighting for it back.



So now as we sit pretty in fourth with our next opposition Liverpool, if we were to blow it again as we did last year, then all O`Neill will have proved is that he has learnt nothing.

There can quite simply be no repetition of last season mistakes as there will no one to make the excuses.

There is no reason why we can`t have a season of success. All the ingredients are in the mix and we`ve been playing some good football of late. Yes were perhaps taught a lesson against Arsenal, but all that proved is that you can`t win every game.

Fabregas showed real class to win that game for them today and it`s now all about how we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and get on with it.

We can win the win the Carling Cup, or we can claim fourth spot… Either will at least earn Martin O`Neill another year, but to win nothing, then that for me would be the defining moment in O`Neill`s tenure at the club.

He got us close, but not quite there.

I`ve always been an O`Neill fan and do strongly believe in the team. We have all the chance in the world to make our mark this season so now it`s simply down to the manager.

I`m not interested in this becoming about his shortcomings as a tactician, or his lack of knowledge of the foreign transfer market, as where we are as a club speaks for itself.

We`re in position and ready to go…

Please, please Martin, I really want you to do it.



Bookmark and Share




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: JayVFC Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 27 2009

Time: 11:33PM

Your Comments

***** frontline. Can't talk about it for too long as it makes my head bleed. I hope and hope and hope. Please. I want it sooooooooo bad. We can do it. Just need HIM to fix the frontline.
evoflash
***** frontline. Can't talk about it for too long as it makes my head bleed. I hope and hope and hope. Please. I want it sooooooooo bad. We can do it. Just need HIM to fix the frontline.
evoflash
we ARE stronger than last year but then so are Citeh and spuds. Pool have stood still! We will learn from the arsenal result that will have grounded us. We will continue to knock on the top 4 door and it WILL open for us either this or next year! With a young squad it will only get better and bigger for us. With a near all english team the future is really bright for a long, long time. UTV.
holte ender 1969
we ARE stronger than last year but then so are Citeh and spuds. Pool have stood still! We will learn from the arsenal result that will have grounded us. We will continue to knock on the top 4 door and it WILL open for us either this or next year! With a young squad it will only get better and bigger for us. With a near all english team the future is really bright for a long, long time. UTV.
holte ender 1969
Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think you were ever eight points clear. You were two minutes from going eight points clear. Anyways, good luck on Tuesday!
gunnerkid107
Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think you were ever eight points clear. You were two minutes from going eight points clear. Anyways, good luck on Tuesday!
gunnerkid107
Pool are only 5 points behind us. Lose tomorrow and I fear the momentum will be back with them. Beat them and I reckon they are out of it and may even finish in 6th or 7th.
YatesyVillain
Pool are only 5 points behind us. Lose tomorrow and I fear the momentum will be back with them. Beat them and I reckon they are out of it and may even finish in 6th or 7th.
YatesyVillain
Win or lose i don't think anything will be decided against Liverpool, there is still half the season to go. Our squad is better than last year, but there is no way anyone would have swapped Laursen, Knight, shorey and barry (i know knight and shorey are crap, but Laursen and barry where the heart of our team last year) for Warnock, Dunne, Downing, and Collins, last year, so it an absolute credit to MO'N that those signings have been so brilliant and its safe to say that our team is much better this year. MO'N is an absolute Genius there is noone else that would have us in the position that he has us in now.
liamo1981
Win or lose i don't think anything will be decided against Liverpool, there is still half the season to go. Our squad is better than last year, but there is no way anyone would have swapped Laursen, Knight, shorey and barry (i know knight and shorey are crap, but Laursen and barry where the heart of our team last year) for Warnock, Dunne, Downing, and Collins, last year, so it an absolute credit to MO'N that those signings have been so brilliant and its safe to say that our team is much better this year. MO'N is an absolute Genius there is noone else that would have us in the position that he has us in now.
liamo1981
Good article as usual JayVFC. Agree with you Yatesy, we beat Liverpool tomorrow, we go 8 points clear and that should be them done and dusted, if we lose then we have CRUNCH games to get back on track and not follow last seasons (and to be fair, season after season before that, not just under MON) winter crash. For me I think we need to be at least 6th again with a final appearance, preferably a win. If we finish outside the top 6 it will not be good enough unless we pick up some silverware and even then only just? We were the second biggest spenders behind Man City so have no excuses that the board / owner aren't backing the manager. There is SO much to play for, a final win and 5th would be a good season and an improvement, 6th again is just about the bottom line but you would have to start to question things.

Main thing missing and I'm surprised that MON hasn't corrected last summer, is the front line, we have no massive cutting edge and a couple were up for grabs in the last few seasons who would have got us into 4th in my opinion (and it is only my opinion, so much easier to type something on a web site than to actually do it ... I know that and think everyone else does!) John Carew is all too often a let down and yesterday was a perfect example. Heskey played well yesterday but isn't a regular goal scorer and Gabby is developing well but not the finished article. For a club with top four ambitions, that trinity is not enough, never will be.

Apart from the Wigan game, I've not got carried away with the losses or draws, and although I've been delighted and excited by the wins, especially the three 'big' wins, I've not got carried away with them either. I've said before my fear is MON can take us no higher but I've also said time and time again, I WANT him to so much and am fully behind the manager and team through the season, no point being anything else as he will be going nowhere unless he chooses to. I don't think anyone else will put 3 by us this year, the defence is well sorted, the instance on not rotating or experimenting with the midfield at times is a bit surprising as the likes of Petrov seem to get very tired and as said, the front line isn't there yet. It would only take one bit of magic in January to turn that situation around, not a very easy task and they'd have to spend big to achieve it - even then it might not be possible - but if we don't I think we'll struggle purely because of the lack of goals. Still live in hope though and with the defence so strong, the strikers really do now need to play their part and the annoying thing about JC especially is, if interested, he could be on 20 or more.

Interesting times, in fact with a shift in the pattern of the league, fascinating times, we now have to take advantage of that, we could have this year, we really must this year! The press chaps on the Sunday Supplement on Sky certainly rate us and think we have more chance than City and Spurs, then again 2 out of 3 of them tipped us to beat Arsenal yesterday! If we can pick ourselves up quickly v Liverpool (even a draw would be no disaster) then maybe they are right. Hope so!
COME ON THE VILLA!
the fear
Good article as usual JayVFC. Agree with you Yatesy, we beat Liverpool tomorrow, we go 8 points clear and that should be them done and dusted, if we lose then we have CRUNCH games to get back on track and not follow last seasons (and to be fair, season after season before that, not just under MON) winter crash. For me I think we need to be at least 6th again with a final appearance, preferably a win. If we finish outside the top 6 it will not be good enough unless we pick up some silverware and even then only just? We were the second biggest spenders behind Man City so have no excuses that the board / owner aren't backing the manager. There is SO much to play for, a final win and 5th would be a good season and an improvement, 6th again is just about the bottom line but you would have to start to question things.

Main thing missing and I'm surprised that MON hasn't corrected last summer, is the front line, we have no massive cutting edge and a couple were up for grabs in the last few seasons who would have got us into 4th in my opinion (and it is only my opinion, so much easier to type something on a web site than to actually do it ... I know that and think everyone else does!) John Carew is all too often a let down and yesterday was a perfect example. Heskey played well yesterday but isn't a regular goal scorer and Gabby is developing well but not the finished article. For a club with top four ambitions, that trinity is not enough, never will be.

Apart from the Wigan game, I've not got carried away with the losses or draws, and although I've been delighted and excited by the wins, especially the three 'big' wins, I've not got carried away with them either. I've said before my fear is MON can take us no higher but I've also said time and time again, I WANT him to so much and am fully behind the manager and team through the season, no point being anything else as he will be going nowhere unless he chooses to. I don't think anyone else will put 3 by us this year, the defence is well sorted, the instance on not rotating or experimenting with the midfield at times is a bit surprising as the likes of Petrov seem to get very tired and as said, the front line isn't there yet. It would only take one bit of magic in January to turn that situation around, not a very easy task and they'd have to spend big to achieve it - even then it might not be possible - but if we don't I think we'll struggle purely because of the lack of goals. Still live in hope though and with the defence so strong, the strikers really do now need to play their part and the annoying thing about JC especially is, if interested, he could be on 20 or more.

Interesting times, in fact with a shift in the pattern of the league, fascinating times, we now have to take advantage of that, we could have this year, we really must this year! The press chaps on the Sunday Supplement on Sky certainly rate us and think we have more chance than City and Spurs, then again 2 out of 3 of them tipped us to beat Arsenal yesterday! If we can pick ourselves up quickly v Liverpool (even a draw would be no disaster) then maybe they are right. Hope so!
COME ON THE VILLA!
the fear
Not sure what is being said here about not making the same mistakes again. My 100% consistent view is try and win every game and if we have the benefit of a stronger squad then that should mean that when we get injuries we have quality replacements. It does not in my mind mean we should go with seriously weakened teams. The FA Cup despite Villa's past record remains there to be won, and for 4th place the competition remains intense. You cannot rest players for one in the expectation that the you will be strengtheed in the other. Just go for it every match. It is quite simple and Moscow Mark 2 is what we MUST not repeat. If we make an odd change against Blackburn in the FA Cup, or against anyone for that matter - it should be because of injuries, suspension, poor form, or to give someone who is genuinely knackered a rest, not change for the sake of it. Most of our players do not come into the category of needing a rest. Milner epitomises everything best about playing every game, but our whole defence, Petrov, and a still fresh Downing fall into that category too. And when we do make the changes I would like to see the Fonz, Albrighton andDelph given their chances. We need to find out how the best of our youngters can cope - but no wholesale changes please. GO FOR IT VILLA.
stennyvilla
Not sure what is being said here about not making the same mistakes again. My 100% consistent view is try and win every game and if we have the benefit of a stronger squad then that should mean that when we get injuries we have quality replacements. It does not in my mind mean we should go with seriously weakened teams. The FA Cup despite Villa's past record remains there to be won, and for 4th place the competition remains intense. You cannot rest players for one in the expectation that the you will be strengtheed in the other. Just go for it every match. It is quite simple and Moscow Mark 2 is what we MUST not repeat. If we make an odd change against Blackburn in the FA Cup, or against anyone for that matter - it should be because of injuries, suspension, poor form, or to give someone who is genuinely knackered a rest, not change for the sake of it. Most of our players do not come into the category of needing a rest. Milner epitomises everything best about playing every game, but our whole defence, Petrov, and a still fresh Downing fall into that category too. And when we do make the changes I would like to see the Fonz, Albrighton andDelph given their chances. We need to find out how the best of our youngters can cope - but no wholesale changes please. GO FOR IT VILLA.
stennyvilla
I hope we keep MON for as long as possible, he's only just got his team together and to sack him just as we start to look like a great team seems a little stupid to me. I can't be bothered to sit around watching **** football for another couple of seasons waiting for some other div set up a team. People need to learn to appreciate the MON man we're lucky to have him
PTP
I hope we keep MON for as long as possible, he's only just got his team together and to sack him just as we start to look like a great team seems a little stupid to me. I can't be bothered to sit around watching **** football for another couple of seasons waiting for some other div set up a team. People need to learn to appreciate the MON man we're lucky to have him
PTP
Best we can hope for is a cup and 4th place the worst is 8th no cups and the Blues finishing 7th! Either or neither could happen
villan57
Best we can hope for is a cup and 4th place the worst is 8th no cups and the Blues finishing 7th! Either or neither could happen
villan57
Too true villan57! At the moment we are exactly level on points with where we were last season. Given our horrendous form in the back end, if we can be within 5 points of where we were after 25 games, i'll be happy enough. I do think we need a striker though. What would happen if gabby were to get injured??!
Ericols_Son
Too true villan57! At the moment we are exactly level on points with where we were last season. Given our horrendous form in the back end, if we can be within 5 points of where we were after 25 games, i'll be happy enough. I do think we need a striker though. What would happen if gabby were to get injured??!
Ericols_Son
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Breaking News - Roy Keane Quits Villa (Friday November 28 2014)

Lambert's Confidence In Clark & Okore (Thursday November 27 2014)

Graham Does Head To Wolves (Thursday November 27 2014)

Lambert, Lambert, Give Us A Wave!? (Thursday November 27 2014)

U21s - Wolves 0-1 Villa (Wednesday November 26 2014)

Villa Fan - Rant Mode On... (Tuesday November 25 2014)

AVFC: Relegation Super Storm? (Tuesday November 25 2014)

Archived Aston Villa Articles

List All Vital Villa Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Pride of Lions 931
2. ClivetheVillan 858
3. The Fear 704
4. kefkat 307
5. Freeman14 281
6. sirdennis 225
7. DeanoVilla 197
8. Villan57 167
9. Clubpaver 125
10. gator 116

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
13. WBA 12 3 4 5 -4 13
14. Sunderland 12 2 7 3 -7 13
15. Crystal Palace 12 3 3 6 -4 12
16. Aston Villa 12 3 3 6 -11 12
17. Hull City 12 2 5 5 -3 11
18. Leicester City 12 2 4 6 -7 10
19. Burnley 12 2 4 6 -12 10

Breaking League News

Liverpool: Toure Compares Rodgers To Wenger
» Liverpool : 28/11/2014 10:41:00
Mystic Mug v Lawro - Villa Away To Burnley
» Aston Villa : 28/11/2014 10:21:00
Garbutt impresses on European debut
» Everton : 28/11/2014 10:15:00
Breaking News - Roy Keane Quits Villa
» Aston Villa : 28/11/2014 09:56:00
Vital Preview: Liverpool vs. Stoke City
» Liverpool : 28/11/2014 09:37:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Villa v Burnley (away) will:
Suggested By:  Mystic Mug
Win - phew! 36%
Lose - gulp! 47%
Draw - meh! 17%