Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday January 17 2010
Well the only real transfer gossip I have seen this week apart from some spurious link to Spurs winger David Bentley has been talk of Craig Gardner moving to blues. Reports have claimed that one bid has been turned down and that another improved offer is expected. Apparently Wolves are also still interested as well.
Meanwhile a report by Harry Pratt in The Daily Star suggests we might still be in for a player this January.
MON had all but ruled out any moves but he has admitted he would - like any other manager - still like his squad to be stronger.
These quotes actually appear in a few articles.
MON said to the Star:
'I understand about the need for prudence – and I believe in it. But I am a football manager. I get judged on results and not on the long term. Every single club I’ve been at, I have worked to the budgets given to me. That’s at Wycombe, Leicester and at Celtic, so I haven’t changed here.' Adding he is happy with the squad but 'I’m no different to anybody – I’d like it to be stronger.'
The quotes have also been picked up by Jim Holden at The Express where MON is saying stability at the club is a major factor.
'We have looked after things fairly prudently. My first two years were ones of keeping guard, of having a look. We spent a substantial amount of money in the third year and that was a springboard for us to keep the momentum going. But ours has never been a case of throwing lots of money at the whole scenario looking for a short-term fix. It’s great when money materialises to spend but I think you have to look at the overall structure of it.'
Adding, importantly: 'The owner is still very enthusiastic. He has plans for Villa Park, which would be great if they happen. Mr Lerner’s overall view is that he won’t be reckless with the club.'
The reports do seem to be angling towards MON wanting money and prudence being excercised by the board.
Especially this part of the Express report: O’Neill was asked if he shared those sentiments. There was a pregnant silence, then he said simply: 'I am a football manager.' What was left unspoken, but clear enough, was the eternal desire of the manager for money to buy new players to improve and refresh his team.
They also point out the obvious, as we all know judging by the forum talk and poll results etc, that a striker is what Villa really now need to kick on.
The Guardian also pick up on the fact Randy has had problems with the Cleveland Browns but that the Villa owner can now spend more time with Villa for the second half of the season having resolved some of those issues Stateside.
MON said: 'The owner put in a substantial amount of money in the third year which has been good and given us a springboard to keep momentum going.' Adding that there isn't a short term fix and loads of money was never going to be thrown at this (loads of money has been thrown at it but you know what he means, they did say from the start this was never going to be an Abramovich style thing, they wanted to do things correctly).
So we just have to keep everything crossed that the right player becomes available and we can go for him. I do think the money has been there, some great purchases have been made (see below for full record so far) and some not so great (as is the case with all managers) but we can't say that funds haven't been made available being the second biggest spenders last summer and big spenders the summer before. I for one am very happy we don't carry the massive debts that some clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United do and that we aren't in the turmoil clubs like West Ham and Portsmouth are in!
FIRST SEASON 2006/2007 :
Kevin Phillips WBA £700k
Matthieu Berson Levante £1m
Ulises De La Cruz Reading Free
Peter Whittingham Cardiff City £250k
Eric Djemba Djemba Quatar Free
Juan Pablo Angel New York Red Bulls Free
Milan Baros Lyon Swap
Mark Delaney Retired
Stiliyan Petrov Celtic £6.5m
Didier Agathe Celtic Free
Chris Sutton Celtic Free
Phil Bardsley Manchester United Loan
Gabor Kiraly Crystal Palace Loan
John Carew Lyon Swap
Ashley Young Watford £9.65m
Shaun Maloney Celtic £1.1m
SECOND SEASON 2007/2008:
Gary Cahill Bolton Undisc (in region of £4m?)
Liam Ridgewell Birmingham £2m
Jlloyd Samuel Bolton Free
Lee Hendrie Sheffield United Free
Chris Sutton Retired
Didier Agathe released
Steven Davis Fulham £4m
Aaron Hughes Fulham £1m
Gavin McCann Bolton £1m
Robert Olejnik Falkirk Free
Wayne Routledge Tottenham £1.5m
Moustapha Salifou FC Wil Undisc.
Curtis Davies West Brom Loan
Zat Knight Fulham £3.5m
Scott Carson Liverpool Loan
Harry Forrester Watford £250 000 initial fee rising on appearances
Eric Lichaj Unattached Free
Marlon Harewood West Ham Undisc (region of £3.5m?)
Nigel Reo-Coker West Ham £8.5m
THIRD SEASON 2008/2009
Luke Moore (West Brom - £3.5million)
Olof Mellberg (Juventus - free)
Patrick Berger (Sparta Prague - free)
Thomas Sorensen (released)
Shaun Maloney (Celtic, £1million)
Wayne Routledge (undisclosed)
Curtis Davies (WBA undisclosed but around £7.5million?)
Steve Sidwell (Chelsea £5.5million)
Brad Friedel (Blackburn, undisclosed but in the region of £2 - £2.5million)
Brad Guzan (Chivas US, undisclosed, starts at around £800k up to £2m on appearances etc?)
Nicky Shorey (Reading, around £4m?)
Luke Young (Middlesbrough, around £5m?)
Carlos Cuellar (Rangers £7.8million)
James Milner (Newcastle, around £12million?)
Arsenio Halfhuid from Excelsior (undisclosed)
Emile Heskey from Wigan Athletic (£3.5m)
Gareth Barry (Manchester City, £12million)
Stuart Taylor (Manchester City, free)
Zat Knight (Bolton £4 - £4.5million)
Martin Laursen (retired)
Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough around £10m + add ons)
Fabian Delph (Leeds United - undisclosed fee - around £6m including add ons?)
Habib Beye (Newcastle, undisclosed but around £3m?)
Andy Marshall (free agent)
Stephen Warnock (Blackburn Rovers - around £6m + add ons?)
James Collins (West Ham United - around £5m)
Richard Dunne (Manchester City - around £6m)
*Loan fees not included. Figures rounded up or down. Only a rough guideline!*
Date:Sunday January 17 2010
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