Aston Villa - Martin O'Neill's Signings For Villa
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Martin O'Neill's Signings For Villa

An interesting post from McGrath4Pope in the forum: MON's Signings >> Click Here

The imminent return of O'Neil this weekend has stirred up a lot of feelings - positive and negative. One of the biggest arguments on here seems to be to what extent did O'Neil waste the support afforded to him by Randy. I've seen claims that the majority of the signings were successes and so have decided to waste some time at work rating them and offering my opinion for what it's worth!

Signings have been thought of in context of price and special circumstances i.e. swapping Baros/Carew, selling Cahill to bring in Zat Knight etc...

I've divided them into 5 categories - Great, Good, Average, Poor, Disaster.

Great: Stylian Petrov, John Carew, Ashley Young, Brad Friedel, James Milner

Good: Luke Young, Stewart Downing, James Collins

Average: Chris Sutton, Phil Bardsley, Nigel Reo-Coker, Brad Guzan, Carlos Cueller, Richard Dunne

Poor: Shaun Maloney, Marlon Harewood, Curtis Davis, Nicky Shorey, Fabian Delph, Stephen Warnock.

Disaster: Didier Agathe, Gabor Kiraly, Wayne Routledge, Moustapha Salifou, Zat Knight, Scott Carson, Steve Sidwell, Emile Heskey, Habib Beye

Looking at that to me really confirms he did what he does best - get an average team to overachieve - so good job. However, he spent far more than average transfer fees to assemble these players plus astronomical wages. He also inherited the quality of Laursen, Olof, Barry and Bouma to initially build upon.

In light of this, plus his disgusting behaviour in leaving us, I can't understand some of the continued hero worship to be found on this site.

Forum thread: Click Here

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The Journalist

Writer: McGrath4Pope Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 19 2012

Time: 3:48PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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love these sort of debates! lol For me Carew could have been and should have been a great, he could have been our Drogba, but he wasn't as interested or dedicated as he should have been imho.
The Fear
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19/04/2012 15:52:00

Good grief when will you lot let history stay history? He's gone, he;s moved on and so should you.
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19/04/2012 15:53:00

He isn't history, he is part of Villa, we still have some of his players, we still have a lot of his spending to make up for and we are worse since he's gone and he returns this weekend. How is that history? We'll discuss what we wish on the Villa site thank you sir! ;o)
The Fear
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19/04/2012 15:59:00

Spursex, he's coming back for the first time, that's why
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19/04/2012 15:59:00

He's a poisonous self obsessed egotistical jibber jabber talking fool .... he did ok but no better than David Moyes did and does at Everton on a fifth of the spend .......
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19/04/2012 16:21:00

You have to remember that you do not see things as they are. You see things as you are. For someone (like me) who thinks O'Neill did a good job at VP the classifications would be completely different. Zat Knight, for example, was useless but was sold on at a profit, as was Maloney. Bardsley, Carson and Kiraly were only loan deals. Dunne, Guzan, NRC and Cuellar I would classify as 'good'. I could go on. The point is that these are just my opinions. Your opinions are different. They 'prove' nothing. 'Comment is free. Facts are sacred.'
chocolate teapot
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19/04/2012 16:28:00

Carew great? Big, unquestionably.
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19/04/2012 16:34:00

Cueller average?, everyone knows he our best defender. Warnock under O'Neil was good same for Dunne, but have both been average since he left. Guzan looks good, especially when he had a run in the 1st team.
Carew AV Legend
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19/04/2012 16:35:00

I disagree that Knight was a disaster... ok, he wasn't great on the pitch, but he did ok given he was our 4th choice CB at the time, and i'll never forget that goal he scored that got us back to 2-2 with arsenal. But mainly because we sold him for more than what we paid! Average i think.
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19/04/2012 16:39:00

agree Mr Teapot, that is why I love these debates, we all see the same games so differently! Same with players and managers. Be dull if not!
The Fear
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19/04/2012 16:40:00

Chocolate Teapot ........ Zat Knight was on over 40k a week, so were a lot of the other very average players ..... this cost the club more than just transfer fees in and out. 40k a week is over 2m a year .... that mounts up paying players who were in reserve matches more than PL matches. MON did do a good job, but he hasn't the capability to get a club into the top four or CL, which was our 'ambition' and what he signed up for. Don't get me wrong I'd take sixth and a cup run every year ... but clubs do that on far less financial gamblings. UTV
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19/04/2012 16:43:00

.................... and anyone who say's MON's football was technical and free flowing must have been in the Holte since 10 am on match days ! he was better at long ball hoofing than McClueless that's all ! lol
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19/04/2012 16:46:00

Harsh on Carlos, but a fun debate anyway. Sutton was unlucky with the eye injury and could have gone on to be a Villa legend - had a great start as the tip of the spear, with Ashley and Gabby either side of him and just behind.
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19/04/2012 17:17:00

Wonder - money aside (which he could have got anywhere) - how Carlos would view his move? He was a hero at Rangers and played regularly. Here he was made a bit part player. So would he see it as a great move, average, poor, disaster! We'll never know!
The Fear
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19/04/2012 18:03:00

Who wasted money on Eck?? How do we know that Randy wasn't integral in wasting money on some of the dross players under MON's tenure????
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19/04/2012 18:21:00

I'd actually disagree that Warnock was a poor signing. Last year was a blow out, and he's struggled this season, but given the number of games he's played and the fact he broke back into England contention before Houllier joined, I don't think he should be considered "poor". That aside, totally agree that we can't presume that just because MON had some decent league finishes that he was some sort of messiah. Had he won the F.A. Cup and qualified for the Champs League during his tenure I might think otherwise, but he didn't.
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20/04/2012 01:09:00

Generally agree with categories. Not sure you can legally say Mon walked out on us though! He won his case for constructive dismissal!
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20/04/2012 08:24:00

Good post As someone who said at the time oh no not Richard Dunne hes slow gives pens and own goals away for fun why buy him ? To be fair to both Dunny and MON he performed brilliantly for MON for a couple of seasons. It wasnt just some of the signings that set my teeth on edge with MON it was selling what I thought were good young players (Cahill & Gardner) on the cheap. Would agree with most of your choices but would relgate Reo-Coker to poor considering the fee paid 8.5 mill ? as stated the wages paid is where we really did damage to ourselves.
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20/04/2012 11:08:00

There is so much context to this its unfair to categorise. Harewood is not a good player, but was bought as a player to come on and make an impact which he did in quite a few games so not a disaster. I'm not saying hes good, but look at the newcastle home game, Liverpool away, Reading away. He won us points that got us into europe. SAme with Zat not a good player but did a job when we could get no one else and then sold for profit, when we got better. We started from a poor team with these signings that finished 16th and was heading down.
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20/04/2012 12:08:00

A Little tough on big Dunny only having him as average. COTVABU
irish villa
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20/04/2012 15:10:00


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