Aston Villa - Where Should Lambert Splash His Cash?
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Where Should Lambert Splash His Cash?

1958Villan takes a look at the squad, wage issues and where we need to improve.


It has to be a mixture really, I mean it's been reported that Randy Lerner has suggested, that he doesn't want to pay out anymore than £40k a week, as an average wage. With a 25 man squad that comes to a million a week.

I obviously don't have a clue what our youngsters in the first team squad are being paid but, I wouldn't expect them to be on anymore than £20k max and probably more like half of that amount.

Now if we take the higher figure as the standard, that is £20k for each of the academy recruits, it will leave us quite a bit of movement in wages for the experienced members of the squad, ranging from £20k to £80k a week.

Do we actually need a first team squad of 25 bodies?

I'm sure that even a manager who changed around a side on a weekly basis, could do a season with 20 to 22/3 players, leaving us an extra two or three £40k wage packs to play with.

The big trick will be, to bring in players that are a mixture of potential and experience. Although that might be easier this year as there are a number of highly rated players on Bosmans, for a number of reasons.

I would personally be looking to bring in some experienced players from the continent, for a number of reasons really. One, is that a player from the continent, who is of an equal ability to a British player, will cost less to buy. Two, that player from the continent will demand less a week in wages, therefore being a better all around buy. Three, players from the continent, tend to look after themselves a whole lot better than the majority of British players and so would be far better examples to the youngsters at the club and after the examples they have had over the last two years, they definitely need some positive examples to mold themselves after.

Now the type of players I would be looking at.

We need at least one goalkeeper who is going to be challenging Given and I would be looking at two keepers, selling Given.

It makes financial sense to sell Shay, he is slowing down, reflex wise and for the kind of keeper he is, one who stays on his line, that is the beginning of the end.

Also he is somewhat injury prone and on a long contract.

I would be looking at keepers of the quality of Craig Gordon, 29, and Yohann Pele, 26, from Toulouse.

Rightback, Hutton has already been told to find another club and we do seem determined to get Naughton.

Centrebacks, I would be looking to sell on both of our senior centrebacks and replace them with players of the calibre of Ghananian international Derek Boateng 29 from Dnipro, who is available for £2m. The reason for his availability at such a reasonable fee is that since he joined the club he has been subjected to some vicious racist attacks from the fans. He is also two players in one, being not only an international centreback but, a defensive midfielder too.

To partner him I would be looking at someone like Tonel, 32, a Portugese International centreback who is on a Bosman from Dinamo Zagreb.

Following these, I would be looking to strengthen the centre of midfield with a good holding player along the lines of Miquel Veloso, 26, from Getafe. Again a Portugese international.

I would like to see him partnered in the centre of midfield with someone like Milan Badelj, 23, from Dinamo Zagreb. They were willing to talk for a fee of £8.5m last year but, he has a year less on his contract now. Again this young man is a Croatian international.

We need a left-sided midfielder and I would love to see Maxi Rodriguez, 31, in our side. He can force a sale through as he didn't start a set number of games last season.

Up front I know Jermain Defoe, 29, is available for £10m and he is on £60k at Spurs.

A Bosman that I would bust a gut to sign up is Alexander Frei, 33, from FC Basel. He has been scoring goals for fun all of his career, including in internationals. Last season he scored a hat-trick at Old Trafford to put Utd out of Europe, so I would think he could handle the Premiership.

If not Frei, then I would go for another Bosman in Olympiakos' Marko Pantelic, 34, even for one season he would give invalueable cover and provide time to hunt around for a more permanent replacement.

However you do it, quite a financial balancing trick.

Forum Thread on this topic.

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The Journalist

Writer: 1958Villan Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday June 22 2012

Time: 2:54PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Maxi back to Argentina. I wouldn't want any players over 28 tbh; the kinda guys you outlined aren't really for me. I'd rather he just bought two or three quality players and filled in the rest with youth than go shopping in the bargain bins. Stephen Fletcher would be my top target, I think he'd be great with Bent. If we could get Charlie Adam that too would be awesome - fair to say we sorely lacked a decent set-piece taker last season.
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22/06/2012 15:07:00

nicely said 58! The balance is going to be essential.
The Fear
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22/06/2012 15:07:00

There are a lot of old guys in there but a couple of old heads are definitely needed and a couple of freebies would suit the books. I think Derek Boateng would be worth looking at'
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22/06/2012 15:20:00

I can only see about 130 quid in that picture. That should get us Balaban and Djemba-Djemba back at real face value....
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22/06/2012 15:23:00

There's defffo 300 in the photo!! ;)
Adam Deuce
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22/06/2012 15:46:00

140 quid there`s 4 tenners
paul muldrew
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22/06/2012 15:51:00

Interesting to see people's different opinions. i don't pretend to know enough about the foreign market except for the well known Internationals. There does appear to be some decent Bosman's available which I believe would streghten our squad. I would look at two out of Reo-Coker, Murphy and Guthrie and then try and supplement that with an foreign international centre midfielder. Change full backs. I like Lichaj, but probably on the bench. Gunter or Naughton and I did like the look of Poulsen who we were linked with. Centre backs also need changing but I don't think that should cost a lot of money and also a No two keeper (again doesn't usualy cost much) A big striker required who can play with his back to goal in case we go 4-4-2. Holt, maybe. The Russian who was at Fulham (on a Bosman) looked good,but appears to be off to Reading. I then think we need to have one adventourous marquee signing. my choice would be Adam Johnson. Obviously a couple of midfielders will need to make way, but the point I am trying to make is that i don't think it needs to be massively expensive to improve the squad with the number of good players available on Bosman (like Brett Holman)
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22/06/2012 15:54:00

Get rid of our 2 CBs and replace them with unheard ofs who are 29 and 32 ???????????? They've also never played in the prem before FFS. Both cheap players and won't want much wages too. Did Randy write this???? I'm positive Lambert wouldn't. This is absolute madness the further on you read!!!! Everyone will be collecting their pension in your new team shortly.
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22/06/2012 16:05:00

We don't need 25 players but we have soooo much youth in our squad at the moment that half of them wouldn't have made the step up yet if we'd had enough. It will have benefitted some but half won't make it. We need some proven quality mid 20's and it costs money. Simple. this is really wishful thinking going to the bargain basement of every league and picking up failures. 1 out of the 10 may make it. Jermaine Defoe is way too similar to Bent. They can't play together. Neither is capable of passing. At least Defoe can run with it and shoot form outside the 6 yard box though.
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22/06/2012 16:09:00

Carew is on a free, or is that on fire?
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22/06/2012 16:34:00

usually on the sick isn't he?!
The Fear
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22/06/2012 16:49:00

Interesting and certainly considered, but too many OAPs for me. Give me young, poor and hungry!
Windy Villain
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22/06/2012 17:54:00

Frei is 33 and never played in the PL. I'd still rather have Holt....
Pride of Lions
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22/06/2012 18:53:00

Some of these look good (Derek Boateng, Veloso from Genoa) but I don't know about some of the others. For example, this Tonel, it seems a bit strange to trump him as 'a portugese international centre back' when he has played for them twice since 2006, in friendlies. And has made 40 appearances in two years in the Croatian league. Thats like claiming Michael Ricketts is an England international like its a good thing. But, you seem to know a lot more about Croatian football than me so fair enough. I'd probably just sign a central midfielder who is comfortable in possession (probably not an English one, lol) and a new defence to play alongside Clark and Lichaj. Enjoyed the article btw, just don't think a team of 32-34 year olds is what we need
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22/06/2012 19:48:00

on the pull, on the town, on the bench, on the treatment table, on the take, on the *****, on the mickey take, never was on fire.
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22/06/2012 20:33:00

Not impressed with any of the names in the article. I'd like to see some foreign players, a couple of the Polish and Ukranian players have looked good but i'd also like to see us take a punt on some players from the lower leagues. They tend to be young and hungry which is what we need.
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23/06/2012 12:35:00

Great shouts! Especially with Frei, Badelj and Boateng!
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23/06/2012 12:49:00

Some seem to have age against some players but,I haven't actually named that many 'old' players. OK, I say one of Frei or Pantelic as a forward but, not both. I mention Maxi, who is 31 but that gives him 4 or 5 years and in that time I would fully be expecting Carruthers to be playing in that spot. With Boateng, 29 and Tonel, 32, neither is too old and actually just the right ages for Clark and Baker to be learning from. That is the idea behind having some players of greater age, to let the good youngsters we have play with them and learn and be ready to take over when the 'old masters' retire. Veloso is 26 this year I believe and Badelj is 23, so you can't call either 'old'.
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23/06/2012 14:23:00


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