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Calm Down Dear

Calm Down Dear

After last season it is understandable that the fans are now excited and already emotionally invested in the new season. Lambert's limes will take the pitch at Upton Park on the 18th, the whistle will blow and a new era will begin. Game on, my friends, game on.

Mind you, after the débâcle of 2011/12 a tin of tuna and a bunch of flowers would get me out of my seat. No surprise then that since Paul Lambert took over I have found myself positively floating, having contracted a virulent form of Lambertitus, a neurological condition that leads to football related mania and hyper-manic mood often associated with the wearing of luminous clothing.'You can keep your Oscar's and Hazard's.' I cry. 'We've got Matt Lowton.' Amazingly, my non Villan friends don't share my new found optimism.

Expectations were driven so low with Machiavellian appointment of McLeish that talk of a tenth place finish leaves us all quite giddy though the pundits are undecided. Some have us in a relegation battle, others have us as high as 9th. It is difficult to tell given the thin nature of the squad, the amount of question marks that hang over key players and the fact that some of the younger players are still to prove themselves consistently. It could all come together of course, like a lime coloured dream or alternately we could be pigs in lipstick come the end of the season. The question remains then: should excitement be tempered with some healthy realism given the level of financial austerity and the apparent sell to buy philosophy?

When I look at our dealings in the transfer market it would be fair to say that I am starting to get a little anxious. On one level we have brought in what looks like four top level performers in Vlaar, El Ahmadi, Holman and Lowton for around £9 million. Contractual ends for Beye, Heskey and Cuellar and the end of the loan deal for Jenas have reduced the wage bill significantly though none of these exists resulted in incoming transfer revenue. Only Collins' sale to West Ham has resulted in a saleof £2.5 Million. I estimate that transfer income added to wage reductions have led us to recoup somewhere around £15 million though recent player acquisitions before wages have cost us a rumoured £9 million. In short: lets not dance down to the bank just yet.

The grapevine tells us that we are also looking to offload Dunne, Hutton and Warnock, which will free up further valuable funds and bring in much needed transfer revenue. However, we are still to receive official bids for these players, the season is a few days away and we are still missing a quality left back, a top level ball playing midfielder and a new striker. To say that the squad is in transition and is thin on the ground is an understatement. With our share of the TV money being absorbed by wage and club costs and our finishing position leaving us with around £1.5 million in winnings the climb seems as steep as ever, even if it is taken with renewed excitement, togetherness and hope.

It is worth reminding ourselves that many of the academy graduates, who were drafted in to cover and bolster a depleted and struggling squad, are now regulars. Gardner, Clarke, Baker, Herd, Bannan, Albrighton and Weimann were all bloodied in difficult circumstances and now find themselves either in the first team or on the bench. They are no doubt soon to be joined by Daniel Johnson and Sammy Curruthers. Considering our financial limitations it is essential that these players are able to bridge the gap from being academy stars to elite level footballers in the most competitive league in the world. Paul Lambert, with his mix of inspiring man management and tactical nuance may be the man to do this though not all of them will make it.

I am excited and looking forward to a brand new season under Paul Lambert as are you. However, should we be more realistic and keep our feet on the ground? We will certainly no more by the 1st September with two games under our belt and the transfer window closed. Perhaps we should reserve judgement until then?


Date:Tuesday August 14 2012
Time: 1:53PM


follows on nicely from the poll + forum thread: Is The Villa Squad Strong Enough For This Season?
The Fear
14/08/2012 14:09:00
We should realise at top 12. Then steadily improve the season after - with more players being attracted to us and seeing our potential with a new style of play and a top notch young manager...That is all.
14/08/2012 14:10:00
Very good read that and fair on reflection with all the excitement and buzzing feelings going round our club now that we do not get carried away and don in the dumps if we start off badly r go on a bad un early on, we do lack quality and experiance for sure, im hoping however Rambo Lambo still gets us a few quality players in before deadline day but as you quite rightly state we are probably awaiting bids for Warnock Dunne and Hutton lets all start praying to Mcgrath we can offload these terrible trio if thats whats holding back out transfer dealings ay UTV!
14/08/2012 14:12:00
Yes very balanced article, I am a little nervous that we conceded a total of 5 in our last two friendlies. Same old same old, hopefully not. As you say we will now a lot more after the hammers and Everton games. COTVABU
irish villa
14/08/2012 14:42:00
Enjoyed the read and your humor! After last season it is no wonder we are so excited however, yes, we do have to keep a measure of balance
14/08/2012 14:47:00
actually Irish Villa, it was 6! haha, but I'm feeling ridiculously optimistic nonetheless. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of how much we are saving in wages compared to at the end of the MON era with people like Beye, Heskey, Collins, Carew etc off the wage bill. Surely we have cut enough costs at this point?
14/08/2012 14:47:00
After the signing we had made, I though, yes please and a couple more will do nicely...... but nothing. In other words, I was excited because of the incomings, but my excitement has tempered a little because the incomings have stopped. I cannot for the life of me see how the hell we can go into a new season with one quality striker..... to me, this route is very short sighted............. Should of gone to Specsavers I suppose!
Pride of Lions
14/08/2012 15:02:00
I think its immensely important we keep our feet on the ground and not get carried away or expect too much. The last two seasons have resulted in near relegation and the squad is hardly vastly improved from this on paper. Its very similar to MON's first season in which we finished 11th, if Lambert can get anywhere near that or at least avoid a stressful last few months I for one would be delighted.
14/08/2012 15:20:00
well i dont want to win anything using petrodollars or dodgy rubles. that leaves - a homegrown team who grew up playing together plus a few key entrants and 1-2 superstars ie Bent plus whoever. seems to me the only other way left in todays game. but this team needs to want to become legendary in the modem game rather than buzzin to leave for another 5k a week elsewhere. btw sorry caps key is broke.
14/08/2012 15:53:00
I strongly suspect that Lambert will have funds available at xmas should he need them and will begin the real building next summer. Its easy for everyone on here to have opinions on the squad but PL has only seenthem for a few games and might have more faith in some of the younger players than many on here do.
14/08/2012 16:40:00
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