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8th? Relegated? Is Our Squad Good Enough?

Vital Villa asked:

Is Our Squad Strong Enough For The Season?

Poll Date: 14 Aug 2012
Suggested By: JP Fear

Seems not!


Still light 66%

Nowhere near strong enough 28%

Just about with luck on injuries 5%

Yes 1%

Unsure 0%

The pundits are mixed on Villa. I guess we are a bit of an unknown now as we`ve brought in a few non-Prem players and have a new manager.

I think Paul Lambert will get the best out of the sum of all parts but I do agree with the 66%, the squad is still light and it would only take one or two more injuries and we could well struggle UNLESS the 'kids` really can push on this season. I am not sure they are all ready though, I hope they are and think they are great prospects, but from what I can see, a few are a couple of seasons away.

Phil McNulty at is predicting 8th.

"The air will be cleared around Villa Park after the end of Alex McLeish's fruitless and unpopular season in charge - and by the appointment of one of the domestic game's finest emerging managerial talents in Paul Lambert. The Scot did superbly at Norwich and the divisive atmosphere that bordered on rebellion at times on the Holte End will be replaced by a unity of purpose Lambert will hope to replicate on the pitch. They have been busy in the transfer market but the main reason for predicting a much-improved Premier League placing for Villa this season is the arrival of the single-minded Lambert. I expect Villa to be much more formidable this season."

He also answers Robbie Savages prediction that Villa could get relegated along with Southampton and Reading saying on Twitter:

So @RobbieSavage8 thinks Villa may go down? I actually think they'll do surprisingly well under a fine new manager. Full predictions to come

See: Writers & Pundits Give Predictions Where Aston Villa Will Finish for several pundits opinions and on page two the Robbie Savage prediction!

The comments in the original article:

When you say light, It makes me think of light in numbers instead of actual quality, We are missing quality in the first team eleven not so much in backups. LB, Defensive Mid and a Striker is what we really require otherwise it's very much riding our luck on injuries and if players from the youth can step up a season or two earlier than predicted.
villa 4 ever

villa4ever i think your right, we have numbers but too many youngsters to carry the burden of injuries suspensions and the Christmas time when games come thick and fast, we lack a couple of experienced quality players imo, just to help out the youngsters and help them develop, the last two seasons when we have had injuries and had to play a lot of youngsters together in the first team we have struggled both times, I'm still hopeful Randy will back Rambo Lambo and pull some experienced quality Midfielder Left back and maybe a striker at the least out of the hat here's hoping ;) UTV!

We have the right manager but we still have a weak squad and fairly weak team. To be fair though, plenty said MON's downfall was trying to do things too fast and thus overspending on mediocre players. If it takes longer to get to a better conclusion then it is worth the wait. I think just because we have some decent additions and a good manager we can make good progress, but don't expect too much yet. 14th place or above would be fine. We need to sell a few before we can add any I think or we'll have too much deadwood.

OUT: Heskey, Cuellar, Collins and it appears Hutton & Warnock at least. IN: Lowton, KEA, Holman & Vlaar. So that seems 3 plus probably2 =5 out and 4 in......So even though we can claim the quality so far is better, the quantity actually goes DOWN, on a previously small squad. If we on't get another couple (at least) players in before the window closes, we will struggle to get be on 15th IMHO.
Pride of Lions

We have done well in the market so far but I'd be very disappointed if it ended here. We need 3 or 4 more at least as well as off loading a couple, I trust Lambert though. UTV

he`s got another 2.5 weeks to get in 3 players...prob two defenders and a striker to replace 90 pound a week man

Numbers wise? We're fine. Quality wise? Completely different conversation.
Sheriff Kimbo

I would say at least 2 more in, one being a striker. Get Hutton and Warnock out and there's the '1 in 1 out' policy in effect. If the young 'uns are ever going to make it big, then this season is for them.
Stephen Jay Hawkings

Like I said in the forums, I'd rather have Quality over Quantity...and we have no Quality.

Agree with SJH - the youngsters (I'm thinking Bannan, Clark, Albrighton now) need to step up to the plate - yes there is a heavy burden of expectation, but surely not that different to the expectations of the youth at Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea, for example? We are a small squad without question, and injuries to Bent and Petrov last season did much to hinder our fight against relegation (although luckily absolved them of any blame! Which was mostly McLeish's, obviously). A cheeky bid for Tim Cahill wouldn't have been out of the question, and maybe a Steven Fletcher (not at the sums banded about though) or even Michael Owen? I'll get me coat...

No We need one or two major players. Laursen, Barry, Milner & Young were stars. Only DB9 is in that class now. A midfield player like Milner is what we need. Not good enough to slot into City or England but a great workhorse for a team like us.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday August 17 2012

Time: 11:15AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I think its fair to say we allpretty much agree we lack some players, there is still time left in this transfer window and manhy clubs have been quiet not just us even though we have brought 4 in lol Randy needs to back Lambert and i really do think he will it may just be the case getting West Spam away out the way and concentrating on getting rid of the ones Lambert does not want here and gettingin new faces lets see, either way we will stay up under a top manager like Lambert wihwhat we have anyway but if he has just a little bit of helpfrom Randy he could surprise some of these so called experts like Lilly Savage oops wrong one i mean Robbie, my bad ;) UTV!
Report Abuse
17/08/2012 11:28:00

Savage is a *****, he hates the Villa. His biased opinion matters not!!!
Report Abuse
17/08/2012 11:57:00

To be honest Clive I'm not bothered if other clubs are quiet or not, I have enough to worry about with the Villa. We desperately need a minimum of 2 additional players. Striker and a LB or even a CM of a bit of size.
Pride of Lions
Report Abuse
17/08/2012 12:02:00

We have an excellent manager to bring the youth through and this will (hopefully) be our saving grace. They all got worse last season under Eck and PL has got to them just in time to put them back on track. A couple of experienced heads more ( like Vlaar ) would be better though. Bent cannot lead the line all season on his own when he can hardly do anything outside the 6 yard box. This is our main worry. Lambert will be relishing the challenge. I'm sure that he's up to it.
Report Abuse
17/08/2012 12:35:00

As I posted on another thread I genuinely can't pick between doing a Newcastle and getting relegated, it will come down to luck and form. The squad is not as bad or thin as some are suggesting. We have to stop thinking of our fringe players a babes in arms, they may not have fulfilled their potential but the only way they will is to play. Lambert guided Norwich to mid table last season and whilst some of our squad might not be up there with the best Delfouneso,Weimann, Bannan, Albrighton, Herd, Lichaj, Clark, Baker, Carruthers and Delph are as good as any player in that Norwich squad and would all get into the Wigan, Swansea etc teams. Dunne, Warnock and Hutton have played in the top half of the prem for long periods. Ireland is a class act when his head is right and he seems to be settled now. Bent is one of the top strikers in the english game and Nzogbia just needs to rediscover the form that he showed for Wigan that had many claiming he was better than Ashley Young. Holman looks like a goalscoring Milner from what I've seen and KeA appears to be the ball winner of NRC combined with the passing and composure of Gareth Barry. Vlaar completes a troi of players who have been plying their trade at the top of dutch football. I'd like to see us add more quality but realistically the group that we have are good enough to easily finish midtable. Whether the same group will be able to take us higher in coming seasons I strongly doubt but I'm sure PL will use next summer to move on some of those that don't make the grade.
Report Abuse
17/08/2012 13:15:00

I am extremely optimistic for this season. If we play a style that is based around keeping the ball i think we have great quality. Ireland, delph and bannan are all good passers and good on the ball. Not seen the new much boys yet but they look to be good on the ball and quite direct. Get two of our wingers zog albrighton and holman playing a 4-3-3 with bent up front, that is pretty formidable. When he is back gabby will cover either wing or striker. Weimenn can do the same. All of those players (apart from bent who isn't great at holding up the ball, not that i care as he bangs them in) keep possession as good as any teams outside the top 7/8. Back four is still a little uncertain but looking better with Vlaar. Baker and Clark will only get better and Dunne can play the odd game if he stays. I like Lichaj a lot too. Hopefully Gardener, Carruthers and Herd (or one of) can have a good breakthrough season. If so things will be rosy. Still need another striker and wing back though. Mid table finish for me. If players like ireland and bent really play this season then 8th. Realistically 11th (like how i doubled my chances with two predictions there?)
Report Abuse
17/08/2012 13:58:00

Going to be an interesting season for sure, not sure apart from maybe the top 3, anything is predictable at all!?
The Fear
Report Abuse
17/08/2012 14:37:00

10th to 12th,anything above is a bonus,we should do a lot better than last season under McSacked,Not thinking we are going to be 6th etc and keeping my feet on the ground.If we do bring in a couple of quality players and we stay injury free (long term injuries to key players) we could do better than expected....time will tell
Report Abuse
17/08/2012 14:55:00

Savage is a complete tool, and like Mark Lawrenson, NEVER has anything positive to say about Villa. But who gives a ****?! We can't possibly be as poor as last season, we've made a few signings and I'm sure a couple more (loan or otherwise) will be with us before the end of the month. I will settle for 13th or higher, and as long as we score some bloody goals (and don't concede too many at the end of matches!) we will be fine.
Report Abuse
17/08/2012 16:47:00


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