Aston Villa - Inexperienced Or Just Unknown?
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Inexperienced Or Just Unknown?

Some fans are going on about our new arrivals being too young, too inexperienced etc.

There are some fans on this and other sites who are unhappy, Merson, Le Tissier and friends on Sky waxed lyrical about how inadequate the signings were, and we already know that many pundits are predicting us to get relegated.

So have we really just signed a bunch of schoolboys fresh from the academy?

Of those brought in:

Brett Holman is a full Australian international who has been described as better than Tim Cahill who many would have welcomed with open arms before he headed to the US.

Ron Vlaar is a full Dutch international who started at Euros this summer, this is the Dutch national team and dare I say it they have a slightly better international record than our own beloved national team with the likes of Terry, Rooney et al.

Karim El Ahmadi is a full Moroccan international who was one of the top players in the Dutch top flight last year and played at the top end of their game.

Christian Benteke is only 21 but is a full Belgian international, the same team that boasts Company, Hazard etc.

Many villa fans are unhappy at Matthew Lowton and Joe Bennett but loved Kyle Walker who came from the same club as Lowton and would have been happy with Kyle Naughton who had no Prem experience until Paul Lambert gave it to him last year. Pundits love Kyle Walker but until his loan season at the Villa he was a championship player, oh yes and he is also still young.

There also seems to be amnesia about who else remains at the club. Shay Given who was an Ireland international until his recent retirement is still our number one and his deputy is a full US international. Bent, Gabby, Ireland, N`Zogbia and Dunne have been in the premiership for years with Warnock and Hutton still on the books,all of whom have been capped by their countries.

Herd, Albrighton, Bannan (a full Scotland international) Delph and Lichaj (a full US international) have at least a season under their respective belts as do Clark (a full Ireland international) and Weimann and all have represented their countries at U21 level. Of the rest, Westwood and Bowery are young and untried as are Samir Carruthers and Enda Stephens (although he has played in Europe) but if they're used sensibly they might just surprise a few.

I deliberately haven't mentioned Stan but would love to see him back in a Villa shirt or at least in and around the dressing room as the season progresses.

Like many I have concerns about this season and am as worried about the threat of relegation as anyone but for me my concern is not experience. I'm more worried about whether the team can gel, whether individually they are good enough and whether PL will get his tactics right. It certainly won't come right over night and I suspect we'll have to wait until after the international break to see what impact the new signings can make and what PL's first choice eleven looks like.


Related threads in the forum:

What Difference Does A Smile Make?
I'm a Villaholic
AVFC Summer Transfer Thread

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The Journalist

Writer: AVbornandbred Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday September 2 2012

Time: 10:31AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Hope you are right. Think the point some are making is we lack experience as in leaders... you watch Villa and see who leads, who is vocal, who can get the kids doing well when we go a goal down like v West Ham (when the teams heads dropped for a good while) and also the lacking experience means top level Prem experience. It is about getting the mix right.

Lets hope this lot click and all is rosey, would be fantastic. FANTASTIC. Merse / LeTissier etc don't - as a few have said - do this because they hate Villa, they are pundits, they are also ex pro's who have been there and done that. They say what they see. We all obviously hope they are proved wrong. We've flirted with relegation two seasons in a row, are the players you name like Zoggy and Dunne (and I'll ignore Warnock/ Hutton because they are playing with the youth in training, which I think is very ott thing to do) did very little in that time (or one season for Zoggy) and people are mixed on Ireland, I like him and want him to have a run, but he is also young and not a leader.

We'll soon find out, could be a fascinating season for sure. Never a dull moment eh!?
The Fear
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02/09/2012 10:39:00

My mate is a Villan and so I do keep an eye on them and I have to say guys I do fear the worst at present. You don't seem to have much in any department. Surprising really given that I thought Randy Learner would throw some of his newly earned cash at the problems now he's sold his baseball team. I hope you stay up but I have my doubts unless there is a serious turnaround.
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02/09/2012 10:39:00

(NFL not baseball mate) Cheers for input, you are looking at the other end these days!
The Fear
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02/09/2012 10:41:00

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02/09/2012 10:42:00

We have plenty of experience? Given, Vlaar, Dunne, Bent, Agbonlahor and El Ahmadi are all in their late twenties, early thirties is that not enough? If a player can play football then doesn't really matter, they can learn from mistakes as they go on. And before you say that's were the experience comes in, so they don't make mistakes please match MOTD and the majority of players who cost their teams points are experienced, very overated.
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02/09/2012 10:48:00

I liked your first post p.avfc, I reckon that is the most sensible thing I've seen you say...! ;-p lol
The Fear
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02/09/2012 10:58:00

Yeesh AVB... Sorry mate but you need to do some research... Outside of Dunne, Ahmadi and Lowton we don't have any other established internationals... Vlaar has 9 games for the Dutch, Benteke 5 for Belgium... Our current crop of players before Friday looked too weak to stay up. Does the signing of a bunch of championship/league 1 players and a 21 year old with potential suddenly mean that we have a good enough team? A little bit naive too say that it will. I mostly agree with the transfer strategy - the MON strategy of paying over the top for average players does not work. However neither does gambling on a number of unproven premier league players. You have to go with a balanced approach. I really hope I am wrong... But the acid test is which player out of our team would any other team in the league want? Outside of Bent I can't really name too many others...
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02/09/2012 11:10:00

Didn the same pundits say Eck would do a good job!?
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02/09/2012 11:21:00

So much potential in the squad now. The new guys are probably better off than those that were here last season as they haven't been told a load of rubbish on the training ground and had the football coached out of them by Eck. It will surely take some time for them to get used to winning, even trying to win after last years playing for the draw stance. Hopefully Dunne and Vlaar will have enough combined experience for the whole back line ( not suggesting that theyll play together, ) but I worry about other areas. Given seems spent and we just needed a confident proven player with some success on his C.V. in the middle of the park.
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02/09/2012 11:30:00

Most of us said last season we were crap because we had a coach who liked to defend all game, and play players out of position,aswell as keep playing players who needed to be dropped!well now we have a coach who has added quality,hungry players,but wait,they arnt prem players so they must be crap! Jesus, astriel,the glass is half full mate,not half empty! We have plenty of experience and quality now,it's just about getting that formula right.might take a few weeks,months but the future is much brighter than last year...and that is a good start for me!
brisbane lion
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02/09/2012 11:58:00

AVB, I agree with you and even with some of what Villan444 says, which is rare! Last season and this both managers are in much the same position. Eck had even more inexperience, especially after Bent and Dunne got injured. He coped with that through tactics. This year we are streets ahead of the end of last season given 8 new arrivals and 2 departures, including Hesky and Cuellar. Hesky looked shot though he did at least try and Cuellar was indifferent, from good at Wolves to awful at Norwich. Most pundits hear the comments of a friend and copy it - berks of a feather flock together. Give PL time and lets see what happens. I know no-one wants to hear it but Eck handled a load of issues and maintained our position at the very least. Was it great football? Nope but he managed the situation that the board gave him. One day some will be grateful. Now lets move on and support PL in his attempts to redevelop this great club.
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02/09/2012 12:20:00

Good article. The acid test is not 'how many of our players would other teams have in theirs' Astriel, it is whether this team plays to a level that is more than the sum of its parts. An example of this not happening were the Madrid Galacticos, with all the experience and talent in the world but very little to show for it on the pitch. A good example of it happening was our 1981/82 team who, if I am not mistaken, had very few internationals in the team.
Villan in Exile
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02/09/2012 13:05:00

Alan Pardew has been quoted as saying that Lambert will make 'Villa great again'. He will. There is also an interview with Arsene Wenger doing the rounds about FFP. He thinks Arsenal will benefit from FFP eventually. I think they will and I also think Villa will too. Hopefully, the club is in a false position in the league. The signings have been good and Lambert is a fine manager. Things are looking ominous at Spurs and Liverpool. I think this si going to be a fascinating season where the established apple cart in the league could be disrupted.
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02/09/2012 13:08:00

V in E, The 81/82 Villa was full of outcasts and rejects. Mortimer for instance never won a full England cap (he did play for 'England B'). Villa won the title in 81 using just 14 players. Unthinkable today. It's all academic anyway, football is so different now compared with then. As for Madrid, the Galactico system was effective at first but was eventually undone by selling Makalele (to pay for Beckham I think). It was probably the biggest transfer mistake in modern European football history. Playing an overwight (Brazilian) Ronaldo instead of proven goalscorer Fernando Morientes was also a bad move.
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02/09/2012 13:16:00

VWRA - aside from the point they won the league with 14 players which wouldn't happen again it would seem you are suporting my point: it is the team, not the individuals that are paramount.? And PL may have made some astute moves this summer
Villan in Exile
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02/09/2012 13:26:00

We have had years of dropping 5-10M on average experienced players who take big wages and have had no sell on value. Time we start thinking about the future, catching some rising stars, ashley young comes to mind! . Bloody love the philosophy I dare say I still back the philosophy even if it took us down! We have got the financial clout to compete for the big name player, and I dont want to see us repeating sidwell, coker, david, delph the amount of money wasted is staggering! Back the lads, back the philosophy and lets remain optimistic about the future of our club and take PRIDE that its being ran properly!!
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02/09/2012 13:28:00

davis (not david)
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02/09/2012 13:29:00

I approve this message...
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02/09/2012 13:31:00

V i E, I was merely reinforcing your points not trying to contradict them. Also agree with you about Lambert's signings. Such a refreshing change from the the MON era. Villa did, arguably, some of the best business of any major club during the window. Eventually.
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02/09/2012 13:40:00

VWRA - great minds an' all that :-)
Villan in Exile
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02/09/2012 13:41:00

The players are inexperienced AND unknown. The real question is, are they any good?
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02/09/2012 14:41:00


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