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Has Lerner Lost Interest?


My first attempt at an article having visited the site for years.

Be forewarned, it's a bit of a rant!

There seems to be a growing number of fans calling for Lerner to relinquish ownership of the club. His 'reluctance to spend' seems to be the main reason behind this opposition, though I'm still struggling to comprehend how such a conclusion has been drawn by so many of the club's supporters. Lerner has invested in the club, its players and its facilities substantially since he took control back in 2006. It seems that some aren't happy unless we bring in at least one £10million+ marquee player each window. Agreed, our average transfer spend has decreased in recent years but is the chairman tightening the purse strings or simply being more careful with his cash?

Lets look at our squad now compared with the squad we had at the end of MON's final season -arguably our most successful in recent years.

First up, goalkeepers. Brad Guzan and Andy Marshall featured in both squads, with Brad Friedel and Shay Given in the '09 and '12 squads respectively. Both Friedel and Guzan represent excellent purchases by O'Neill, rumoured to be around £3million for both in the summer of 2008. The former was inspired between the sticks and rallied performances out of an ever-changing back line, while we are still reaping the rewards of the latter. Given came in for a mooted £3million alone and after one season has fallen down the pecking order at the club. Despite playing a big part in keeping us up last season, could Guzan have done as good a job? £3million is a big outlay for 12 months of service and that's before taking wages into consideration. Arguably a poor purchase by an abysmal manager.

Right backs. Luke Young and Habib Beye were both brought in by MON at an estimated £5million and have since been sold for less than £1million (combined). When you consider that roughly £3million was spent on Alan Hutton and around the same on Matty Lowton the young lad looks far and away the best bit of business in that area, especially considering he probably commands the lowest wages of the four. Fine bit of business by Lambert, awful from MON and big 'Eck (again). Left backs. Warnock and Bennett. Both tend to look more like Championship players than top-flight defenders. The difference being that one of them is young enough to improve and cost about a third of the price.

In central defence Lambert's sole purchase has been Ron Vlaar. Injury plagued both past and present but a solid player and a Dutch international. £3-3.5million. Collins, Cuéllar and Curtis Davies. Bought in for a combined fee of around £22.5million, sold for a grand total of £2.5million. Yes, it's thought that Martin spent somewhere in the region of NINE MILLION POUNDS EACH on Cuéllar and Davies. Both left on free transfers.

I could go on...

The point I'm trying to make is that Lerner seems to be trying to steady the ship financially. When you look at clubs like Portsmouth and Rangers would you really like to see Villa in such a position? QPR have spent big and it hasn't done them any favours either. If the price is right I'm sure he will stump up the cash.

We've seen our transfer record smashed to bring in Darren Bent. He's gambled £7million on an unknown young Belgian striker. It wouldn't be surprising to see a seven-figure-sum spent on the next Ashley Young or James Milner - someone who could help take us places before being sold at a tidy profit. Just don't expect £8million to be spent on the likes of Nigel Reo-Coker for the sake of Premiership experience.

After all, wouldn't we all prefer a Michu over a Marlon Harewood?




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The Journalist

Writer: Bristol Villan Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 28 2012

Time: 10:11AM

Your Comments

That's your side of it, I have a different view, and to be honest I just wish he'd let us know what his view is, because his silence is affecting the club, and as every week passes less and less people are turning up, Jesus even he doesn't turn up to watch the *****e being served up.
eltoro
Well on the up side, Got a great Aston Villa DVD for Christmas, Aston Villa 100 best throw ins 2011-2012 there are some real crackers on it.
eltoro
It's like a well chewed bone isn't it? Nobody knows WTF is going on, Lerner seems like a Vietnam vet. And this is why he bought all the shares.... to close shop so no-one knows..... gone are the days of shareholders meetings.
Pride of Lions
Another thing we could do is put the numbers on the front of the shirts, at least then it would look like we were attacking for most of the match!!
eltoro
Um, I am a bit confused... Is this an article praising Lambert's signings given the lack of funds from Lerner? Or praising Lerner for spending nothing for the last few years? Lambert has done brilliantly in the transfer market given that he had almost nothing to work with in the club and very little money. Yes Mon wasted money in the transfer market. But he also unearthed several gems that were sold for BIG money.
Astriel
And let us not forget. This overpriced and overated MON squad got us to 6th. We currently are?
Astriel
Took the words right out of my mouth ASTRIEL, no mention of the massive profits on Barry, Young, Milner, and Downing, under MON I always felt we could win the League, or at least get in the Champions league, since he left all I think is ' we could go down this season'
eltoro
Might be a blessing in disguise losing by 12 goals in two matches, we might actually buy some experienced quality.
Villa 4 Ever
I think the point of the argument is that MON spent big, and there success to failure rate of his signings was poor. Barry wasn't an MON signing, Young Milner & Downing were all big money buys, the profit we made on them would barely buy Cuellar, who he kept over Cahill.... Eck, was just poor, with the exception of Holman. Anyway, the point is that Lerner isn't gambling with Villas future anymore, there is less speculation on big buys, we're speculating on lower prices. I'd just say that's sensible husbandry, given what's preceded it.
lorenzo
Eltoro, Barry was nothing to do with Mon, nor was Milner (he wanted to come to the Villa after Do'L arranged loan with permanent move that was buggered by poor negotiating). Young was a MoN success, true, and Downing proved to be shrewd business, but only because Liverpool were in such disarray, they offered twice what he was actually worth and we got away with it - he was crap and motivated by self-interest. MoN was a disaster for us, and his game plan (he only had one) was weak, his substitutions and strategy non-existent, the team ran out of steam at the end of each season, no rotation, blah, blah.
144wittonlane
How much do you think Cuellar cost!! we made 10 mill on downing alone, and I'm aware that MON didn't buy Barry but we sold him for 12 mill, we made about 8 mill on Young, And made good money on Milner around 8 mill + Ireland around 38 million, Cuellar cost us 7.8.
eltoro
Jesus don't you guys think I don't know that already!!!!!!!!!!!!! we still took the cash though which goes in the plus column, which then wipes out the minus column, or at least reduces it. and if MON was poor with constant top end finishes that doesn't say much about the shower of ***** that as passed through the door since he left, and for that I blame Lerner *****in simple.
eltoro
Agreed Eltoro. People forget that Lerner has recouped large chunks of the money invested through the sale of our entire squad. The problem is football is a money game now. You need financial backing to compete (MON case in point). Lerner is not willing to give us that any more. I appreciate the work he has done for the club under the MON era but if he refuses to back any manager then he is just doing more harm than good.
Astriel
MON developed these players making Young and Milner young PFA players of the year in consecutive seasons thus increasing their value.
Villan444
Disagreed. MoN was ruinous financially because of his incredibly wasteful buying high/selling low policy (with two, possibly three exceptions) and ruinous because he flounced out 5 days before the start of the season. He couldn't hold on to his key players (however many times he called the little tw*ts a 'genius') so he threw a hissy fit. Lerner tried to recover from that but was slow in appointing Houllier and who was to know he would have such bad luck with his health. Lerner's fault for not having a crystal ball? Then Lerner did make a big mistake with McLeish (God knows what possessed him, but his advisers let him down big time.) All of these events are understandable, excluding MoN's - who I think always sees himself as the son of Cloughie and is completely deluded. The PL has changed since MoN was at VP. We would never have competed with the current Utd, City, Chelsea, Spurs or even Arsenal. MoN is not Moyes. Let's see how well Sunderland do this season, if he stays.
144wittonlane
Milner was developed on loan from Newcastle by Do'L, in my opinion. He hardly changed whilst with us, then moved up a grade at City. Young, yes, he did improve at VP and then again at Utd. MoN would never have taken him any further with the style of play he encouraged at VP.
144wittonlane
Im very 50/50 with MON and that also seems to be how things go with his transfers too... He briefly brought back some good times for us but in the end it cost us dearly and we have nothing to show for it except thoughts of what could have been... When MON left I think RL lost some interest then and when he seen the lack of commitment from highly paid players under Houllier reinforced his move towards sustainability... All our problems are a combination of MON and RL, MON for the most part over signed poor players on high wages or inflated prices and never played them... RL let him do this, gave him too much freedom over his first 2 or 3 years and then appointed Houllier (who I have no doubt would have been great only for the health problems) and then he appointed the disaster which was ECK... Prior to our last two games I thought our performances and cup run might sparks his interest again but unless we win the league cup I cant see him becoming interested again... Maybe if we get into Europe through the cup he might the itch to invest more but I wont hold my breath...
CDX_EIRE
The new plan will take time, Randy will support Lambert and allow him to buy his players just like every other manager. This cost cutting had to happen and is now under control.... Once the other overpaid crap leaves in the summer we will be in a great position to be build a squad comparable to the current top 6. Trouble is, so can every other team nowadays (most started this plan already so we're playing catch up) with the 70m of TV cash every season so it comes down to having the right manager and set up in place. I think we almost have this now? Great training facilities, scouting system, own stadium, good youth setup, big fan base, good wages to turnover ratio and a young and talented (?) manager. This is our last transistion season for a long time, i hope.
son_of_cher
144 wittonlane you say 'Disagreed. MoN was ruinous financially because of his incredibly wasteful buying high/selling low policy' all were sanctioned by Lerner himself, if they weren't the that's another reason for him to go.
eltoro
*then
eltoro
So you don't want the chairman to back the manager lol
mike_field
MON made mistakes but also gave us 3 great years of competitive top end football, he is a very good manager but his time with us is in the past, the bickering is irrelevant now and will not change a thing. PL is our man now and to me he's a new aged MON, he has the same hardness and motivation skills, he is animated on the sideline and gets the best out his players. The only thing that annoyed me about MON was his lack of rotation, tactical changes and that he'd never by overseas players, it seems PL does all of these things and that's why he excites me as manager. I agree with cost cutting to balance the ship but as so as it's balanced (which it should be now) we have to see some decent moves in the market. Not saying we need 20mil + players but we need at least a good 20mil in each window to improve the squad and keep moving forward. I too wish Lerner would talk but it's never happened and I don't think it will start, he opened his wallet for Benteke so hopefully he'll do the same when PL comes knocking again in Jan. Congrats on your first article Bristol
AdzVilla11
LoL Mike dude, you keep trying to get your point across on here and many just don't either bother reading or trying to understand what you keep saying but i get ya our kid, i agree Randy backed MoN which in turn ended in running the wage bill too unsustainable levels so in other words MoN didn't give a crap about our future and sustaining Villa as a top club, MoN just wanted this player n that player Randy backed him / entrusted him which some fans kncok Randy for not backing managers lol i get it Mikey baby wish some others would give your point a fair chance, i have had my moanings about Randy and his decisions but RANDY HAS BACKED HIS MANAGERS credit where credit is due fellow Villans, its the decisions that Randy has made which have been the problem but lets hope we get some players in January and get us back up the table ready for the League cup parade in the summer ;) UTV!
CLIVETHEVILLAN
On another note, Beeb are saying we're in for Yoan Gouffran from Bordeaux - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20521275
ExpatVillaShirt
Lerner is treating Villa, and by proxy us supporters, very shoddily. The only analogy I can think of is a man who has lost interest in a woman, stopped calling, then makes the occasional gesture of a bunch of garage forecourt carnations. The absence of any consistant, clear communications from the club leave us speculating about what is going on. The fans are split in to two camps - Camp 1) Those who choose to overlook the neglect of recent times, preferring to remember when he was bothered "remember when he promised us a bright future, when he invested in a squad that was challenging near the top? 3 top six finishes?" - Camp 2) Those who can see the drop in focus and attention. Who have seen the crown jewels sold off and replaced with the mediocre. The realisation that he has yet to invest a penny out of his own pocket and leveraged the club with loans from his family's trust. A succession of poor managerial appointments (I am reserving judgement on Lambert, but we have gone a goal down against Wigan - YES, Wigan!) that shows the lack of a football brain anywhere in the upper echelons of the club, and a 3rd year battling relegation after stripping the squad of any depth or experience and failing to ensure we have a competitive first eleven, let alone squad. All supporters are entitled to opinions and I would not try to belittle anyone for an opinion that contrasts with mine. We all want whats best for Villa, and all want a competitive side. But I will simply continue the theme of the earlier analogy, quoting an Eddie Murphy stand up routine (which he paraphrased from a Janet Jackson song, I think?) "yeah, your man used to do ***** for you, but what has he done for you lately???" When you become someones option rather than their priority it is time for pastures new. He can't even be bothered to turn up for games so I think it is clear where the club lies with him. UTV :-(
heavy d
I would also like to reinforce what others have said. Managers HAVE made bad buys and decisions, but who appointed these managers?? Who ratified all of the transfers (both in and out, when players were sold for massive losses in most cases??), Who gave ridiculous contracts (both in terms of length and wages) to players that are now frozen out from the team and no other club wants?? Who changed club direction so sharply that it has left us "in transition" for 3 years in a row with points won per game reducing year on year?? We only survived the drop last year because other teams were slightly worse than us. Lowest goal scorers and 2nd worst defence this year!! There has to be some accountability and the buck stops with Randolph (I wouldn't have anything without inheriting off my rich Daddy) Lerner Esq! If he is leaving the club to be run by a 34 year old whose knowledge of football could be written on the back of a stamp, again he has to be held accountable for that!
heavy d
Mike_field, not sure who your last comment was aimed at, if it was me, I don't think you read it properly.
eltoro
 

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