Aston Villa - Who Is The Real Villan?
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Who Is The Real Villan?

ItsYourRoundMyLord asks, who is the real Villan?

First off, proud of all the traveling Villans in Bradford who represent all thats great about the Villa. Support through thick and thin!

The match v Bradford was really poor and another unwelcome landmark in our history but only showed what has been happening consistently in recent years. The state of our club has been in steady decline for at least 3 years since MONs final season and from what I can see there are 3 or 4 main problems:-

Under achieving players: Stephen Ireland, Charles N'Zogbia, Stephen Warnock, Gabby Agbonlahor, Richard Dunne etc have failed to pull their weight for a large part of this time and dont appear to be improving whether they get runs in the team or not. They represent ABYSMAL value both in contribution and financial outlay.

Managers: Whatever the feelings towards them O'Neill, Houllier, McLeish and now Lambert have failed for various reasons be it O'Neills poor signings/lack of rotation, Houlliers over reliance on youth/marginalising experienced players, McLeish s negative tactics/previous managerial record or now Lambert's over reliance on youth/tactical formations.

Chief executive: Paul Faulkner is the man put in charge of running our club in the general absence of the chairman and is in charge to a large degree of both the running of on pitch development of AVFC. He has proudly backed appointments of Houllier, McLeish and Lambert to succeed and his only comments appear to be when things appear to be going well e.g.prior to Spurs 0-2 under McLeish and before the Chelsea game at Christmas Three weeks ago!

Randy Lerner: As owner of the club since 2006 we have gone from relative highs of three sixth finishes and a cup final/expensive signings and high wage bill to three relegation battles and record defeats/reduced spending and an inexperienced squad. It seems the 5 year plan has gone from spend,spend,spend to the wallet being zipped up and signings being well known premier league experience to young up and coming lower league talent.

The key problem is BALANCE. I don't want us to break the bank on mercenaries like Habib Beye and Stephen Ireland who show nothing for the cause but last night showed what happens when you depend on inexperience in key positions at centre-back and centre midfield.

If Stan was leading us out with Milner next to him and there was experience in defence would last night and the previous results have happened? We all want to see attractive football, which i think Houllier got closest to without the results, but like Lambert now over reliance on youth can undermine the aim and the lack of leadership in the team is obvious to any opponent. The lack of communication is the thing that alot of us Villa fans would like to see change. Where does Randy want the club to go and can he tell us his plan not for PR(Redknapp sky sports style!) but so us fans can see his vision for our club?!

Many questions need answering. Poor decisions mean there has to be substantial funds available NOW or the gamble, that is being made, could see us lose big time in may! AMBITION for the club I love doesn't have to be chucking money at the problem but there has to be A PLAN.

I know I've gone on so hope youItsYourRoundMyLord can forgive this 1st attempt at trying to figure it all out. I just want what everyone else wants - the Villas proud history to be retained and our future a positive forward one. 3 points on saturday is a must!

For the love of Paul McGrath - Come on the Villa!!!


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The Journalist

Writer: ItsYourRoundMyLord Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 9 2013

Time: 4:12PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
My only disagreement lies with Houllier style without the results... His work paid off in the end 7 games unbeaten at the end of season including victories over Liverpool and Arsenal ended up finishing 10th... I was very disappointed we got rid of him TBH...
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09/01/2013 16:24:00

As for who's fault this is well its a collection of everyone to do with the club ever since Lerner took over...
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09/01/2013 16:24:00

Faulkner, he hasn't a clue ......... as for Houllier, he was turning it around and we finished 9th CDX, shame, proper football manager.
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09/01/2013 16:32:00

We are a club in decline, how fr down remains to be seen, we have taken attempts at relegation with this one the third probably suceeding. COTVABU
irish villa
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09/01/2013 16:49:00

Houllier's only good results came from his hospital bed so he can't claim credit. And Liverpool and arsenal had nothing to play for at that stage of the season.
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09/01/2013 17:07:00

PHIL F****** DOWD!!! If that cheating moron had have sent Vidic off in the final we would have won the cup, our top players would have stayed, we'd be in the champions league etc etc ok might not have gone exactly that way but it feels good to direct the anger and that fat ****!
Lion Heart
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09/01/2013 17:27:00

What is it with trying to find a scapegoat and throwing the baby out with the bath water. Things are often more complex than they look which is why we're trying to change things in the first place.
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09/01/2013 17:28:00

Changing things is one thing but starting a team from scratch, chucking a load of lads together with no experience or aged wisdom throughout the ranks, and THEN expecting them to hold their own against seasoned wiser, stronger established squads is plain stupid.
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09/01/2013 18:16:00

Plan plan plan , that's all I hear all ferkin day . There are planners and there are those who go out and sort the mess out and get the job done . We one of those people at the moment !!!!!
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09/01/2013 18:17:00

Most wanted lambert, all wanted the overhaul and rid of overpaid lumps that have robbed the club and most were excited by the youthful hungry approach of the new dawn. But putting it simply it was too much too quickly and it hasn't worked. But the future is very very exciting if only we can get a few experienced heads in key places (spine of the team) steady the ship and then reintroduce the younger players into a winning team without the pressure of a relegation battle. Some of these investments will not work some will make it big I'm sure.
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09/01/2013 18:18:00

Randolph invested too heavily in the infrastructure and playing side of the club. M'ON didn't provide the return that £150m should of provided. He threw his toys out of the pram. And Randolph had to find someone at very short notice who was happy to work without a transfer window until January. In that window he got DB9, whose goals were massively important in getting us from a relegation battle to 9th. Illness to GH led Randolph to his biggest mistake and one that could haunt the club for years . . . . employing the man with no name. Crowds became disillusioned, scapegoats were sought and we all (well most did) demanded Lambert be appointed. In fairness to Randolph he again provided funding to his Manager, albeit less than was given to previous managers. But £20m on Benteke, Lowton, Bennett, Westwood, Vlaar and KEA has not really worked yet despite some positive signs. However £20m is much more than most other Premier League Managers have had to work with. Certainly more than the likes of David Moyes has ever had. The loss of Petrov, Dunne, Vlaar have all been instrumental in results, especially those of late. And having two kids in the heart of the defence, with 2 lightweight midfielders in front of them is really hurting at the moment. However I liken Villa to a spot of decorating. The room you are decorating looks tired and jaded before you start. Then you get to work and you can see the improvements taking shape. But then just before you finish, it looks terrible. There are spillages, mess, things out of place and you wonder why you ever started. But then you do just a basic bit of tidying up and everything falls into place and looks wonderful. We are currently at the painful bit where it can be hard to see just how much the overhaul has helped. But it has. Keep the faith. And as for whose fault it is for the current situation it is Randolphs for initially overspending. M'ON for not delivering on the expenditure. Randolph for appointing the man with no name. But most of all it is William McGregors fault, because if he hadn't started official football with Aston Villa the true founders of the Football League, then we might all still be playing cricket.
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09/01/2013 18:48:00

Everyone agrees that a few experienced heads are needed. Everyone pretty much agrees that we need a midfield general, a centre half etc etc. Unfortunately the only man whose opinion counts is Lambert and he has already said that he's going to stick with the current approach. More of the same will give us more of the same and all I can see is relegation.
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09/01/2013 18:48:00

We did want rid of the deadwood, but most expected them to be replaced with better players. All of the signings bar Benteke, possibly Westwood, have been duds. What we got was a lot of untried, lower league players lumped together for a considerable outlay. Lerner probably did put a budget in place but £24million was effectively wasted on players who aren't good enough. I don't want to hear crap about how good these players will be in a couple of years. If they had anything that meant that they could become decent players that has been smashed out of them with every goal conceded and every defeat. We will be in the Championship next year for effs sake. Clark clearly hasn't got the leadership stones but he gets the armband thrown at him as Lambert has isolated everyone with experience and know how. Faulkner couldn't give a toss as Randy puts his friendship with him above the needs of the club. What has he done to earn this unconditional trust that Lerner puts in him? I've spoken to this ***** face to face on several occasions and, even though he is obviously prepped before events, it is obvious he knows jack about football. He couldn't answer some very basic questions that an average football fan would know. If I told you what they were they would make your hair curl. And lets not forget, successive managers may have signed crap players but he has sanctioned the fees and long contracts. Give him a spreadsheet to play with and get a Chief Exec in who knows about football. He was instrumental in getting Eck in as he thought it would represent a coup to get our rivals Manager. £3million in compo for a dire, negative manager with a history of premier league relegation, followed by more than that in payoffs to McLeish, Grant and others when they were fired? Randy continues to trust him why?!?!?
heavy d
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09/01/2013 18:55:00

....and in the past we may have overpaid for players but at least they were Premier League players. This year we overpaid for players from the Championship, League 1 and League 2. Were we in bidding wars for Lowton, Bennett, Westwood, Bowery? No. So why did those four players cost the best part of £11million? Other clubs get a call from us, see Fatty Faulkner turn up to negotiate and p*** themselves with laughter. "You want to buy our League 1 rightback? That will be £4million please." More inept than Peter Ridsdale!!!!!!!!!
heavy d
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09/01/2013 19:05:00

Under MON Mellberg couldn't get a game at CB so had to do with RB, and Cahill had to move on for a game. Where are the established players?? Why haven't we replaced the good players with other good players, not superstars like Milner, Barry and Young, the 7 out of 10 players .
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09/01/2013 19:09:00

Right then. I deliberately stayed off here last night because was so mad I might have said things I’d regret. Reading through some of the other threads, looks like I wasn’t the only one. But guess what? 20+ hours later, things look/feel no better. Gloves off time then. Randy, Faulkner – sorry boys, you’re not the answer. Mr Lerner – I’m one of many Villa fans who has been grateful for much of what you’ve done – Bodymoor, Acorns, bankrolling MON for 4 crazy years. But your heart clearly isn’t in it. You’ve never been or pretended to be a Villa fan, and I guess that might be why the passion isn’t there. The next Arab billionaire probably won’t be a genuine fan either, but if his ego drives him to p*** money away on AVFC, then we’ll learn to live with that. As for Paul Lambert, I didn’t want him as manager but was determined to give him a fair chance – even to take on the chin that there would be bad days mixed in with the good. Sadly there are far too many bad days, too few good days, and the bad days are setting one unwanted record after another. For the record, I thought Norwich were the worst team to visit VP last year, which probably isn’t a scientific basis on which to make this assessment, but it’s all I’ve got – the only football I ever watch is Villa – a painful thing to endure for a few years now. Does anyone think PL will bring in the quality, experienced players we need right now? The way he’s treated Bent, Given and others suggests he prefers young, cheap kids who will do what he tells them. Great if you’re running a branch of Lidl, not necessarily the way to run a Prem football club. If RL/PF/PL cared at all, or had any appreciation of how low we’d sunk, we’d already have new transfer window players NOW. Forget about playing Martin O’neill’s ebay transfer game where we sign people at the last minute – we need the right players, right now, playing in the next game. Will it happen? No, ne neither. As for the players, lots of them are clearly not up to the job. Bennett? Lichaj? Never be Prem players. Baker and Clark? Squad players at best. A whole midfield that can’t tackle or pick out a claret or lime shirt. Two half decent goalies and 4 forwards who can be alright or brilliant on their day. Not exactly the basis of a team to be competetive. This actually feels worse than the McNeill/Turner season - and I'd suggest that team with spink, dorigo, keown, andy gray etc would stuff today's bottlers. What an indictment... I await with interest the criticism from the Emporor’s New Clothes brigade – PL is the man, Bennett is a rough diamond, blah blah...
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09/01/2013 19:14:00

Oh, and much as we were dire, credit to Bradford who played like a mid-Championship team (we looked like bottom of Championship - premonition of 12 mths from now?). As for the ref, what a disgrace - gave everything their way and we got zero protection. No excuse though.
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09/01/2013 19:20:00

Randy Lerner is as capable of recognising a good footballer as I am at recognising a future MVP quarterback for the super bowl winners. Giving money is not the be all and end all. You have to have some knowledge yourself, or a trusted confidant with said knowledge, to be sure that both yours and the managers opinions concur. Giving people carte blanche to do what they want, then acting surprised when it blows up in your face is naive at best, negligent at worst. Let's also not forget that he would have been happy for McLeish to continue in to this year and was only prompted to act because of the mass abstinance of season ticket renewals. The peak of his ambition stops at survival year on year and continuing to milk the TV revenue stream for the forseeable future. Hardly sounds like a bright future to me!!!
heavy d
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09/01/2013 19:21:00

LOL heavy d, Randy listened to Fergie about Eck and so have the clueless foreigners at Forest. Superb advisor. You can't pick up a game from watching a few games overnight. If you can't handle it, don't touch it. And that means you Randy.
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09/01/2013 19:45:00

The randy Lerner five year plan was really great, what a bright future it turned out to be. Awesome and Historic!
el sid
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09/01/2013 19:52:00

lets not forget the £7.5m "fee" that RAL took straight out of gross profit in the last reported accounts...cant wait for this years accounts to see how much it is this time...except that, they dont come out til May. Oops - too late. Shouldnt some of this fee be performance related as it is in the *anking industry ?
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09/01/2013 20:03:00

Firstly, I have never felt as despondent as a villa fan as I did last season with you know who in charge. I'd take this mess over last season's dire slog. Agreed experience is lacking, but is it really? Last night we had Given, Nzog, Gabby, Bent and Ireland playing - all old heads. We have Vlaar and Dunne to come back into defence. Who would you buy as an experienced defender who's available? Same question in midfield, and no you can't have Lampard or Beckham.
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09/01/2013 20:13:00

When I was 10 years old..I was put into our school team and I was hopeless, I touched the ball once...'he'll get better' I heard my Dad say....I'm 48 now and I'm still crap....Being 'Young' is no excuse for being hopeless. This team is hopeless because at least half of the players are not good enough and never will be, it's nothing to do with their age. Yes we need experience but only because experienced players are proven, not because they are magically gifted through being older. I've been a Villa fan since 1976 and this is the worst I've ever felt about any team we've ever had. I reckon if you took the team that started every season since 1976, all of them would beat this one. As for buying new players, 10 days in, no signings...says it all. Get ready to play Small Heath again next season, because believe you me, it's coming. In closing, yes, it's Lamberts fault...he brings the players in, he picks the tactics, he goes on TV saying 'I wont deviate'. It aint rocket science.
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09/01/2013 20:14:00

Villan444 - :-) I haven't forgot 'that' letter that Randy so cherishes. I bet he sleeps with it under his pillow and sucks his thumb, thinking "Wow! Sir Alex sent me a letter. Daddy was right. I am a special ray of sunshine" Cougarvillan - Hangeland from Fulham. Contract expires in 6 months and Fulham actively touting him to clubs so they don't lose him for nothing. £2million-ish would probably get him and manageable wages (less than N'Zog, Ireland, Bent, Gabby and Dunne are on) . Palacios from Stoke. Kept out of their side by Nzonzi at the moment but was a key player in Spurs qualifying for the CL and reaching the 1/4 finals. £5million tops. Tell me those players are not within reach and wouldn't strengthen the spine of the side. Both quality and both leaders. For mental just think this about this..... While Palacios was barnstorming for Spurs, his brother was being held to ransom by kidnappers.
heavy d
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09/01/2013 21:14:00

VOTH "There are spillages, mess, things out of place and you wonder why you ever started. But then you do just a basic bit of tidying up and everything falls into place and looks wonderful". So true with regard to decorating and made me laugh for first time in 24 hours! Hope you are right and I , for one, still think you might be. Lambert's getting a lot of criticism, and of course has made mistakes like all managers do. But his signings have mostly been good, the injuries of Westood and Vlaar unlucky, and I remain confident he sees the same faults we do. He has addressed problems he inherited that we all wanted sorting and we are still (just) above the water line. He must now address the problems now staring us in the face. In Lambert I still trust, but we need luck, support, and the "basic bit of tidying up" VOTH refers to needs to be a massive tweak to the midfield which disproportionately and positively transforms performances across the board. Here's hoping. Up the Villa!
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09/01/2013 21:19:00

The only option is to spend to get us safe. If we go down this season Villa's value goes from around 200m to around 60m. Randy has to bite the bullet (again) as the last 3 managers have *****ed his money up the wall. Poor signings and no plan. We deserve to go down.
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09/01/2013 21:53:00

Beating Bradford 2 or 3 nil (or 5-2 for that matter) just got a whole lot more attractive. Dont see Chelsea winning by 3 at Vetchabeu Stadium. Funny old game.
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09/01/2013 22:01:00

As long as we stay in the League this season. I don't care! I'm stressed already thinking of relegation. I need 1 years full of sleeping tablets. Prefer to be in a coma tbh. - Not to be rude, good read.
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09/01/2013 22:02:00

You've missed something. We have been afflicted with terrible BAD LUCK. In GH's season we had both CMs and both CBs injured. In AMc's season we had Bent out, Dunne out and Petrov got cancer FFS (there was probably more) This season we've had Bent, Vlaar, Gabby, Bent, Dunny, Zog, Albi all injured. Rotten luck. Why? Well im superstitious and what does three sixth place finishes equal? Yep - the number of the beast. We've been cursed, im deadly serious.
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09/01/2013 22:13:00

PiperUK thats the most convincing argument Iv heard so far as to why its all gone wrong...
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09/01/2013 23:17:00

Can't believe the calls for experienced heads, surely I'm not the only one who can see our experienced Premiership players have been our most disappointing so far this season? Given, N'Zogbia, Ireland, Agbonlahor, Bent - and I doubt Dunney would be setting the world alight if he were fit. Our most influential - albeit only on occasion - players have been the likes of Andi Weimann, Bentèké, Holman, Westwood, Lowton, Vlaar and Guzan, players with little to no Premier League experience. Sure, they may not be turning in great performances week-in, week-out but they've certainly been more impressive than the aforementioned "old guard".
Bristol Villan
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10/01/2013 00:10:00

This is getting monotenous - with all due respect to my fellow posters. I'd like to be able to come on here and post something positive, or in response to something positive, like a new signing.... but even this Coutinho is only 20yrs old!!! It seems our offer has been turned down anyway. When the hell are we going to get some experience in this squad... that is experience/quality.
Pride of Lions
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10/01/2013 10:46:00

Lets face it - Dilbert wasted money on KEA, Bennett and Bowery (we didnt need another kid striker, we have Fonz and others coming through in Youth). That money could have been used on a "quality midfielder." He was also unable to offload Hutton and Warnock, which should have released money to buy another "QM" or defender perhaps. I put that down to his own "inexperience" in the EPL casbah. At this moment in time though I would take Warnock over Bennett and others (sorry Steve :). Westwood and Lowton were astute signings but they need time and better players around them which they have not consistently had this season. Benteke was a great signing but bought to REPLACE DARREN BENT, pure and simple. He is also proving to be inconsistent which is understandable given his age and inexperience but 'unhelpful' in current circs. Unfortunately, also being unable to sell Darren Bent before Sept also crimped his style transferwise. In terms of how we release more funds (other than the rumoured £10m available for this window which is clearly NOT enough to fix the problem) - would anyone buy Delph, Bannan etc ?? Not sure they would go for much. Or we sell Bent if he is not injured, again. He then has to be replaced which if done properly will not net out much additional funds. All of this is pertinent whether Dilbert remains as manager or not, btw - I doubt Randy Roudini The Great Pisaddearer would give substantially more cash to a new guy, esp as he would have to weigh out the Scotsman and his pals, before Feb as well which if I recall correctly is the end of the acctg year for AVFC. So the transfer strategy has been flawed. Unfortunately selection and tactics have been so ******** awful that it hardly matters.
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10/01/2013 12:36:00

Cant believe some of the rubbish I am seeing why the hell would you want Dunny back ?most on here were willing to chip in for a taxi to take him somewhere else at the end of the season, what do we need his record number of own goals or his turning circle which takes longer than a chieftan tank ? Experiance alone counts for nothing we need Quality as well and in midfield more than anywhere else ,as already stated keep Holman lose the rest of our midfielders and put something in front of our defence that teams dont waltz through.
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11/01/2013 13:42:00


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