Jump to content
IGNORED

The Unofficial Aston Villa thread!


ClassicReplay
 Share

Recommended Posts

This N'Zogbia business is getting tiresome. We offered £9m, Wigan want £10m. We wont offer any more than £9m because we say we would only be bidding against ourselves, Wigan wont take less than £10m because they say that is his asking price.

Do we really have to have a willy waving contest over every transfer? Maybe the club are feeling bullish because we played hardball over the transfers of Barry, Milner and Downing and kinda got what we wanted (even if we lost the players) and we even got a very good price for Ashley Young considering he wanted to leave and only had a year left. But part of me thinks we should just pay the fucking money. We are swimming in cash at the moment and for footballing reasons alone we should have the players we want for as much of pre season as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Liverpool were only bidding against themselves for Downing, but we stuck to our guns about that. Wigan are completely within their rights to demand what they feel is a fair price.

N'Zogbia's not the most stable of sorts and I wouldn't want to be the Wigan manager if he's still there after the close of the transfer window. Equally, we need to get him in ASAP to have a pre-season with him. It's just a game of brinksmanship, and we'll see who blinks first.

Allegedley, Wigan said the price was £9m and then upped it after we got the Downing cash. That's a bit cheeky

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's talk of N'Zogbia threatening to strike over this, but it's probably nonsense. The problem with it is that no one else being mentioned with N'Zogbia (Everton, etc.) would be able to match our transfer fee/wages, and he has only got the one year left, so I can understand what Randy is doing. Don't blame him either, for the next couple of weeks at least. If it costs us the lad though, over the sake of £1m, many fans will be very unhappy.

Also, Bent has scored in the pre-season game against Walsall. And apparently Ireland is playing brilliantly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Newcastle would be able to match us, but I can't see him going back as he left under a cloud.

I still think we need another defender if Cuellar goes, and a CF as Heskey/Gabby/The Fonz are all bobbins. Bent picks up injuries frequently, and I don't think we want to rely on him solely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aye, will prove to be a decent signing. I still think Ashley Young and Downing are better than Albrighton and N'Zogbia will be, but I am pleased with the signing. N'Zogbia can be brilliant on his day, decent pace & power, can play out wide or through the middle and has a hell of a left foot. While McLeish is a lot of things I dont really like I think he might be the ideal manager to handle players who are somewhat "difficult" off the pitch. I am now cautiously optimistic about next season.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt-fLH_MbjY

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Good game today, I managed to blag a seat in our company box in the Trinity so top notch food and a cracking view of the game.

We were pretty poor at the back and a better team would have punished us but we did a good job of bossing the midfield. Delph outstanding, some great little touches from Zog and a cracker of a goal from Gabby.

Blackburn were horrifically poor at times and dead certs for relegation if they don't shape up. They only bought about 200 fans down too which must be the worst travelling support I've ever seen at a Prem game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The number of times we have played Blackburn in recent seasons you would imagine that a large number of their fans have bought second homes in Birmingham because it would be cheaper than travelling down and back so regularly!

Didnt see the game today. A three week old son* has really put paid to any chance of getting to the Villa or even watching a stream of the game at the moment, but I have used the past hour or so to read the match report, the forums and check out the goals and I guess so far so good. People raving about Delph, which is always nice to see because big things were expected of him before he did his cruciate last year. Maybe he will get some game time now and we can see what he is really made of. I also cant help but like McLeish, he is very good with the media and he constantly says all of the right things. He seems like the kind of bloke you could happily have a drink with. Actions speak louder than words though, and I still want to see what he plans to do with the side in the long term. The dire 4-5-1 hoofball that Small Heath played under him doesnt seem to be happening at Villa Park, but we have had two unusual games so far, away at a much sharper Fulham (they have played 7 competitive games before we turned up) and at home to a Blackburn side everybody is tipping for relegation. Still, four points from six and Gabby back in the fold after being frozen out by Houllier is a nice start. Big Eck might just win me over!

Oh, and word around the camp fire is that when the Nike deal runs out, we will be getting our kits made by a company called Macron. I dont mind binning Nike because they have been fucking awful for us, but will Macron be able to distribute shirts as widely as Nike? Will kids be interested in buying a brand perceived as shitty?

*born about nine hours after the Charles N'Zobgia post! :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dunno what to say about today really, it is very easy to be negative again. The crowd was 10k below capacity, 8k down on last year and while the club will point to it being on TV, having a very early kick off time, people being on holiday and being the third game at Villa Park in a week it doesnt look good. People expected dour football from McLeish and didnt renew season tickets and I guess today's gate kinda proves that. Apparently we are 7k down on last year in season ticket sales which adds up.

But the game. Two sides looking more interested in not conceding a goal than scoring always makes for a drab affair, and that is what happened today. We were on top for quite a bit, especially in the second half but we were still reluctant to commit men forwards. Bent looked isolated, Heskey was very quiet and Gabby did well but faded as soon as Wolves made a substitution to deal with him. There wasnt much from midfield, especially in terms of getting men into the box. We didnt even get our strikers into the box that often really. N'Zogbia had a very poor game and was substituted because of his performance rather than for tactical reasons. We didnt really look like conceding, but that is because we were so defensive. I can see quite a few more 0-0 draws this season.

Oh, and Luke Young & Jonathan Hogg have been sold today (to QPR & Watford respectively) which means we have lost ten senior players this transfer window (Reo Coker, Carew, Osbourne, Salifou, Pires, Friedel, Downing, Ashley Young, Luke Young & Hogg) and signed just two (Given & N'Zogbia). We are probably £30m up on transfer fees and lord only knows how much the wage bill has been slashed by. Really disappointing to see us weakening the squad so much. I know there are bills to pay, but this is downsizing on an epic scale.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you really count Hogg, Salifou and Osbourne as senior players though?

How many games did they get last season? Hogg was OK, but the other two were pump. Osbourne was on £18k a week, according to my mate who did his banking - was he worth anywhere near that, really? If he's gone then that gives people like Gary Gardner more of a chance.

The loss of Luke Young is bait of a blow, as we don't appear to have an established right-back. Moreso, if, as expected Cuellar goes as well. Unfortunately, we're still left with rubbish like Dunne on £50k/week, so I reckon there will be other departures yet. McCleish is relying on the kids in the reserves to fill the gaps, I don't go to reserve games, so don't know how many are up to much. I know Gardner and Clarke are rated, but is there much else? If the Fonz is the best reserve striker, then I'd guess not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The wage bill really has come down now, I'd say those ten players were (on average) 40k a week each, and I'd imagine Given and N'Zogbia that sort of figure, so it is a colossal drop. I think the likes of Beye and Heskey are out of contract at the end of the year too, so I imagine they'll go at the end of the year.

We'll be fine if we don't pick up a load of injuries, but the squad doesn't have much depth. However, unless any more exciting signings are brought in before Wednesday, we'll need a good run of results before the attendance picks up, so there will be less revenue and, potentially, less money invested.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is that confirmed anywhere else?

Makoun has gone too, on a loan with option to buy, further slashing the wage bill. There are a few days left though, and we're still being linked with players, so I'm still hopeful we'll bring a couple of players in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Makoun's gone as well? He's the only midfielder we've got who can pick a pass - yet we'll persevere with Petrov who's legs have clearly gone and can't pass forward.

And yet here's McCleish saying only four days ago that there would be no more departures:

http://www.teamtalk.com/aston-villa/7123851/No-Villa-departures-McLeish

A couple on injuries and we're down to untried kids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very underwhelmed by the deals. I dont think Jenas & Hutton are upgrades on Makoun & Luke Young, who have both left the club this week. Jenas has been a bench warmer for two years and hasnt played consistently well for three or four. Hutton has mediocrity written all over him and he seems like he is a terrible human being too. All the joy has been sucked out of following the Villa in the last 12 months or so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can see the sense with Hutton, as Young's 32 and in the last year of his contract. That Stevens chap isn't a risk but Jenas is well... meh. I'm sure he is a decent enough player, but I was expecting us to show some more ambition really.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can see the sense with Hutton, as Young's 32 and in the last year of his contract. That Stevens chap isn't a risk but Jenas is well... meh. I'm sure he is a decent enough player, but I was expecting us to show some more ambition really.

Were you?

I think any ambition walked out of the door when O'Neill left. It's just a pity that ambition didn't take Habib Beye and Richard Dunne with it as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Time for a bump I think. The more I think about us this season, the more I worry. I was talking about football with the lads earlier and the conversation came around to the state of Aston Villa in 2011/12. Remember about three years ago when Manchester City signed Robinho? Big day for us that was. At the time there were plenty of Villa fans who were deliriously happy with Randy Lerner that pointed out that while Man City might be minted, at least Villa didnt have a chairman who knew fuck all about football and who would lose interest after a couple of years.

It seems that is exactly what we got, isnt it? It still has only been 13 months or so since O'Neill left yet it seems like a lifetime ago. The whole mess around appointing Houllier has been all but forgotten because of the sheer number of other gaffes both on and off the pitch that have taken place since, but some things I read in the paper the other day really did make me think.

There was a piece about Darren Bent's form this season. He has only scored one goal in five league appearances. He hasnt had a shot on target in any of the other four games. He scored nine goals last season and all nine were assisted by players who are no longer at the club. His goal this season was assisted by nobody, he pounced on a misplaced clearance/interception from a 19 year old central defender making only his 8th appearance.

Darren Bent doesnt do much other than score goals. He doesnt really tackle, he doesnt contribute much to build up play (apparently he only made 11 passes against Newcastle, 2 of which were from kick offs. Similar against Everton, only 10 passes, again 2 of those were from kick offs) so unless you play to his strengths then there is little point in having him in the team. His strengths are his ability to finish half chances, his positional awareness when attacking the ball and his movement to lose defenders, his movement is as good as anybody I have seen in this division. He will score goals if you focus on getting the ball to him.

The thing is, we dont do that any more. We concede possession and territory and we ask everybody to drop back when the opposition have the ball. Even though we have Gabby in the side, we have lost the searing pace we had a year or two ago. Young and Downing have gone and the players brought in to replace them arent as effective. Albrighton has a ton of potential, but he is still hugely inexperienced and far from the finished article. N'Zogbia is playing badly, but even when he has been in form at his old clubs he has never been a selfless winger, he always tries to beat players and shoot. Opta stats will back that up all day long.

So, we dont have the players to support Darren Bent and we dont play the system to help him. Is there any point in having him in the team? Probably not. If he isnt in the team, will he leave? Probably. Will McLeish change his 4-5-1 to a formation more likely to suit Darren Bent? Probably not. Did the board stop to think about this before offering McLeish the job? Given that they approached somebody with pretty much the polar opposite footballing philosophy to McLeish in Martinez before taking McLeish then you have to think that the board didnt really think about what sort of football they wanted the team to play when it came to targeting a new manager. The fact that Martinez was from a similar school of thought to Houllier is probably just a coincidence now we have had time to reflect on it.

Everything points to a season of struggle this year. Yes, we are unbeaten at the moment but we have been outplayed in every game and we owe our points tally to Shay Given more than any other player. The fixture list has also been incredibly kind to us so far and 6th place is definitely a false position. Dour football has led to low attendances and its amazing to say this but I think rather than outrage the current situation is just being met with apathy and acceptance. Can anybody offer any positives for the season ahead or are we just bound for another eight months of shite football, spiced up by a flirt with relegation before an eventual lower mid table finish?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with most of that, but hopefully Jenas can bring some much needed creativity to the midfield (or Ireland can raise his game). I'm not sure if Bent has been completely fit in the previous games either, so I would expect his form to improve when he's recovered properly. Given has been a great signing too, and should hopefully save us a lot of points this year. Albrighton seems to be doing well as in impact sub, and Gabby is having a better year so far. We've looked much more solid defensively, but that could be the extra men behind the ball.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to the Newcastle game, and it was as dire a game of football as you'd (not) wish to see.

Any attacking intent appears to have been drilled out of the team. It was exemplified when Bannan intercepted a pass in between their defence and midfield. At this point last season, Young and Downing would have bee bombing into the area to try and score. On Saturday, the team was entirely static, except for bent making a pretty forlorn run into the box.

I accept that O'Neill played a pretty direct style of football, but at least it was exciting (mainly away from home admittedly). McCleish seems happy with a draw. We've only played rubbish teams, and struggled against all of them.

I think that we'll do a lot more than flirt with relegation, I think we'll be right in the mix. If we don't go down this season, then it won't be long after. I can't see us attracting any decent players, and the last of our decent ones retire/move on, we'll find ourselves right in the shit.

I don't know what's caused Lerner to lose interest (and we'll never no as he doesn't say anything), but it's clear we're a club that's drifting towards disaster. i never thought I'd see Doug Ellis' reign as a golden era. At least he had the best interests of the club at heart, and gave a shit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.