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Kevin MacDonald has left the club after 17 years here. He came across from Leicester with Brian Little in 95 and has spent most of his time with the youth team and the reserves. Most people seem to think he fancies a chance at a managers job and it's pretty clear he will only ever be a coach at Villa Park following his somewhat disappointing tenure as caretaker boss after O'Neill left. I wish the bloke a lot of luck because his contribution to Aston Villa was substantial.

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Interesting times. Defo fired up for the new season but the manager is half the job; we need to seriously rethink our playing squad, shift some deadwood and bring in a decent mix of youth & experience.

As a cost cutting measure our company have cancelled our box in the Trinity so no more freebies for me, thinking about a season ticket.

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This new bloke sounds like a decent defensive midfielder which may serve to take some pressure off our currently shoddy back four. All good in my book.

I would like to see the following guys replaced if possible:

Gabby - not been at the races for the past two seasons, we can do better

Ireland - not interested in playing for us from what I can gather, again we can do better

Dunne & Collins - awesome when they feel like it but have been more of a disruptive force in the dressing room lately

I still have reservations about N'Zog too but he may come good under a decent manager.

Lambert has a hell of a challenge on his hands for sure, I wonder how long the boo boys will give him?

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I think Villa are like England going into Euro 2012 at the moment. Expectations are so low following the reign of terror Alex McLeish that any kind of improvement will be welcomed. Personally I'd take mid table mediocrity next season before looking at getting 55-60 points the season after. A club the size of Aston Villa should always be looking at 60 points in my opinion.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, the squad rebuilding continues. Ron Vlaar looks like he has finally signed after a couple of weeks of drawn out negotiations. So far we have brought in:

Brett Holman - attacking midfielder. £ free

Kareem El Ahamedi - defensive midfielder. £2.5m

Matthew Lowton - right back. £3m

Ron Vlaar - centre back. £3.2m

I dont know a lot about any of them if I am being honest, but they all seem to be highly rated and have good reputations. Vlaar looks like the outstanding buy at the moment, he has had injury problems in the past but has played most weeks for the past two years. Seems like a Martin Laursen type of defender from what I hear, if he has as good as Laursen was then I will be very happy.

I dont know what else we need. Hutton seems to be out of the team now, and I presume Vlaar is going to replace Collins. I keep hearing rumours about us going in for a left back, Aaron Cresswell is the name that keeps getting linked though Ipswich are asking £6m for him and I think we arent prepared to meet that. It will be interesting to see what happens with the deal as time goes by, but it's nice to have a year where we are not involved in a huge transfer saga for a change.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So, West Ham away a little over 36 hours away as I type this and we look like we are down to the bare bones already. Trawling the internet for team news and the consensus is that the following players are fit:

Given, Guzan

Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, Lichaj, Lowton, (Hutton, Warnock. It's looking like Hutton & Warnock are going to be frozen out though.)

Ireland, El Ahmadi, N'Zogbia, Delph, Bannan, Johnson, Gardner, Carruthers

Bent, Weimann

Looking like they will be unavailable:

Dunne, Hutton, Warnock, Baker, Albrighton, Makoun, Petrov, Herd, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso, Holman.

What do you do with that? Back four kinda picks itself. The midfield is more interesting, if we go 4-4-2 I'd assume Bannan, Ireland, El Ahamadi & Gardner with N'Zogbia & Bent up front. It looks a bit unbalanced to me. Bench looks very weak too.

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So we have been scouring the lower leagues for 21 year olds, Joe Bennett (left back, Middlesbrough) Jordan Bowrey (striker, Chesterfield) and Ashley Westwood (midfielder, Crewe) have all joined along with Christian Benteke (striker, Genk) who I have heard described in several places in the media as either a panic buy or a gamble. I've never known such an inexperienced squad. The wage bill is definitely lower than it was, but it really is shit or bust for us this season isnt it?

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We looked much better today, I think Lambert's stamp is starting to take place on the team. We played neat and tidy stuff away at West Ham for an hour but looked lightweight, we had a bit more of a cutting edge today. Interesting to see none of new signings started, I guess Lambert always wanted to make them wait until after the international break so they get a couple of weeks on the training pitch before being brought in.

Guzan was excellent, he couldnt do a thing about the goal which was an absolute screamer, but it was refreshing to see a goalkeeper come off his line and collect the ball for once. I think Newcastle would have targeted Given's reluctance to do that if he had started, they often put a high ball onto the penalty spot and Guzan came and claimed every single one. He will start against Swansea I think.

Nice to see players actually wanting the ball too. Lowton and Bannan seemed to see an awful lot of it, and KEA was excellent in possession again, I hope his injury wasnt too serious but as he walked off the pitch and sat straight on the bench I assume he will be fine. Holman seems to never stop running, he didnt do anything special when he had the ball though, it was always just a simple pass and when he tried to do something more creative it didnt quite work out for him. Seems to be a good player to have away from home though. Bent looked more involved, he probably should have scored. Overall a good point at a difficult place to visit, progress made. Looking forwards to seeing what a couple more weeks at Bodymoor Heath does for the team before the Swansea game.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I still dont know where we stand. A lot of people got carried away after the Swansea result, and then a lot of people thought we were guaranteed relegation fodder after the Southampton game. Truth is we are in transition and this season will throw up a lot of inconsistant results. Nice to progress towards the business end of the League Cup though.

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  • 1 month later...

Just last night on ESPN classic I watched highlights of the game where Macheda scored the winning goal against us in 2008/9. I watched that match at the time in my mate's house, he's a Utd fan. I don't see the guy that often, but I happened to be out with him tonight as well. We couldn't watch it, but kept an eye on the score. Such deflation :(

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  • 3 weeks later...

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