Aston Villa - in the dropzone


How they must crave the return of St Martin of Derry

Not as much as Parkhead must crave the return of Coventry and Mboro failure - WGS.

Martyn OBE from Londonderry can stay where he is. He left behind an aging lobsided squad on big wages and it seems to me that the money pot at Villa Park has run dry as a result. The same squad minus Milner should be a lot higher up the table regardless of who is in charge though. McDonald and now Houllier have been disasters. Houllier is on more money than the Queen’s loyal subject by all accounts too. He has to go.

Nerve successfully touched.

Good God you could script that lunatic’s replies at this stage.

Infatuated with Celtic, faux nationalism, criticism of fellow commonwealthers etc. etc.

On the specific Villa points - obviously the Aston Villa squad was ageing when O’Neill left, it would be a peculiar squad that never aged. But they were hardly that old. It seems to me that this is the rehashing of points made about O’Neill when he departed from Celtic but you’d have to say the timing of that departure was outside his control in fairness. It doesn’t really stand up in the Villa context.

Friedel in goals was an O’Neill signing and getting on but hardly a bad signing. United and Liverpool have both proven in recent times that it’s very difficult to have a ready made replacement for a goalkeeper at the end of his career. Carson, Foster etc were signed for the future and moved on before their time came anyway.

Back four mostly around 29-31, probably your ideal age for defenders. Dunne, Collins, Cuellar, Young. Exception is Collins who is a few years younger.

Midfield of Petrov, Ireland, Downing, Sidwell, Reo-Coker, Albrighton and support from Delph, Banann etc. They’re probably on the young side actually. Pires has since joined which hardly brought down the average age. And Milner was still there when O’Neill was in charge.

Up front Heskey is getting on a small bit but still capable at EPL level anyway. Carew is old enough too but hardly over the hill. Agbonlahor, Young and Delfuenso are all very young.

There was plenty of criticism of O’Neill when he was in charge at Villa on here, and arguments made that he hadn’t really brought the team on, but I think this season has proven otherwise. League placings in the four years before O’Neill took charge were 16th, 6th, 10th, 16th. O’Neill finished in 11th, 6th, 6th, 6th and their best European run (though still brutal) since 1982 probably.

Villa weren’t in all that bad shape when he left. Houllier’s reign and McDonald’s incomepetence are not O’Neill’s legacy. They’re simply examples of ineptitude.

RTT and KIB Man come out of this whole affair very badly.

Not very difficult in fairness MBB !!

I’ll leave your initial cry for attention to one side for a second.

yes in the villa context MON ran out 5 days before the season started having brought Villa to the heady heights of 6th place leaving behind a wage bill that was 85% of turnover and having spent 85m net in 4 seasons. He didnt bring Villa higher in the league than DOL, Gregory or Little. In fact Brian Little led Villa to cup success, and 4th and 5th placed finishes in the league. Gregory had a Uefa Cup quarter final appearance - , FA Cup final and the MON standard 6th place. Even the deservedly maligned O’Leary took Villa to 6th. All three operated at budgets far reduced from Lerner’s largesse to MON which he failed to make the most of. Redknapp’s stewardship of Tottenham with less of a wage bill than Villa has showed up MON for the average enough job he did at Villa Park.

MON has left as I said previously a wage bill which was 85% of turnover. It is easy to see why as his policy of buying British based players, generally very experienced was naturally very costly. Friedel has been a poor signing imo as has his no.2 guzan. Whoever replaces Houllier will have to buy 2 new keepers. In defence, he had Luke Young 31, Habib Beye 33, Stephen Warnock 28 and Nickey Shorey 29 for the full back positions. Dunne 31, Davies 25, Cuellar 29 and Collins 27 for centre back. Davies, Cuellar and Collins may still have good days ahead of them but all the other have seen better days. 47m I make it to put that roster together but the value of all those players has dropped significantly (Villa took a 4m hit on Shorey this summer post MON for example). At the same time he let go players he took over - Gary Cahill, Liam Ridgewell, Aaron Hughes who could certainly have filled the back up positions at a minimum. Ciaran Clark and Eric Lichaj were also coming through the youths at the time.

Midfield - he let Steve Sidwell and Nigel Reo Coker’s contracts run so they now are out of contract in the summer. Sidwell on the verge of joining Wolves for 250k was signed for 5m dont forget. Reo Coker - 8.5m and will probably go on a Bosman come summer time. Again poor management by MON to let this situation develop. At the same time he let homegrown players like Steven Davis and Craig Gardner leave who were more than capable of performing the non playing role the other two primarily took up at Villa. MON cant take credit for any youth player development bar Gabby so the rise of Albrighton and Bannan he can certainly take no credit for. Delph may develop into a fine player for the club but at 8m was hardly cheap. Stiliyan Petrov at 31 is at the end of his career at this level but still taking in big wages. Again MON failed to spot this ala Wenger or Ferguson and let him go. Downing 26, Young 25 are still more than capable at this level. MON had agreed the deal to sell Milner and bring in Ireland. The deal being forced upon the club as MON couldnt get rid of a rake of other players he put on the transfer list last summer.

Up front, Carew was a good player for the club apart from this season when he has taken the piss. But again he is out of contract in the summer and his best days are well and truly over not having scored a goal this season would indicate. Emile Heskey 33 next week wont bring much coin in the summer and again saw better days and was the signing where it all went wrong for MON in hindsight.

While not a squad that should be anywhere near relegation, MON’s legacy at Villa Park is a poor one imo. For the budget he was given he didnt achieve the Champions League football that he arguably should have. There is no vision with that squad of players - Friedel, Young, Beye, Warnock, Shorey, Dunne, Carew, Heskey, Reo Coker, Sidwell, Petrov, Harewood (jesus I forgot he left in the summer) either all past their best or running down their contracts. The condition of several players at the start of the season would indicate MON presided over a shambles of a pre season too. As a manager he proved he was unable to learn from his mistakes and I think Liverpool will make a huge mistake if they bring him in as I feel he has been exposed for the limited bog standard Curbishley esque manager he is.

The parallels with his departure at Glasgow Celtic are apparent imo. For Hartson and Sutton read Carew and Heskey etc

Any new manager that was going to come in had a huge job to transform the squad like Strachan had to at Parkhead. Houllier though has been a disaster of epic proportions with some of the most bizarre episodes of man management I can recall from a new manager coming into a club.

call me crazy but i was under the impression a managers job was to manage the team. Are contract renewals and wages negotiations not the jobs of others? I would have presumed a manager outlines the players they want and guidelines for wages but its up to the chairman or finance director to decide if its viable or not. If the wages are 85% of turnover then surely the blame should lay at the door of those who allowed the high wages a la peter risdale in leeds.

yeah he was given far too much control, he was involved in all wage negotiations at Villa, as far as I know the man is a total control freak and now the club is paying the price - loaning players from Spurs and chasing swap deals ffs.

The board is far from blameless but MON had accepted to let Milner go to balance the books. But when he couldnt shift the transfer listed players, he couldnt spend the proceeds on McGeady and Keane (thankfully). Walking as he did 5 days before the season started was pretty diabolical.

But its his lack of vision that is startling. Compare Wenger who let Overmars, Petit, Toure, Adebayor go when he knew they were on the wane - Ferguson knew Ince, Hughes, Kanchelksis even back in the day needed to be moved on. MON didnt seem to appreciate that he had to operate within a budget. If he was clever he could have moved on Carew and Petrov in the summer and got a few quid for them to invest in younger players.

just read a report on the game

emile heskey plays for villa- i never realised

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

So does Robert Pires mate :lol:

Steve Sidwell also, the ginger cunt.

i thought he retired 6 years ago & runs a vinyard in the dordogne

Complete nonsense as usual from the forum’s favourite simpleton.

Suggesting MON didn’t spend the wage budget available to him wisely is one thing, though it’s not an argument supported particularly well so far, arguing that he was responsible for wages as a percentage of revenue is infantile and absurd.

I’ve been plenty critical of O’Neill before but it’s only fair to judge managers on facts, not bluff. Other managers had 6th place finishes but they didn’t get them three seasons in a row. O’Neill brought a consistent level of performance to the club that was lacking before and patently lacking since.

Those with more affinity to Aston Villa are better placed to judge the playing squad he left behind but they weren’t unreasonably old no matter how much mud people want to throw. Manchester United have an older squad, as do Chelsea. The average age of the defenders named above is less than 30. The starting team are younger still with Beye not really figuring.

Same applies to midfield. Naturally some players will depreciate in value as they get older, that’s the nature of football. There are plenty more who could be sold for profit - Young, Agbonlahor etc. and a huge profit on Milner but if you want to make sweeping statements it doesn’t always make sense to consider all the facts unfortunately.

O’Neill is far from flawless but it’s comical to see those who wanted him out for faraway hills now trying to justify their stance by ignoring what happened before and since.

[quote=“Rocko, post: 549586”]
Complete nonsense as usual from the forum’s favourite simpleton.[/quote]
Now there’s a tough competition :smiley:

even KIB admits that heske plays for villa :lol:

It’s very hard to have a reasoned debate with a raving lunatic.

It’s logical enough to question O’Neill’s spending of the wage budget available but it’s obviously preposterous to criticise him for wages as a percentage of revenue. No amount of cliches about “old fashioned manager” will alter that. Next we’ll have people complaining that he set the prices too low for catering in the stadium.

And you can pick and choose statistics how you like but Aston Villa were competing against other teams, not against other managers. So if Everton finished ahead of Villa more often than not, then it’s equally true to say that Villa finished ahead of Spurs more often than not. It’s wildly distorting to say that Everton finished ahead of Villa and that Redknapp did better than O’Neill. What about Redknapp before he joined Spurs?

Selective stats don’t hide the league placings. O’Neill’s achievements at Villa meant they consistently finished in the European places. They spent some money, but certainly no more than the top 4 teams did. His record stands to comparison against his predecessors and his successors. Only a fool would argue against that. Regrettably, he just has.

What good was it to to consistently finish in the european places when he showed absolute disregard for the Uefa Cup when they were in it, honey?