Aston Villa Message Board
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Steve I respect your comments but if the bad run had just started before, the UEFA Cup decision certainly put a nail in the coffin. Regarding Barry, no player will hold any club hostage and as good a player as he has been (our midfield was played off the pitch today), then let him go. Everyone is replaceable. I think MON has done a good job. Let me ask you all. Is this a Villa not able to break the top four with a small squad or is it an English predominant side being beaten by the foreign element, I think a combination of both. I really respecst that MON has gone after English players and am proud that it is the club I have always supported. You know maybe we are not as good as we think we are...maybe the press wanted someone so badly to break up the top four dominance, they champoined Villa and we went for it. I hope not because in my heart of hearts, at full strength with the defensive combination that you mentioned, I think we are a top four club. As Barry said, "big players play big in big matches"...Ashley, Davies, our whole midfield and you Gareth Barry all need to look in the mirror.
Agreed on Barry and the fact Moscow didn't help, although I did agree with MON's logic at the time (not so much now, but hey, that's hindsight for you again!) had we not capitulated to Stoke and won 2-0, we may well have not lost to spurs and only lost 2-0 to Liverpool! lol
The start of the bad run was Chelsea really, the good luck we had was replaced by the Hidinct effect and bad luck. Had we played Chelsea a few weeks before, we probably would have won.
Its not really the English player element as we don't have the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Terry etc.. Had we basically got the England team, we'd be top 2 or 3 each year (and England may actually win something as they would know how to play as a team! lol)
I hope Barry can take something from this season in so much that we are heading in the right direction anyway. My gut feeling is that he will wait a month or so to see who we bring in and if, like last year we fail to attract any decent players, he'll go and be a bench warmer at Liverpool. Even if its just a 12 month extension, that would be enough, although it wouldn't send out much of a message.
Whilst I agree no player should hold a club to ransom, equally if we are trying to attract quality players here, we need to keep the few we have!
The shopping list for the Summer should be:
1 Right Back
1 Left Back
1 Central Defender
1 Midfielder (e.g. Bentley)
But the defence has to be priority, we at the least need to sell Shorey if he's not going to get picked and get a decent left back cover for Bouma.
So many of our bad results this year has been down to missing defenders and the mess that has resulted in Reo Coker playing in Right Back. I wonder how different it would have been if we had had Bouma and Laursen all season... We'd probably be 3rd!
Damn shame that we lost Mellberg last year, a damn shame.