Thursday, 2 August 2007

My ignorance, Brummie Ire and Marlon Bloody Harewood

Well folks,
JJ here,

Elsewhere online this week I irritated a few Villa fans by suggesting that their team would be a pile of steaming shite this season. I did however make the cardinal error of throwing in a comment that their defence should improve when in fact they had the fifth best defensive record in the league last year. I did apologise for that particular point (I just remembered them being crap to watch last year) but couldn’t resist a sly dig at their attack. Their woeful, woeful attack.

Harewood – Lumbering cheap buy.
Moore – “Hello dark alleys, I’m just gonna run on in if you don’t mind”
Ashley Young – £9.65 million. One goal every five games for Watford. One goal every six for Villa.
Agbonlahor – Hugely talented but a poor scoring record.
Carew – Form getting gradually worse since his Valencia heyday.

Villa drew 17 games last season, lost 10 games and won 11 finishing in 11th place. Obviously they need to win a few more of those drawn games to get up the table. Manager Martin O’Neill has brought in Nigel Reo Coker to make some difference in midfield and it could work, I’ll admit that. His performances the season before last were excellent for West Ham but last year, when some fans dared to question his ability, he shrunk into a whole heap of nothing in the centre of the park. Hardly the type of mental strength needed to lead a midfield.

Gareth Barry will, as always, be excellent. Martin Laursen is in there and Liam Ridgewell has looked promising. Villa have high hopes for Gary Cahill as well, who was Burnely’s player of the year when on loan there a few seasons back and started the first game at Wembley – the U-21 draw against Italy – late on last season. Olaf Mellberg too is in the prime of his career at 29.

Again though most of these positives are in defence – so will Villa fans be happy with a load of draws again this year? Because they’re strikers point to very few wins being in store between August and May, and they certainly haven’t bought any creative forces that will be the needed spark to link midfield and attack.

The main factor in everybody’s optimism is of course, O’Neill. A guy with a huge reputation for his work at Leicester and Celtic, but someone who is also about nine or ten months away from possibly having that reputation in tatters. In all honesty, he’ll need to get Villa in the top six for this to be considered a successful season, or perhaps win a cup. What if he doesn’t?

I got in enough trouble elsewhere predicting they’d be rubbish this season but on a more sober note I just don’t see him winning a trophy or finishing in the European places. So mission failed basically.

And I feckin pray the Pool beat them come August 11.


We’re recording a new podcast tonight and will be previewing the fortunes of Man U, Sven City, Boro Nil, Fat Sam’s Newcastle and Happy Harry’s Portsmouth. There’s also Pub Talk featuring Dyer, Trundle, the decidedly rich Shakhtar Donetsk, the decidedly not really 18 years old Freddy Adu, Sean Bean and that “f**king w**ker” Neil Warnock.

We also squeeze every bit of saliva out of that famous lovers tiff between Frank Rijkaard, Rudi Voeller and Rudi Voeller’s immensely funny hair. All will be online tomorrow morning.

Send on your comments folks.


mark V said...

ah, more Villa bashing, bring it on! We've probably lost whatever Villa fans were listening to us by now!

in fairness, I think Villa will be OK, 11 th last season, something similar this, i don't see those signings making a bit impact, to say, push them up to 7th.

The teams that *could* finish ahead of them are - top5 + newcastle, blackburn, everton, pompey, bolton, man city. That's some tough competition there, even if it is likely Man City will take time to bed all the new players, and bolton may drop back a bit, and newcastle need defenders (which they will surely buy soon)

The evidence points to mid table

JJ said...

Good competition for europe alright this year. I have always maintained that if relegation were decided on a vote of hated sides to watch from the bottom ten teams rather than on points, Boro and Villa would have been out of that league a long time ago.

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