This is my debut for Avillafan.com and I am excited to be writing on a Sunday alongside Jon Startin for Villa fans. Just a quick introduction: my name is Alex Blakemore and I am 18 years old. I have been a season ticket holder at the Villa for seven years and I sit in the upper Trinity Road. I have seen the progression of the Villa over the last few years and I have to admit I am pleased to finally see some stability after a lot of turmoil due to the departure of Martin O’Neill.
Enough about me, let’s get on to what is important – the mighty claret and blue army. As I am sure you are all aware, transfer deadline day is tomorrow (Monday 2nd September 2013) and it’s always an exciting day for football fans across the globe.
This year Paul Lambert has decided to get his business out of the way nice and early, which, in a way, is a lot less stressful and gives the team time to gel in pre-season. From the first three games, I think we have seen that we are a tight-knit group this year and this has affected the way we have started the season. We had a strong start with a win at Arsenal and a fantastic performance at Chelsea, only to be cheated by another poor refereeing display. We also played well against Liverpool, which was a close game, and again we were unfortunate to lose.
The players Lambert has brought in during the early stages of the transfer window were relatively unheard and the new additions were not big names. Many football fans would say that this was a problem. However, it is clear from the way that Villa have started that Lambert is trying to build a young squad of players who show potential and will get better through experience – and it’s working!
We have also managed to keep hold of our key players such as Christian Benteke who handed in a transfer request only to have his mind changed by Paul Lambert. Andreas Weimann and Matthew Lowton were also rumoured to be moving away this summer. The players Lambert has let go, such as Darren Bent and Brett Holman, were players we could afford to let go without leaving our squad lacking quality.
Looking towards Monday’s deadline, it could be argued that Villa need to buy a couple more players before the transfer window closes. Equally, we could also do with selling a couple more. Stephen Ireland and Shay Given are players who could depart. They are both on large salaries and are unlikely to play this season. Therefore, getting them off the wage budget would be a massive bonus for Villa. I also have to mention Alan Hutton who, unfortunately, is a waste of space and is a player Villa could do without.
We have been linked with Tom Ince from Blackpool who, in my opinion, would be a great signing as he fits Lambert’s bill: he is young and would get better with experience in the Premier league. This is an exciting prospect for Villa in the final days of the summer transfer window and one we can get excited about during the next day or so.
Villa is full of young talent, players who are growing in confidence and experience. Nevertheless, I still worry that we are lacking some experience in the middle of the park and this could be an issue for us this season. Lambert is set on having young players and building the team this way but having a player like Gareth Barry in the middle who can knock the ball around would be a brilliant addition to the side. He is unhappy at Manchester City and he would get a lot more football if he came back to Villa. Would he be welcomed back by the fans? He would certainly be welcomed back by me and I would love to see him back at Villa to add a bit of much needed maturity to the Villa squad.
So, as you can all see, although Lambert purchased early, there is still potential for transfer deadline day to be exciting for Villa fans, with departures likely and arrivals a possibility.
On Monday, stay tuned to the internet and Sky Sports News. Grab a drink and make yourselves comfy because it’s going to be an exciting day!
I think at best Villa may sign or loan a young, cheap unknown.
We have our squad now, but I will be hoping we offload some unwanted signings. Villa loses over £8m a year on players that contribute nothing.
I have been a Villa fan since the age of 7 (I’m now 35) and my take on it is this….
I would like to see Ireland,Given and Hutton all leave this Monday, Ireland to Blackpool maybe, Given to Liverpool and personally i would pay any club to take Hutton off our hands!! Regarding the possible in’s Tom Ince is a cracking young player and i would welcome him to The Villa definitely, could we see central defender Ba coming in on loan? That i think would be a useful addition to beef up the back line in preparation for the long season ahead.
My prediction is no further signings, nor unfortunately sales! The best we can hope for are a few loans, outwards only though, as I do not believe Lambert is a man who believes training, coaching and improving other teams’ players is the way forward, I fully agree.
However if travel considerations act as a bar to signings I am quite happy to drive Hutton or Ireland to any venue at no cost!!!!!
I don’t think there will be anymore signings either. Ince would be a good 1 if we could get him.
As for outgoing: Ireland I would happily pay to get shut.Hutton maybe a waste of space but at least he has tried to find another club. Ireland is the epitomize of everything wrong with today’s game. He will sit out his contract I believe.
Bannon I think got his head turned by Ireland, will do the same and sit out his contract, if he can.
It’s Shay I feel the most for. I wish him well. A thoroughly decent guy. If anyone didn’t hear his talksport spot the other week go and find it on the web. He talked about Villa as if he was still 1 of the 1st team.
As for Bent we haven’t strictly got rid of him as he is only on a season loan. Though no doubt we will beable to loan him out again next year for his final season contracted to Villa.
Says alot about our previous signings and the mess the club has been in. PL has done an amazing job to sort out what he has in the past year.
It’s alot of money sat in the ‘bomb squad’ shed a week. Ah well onward
I think Lambert’s strategy is right, although we miss out on all the fun of the fair on deadline day, a good pre-season with new players has really set us up for this season. Also his longish term plan to build a team from the bottom-up is the only opportunity we have for success. Man U and Arsenal have come to success via that route, and only Chelsea and City can really afford to buy-in a winning team (Spurs have a one time shot at it funded by Bale’s bail to Madrid). When we tried that strategy under MON we got top six, but nothing better, and that was before City and Spurs started spending.
Given that Given still a great player, and Lambert has called him a ‘model professional’ recently (ha liked that pun), I am sure he will not go for Barry or other ‘experienced players’ – because they will task up a place in the team that could be allocated to one of the players he sees as the long-term component of a team competitive that can complete for a European spot in a couple of years. Barry might give us stability in midfield this year, but if that is at the cost of holding up the development of Delph, Westwood or Sylla – then probably not. Besides I think he bought Al Ahmadi and Vlaar last year as experience – but experience that was not tainted by unhelpful past cultures in the squad (and cheaper!). I would not be surprised if Albrighton goes too, as he is more suited to a 4-4-2 system, with old fashioned wingers – Lambert wants either wing forwards, central playmakers or wing backs in those attacking midfield roles. He might buy another attacking central midfielder (Ince?) – and maybe addition cover and centre-back/right back, but we might have to wait until January. I doubt if he will tke on a loan signing unless he’s worried about Nathan Baker’s injury and wants cover in the 1st half of the season.
Offloading is the key tomorrow. Ireland, Hutton, Given. I think Given will go – he’s still a world class goalkeeper, but because of his age he’s not one for the future and therefore he does not fit into the long term plan – and would hold up Guzan and Steer’s development if he was played. But a few premier clubs do need a keeper so I’m sure he will be snapped up tomorrow. Someone will probably take a punt on Ireland given that he has talent if not attitude – although we will probably still be sponsoring his wages for a while! Hutton, lord help help us. Looks like Bannan might go to Palace.
Hopefully we can clear out some of the excess baggage that have clearly outstayed their welcome. In that package I include the obvious suspects, Bannan, Ireland, Hutton, Given etc., and I’d also include Marc Albrighton in the ‘no longer wanted or needed’ mix.
Incoming? Like most Villans I’d welcome a creative playmaker, someone with the ability to open up opposition defences with that telling pass. Sadly I fear we will be disappointed, and we’ll go forward with what we’ve got.