Best eleven, formations, points over performance, media coverage, competition winners and Nigel Reo-Coker

It is one of those days again where there really isn't much Aston Villa in the news, so I'm using that as a topic. There is the story of Nigel Reo-Coker apologising to Martin O'Neill, how he took part in training and how all is now forgotten, but we sort of new that was going to happen, so I'm not delving into too much, in fact that was it.

Instead, let's look at media coverage. We have the same number of points as Manchester City now and I fancy they're going to have another season like that one under Sven. A good run to begin with then they'll fall over, but they are still getting loads of coverage. Yes, you could say it is marketing and exposure, but surely it is football that counts.


As it stands now, they are no better than us in terms of league standing, they even have the same goal difference, so why is it that the British media seem to forget about teams from the second city and has it always been this way?

Mark Hughes started to wobble the other day after losing at Old Trafford and he "needed" to know where all the extra minutes came from even after getting an explanation; substitute and goal. But as a player who spent so many seasons at Manchester United, surely he knows that is what happens at Old Trafford and it did when he played.

The media also haven't forgotten us, but our general exposure on TV and in the papers isn't anywhere as close to some of the teams in London and the North West. Hell, Newcastle are still getting more than us, but with the ongoing saga of ownership and them getting back into the top flight after relegation, you can, sort of accept it, but why is it, as a club, we don't get the type of coverage you would expect as the biggest club in the second city?

It is a question to be mulled over and I will email a couple of people I know in the 'sports media' industry to see if they have an answer, but in the meantime, a real couple of questions for today.

The first thing is to say, let's forget about formations for a minute and to keep the peace, let's assume every team plays 4-4-2 and it is a rule. I want to get that out of the way, because we have done it to death, so let's ask; does Martin O'Neill know his best eleven and why does he pay players out of position?

I'm from the old school, in so much that I think a natural right back will be better at right back than a centre back or midfielder. Call me old fashioned if you want, I just think it makes sense and provides more fluidity. I also think that for every position you should have backup, that the whole club, from first team down to academy and even younger, should play with the same formation and game plan.

My feelings on this are, if you have a right winger who gets injured, you've got his backup player who can walk straight into the team knowing how he is supposed to play. Sure, he might not have the same skill set as the player he is replacing, but it's about continuity and that continuity has a greater chance of continuing if the player comes in and plays like the player he is replacing.

It's just my opinion, but I'd like to hear others and in case you were wondering it was Cueller playing at right back over Beye that got me thinking about it. However, the big question of the day is this; would you take the points over performance or to put it another way, do you really want to be entertained?

Some say football is part of the entertainment industry but I disagree. I think the most important thing over anything is three points. I don't care how we get them, I just want them. Yes, I want to see the football develop but you have to hope that will come, but if it doesn't and we keep winning and one day soon pick up silverware, I'll let all that go, because it would clearly be working.

But some, Martin O'Neill included, talk about entertaining people and puts that down as a reason for the way we play. George Graham never entertained at Arsenal but he won stuff. You could say Mourinho did little entertaining on the football pitch at Chelsea, but they won stuff.

Wenger is different and he believes in playing football a certain way and it works for him and Ferguson has bought entertainment at Manchester United but he started out with pure grit and determination.

So, the question today; do you want to be entertained or would you happily just take three points every week or continued improvement season after season?

Before I go, the three winners of The Gerry Hitchens Story. First, Seven picked the correct score on the page and two more emailed in with it, but I am only taking the people that predicted the correct score on the page and the winners are; thepensioner, keefvilla and mcdanger.

If you see your user name, email me in via the contact form here and if you don't but you'd still like a copy of the book, you can order it here with a special blog discount.

Now, I have a six day old girl that needs a bit of dad time and a wife that wants a little bit of her time, so I'll be back in a couple of hours and for the record, in case it wasn't clear above, I'll take points. I don't want to be entertained. If I want entertainment I'll watch a film or go to the theatre.

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