G’day. My name is Chris and I’m an Australian Villan. I go by CP on this blog, and this is my first post. As a long-time reader I think I have developed a reasonably good feel for how things work, but feel free to drop me a line if you feel I’m need of education.
Speaking on behalf of other Aussie Villans let me assure you, we put in our hard yards to support the club. While I’ve never sat in the Holte End or spotted O'Neill at the Belfry, I’ve turned up to work more times than I care to mention red-eyed and fatigued from watching every one of Villa’s fixtures into the wee hours.
I have a Villa flag on my wall, I drink coffee from a Villa mug, and, well let’s just leave it at that. Why am I a Villan? My mother grew up on Charles Rd, a whisper from VP. Plus AVFC dominates. Enough said.
To the footy. I’ve watched on with interest and occasionally commented as the summer transfer window has promised plenty but yielded, well, nothing so far for us at least. We’ve seen Laursen retire, Barry
win the lotto move to City, and Taylor follow the same course. We’ve been linked with everyone from David Wheater to Stewart Downing and Tuncay (relegation, anyone?) and one or two others in between.
So now I’m going to lay down my thoughts, and you guys can tell me where I’m at and let me know where you’re all at too.
Firstly, I’d like to encourage a little bit more optimism around here. I know, what business does the new guy have in telling everyone what’s what, right? Well, fair enough. But I do feel Martin O’Neill is a very smart man and a sage football operator.
I think Randy Lerner is ambitious, sensible, and would sell the club tomorrow if he felt he was the wrong man for the job. He also supports the Cleveland Browns in the US and the fans love him - because he is responsible and he will always do the right thing by the club. There’s a long-term vision at play here.
AVFC will not become a super power overnight. Funds will be made available, and MON will make the right signings, and some responsible signings too. I have faith, and I really don’t think it’s blind faith either. I share in the frustrations of seeing Villa slide from a Champions League spot with an eight-point lead to sixth place. I really do. But it’s not about last season, or even next season. It’s about 5-10 years from now and the brand of football the club is creating. Our reputation under MON has already grown exponentially.
Secondly, to the players. So Barry has gone. Yeah, I’m disappointed. He was one of my favourite players, but I’m also a big believer in only having people at the club who are desperate to represent Aston Villa. I would like to have seen us sign Michael Owen, which I pointed out in a comment I made yesterday, but good luck to him. So what do we need?
In my opinion, our number one target should be Sol Campbell. Now just hear me out for a second. Everyone is saying we need to replace Martin Laursen. I have two problems with this: 1) you can’t just replace someone like him, and 2) MON has invested about 18 million in two players that will become the long-term Villa halves pairing.
Yes, I truly believe Davies and Cuellar are the future for Villa at the back and could potentially become a world-class partnership. O’Neill knew exactly what he was doing when he bought them. They probably won’t quite get there for another season or two, which is why we need to bring in someone with experience who is still passionate about football.
Campbell fits the bill perfectly. He is cool-headed, strong and knows how to win games. And silverware. Curtis and Carlos would be able to learn immensely from Sol, who in addition to his leadership, provides further competition for places.
OK so I realise this post is really long, and I’ve got to make myself another coffee before work. I’ve a fair bit more to say on other players and matters relating the club but I think that’s more than enough for now. Please discuss.