Thoughts and issues regarding the past and present of a great football club by "The Chronicler".

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Randy And What's Good For Villa

Does Randy understand what a good footballer is?

Perhaps he does, as I reckon that Villa may well have the better deal in this transaction. James Milner was/is, undoubtedly, a very very good professional and a player that Villa supporters have clearly appreciated, but is the feller coming through the door a better footballer?

With that the real possibility - that we now have a central midfielder who might soon be providing the best football at VP since Merson - in addition the club also has a pot of gold to spend and 2 weeks in which to spend some of it at least.

And - to bring up the hat-trick - do we have the future team manager already installed in the form of Mac to carry on the good start?

Interesting times. As for Thursday's match, how about RV 1 AVFC 4? (It's OK, blood is going to my head!)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Milner's Final Flourish?

What a sublime strike from Milner in yesterday's match. I am very sad that it seems that he's on the point of leaving - in the way he scored he seemed to be saying "There, that's something for you to remember me by!"

I'm sure Ireland will prove to be very effective, but there's something very badly wrong i.m.o. that we have to be losing two class players like Barry and Milner to help keep the team going or because the player doesn't see trophies coming to VP.

Nothing seems to have changed in 60 years ... All these fine players left because of shortcomings at VP: Trevor Ford, Danny B, Tommy Thompson, Gerry H, George Graham, Derek Dougan, B. Rioch, Cowans (1st time) and some others of the 1981/2 team, Yorke, Southgate, Ehiogu, Barry, and now Milner.

Significantly, no player has come into Villa Park in these last 60 years (even probably since WW2 except possibly Trevor Ford) who already had a great reputation and been of the right age. We've had fine internationals that filled a gap for a couple of years ... Sewell, Woosnam, Broadbent, D. Gibson ... but they were effectively over-the-hill when they came to VP.

I've recently been finding out that Villa were interested in the likes of Wilf Mannion in the early 50s, but he, as with Gascoigne (if Steve Stride's story is correct, and I feel it is coming from him), gave us the snub. I'm sure they're not the only two.

It's been a recurring theme, and RL, being relatively new here, probably doesn't understand that bit of our history.

It's a bit depressing ... but I suppose I've got a bit inured to it - to a point.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

How Will History View MON?

In 10, 20 or 50 years time, just how will history view Mr. Martin O'Neill?

Well, I would think quite favourably. For example, it's already 20 years since the first (and main) departure of Graham Taylor as Villa's manager, and his three seasons in charge can easily be looked back on as successful ones, particularly as he got Villa back into the top flight at the first attempt despite the infrastructure at Villa Park also having to be re-built, and also having got Villa into the runner-up position of the top-flight in his last season, Villa's best finish since 9 years before. And the signing of Platt, McGrath and Yorke ... plus bringing back Gordon Cowans.

For those who remember the details of those times, we recall the issues that were not so good - like the signing of a lanky Ian Ormondroyd and winger Nigel Callaghan. But, overall, we were well pleased with GT's period at Villa Park, and, despite MON's poor signings - like Harewood - overall it could be said he did pretty well. If the Villa are able to convert the 12m pound signing Milner into a 100% profit then that has to be successful business done. And that's just one example of a good purchase.

But, for me, there are still issues that gripe. Was it really necessary to sell our better home-products like Cahill, and why were some players put into playing positions they were not designed for? And why did he not rotate the squad more purposefully last season, especially as they looked fagged out as a result of their drive in the domestic cups. And there were a few other niggles.

Most of those gripes will be forgotten about in 20 years time. MON will doubtless be remembered as at least as important a manager as GT, I'd say.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Villa and The Villans Rejuvenated

John Lerwill's blog site - particularly on historical issues, but with the odd current observation  from time-to-time - now gets rejuvenated just as MON departs ... What timing! I guess my first blog tomorrow (Wednesday p.m.) will be about a historical perspective on this mercurial manager!