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Dave’s Villa Blog



FA Cup Round Three and Villa lost to Manchester United. Again. Now there’s that transfer window to puzzle over. The tabloids keep talking up Jermain Defoe, but Dave Woodhall only sees more modest targets on the horizon.

And so it goes on. 51 years and counting.

Losing to Manchester United wasn’t a massive surprise. We should be used to it by now. What hurt was the manner of the defeat – just like every other one. We match them for an hour, they gradually step up the pace, bring on a couple of substitutes who would be the stars of our team and get two late goals. We comfort ourselves that we did well for 80 minutes, the referee was against us and the media love them.

It might sound downbeat, but I really thought last Saturday’s game would be different. Our recent matches with Arsenal and Chelsea had, so I reckoned, given the Villa players the belief that we could finally compete with Manchester United. Wrong.

So now we’ve got the league to concentrate on, and in particular the hunt for a top six place that would represent a good season’s work. To get there we need new players by the end of January. Martin O’Neill recently accepted that we’ve got the smallest squad in the Premier League, which does beg the question as to what he’s doing about it.

We’ve no proper right-back, we’re in need of a right-sided midfielder and a goalscorer would be handy as well. However, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of imminent arrivals, with the strongest links being those to Derby’s Giles Barnes. Decent player and a lot of potential, but not the star name we were told would be arriving as long ago as last August.

There’s a run of decent league games coming up, and three points at home to Reading on Saturday isn’t asking a lot. With a highly-regarded manager, Randy Lerner’s financial clout and the prospect of Europe on the horizon, Villa should be the club of choice for any player looking to make a name for himself. We shall see.

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