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Dave’s Villa Blog



Martin O’Neill’s transfer window policy seems to be “better out than in”, with more players primed to leave Villa Park than join it.  Maybe owner Randy Lerner’s £5million donation to the National Portrait Gallery has left him short of pocket money.  Dave Woodhall muses on the movers who weren’t shakers.

Roaring towards the end of the transfer window and still there’s more talk of departures than arrivals.

Olof Mellberg’s almost certain to be leaving for Juventus at the end of the season, and good luck to him. Luke Moore’s linked with Rangers, and as ever with young prospects who never quite lived up to the hype, there’s a sense of disappointment with this one. Strangest story of all is the tale of Gary Cahill moving to Blues.

The way Cahill’s been treated by Martin O’Neill is typical of the Villa manager. On paper there’s no comparison between Cahill and the game but limited Zat Knight. It would be a peculiar manager indeed who preferred Knight, yet not only does Martin do just that he tops it off with a lack of specialist right-sided players in the team. It should be a  recipe for disaster, but it’s getting results.

Monday night’s draw at Anfield leaves Villa sixth in the table, within touching distance of fourth and a place in the Champions’ League. Martin’s either a genius or he’s incredibly lucky, and I’m not sure which is the most important.

The most important factor in Villa’s performances this season has been the variety we have in attack. Gabrial Agbonlahor and Ashley Young are two of the quickest forwards in the league and if speed isn’t enough there’s always the size and strength of John Carew.

If only we could get someone who could score a few more of the chances they’re creating. And a right winger to give some balance to the team. A right-back would go down well. And maybe a midfielder who can provide central creativity. Not that I’m greedy or anything.

On Saturday we play Blackburn, in a three o’clock kick-off which owes a bit to both sides’ refusal to bother the FA Cup fourth round draw and a lot to the Premier League applying some common sense in allowing the match to be switched from the following Wednesday.

We won 4-0 up at Ewood Park, and should get another three points to help the push for Europe. A few more players by this time next week would be just as welcome.

Dave runs the best selling Villa fanzine Heroes And Villains, and the website

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