Morning all hope every one is keeping ok and making the best of the good weather we have had and getting ready for a couple of pint's on holiday Monday .
The reason for my article today is that over recent Week's/ Month's this forum which was one of the most active and unbiased Villa forum's that is a open forum basically seemed to die a death with little or no activity once the chance of promotion and the play off's was out of our reach .
The new article's and reply post's seemed to all but dry up we all ( myself included ) seemed to loose all interest in putting our though's and comment's on here for discussion to give every fan a chance to give there view's after we new we was staying in the championship next season .
The thing i have been mulling over since stopping work for my hol's is what villa could have done better what were the plus point's of last season and most importantly what can we as a club do better next season to give us a better chance of promotion back to the prem reaching the play off's or god forbid avoiding relegation .
The thing's that i have learnt over last season from preseason to final game is as was warned due to relegation we found our selves in one of if not the hardest most competitive league's in the UK if not Europe several of the regular's warned us all of this but many again myself included thought we was to good for the championship and thought that if we put up a half decent performance in game's but basically went through the motions our premier league experience would see us home and dry .
The other main event last close season was Learner finally sold the Club and we got a owner in who was prepared to heavily invest as Learner did at the start of his time as owner .
The problem that raised it's ugly head with the money suddenly becoming available for new player's was that other team's when RDM expressed a interest in signing one of there player's these Club's basically had Villa's pant's down and smacked very hard resulting on good/average player's being fetched in for 25%/50% higher than there true transfer worth .
This attitude was doomed to failure from day one and ultimately cost RDM his job after a run of poor result's .
The new player's who came in should not escape blame for this as i still feel that some saw a Villa a transfer as a super large pay day medium/large sized club's like our's , Those labelled as sleeping giant's of the football world have to realise to rebuild a squad and team to adapt to a tough league should be a well thought out plan with set goal's over several season's for a top to bottom rebuild to ensure that once we get back into the prem we have more than 50/50 chance of staying up . This may well take several season's but it will be a price worth paying in the long run as we would have a battle hardened team with a squad that would only need minimal change to get up and stay up .
The manager's we had and have from last season are in my opinion both good manager's if Bruce is the manager to get us back into the prem only time will tell he certainly has that experience if he can put that into practice is another question .
The problem with both manager's to a equal extent is they behaved liked a kid's in a sweet shop and anything that took there fancy they bought some transfer's worked out well notably Kodja who if we can keep hold of him has the making's of a player that could well make a big difference to our chance's next year as for the other's Jedinak seem's to be finding his feet well with good solid performance's and if we can keep Johnstone on loan for another season then all the better .
The problem yet again that we now have is and i never thought i would be saying this again is that we have a squad that is in desperate need of thinning out and reshaping this would not only free up fund's for Bruce but take a great deal of pressure of our wage bill .
There has been whisper's that the Doctor is going to tighten the purse string's a little and you cannot blame him he must of realised that with a Club in the championship you do not have the power to buy genuine quality to buy success as team's in the premiership have .
Villa do have problem's at the moment but after this season's experience's and with a better idea of what we will face in game's let's hope we can have a level of performance's next term that will get us to the play off's at least .
Just got time now to get ready for door's opening at the Red Lion to have a few pint's without the wife's interference .
What could we have done better? I think we did a lot right. We bought quite a lot but we sold a lot as well. The figure £72m is often quoted but that's only for incoming; the net figure is more like £32m. And the wage bill has come down; those sold took with them expensive wages. We still have a load of players out on loan; clear most of them out and we will have a much more lean and healthy look.
Did we buy expensive flops? Don't think so, overall. Players who didn't make their mark were:
Gollini: undoubted talent, but too young and in a foreign environment to take the pressure. It cost us quite a few points under RDM.
McCormack: somebody slipped up with regard to his history. At the start he didn't look bad under RDM, in spite of not being fit, and 3 goals in that period wasn't too bad a return. But he's been a waste of money since.
Tshibola: thought he looked OK and hope he still has a part to play, but don't think Bruce wants him.
Ritchie de Laet: unfortunately injured, will be competing against Bree and Hutton for a place.
Elphick: seemed a calming influence to start with but seemed to lose confidence and form.
Apart from Johnstone and Taylor, Bruce's signings haven't hit the ground running, but I have hopes for all of them.
Managers? Think RDM's era was better than realised. Kodjia didn't arrive until half way through and took a few games to hit top form. The team as a whole was still settling. The problem was far too many draws; we had more draws in that period than since. Maybe he should have been given longer. The big question to me was whether he influenced games from the touchline enough.
Bruce has been a mixed bag. The difference between him and RDM is that he's won or lost rather than drawn, and that tends to get you more points. I think the January signings were good ones, but we haven't had the performances which we were expecting.
Conclusions? Personally I don't think it takes years to turn a team around, not if you have the investment to buy the players you need. The BBC had an interesting article today on Huddersfield and Reading, both only just surviving at the end of the 2015/16 season, yet now competing in the play-off final. Wagner brought in 13 players last summer at Huddersfield, and transformed the team. Did he need months or years to get them playing well? No. Good managers can turn things around quickly.
I think we have the players, or most of them. Even with this current squad we ought to have a big impact. Assuming Johnstone comes back, then it's the forwards I'm worried about. Kodjia is the only one out of our current six who has been a marked success, and he'll be out for some time yet. Bruce has indicated he's thinking of strengthening defence and midfield rather than up front, and I think this could be a big mistake.
Bottom line: Bruce so far hasn't done it for me. At no time have we looked really convincing, or dominated games, even against weak teams. I don't buy the idea he needs more time; other managers don't. We ought to hit the ground running in this coming season, and if we don't I think we need a new manager.
Hi all up above. Its winter time here in Queensland, the best time of the year. Cold nights and warm sunny days, bliss. Only down side is no footie to watch.
For me we never gave RDM enough time, just as McParland stated. I believe given time he would of got us playing good football, a lot different than the hoof style of the typical old school Brit manager we have now.
would we have finished higher than we did? who knows but we would of been good to watch, I'm sure of that with the squad we have.
I will support Mr Bruce and hope he can get us up next season but I don't share the confidence that is being shown by bookies or fellow fans. Teams that play good football go up, we didn't show that at all bar 2 games under Bruce, what is going to change that? He has never been known for his teams playing good football.
we will see who these four players are that will complete his squad, we will move out the poor players I hope but if Gabby is still around with Bruce saying its like having a new player, I will know he is not the man to take us forward.
happy summer holidays all
its hard to be enthusiastic about the villa at the moment after what I regard as a very disappointing season. We spent loads of money and the Dr must be thinking what Lerner come to think that they are only there to pour money down a drain controlled by incompetents. Fulham reached the playoffs without their star goal scorer but with £12m in the bank, Reading reached the playoff final without their midfielder, sold to us.
Reading and Huddersfield were relegation candidates 12 months ago, yet reached the final.
I blame some of the players but the main blame has to go to the management. be it playing manager or director and now we talk of signing more players.
Not a happy Villa supporter.
Know how you feel. Not getting near the playoffs was disappointing, but at this stage we really ought to be confident that we're well set up for next season and ready to go. The real disappointment to me was lack of a playing style, and the dull performances which went with that. Other teams can, under the right circumstances, sort that sort of thing in a month or two. I think we had the right circumstances, but after a year problems remain.
So can only wait and hope that when the season starts we can hit the ground running. No excuses. But we really shouldn't be in this position.