by World II Class 09 March 2011


At some point you have to look at whats going on around you in sport.

It been a tough season, we all know that.

We're invovled in a bit of a dog fight, that we need a few wins to get away from or we could get sucked in good and proper.

However win our next 3 and suddenly people will be looking at us having a late charge at 7th and with Small Heath's pending investigation in to its finances and Portsmouth already setting a precident how sweet it would be to pinch their Euorpa Cup spot....

But it's going a bit far when all I see seems to be criticism for the sake of criticism.

The whinging about Houllier loaning out some of the excellent prospects, on the fringes of the Villa team, to gain valuable experience, in a tough league, playing pressurised matchs has some what flumaxed me.

The very reason the reserves have barely made any impression on the first in nearly 4 seasons is simply that "experience" was everything for MoN, yet he refused to allow players to leave on-loan to gain the experience. He sold Cahill and refused to loan Delfouneso twice.

Clark was crying out for a game when Warnock lost form, yet Warnock continued to get picked.

This is somewhat of a vicious circle do you not agree?

Players like Delfouneso, Wiemann, Hogg, Lichaj & Bannan will learn more in 10 games in the Championship than a whole season of reserve team football. Simply because it is competitive to another level. It is also far more physical and requires more stamina. It'll not only give them chance to prove their skills and gain confidence and experience. It'll also toughen them up for the Premier League.

Get off the mans back for a second and think what he is trying to do. The man is not just living in the now, buying players for now. He is thinking of the future.

Yes in an ideal world we'd be in 7th or 8th safe from harm, close enough to do some damage if we suddenly went on a run. But don't for one second think Houllier or Lerner have forgetten that.

Look at the squad we have, tell me the quality isn't there to stay up with space to breath? Tell me now how many of those players can hold their hands up and say they've been professional in how they've conducted them selves on and off the pitch?

60% maybe a bit more?

Now look at the injuries we've had this season, some blame GH for this. GH's tactic made those players get tackled that way, or the new fitness plan designed to get us lasting 90mins rather than 70 at a push was to blame as the players couldn't hack it...

I have no gripe with MoN but I used some of his flaws to show what Houllier has changed, painfully, for the better.

Please people take stock, these player going out on loan is a great sign. The fact promotion chaing Championship side want or "inexperienced kids" shows that they must have something about them. The squad we have plus Gardner replacing Bannan on the bench is plenty strong if we can keep fit and everyone performs professonaly for the Club and it's fans. If they don't like Houllier who cares? I work with people I don't like.. don't you? but I still do my job well, give them no excuse to blame you for anything that goes wrong.

If players like Warnock, Ireland and Dunne had done this from the off we'd be in a far better position and now the players would all be happy after the dust had settled, with new signings and probably the chace of Europe and a cup.

If we're going to play the blame game everyone takes their fair share i'm afraid.

I prefer to stay positive I know we're on the brink of something special we just need to keep faith, keep supporting and trust that Lerner won't chase the fast buck on some of these kids coming through.

Houllier taught those kids at Liverpool how to play good football. Let him teach ours... we've got more of them and they're just as good.


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I watched Delfouneso in an England tournament last year and along with Canales of Spain he was outstanding. Kind of player who will need games.

Houllier should be good with youth, isn't that what he was working in for the French FA?



Villa have got 3 or 4 young players who potentially could go a very long way.


Gardner, Bannan, Albrighton, Wiemann, Delfouneso and Clark..


So make that 6. Thanks to the press's obsession with the North West and London and the North East being so self absorbed it's untrue it has gone under the radar even though several high profile people have praised the Villa boys.


You may have heard our Reserves full of kids beat Arsenals 10-1 earlier this year. Now promotion chasing Championship teams want our young players on loan and when they've gone they've done well. Wiemann at Watford impressed. Lichaj has won over Leeds fans. Bannan is loved by Holloway and Blackpool and was Holloways No.1 target last summer.


We may end up selling them like WHU, but if we keep them I honestly think we'll have a bunch to rival what United did in the 90's with Beck, Scholes, Gigg and the Nevilles.


We need Houllier to compliment these youngsters with excellent pro's who can teach the young players how to conduct them selves on and off the pitch. That is why Dunne, Collins, Warnock and the other party and pie players will be given the steel toecap treatment in the summer and players like Pires and Makoun will be huge influences.

I remember that Arsenal victory, they made so many excuses for it!

Obviously it's important to bring the kids through seeing good players like Pires but you do need to keep some steel and old fashioned players or you'll be overrun.

We all appreciate that City.


The problem with Villa this season hasn't been the kids though, its been an absolute lack of proffessionality by players like Dunne, Collins, Warnock ect...


Houllier came and saw what all Villa fans saw, they weren't fit enough to last 90 mins. They were wandering in and out of training as and when they pleased.


Houllier put in a strict fitness plan and requested players be at training by a certain time... suddenly some of the players decided that this was unreasonable, they owed Villa nothing and we've been putting up with half assed performances from many players for most of the season. But with no manager in the summer to buy, two mangers this season excluding mon and not having the ability to completely over haul a squad in January has meant Villa have been playing effectively with 2 men down in every game.


Makoun, Bent, Young, Downing, ReoCoker have the making of a great team. If we had a defence with Walker and Clark and two experience decent defenders we'd be up with Spurs. We've also had no luck this season. Bolton the latest example, we should of had 6  goals on the weekend.


Watch out for the name Gardner, Wiemann, Albrighton, Bannan, Clark making big impressions soon with the potential of Carruthers, Johnson, Halfhuid, Hogg, Lichaj developing in to decent players too. Then there's the young lad who I won;t mention by name that Fergie has been trying to pinch... but he's going to sign next week... now that kid is a phenom.


I've watch football for nearly 25 years properly and can never remember seeing such a talented group of young players coming through. It's hard to gauge how well they'll do in the first team but we've had some pretty decent players come through in the recent past. Barry, Gabby, Cahill, Moore who's a beast for Swansea and I think these are better than them. Though I'd have Cahill back in a heart beat...


MoN <grr>



You have a great knowledge on it clearly. Fancy doing an article about Villa's youth we can feature on the front page?

I will rework my "Are we a Mini Barca" Article I did for 606.


It'll get the other fans biting. ;)


Where do I post it or send it?

Just post it and then use the report an issue button in the bottom right hand corner.




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