So, well, well, well. The last few months everything based around Aston Villa has been pointing towards the increasingly closing departure of Villa’s “main man” James Milner. But who would of thought that the biggest departure from Villa Park was to be the man who most avid supporters see as ‘God’. Yes, Martin O’Neill has really has pulled the cat out of the bag with this one.
So we all ask, where has it all gone wrong? For such a man, who came into the job with infused energy and commitment to be leaving after four years of constant progression with three consecutive 6th place finishes, 1 Pre-Season trophy in the name of the Peace Cup after beating the likes of Porto and Juventus to name a few, 1 Carling Cup runners up medal, 1 F.A Cup semi final and a team in the main based from players that will no doubt get England call ups in the not too distant future. Potential, the only word for it.
Although the word potential has been thrown in and around the team for the last few seasons, it seemed as if this would really truly and honestly be the year Aston Villa would push that extra yard to finish above the teams that have been constantly finishing and certainly rivaling Villa for that coveted 4th spot in the Premier League.
We could almost certainly start from when Liverpool first lodged their public appeal towards Villa’s main asset in their then “Captain Marvellous” Gareth Barry. This seemed to push O’Neill to the point of losing more hair and growing extra grey strands. But as always O’Neill came to grips with the situation and spoke to Barry in a way that no other manager could. Tell him that he’s building a team that although he would like Barry to spearhead, but for the sake of the fans that had been booing and taunting Barry at pre-season friendlies including well published away friendly against Walsall that Martin could not see the logic in keeping Barry as club captain.
Next up, the emergence of Ashley Young. After Ashley Young finally came to grips of the Premier League, only Martin O’Neill could not been to of seen to be dumbfounded. After splashing out a fee that nigh on came to approximatly £10 million O’Neill had everyone wondering what kind of player that hasn’t had much top flight experience turn out to be like? Answer … a player that cannot just get everyone off their seat but to bamboozle full backs on their backs finding this little wing wizard flying past them with the combined use of electric pace and skill. When looking back over Ashley’s appearances, most would say his finest hour came at Goodison Park at the start of December in 2007 when he single handedly gave Aston Villa all 3 points in an exhillarating game to enthrall many a fan of the sport. After which, O’Neill had come out and suggested that Young was in the same sort of league as Ronaldo, Messi and the likes. When lets be honest, no other person would which generally meant Martin was to get slated for it. But even so, it put the likes of some of the biggest teams in world to sit up and pay attention. Especially, if you were to believe some national newspapers that it made Barcelona bid in the region of £25 million for such a player that at the time had only 1 great season under his belt.
Furthermore, the signing of James Milner and the soon to be eventual selling of James Milner. Interesting to see that a player that not so long ago was claiming to “be happy at a stable club, playing week in, week out” rather than in a Newcastle club when in all due respect was not knowing whether to come or go. It’s amazing what a change in natural position and a few England caps can do boost morale and perhaps ego. Now, I don’t mean to sound as if I don’t like James Milner, because believe you me, he has got us out of a pickle and won Villa games more times than I care to remember. But it’s just the fact that as Villa fans, we have seen this before with Gareth Barry and the increasingly unpopular team of Manchester City. Not that I don’t like Manchester City Football Club either but it’s just the way they go about things. I don’t think I speak alone when I say that there’s no need to go so public with transfers of players which in turn will upset players and eventually how the club has to be run. As seen with the now departed Martin O’Neill. If we were looking at a less widely known transfer within the terms of national newspapers then I believe that O’Neill might not of left Villa Park this soon.
And finally, the simple fact of money. The sport is run by it now. There are very few that infact have much real loyalty to their well respected clubs and how fans take on certain players as they would another family member, and lets be honest if Chairman’s and Directors, were to keep to what they do best and leave anything to do with the team and the general selling or buying of players to the managers then I believe the sport would be much more steadily ran and there would be less controversial and hash decisions made by the men and women that really do take most of the flak but not so much the praise, the managers. And with what I have just mentioned in this final paragraph, we see the disappointing departure of Martin O’Neill, one who will in the main receive a great thank you and a pat on the back for everything that he has done for and with Aston Villa Football Club. We are sorry to see you depart in such a manor but good luck in the future and thank you.
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