squarefootball  Squarefootball football cartoon, by Antony Melvin
If Craig Bellamy keeps his nose clean, Wes...
He Should Do Well: Adam Hammill (Liverpool...
Wolves Season Review 2006/07
  Eng: ARS | AVI | BLA | BOL | CHA | CHE | EVE | FUL | LIV | MCY | MNU | MID | NEW | POR | RED | SHU | TOT
 | WAT | WHU | WIG : BIR | SUN | WBA :: Sco: ABE | CEL | DDU | DUN | FAL | HEA | HIB | ICT | KIL | RAN | MOT
 | STM : GRE :: Esp: BAR | MAD | SEV | VAL | VIL :: Ita: MIL | CHV | INT | JUV | LAZ :: Deu: MUN 
:: Ned: AJX | FEY | PSV
rss   site map

Team Sorted

Aston Villa Season Review 2006/07

 src=

Hugh Larkin


Hugh Larkin has a definite policy to support underdogs. Can be relied upon to support any team against Real Madrid and hopes one day to see Walsall as the top West Midland side....
[full biography]
04/06/2007 09:00:00.
read: 866 times.

2006/07 had the air of a ‘phoney war’ at Villa Park. Everyone connected to the club has spent the whole campaign looking forward to next year and what can be done, now that Martin O’Neill has had time to shuffle the pack and add more new players.

It proved to be a momentous start to the season with Doug Ellis finally relinquishing control of the club to American tycoon Randy Lerner,. The only problem was that Martin O’Neill didn’t get his feet under the table until 5th August, so Villa were left to go into the campaign with David O’Leary’s players and were unable to spend much Lerner cash.

The feel-good factor at Villa Park still proved to be huge though and after years of mediocrity, the new regime at least raised the prospect of an exciting future. O’Neill explained matters in his usual honest manner and the fans settled down to see if he could at least improve the performance of the current bunch- while waiting patiently for the January transfer window.

The manager did manage to slip in Stilian Petrov before the deadline and then arranged short term deals for a couple more Celtic old sweats- Didier Agathe and Chris Sutton. Otherwise he went in with O’Leary’s squad.

Straight away there was improvement. The team looked more solid and organised and up front the resources were arranged more imaginatively. Luke Moore and Gabriel Agbonlahor operated wide of Juan Pablo Angel and brought pace to bear. Gareth Barry again looked like a player with England ambitions on the left of midfield.

For a long time Villa remained unbeaten through a succession of drawn games but serious injury to Moore proved again what a thin squad O’Neill had. Inevitably as winter progressed, the performances started to wilt although the new boss kept on experimenting.

While Agbonlahor and Craig Gardner benefited from the change of regime, Steven Davis didn’t and the end of the campaign saw speculation that the Northern Irish midfielder will be allowed to go. Jlloyd Samuel couldn’t win his place at left back either, although that carried on a trend begun under the last manager.

There was much anticipation about what could be delivered in the transfer window and the new regime didn’t disappoint. Experienced Norwegian target man John Carew came in to provide the physical presence that O’Neill has always had up front in his sides- think Hartson, Heskey. Marshall etc.

Then came a real coup to bring Ashley Young from Watford. Villa spent big to get him (it remains to be seen if it was too big) and at a stroke O’Neill’s persuasive powers backed by Lerner’s cash had made the club serious players in the market again. He then went to Celtic and brought Shaun Maloney to the West Midlands to make it a very satisfactory month.

Bedding in new players, plus the feeling that much was on hold until next year, produced a dip in form after Christmas that was a little worrying at one point. The manager took it philosophically on the basis that Villa had got away with a few points before Xmas (at Arsenal for instance) and fortune now levelled things out.

Eventually the team came out of the slump and ended the campaign quite strongly. In fact, they probably finished in the perfect place- nowhere near the bottom but avoiding Europe. With a beefed up squad Villa have only domestic commitments to worry them in 2007/08.

There has been definite progress over 2006/07. Defensively, Villa are more comfortable, some quality has been added in midfield and up front Carew, Moore and Agbonlahor are potentially useful. More signings will come in over the summer and then the real test begins.

O’Neill will probably talk about ‘improvement’ as being the main goal but for most Villa fans a spot in the top eight is a minimum target from next season- possibly even top six. Exciting times are ahead at Villa Park with the added spice of two City derbies as well.


Add your feedback

Your name
Your email
Feedback
 12345678910
Article score
(0 - bad; 10 - great)
 

Click Here to shop at eBay.co.uk

PREMIERSHIP

Arsenal
20 Handy Facts About Eduardo Da Silva
Arsenal: Who can fill Thierry Henry’s boots?
Arsenal: Wenger was right to axe Henry

Aston Villa
Betting- Barry To Score From Midfield?
Aston Villa: Patient Approach as O’Neill Continues to Build
Aston Villa: Summer 2007 Transfer Targets

Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers Season Review 2006/07
Blackburn Rovers: Summer 2007 Transfer Targets

Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers Season Review 2006/07
Bolton Wanderers: Transfer Targets Summer 2007

Charlton Athletic
Charlton Athletic: Season Review 2006/07
Charlton’s Championship Stay Should Be A Short One

Chelsea
Meet The New Boys- The Premiership’s Recent Arrivals #1
Lampard odds-on to stay at Chelsea
Michael Essien- The Modern Utility Man

Everton
Everton; Season Review 2006/07
Fulham: Summer 2007 Transfer Options
Fulham; Season Review 2006/07

Fulham

Liverpool
Liverpool: Pennant Proving He’s No Second Choice
Liverpool; Forward Thinking
Liverpool will miss Garcia's Brilliance

Manchester City
Manchester City: Don't Mention Maccarone As Bianchi Signs In
Manchester City – Are good times on their way back for City?
Manchester City; Sven and the Blue Moon on a stick

Manchester United
Manchester United: Tevez Dodgy Dealings
Liverpool/Manchester United: Gabriel Heinze is unlikely to be the next Phil Chisnall
Meet The New Boys- The Premiership’s New Arrivals #2

Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough: July 2007 Transfer Options
Middlesbrough Season Review 2006/07
Middlesbrough: Steve Gibson shows no sign of joining the takeover frenzy

Newcastle United
Owen still fancied to leave Newcastle
Newcastle United: Toon Army’s Split On Barton’s Arrival
Big Sam Can Get The Better Of Bolton Next Term

Portsmouth
Portsmouth Season Review 2006/07
Reading Season Review 2006/07
Sheffield United: winners all round as the 'Coca-Cola kid' signs for Fenerbahce
Sheffield United; Season Review 2006/07
Relegated Stars ready to make a swift return to the Premiership?

Reading

Sheffield United

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur – Summer Transfer Activity
New Money Opens Up The Premiership And Will Break Up The Big Four
Tottenham Hotspur: Are Spurs Wasting their Money?

Watford
Watford Season Review 2006/07

West Ham United
If Craig Bellamy keeps his nose clean, West Ham will love him
Will Bellamy come back to haunt Liverpool?
Parker's the top man for Hammers fans

Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic; Season Review 2006/07


News Now  My Football News  Eat Sleep Football 
© Squarefootball Ltd 2001-2007