Aston Villa have been gradually moving closer to the top four under Martin O’Neill in the last few years, and came very close to finishing fourth last season, until a disastrous run of form at the end of the season saw Arsenal fly past them.
Something drastic must have occured in the dressing room to turn one of the most consistent teams in the league into a club that just couldn’t win any game towards the end.
Is there some underlying problems that the fans aren’t aware of? Has Martin O’Neill begun to realise that he is not going to receive the expected support, financially at least, to take Villa up to the next level.
Randy Lerner has promised Villa fans that “funds are in place”, but they are yet to see any use made of these facilities. In fact Villa have lost Gareth Barry, and it seems that he is likely to lose Ashley Young too, if the rumours are be believed, with Tottenham, Chelsea and even Manchester United being linked with him.
With a recently reported wealth of 1.6 BILLION in the bank, Lerner could easily be backing Martin O’Neill by bringing in some of the top players in the world, but a look at the way things have gone this summer doesn’t bode well for the new season.
Steve Sidwell was bought last year from Chelsea as an expected replacement for Barry, but has been disappointing so far, and has even been linked with a move to Fulham this summer.
Other than Barry, Villa have also lost the influential Martin Laursen, and possibly Wilfred Bouma as well, so new faces at Villa Park are desperately needed, but O’Neill’s targets are dwindling as others, especially Everton, take advantage of his indecision.
Everton seem to have taken the lead in the race for the promising Leeds prodigy Fabien Delph, who was mooted as a likely addition, as well as already having a bid accepted for another Villa target, Kyle Naughton, and Villa fans are staring at a depleted squad with just four weeks until the season begins.
The Villa fans are seeing possible challengers bringing in reinforcements. Everton boss David Moyes has wasted no time this year after an extremely unproductive transfer window last year, Man City have aspirations to not only challenge for fifth, but to try and make inroads into the Champions League places. Tottenham are also feeling confident after seeing a massive improvement in form since Harry Redknapp’s arrival.
Even local rivals Birmingham have already acted by bringing in no less that six reinforcements so far, but what have Villa done?
So, Villa fans, how are things looking from your perspective?